SEI Awarded Grant For a Pop-Up Research Lab by SSSHARC

We are pleased to announce that The Sydney Environment Institute and The Living Room Theatre have been awarded funding for a Pop-Up Research Lab by Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC).

The SSSHARC Pop-up Research Lab scheme is one of four grant schemes from SSSHARC’s interim funding programs in 2017, which called on applicants to develop a three-week intensive research program around a problem of real-world and theoretical significance, to be held on campus.

The project, ‘Communicating heat & climate vulnerability through performance’,  explores the real life impacts of heatwaves as well as the theoretical problems which come from communicating academic research of shock climate events to non-academic audiences such as policy makers, community organisations, and the general population.

Climate change will bring longer and more intense heat waves, and yet our infrastructure, governance, and public knowledge are often inadequate to address the threat. Experience with climate change science illustrates that the public is not convinced by science alone, and alternative means of communicating are necessary.

The aim of this Pop-up Lab is to translate the recent work of the Sydney Environment Institute to the public in an innovative and impactful way. The lab will examine how academic knowledge on climate change and heat waves can be translated to the public through the medium of performance. Using a truly transdisciplinary approach, we will bring together scientists, social scientists, artists and performers to mobilise climate knowledge.

A component of the research lab will include the performance ‘Anastasia’, created by Michelle St Anne, Artistic director of The Living Room Theatre and Deputy Director of SEI. The Performance is a part of a larger series of short studio works currently in development, which will explore the physical, ethical and emotional responses to death.

The first in the series ‘Anastasia – Heat’ explores the life of an elderly woman, living on her own, who dies from heat exhaustion. You can find out more about the work here.

For the project, SEI welcomes Kari Norgaard and David Roesner who are collaborating on the project as research fellows.

Kari Norgaard is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon. Her research currently focuses on the social organization of denial (especially regarding climate change), and environmental justice work with Native American Tribes on the Klamath River. For more details on Kari and her publications, click here.

David Roesner is a professor of Theater Science with emphasis on music theater at The Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich. His research focused on the musicalization of theater and the theatricalization of music, sound, and performance. For more details on David and his publications, click here.

More details on this collaboration are to come later in the year, in the lead-up to the three-week intensive research program.


SSSHARC Academy:

David Schlosberg, Professor of Environmental Politics & Co-Director of The Sydney Environment Institute, The University of Sydney.

Michelle St Anne, Artistic director of The Living Room Theatre & Deputy Director of The Sydney Environment Institute.

Ann Elias, Associate Professor, Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney.

Alana Mann, Department Chair of Media and Communications and Senior Lecturer, Department of Media and Communications, The University of Sydney.

Benedetta Brevini, Senior Lecturer, Department of Media and Communications, The University of Sydney.

Ian Maxwell, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Performance Studies, The University of Sydney.

Killian Quigley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sydney Environment Institute, The University of Sydney.

Visiting Fellows:

David Roesner, Professor of Theatre Science, The Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich.

Kari Norgaard, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, the University of Oregon.


Dannielle Celermajer, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy, The University of Sydney.

Ollie Jay, Senior Lecturer in Exercise and Sport Science, The University of Sydney.

Glenn Shea, Senior Lecturer Veterinary Science, Anatomy & Pathology, The University of Sydney.