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Last updated 18th April 2024


Sarah Williamson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield, specialising in arts-based pedagogy and arts-based enquiry.

Sarah researches the aesthetic construction of knowledge and also the transformative value and impact of the arts in professional education. She publishes, presents and exhibits in the field of arts, society and education. Sarah is an invited member of international research teams funded by Canadian SSHRC grants to develop and investigate pedagogic and research practices for social justice and change in art galleries and museums.

‘ArtActivistBarbie’ on Twitter (@BarbieReports) is feminist activist work created by Sarah to explore the potential of social media for gender social justice. This has attracted international attention and Sarah’s book chapter ‘ArtActivistBarbie: The a/r/tographic re-deployment of Barbie in museums and galleries as a feminist activist and pedagogue’ was published in 2020. Read more about ‘ArtActivistBarbie’ here:

Sarah also specialises in the arts and teacher education for the post-compulsory sector and teaches on undergraduate, postgraduate and Master’s level courses. She has developed expertise in ‘pop-up’ pedagogy for informal and large-scale community arts education through her creation and leadership of ‘Pop-Up Arts Schools’, which have offered temporary and exciting creative experiences in communities, art galleries and schools. 2020 will see the 10th anniversary of Sarah’s ‘Pop-Up Art Schools’ developed in collaboration with the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF). She has recently described and theorised these public art events in the context of Russian philosopher Bakhtin’s concept of the ‘Carnivalesque’.

In 2018, Sarah was one of 6 lecturers shortlisted from UK universities for the prestigious Times Higher Education 'Most Innovative Teacher' award. 

Sarah was awarded the 2018 David Jones Prize for 'Best Paper with a Creative and International Focus' at the 47th SCUTREA conference.  


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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