Dr Martin Zebracki

Dr Martin Zebracki

Profile

I am an interdisciplinary critical human geographer who is broadly captivated with studying and articulating the relationships between the world as habitat of human beings and human beings as organisers and meaning-makers of the world. How do people construct places and how do places construct people’s behaviour and the meanings they attach to their living environment? I have developed a special relationship with geography and art –  for me, geography embraces a canvas for experiencing and hence drawing the world, where the geographer coexist with the artist.

I have specialised in the whys and hows of processes of inclusion and exclusion in arts practises in urban public spaces with special emphasis on socially marginalised populations, in particular lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT) people. I have published widely about the intersecting geographies of public-art practice, sexuality, (queer) citizenship, digital culture, and social inclusivity. I am the editor of Public Art Encounters: Art, Space and Identity (with Joni M. Palmer; Routledge, 2017) and The Everyday Practice of Public Art: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion (with Cameron Cartiere; Routledge, 2016). I am a member of international research and professional committees that are key to public-art practice and the study of sexualities. Over the past decade, I have collaboratively designed and convened a large number of themed sessions at major interdisciplinary conferences and specialist forums. I am also a frequently invited speaker at institutions of higher education and research worldwide, most recently at the University of Oslo, Paris Diderot at Sorbonne Paris Cité, Tokyo University of the Arts, University of California–Berkeley, University of Melbourne, University of Canterbury–New Zealand, Western Sydney University, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Montreal. Over the years, I have set new agendas and extensively engaged with peers and research-user audiences in creative sectors, public policy and activism.

My commitment to issues of social diversity and inclusivity also transpires in my compound leadership roles as Academic Lead for Inclusive Practice, Equality and Inclusion Leader and the Disability Support Leader in the School of Geography, University of Leeds, Chair of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group and Steering Committee Member of the newly founded national network Queer Research UK (QRUK). Moreover, I am a Member of the Editorial Board of Public Art Dialogue.

I have an educational background in Human Geography and Urban and Regional Planning at Utrecht University, where I have obtained my BSc Hons degree (with distinction, 2005), MSc Research degree (with distinction, 2007) and PhD degree (2012). In 2006, I pursued graduate research courses in Geographical Thought and Art History at the University of Florida, where I also taught on Social Statistics in the Geography postgraduate research programme. In 2007-2011, I convened various courses straddling the geohumanities at Utrecht Summer School, Utrecht University. I held the combined posts of Lecturer and Postdoctoral Researcher in Cultural and Urban Geography at Wageningen University (2012-13), Utrecht University (2013), and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2013). I was Academic Advisor and Student Counsellor at University College Utrecht (2011-13), an international selective liberal arts undergraduate college. In 2013, I moved to the School of Geography at the University of Leeds, where I held the role of Lecturer and, as from 2018, Associate Professor of Critical Human Geography.

Responsibilities

  • Academic Lead for Inclusive Practice
  • Equality and Inclusion Leader
  • Disability Support Leader

Research interests

My research sits within cultural geography at the crossroads of public-art practice, sexuality, (queer) citizenship, digital culture and processes of social inclusion vs. exclusion.

Unlike many studies that have focused on broad socio-economic processes of inclusion and exclusion in cities, my research focus is on understanding these processes through the critical role that public-art practices play in (or are remiss in) engaging socially marginalised populations, particularly lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT) people. I have recently expanded my interdisciplinary focus on this under-examined niche by developing innovative agendas for studying the intersections of public art, sexual citizenship and social inclusivity in the ever-intensifying digital society.

I am the Principal Investigator of Queer Memorials: International Comparative Perspectives on Sexual Diversity and Social Inclusivity (QMem), supported by a project grant awarded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). QMem aims to provide new insights into the nature of social engagement with public material monuments that are dedicated to the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, drawing on case studies from the US, Netherlands, and Poland.

Moreover, I am taking the lead on the collaborative research project CARED: Community Art & Recovery in Environments Disrupted by Disasters with empirical focus on Christchurch, New Zealand, which is supported by the Researcher Mobility Award from the University of Leeds Research and Innovation Service.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://environment.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • PhD, Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning (Dissertation on Public Art) Utrecht University
  • MSc Research, Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning, Utrecht University
  • Postgraduate Research, Geographical Thought and Art History, University of Florida
  • BSc Hons, Human Geography & Urban and Regional Planning, Utrecht University

Professional memberships

  • Chair, Royal Geographical Society (RGS-IBG) Space, Sexualities and Queer Research Group
  • Member, Steering Committee Queer Research UK (QRUK)
  • Member, Editorial Board of Public Art Dialogue

Student education

BA Human Geography:

  • Level 1: People, Place and Politics

  • Level 2: Citizenship and Identity: Comparative Perspectives (Module Manager)

  • Level 3: Spaces of Migration and Encounter

  • Level 3: Global Cities: Miami

  • Level 3: Dissertation

PhD Supervision:

  • Faten Almjlad: Islamic faith-based education and its role in segregation vs. integration in England's society

  • Pietro Bellomo: The mediation of public art in the daily practices of the student community

  • David En-Griffiths: Sexuality, class and the social mirror stage

  • Simone Kenyon: Dancing, mountaineering and embodied ways of knowing

  • Katie Lee: Public arts for inclusive placemaking: Perceptions, evaluations and actions (White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Collaborative Partnership with Beam, trading name of Public Arts)

  • Daisy Xiao: Urban critical theory and Chinese public art in the new era (China Scholarship Council Visiting Scholar)

PhD applicants for supervision are welcomed across the areas of geographies of public-art practice, sexuality, (queer) citizenship, digital culture and processes of social inclusion/exclusion.

Research groups and institutes

  • Social Justice, Cities, Citizenship
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>