Research Staff Interests

Dr Michael  Gallagher


I am a Research Fellow in the department of Professional Development and Educational Innovation. I have a background in human geography, but my research is interdisciplinary. My main interests are in children and young people, sound, space, power, methods and media.

I came to MMU in 2014. Prior to that, I held research posts at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh.

My writing has been published widely. I also like to use audio-visual media for my research wherever I can. For example, I have produced:

I am also trying to put audio into my publications (e.g. a recent paper about field recordings).

Research Interests

My research is organised around three themes:

  • Power and childhood. Examining how children and young people are shaped, and shape themselves, through regimes of power such as schools, healthcare, social work, counselling, participatory initiatives and digital media.
  • Media and methods. Thinking critically about how different media and methods produce knowledge. Interests include research ethics, sonic and audio methods, video, experimental and arts-based methods, digital media methods and participatory methods, with a particular focus on doing research with children and young people.
  • Creative practice and space. Examining how art, design and media shape spaces, places and environments, particularly ruins, cities and landscapes. My research analyses how environments are reworked by sound art, public art, mobile media and other spatial interventions.
I would be very happy to discuss possible PhD supervision or collaboration around any of these themes.

Research Projects

Sounding geography: piloting a method for understanding how we experience our sound environments. British Academy Small Grant. April 2014 – April 2015. £7256. Co-applicant.

Researching sonic environments: exploring audio methodologies. AHRC Early Career Fellowship. Feb – Nov 2013. £88,802 FEC (AH/J006556/1). Principal Investigator.

The Invisible College - Building Communities of Creative Practice. AHRC project about the reinvention of modern ruins. Jan 2012 – March 2014. £109,293 FEC (AH/K502728/1), with an extension of £20,322 FEC (AH/L503526/1). Co-investigator.

Supporting the use of digital media in research with children and young people. ESRC Digital Social Research demonstrator project. Nov 2011 – Nov 2012. £59,502 FEC (ES/J009814/1). Co-investigator.

Working creatively with sound and image: a collaborative interdisciplinary learning workshop for researchers. Vitae Innovate award. Sept 2010 – Feb 2011, £10,000. Principal Investigator.

Experimenting with Geography: See-Hear-Make-Do. ESRC International Training and Networking award. Sept 2009 – Nov 2010. £39,672 FEC (RES-810-21-0025). Principal Investigator.

Refereed Journal Articles

M. Gallagher (2016) Sound as affect: Difference, power and spatiality. Emotion, Space and Society 20 pp 42-48

M. Gallagher (2015) Sounding ruins: reflections on the production of an 'audio drift. cultural geographies 22(3) pp 467-485

M. Gallagher (2015) Field recording and the sounding of spaces. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33(3) pp 560-576

Teaching Interests

I teach on the BA Early Years and Childhood Studies. I am unit leader for 'Student as Learner: Research and Practice', a second year undergraduate course on research methods. I also teach Masters students.





Position/Post: Research Fellow
Tel: 0161-247-2102
Location: 1.06 Brooks Building