Browser does not support script.

Staff Profile

Dr Nick Rowe MBE

Professor in Arts and Mental Health, Director of Converge

Nick Rowe, Director of Converge

I am the Director and founder of Converge. This is a project working in collaboration with the university and the NHS. Its aim is to offer educational opportunities to adults who use mental health services. As Director of Converge, I work across the campus developing educational opportunities for local people who experience mental ill health. More details may be found on the Converge webpage. 

Before working as an academic, I trained as a psychiatric nurse and dramatherapist and ran a charitable organisation working with people with learning disabilities. I have a particular interest in theatre work with people who use mental health services and is working closely with local NHS mental health providers. I am a performing member of Playback Theatre York, a theatre company which performs throughout the North of England.

Teaching

My current practice is the culmination of a long-standing concern for equality in education, a belief in the role of education as an emancipatory force, and a conviction in the impact of teaching and researching through and within practice. It is these convictions, tested through research informed practice over the last 20 years, that have animated my work and go a long way to explain the success and reach of Converge, the organisation I founded in 2008.

In my work through Converge I aim to make the privileges and pleasures of higher education accessible to people who are often marginalised from mainstream society.

I teach on the MA Applied Theatre course at York St John University.  

Research

I have two main areas of research: playback theatre and the theory and practice of mental health and education.

Playback theatre is an international practice in which members of an audience are invited to tell personal stories which, are then ‘played back’ by actors and musicians. I have published a series of articles and a book exploring the ethical and performative issues this practice raises. I am a performing member of Playback Theatre York.

Converge is a longitudinal practice research project which uses action research, peer research and reflective practice to explore the efficacy of situating arts and mental health programmes in a university context. Through iterative cycles of practice-as-research my colleagues and I have sought to understand the unfolding impact of adopting an educational model in mental health and how creative methodologies may enhance genuine participation.

My research interests include an investigation into the impact of courses in theatre offered to mental health service users at the university, a study into the use of Yorkshire Film Archive (YFA) material in a local hospice (funded by the YFA) and an investigation into the lived experience of haemodialysis patients participating in artwork.

Publications

Rowe, N. (2007). Playing the Other: Dramatizing personal narratives in playback theatre. London, Jessica Kingsley.**

Rowe, N. (2007). Playing the Other: Dramatizing personal narratives in playback theatre. London, Jessica Kingsley. (translated into Korean by Biblio Drama)

Rowe, N. (2009). Playing the Other: Dramatizing personal narratives in playback theatre. London, Jessica Kingsley. (translated into Arabic)

Pendle, A and Rowe, N (2010) Beyond Dramatic Truth: theatre within the therapeutic encounter. Journal of Applied Theatre. 15 (1), 89-102**

Rowe, N. (2010). Bridging the Divide: Supporting people who use mental health services to enter higher education. In M. Cooper (Ed.), Changing the Culture of the Campus: Towards an Inclusive Higher Education – Ten Years on. London: European Access Network.

Rowe, N. (2011). Border Crossings: Arts and health work in a university. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 1(3), 241-250.**

Rowe, N., Jones, C., Seeger, L., Greaves, G., Holman, C., & Turner, H. (2011). Forgetting the Machine: Patients' experiences of engaging in artwork while on renal dialysis. Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 2(1), 57-72.**

Rowe, N. N, Forshaw, & G, Alldred. (2013). A return to ordinariness: How does working alongside people who use mental health services effect theatre students' attitudes to mental illness? Journal of Applied Arts and Health, 4(2), 151-162.**

Rowe, N. (2015). Creating a Healing Campus: A Partnership between a University and a Provider of Mental Health Services. University Partnerships for Community and School System Development. (Vol. 5, 119-134). **

Pendle, A. Rowe, N. Britten, D. (2017). Coaching in a non-clinical setting with coaches who access mental health services. International Journal of Evidence Based coaching and Mentoring 15 (1)

Asghar, M. and Rowe, N. (2016). Learning from the unfamiliar: How does working with people who use mental health services impact on students' learning and development? Journal of Further and Higher Education. 

Asghar, M, & Rowe, N. (2017). Reciprocity and critical reflection as the key to social justice in service learning: A case study. Innovations in Education and Teaching International. doi: 10.1080/14703297.2016.1273788

Rowe, N. (2015). Creating a Healing Campus: A Partnership between a University and a Provider of Mental Health Services. University Partnerships for Community and School System Development. (Vol. 5, pp. 119-134). Online: Emerald Insight.

Reason, M. and Rowe, N. (eds) (2017) Applied Practice: Evidence and Impact in Theatre Music and Art. London: Bloomsbury.

Rowe, N. and Reason, M. Purpose, Outcomes and Obliquity: To Plan or Not to Plan. in Reason, M. and Rowe, N. (eds) (2017) Applied Practice: Evidence and Impact in Theatre Music and Art. London: Bloomsbury.

Newton, S. and Rowe, N (2018) Students not Patients: Opening up the University to those with mental health problems. In Billingham, S. (Ed) Access to Success and Social Mobility Through Higher Education.Emerald Publishing: Bingley, UK.

Heinemeyer, Catherine and Rowe, Nick (2019) Being known, branching out: troupes, teams and recovery. Mental Health Review Journal. (In Press). http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3957

Lambley, Ruth, Kaley, Elizabeth, Morris, Rebecca, Robinson, Anna, Rowe, Nick, Sellar-Edmunds, Jean, Wynn-Werninck, Tim and Anderson, Emma (2019) 'Wow, it's at the University'! Experiences of people with mental illness of an educational arts programme. Journal of Applied Arts & Health, 10 (3). pp. 315-332.

Papers

March 2002 ‘Bringing Back Living Data’ paper to the British Association of Psychodramatists

May 2002 ‘Researching improvised theatre’ to the British Association of Psychodramatists

September 2003 ‘Researching Playback Theatre’ at the Eighth International Playback Conference in Shizuoka, Japan

May 2004 ‘Drama and the Here and Now’ Paper and performance at the British Occupational Science Symposium

June 2004 ‘Using drama to promote an understanding of health related issues amongst students’  The Higher Education Academy (formerly ILT) Conference

July 2004 Presentation to the College-based ‘Narrative Research Group’

February 2005 Two papers at the Second International Playback Theatre Symposium, Arizona State University, entitled ‘Playing with meaning’ and ‘Playing the self’.

April 2005 ‘The Politics of Playback Theatre’ A paper at ‘Drama as Social Intervention Conference’ Exeter University.

June 2007 ‘Open stories and open performing.’ At Playback Theatre and Education. A conference in Windsor, Ontario.

June 2007 ‘Playback Theatre as a method for qualitative research.’ At a conference on creative research methods. Dartington (with Louise Larkinson)

September 2007 ‘The educational potential of theatre for health professionals.’ Inspiring Transformations: Arts and Health Conference, 2007. University of Northampton. (with Louise Larkinson)

November 2007 ‘Theatre, drama and the health professional’ a paper at Through the Looking Glass, an arts and health symposium. Leeds. (with Louise Larkinson)

June 2008 Building Bridges between the university and local mental health services: a theatre course for users of mental health services. Given to FACE conference at York St John University.

September 2008 A theatre course held at York St John University for users of mental health services. Given at the Faculty of Arts Research Conference.

July 2009 Building Bridges between the university and local mental health services: a theatre course for users of mental health services. Given at the European Access Network Conference.

September 2009 Out of Character a group of mental health service users, staff and students performed at Inspiring Transformations, an Arts and Health conference at the University of Northampton

April 2011   Converge: A Collaborative Project to Increase Educational Opportunities for People with Disabilities. Keynote address at Research symposium. Pacific University, Portland Oregon.

Cookie Settings