Dr Claire Bunyan

Profile image of Research Fellow in Culture and the Creative Economy

Research Fellow in Culture and the Creative Economy

London College of Fashion

Biography

As a Research Fellow in Culture and the Creative Economy, Claire supports research investigating the future of creative and cultural enterprise at a time of global change and uncertainty. With a background in Canadian Literature and literary theory, Claire aims to bring theoretical perspectives to bear on creative enterprise phenomena, realised through qualitative primary research methods.

In addition to anthropological approaches to understanding craft and making cultures, she is interested in the representation of native Canadian cultures in contemporary anglophone texts, and by extension the treatment of Indigenous custom and narratives within today’s cultural, social and economic paradigms. This includes the role of heritage craft, performance and artistic endeavour in the development of enterprise opportunities for Indigenous peoples who have typically occupied liminal spaces; Claire’s research seeks to uncover equitable, innovative and culturally rich modes of economic participation for today’s Indigenous communities, from North America to South Asia. 

Research interests

Intangible cultural heritage; creative entrepreneurship; Indigenous cultures; embodiment theory; ethnography.

Research statement

My research operates at the intersection between intangible heritage cultures and text; my interdisciplinary DLitt thesis explored, through a longitudinal ethnography, the ways in which Indigenous Canadian women’s intangible heritage had informed the development of the 20th Century Canadian novel. I am a theorist by background, and hold an interest in considering how embodiment theory and the abject (among others) can be realised in practice through contemporary heritage preservation and promotion.

More recently, my research has explored the role of intangible cultural heritage within women’s entrepreneurship in the developing world – specifically in Nepal and South Asia more broadly; the potential for digital technology to enable greater economic participation presents especially potent research questions for today’s cultural researchers. I am a firm believer in research with a social conscience and aspire to deliver tangible change through an improved understanding of intangible cultural assets, with craft skill and oral history at the core of my work.

Project awards, and grants

2017/18

Development of a Cultural Tourism Toolkit for Dorset. Funded by the ERDF, Co-Investigator with Dr Rebecca Hawkins, RHP Ltd, £13,000.

2016/17

Towards an Understanding of Women’s Arts Entrepreneurship in the Terai Region of Nepal. Funded by the British Council, Co-Investigator with Oxford Brookes University, £10,000.