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Professor Jane Plastow

Professor of African Theatre
School of English

My research interests are around using the arts – especially performing arts for the empowerment of the marginalised and to ‘speak to power’. I have particular interests in challenging educational models in schools and their agenda of control rather than the creation of thinking, critical citizens, in issues around women’s rights and in the use of arts in political process. In the UK I work with schools, refugee groups and women’s organisations. As director of the Centre for African Studies we run an outreach programme for Leeds primary Schools running interactive workshops to give a more balanced view of Africa, and a book donation scheme for arts books free to African universities. In Africa I work in social arts training and theatre making and with whole village communities, schools, street dwellers, women’s groups, prisoners, etc. I also run training for African academics. I have worked with DfID, Oxfam, Comic Relief, British Council, British Academy, Rockefeller Foundation, ActionAid, Christian Aid, AHRC, Ethiopian Ministry of Cutlure, Eritrean Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Jana Sanskriti (India) Budhan Theatre (India) and others. I also run a small trust, The John Holmes Eudcation Trust for Eritrea, which supports rural schools in Eritrea.