Cathy John is AUB's Academic Adviser on enhancing diversity and inclusion in the curriculum and her research interests focus on the experiences of students who are disabled within UK higher education, investigated through participatory methods and a Critical Disability Studies approach.
Cathy has previously conducted research into professional issues and equality within the creative industries, including working with the Federation of Entertainment Unions (including Equity and BECTU) on a report for their Creating Without Conflict Campaign evolving from the Leveson Inquiry and the BBC’s Rose Review. Observations on this research form the basis of her chapter in Gower’s A Handbook for Dealing with Workplace Bullying (2015), and the research comprised a REF Impact Case Study in 2021 being awarded a 2*/3*, considerable and very considerable impact.
Cathy began her career in the Creative Industries at London’s Barbican becoming a Film Programmer managing international film festivals and special events, with a particular interest in film and the urban environment. She has chaired the Advisory Board for the University of the Arts London based Fashion in Film Festival exhibiting in London and New York, and programmed a strand on women in the video games industry at the ICA in London, for Birds Eye View.
Creatively Cathy has written for popular audiences, including articles in The Independent, and collaborated on a design research project with the pioneering Northumbria University School of Design, writing the story for a book of multiple narrative pathways. Cathy has also worked on the representation of disability in the media producing short films, two directed by the BAFTA-winning AUB graduate Michael Pearce which have garnered hundreds of thousands of viewers globally.
Cathy gained an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, a First Class BA (Hons) from the University of East Anglia and was an undergraduate visiting student at UC, Berkeley. She is currently writing her Doctoral thesis at the University of Bristol, on the experiences of the spaces of English Higher Education of students with the chronic illness MS (with which she was diagnosed in 2010).