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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Katey Warran

Katey Warran
Katey Warran
Sociology School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Cultural Sociology, Arts and Health, Qualitative Research Methods, Sociology of the Arts, Cultural Policy, Performance Science, Ethnography, Community Belonging

PhD Title

Communities at the Fringe

I am the recipient of an AHRC Creative Economy Studentship led by The University of Edinburgh in partnership with Queen Margaret University and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society. 

My research focuses on the concept of ‘community’ in the context of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with particular attention given to how the Fringe Society facilitates communities for Fringe participants. Whilst arts festivals can provide benefits to individuals and communities through creative and social engagement, they also sit within a wider cultural and political landscape that has critical sociological problems; examples include dominance of privilege, the reinforcement of social class disparities, declining rates of social mobility, hiring as a process of cultural matching and unpaid labour. Thus, the aim of this PhD research is to use empirical evidence to identify the sociological problems that exist within the communities of the Fringe, and to explore the activities of the Fringe Society that seek to reduce social inequalities. In so doing, this study will provide greater understanding of how organisations such as the Fringe Society influence the public sphere, create values, and shape social relationships.

In addition to my PhD, I have an avid interest in arts and health. Previously I coordinated a major study at the Centre for Performance Science in London (a partnership of the Royal College of Music and Imperial College, London) exploring the benefits of singing for those affected by cancer, in addition to leading the coordination of the Performing Arts programme at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Currently I coordinate the Arts Health Early Career Research Network, lead on arts and health networking events in Scotland and support singing for wellbeing research in the School of Health in Social Science (UoE).


Dr Lisa McCormick, Dr David Stevenson, Lyndsey Jackson


MSc Performance Science (Distinction), Royal College of Music, London

BA (Hons) Philosophy and Biblical Studies, University of Sheffield


Warran K, Fancourt D, Wiseman T. (2019) How does the process of group singing impact upon people affected by cancer? A grounded theory study. BMJ Open

Fancourt, D., & Warran, K. (in press). Singing for Cancer: Implications from Psychoneuroimmunology. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Research in Singing: Volume III Well-being. Routledge.

Fancourt, D., & Warran, K. (in press). A logic model for the effects of singing on health. In Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Research in Singing: Volume III Well-being. Routledge.


6 Mar 2019 (forthcoming), Arts and health: the benefits of group engagement for children and adults. Childhood Studies Annual Jamboree, University of Edinburgh, UK (spoken presentation and workshop)

13-15 Feb 2019 (forthcoming), Social integration and social inequality at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Centre for Creative-Relational Inquiry, John McIntyre Conference Centre, UK (spoken presentation)

25-26 Jun 2018, Group singing for male cancer patients: A phenomenological study. Music, selves and society, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK (poster presentation; also invited workshop contributor)

13 Jun 2018, Singing for cancer: psychological, biological and qualitative studies. Applied Therapeutics for Palliative Medicine Conference, Royal Society of Medicine, London UK (spoken presentation)

5 Jun 2018, Communities at the fringe: grappling with researching complex contexts. Methods and Sources, Postgraduate Research Conference, Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh UK (spoken presentation)

3 Mar 2018, Singing for cancer. CU Oncology Society Inaugural Conference, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK (spoken presentation)

30 Aug – Sept 2017, An exploration of the process of group singing for male cancer patients: A phenomenological study. International Symposium on Performance Science, Reykjavik Iceland (poster presentation) 

28 June 2017, Singing for cancer: results from psychological, biological and phenomenological studies. Association for Medical Humanities Annual Conference 2017, Keele UK (spoken presentation)


2018-2019, Student Mentor, Academics for Peace (BAK)

2018-2019 (Semester 2), Tutor, Research Methods in Music 

12 Oct 2017 (Guest Lecturer), Performing Research 1: Qualitative data, MSc Performance Science. Royal College of Music, London

Research Leadership

Sept 2018 - present, Coordinator, Sociological Theory Research Group for postgraduate students, University of Edinburgh

March 2018 - present, Programme Administrator, 2019 Arts Health Research Intensiveled by the Arts Health Early Career Research Network and the University of Florida

19 Oct 2018, The Art and Science of Research, interdisciplinary research training event for doctoral researchers, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh (project lead)

6 Dec 2018, Arts and Health: Careers and Networking, panel event with networking, Edinburgh College of Art (project lead)

Scholarships and funding

AHRC SGSAH Creative Economy Studentship 2017-2020

SGSAH Cohort Development Fund: Doctoral Training Events 2018

Institute for Academic Development Action Fund 2018

Elmley Foundation Small Grant Award 2015-2017 

Elmley Foundation Small Grant Award 2011-2012 

Lionel Bart Foundation Bursary 2010-2011