29 April 2021 The Ballad of Goodwill


A singing symposium with Joanna Figiel, Jenni Hyde, Rajani Naidoo, Stevphen Shukaitis and soprano Roxanne Korda.

Is the privilege of working in the university being compromised by the dominant transactional cultures of contemporary education? And as such are universities in danger of losing the goodwill of their staff and students? Do you sometimes wonder where our goodwill ends and unpaid labour begins?

Organised to coincide with International Workers’ Day, The Ballad of Goodwill is an experimental one-day symposium where a new workers ballad will be collectively produced and sung by soprano and librettist Roxanne Korda. Symposium guests are invited to listen to presentations and contribute to the production of a ballad through the retelling, scripting and discussing of the often-hidden economies of goodwill in academic labour and life.

The symposium will be organised in three sessions allowing guests to attend at their convenience. Ballad writing and singing will take place throughout the event.

Session 1: Goodwill(9 – 11Hrs) (GMT)

Speakers will respond and discuss the following points:

– How goodwill is being transformed by the rise in competitive regulatory instruments generating anxiety for academics.

– How ‘the pursuits of what we love’ results in university staff sacrificing time and wellbeing without reward.

– How goodwill is often biased and excludes those who are unable to perform unpaid overtime or survive on part-time or precarious contracts.

Professor Rajani Naidoo, Director International Centre for Higher Education Management, Dr. Joanna Figiel,Centre for Cultural Policy and Management, City University of London, Dr. Stevphen Shukaitis, Reader at the University of Essex, Centre for Work and Organisation, Dr. Jenni Hyde, ballad historian and precarious academic.

Session 2: Scripting Goodwill (11:30- 15.30 Hrs) (GMT)

Audience members are invited to be part of the collective writing process and create lyrics for the ballad based on the morning’s discussion and personal experiences of goodwill.

Session 3: The Ballad of Goodwill(15.30-16.00 Hrs) (GMT)

Rehearsing and singing the final ballad.

Lunch and breaks will be scheduled throughout the day.

Post Workers Theatre (PWT), are an artist collective investigating the future of politically engaged performance, reimagining historic forms of creative resistance to address inequalities in contemporary labour. Recent projects include Protesteroo, Tate Liverpool, UK, AutoHoodening, Goldsmiths University, UK and Tomorrows Great Pageant, Bedford Creative Arts, UK.

The Ballad of Goodwill is intended as a communal ritual of resistance, exploring singing and storytelling as practices of solidarity. PWT revisits the social function of the broadside ballad for the contemporary workplace and considers the ballad’s potential to create relationships across different institutions and professions that face growing pressure and precarity within marketized education.

The Ballad of Goodwill is organised as part of Post Workers Theatre’s residency within Allmänningen (The Common Room) at the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, Gothenburg University. Allmänningen is a Vinnova funded research project developing and piloting alternative models for university usership and collaboration. The symposium is open for students and staff from the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, Gothenburg University, Goldsmiths University and Birmingham City University.


15 May 2021 ‘John Balshaw’s Jig: Revelry and Royalism in Restoration Lancashire’, Lancaster University Regional Heritage Centre – Ballad and Song in the History of North West England

This online Study Event features video presentations as well as a live Q&A session on Saturday 15 May 2021 from 1400-1530. The video presentations will be available to view in advance. Details of how to access both the presentations and the live session will be provided to everyone who registers.


Tickets can be purchased through Lancaster University’s Online Store. To book, please visit https://online-payments.lancaster-university.co.uk/product-catalogue/events/arts-and-social-science-fass/regional-heritage-centre

Ticket Price

£18 Standard Ticket, £16.20 RHC Friends and Patrons


29–30 June 2021 Keynote Address

‘Nor syng, nor to daunce alone’: Precarity, Loneliness and the Early Career Academic

The Experience of Loneliness in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, University of Birmingham Online Conference

Postponed: Sunday 5 April 2020, 2.30pm:

Singing the News: Ballads in Tudor and Stuart England

National Civil War Centre, Newark