Modern Living

Projects in the series will initially explore:
Enjoyment, Fairness, Fear, Friendship, Greed, Justice, Loneliness, Stress
Further themes will be added as the series grows and evolves.


The culture of fear does not arise independently; it is born of multiple social, cultural, religious and historical influences and those same influences determine how individuals respond to fear and anxiety. This project aims to interrogate those influences, and responses, and consider the agendas which may be driving a culture of fear.


This inclusive interdisciplinary project will explore all facets and aspects of friendship through an interdisciplinary dialogue that transcends and draws us beyond the boundaries of the intellectual, the emotional and the personal.


The tendency for people and institutions we trust to let us down raises the question of whether it is possible, or desirable, to fully trust anyone besides ourselves. It has never been more important to take stock of how trust informs our personal and professional lives, as well as the way we operate in our communities. Is trust necessary for survival in a society? What are the foundations of trust? What makes a person or institution (un)worthy of trust? How do factors such as culture, historical context and identity shape the way we understand the concept of trust? How does trust operate between and among non-humans? What are the limits of trust? How do we cope with lost trust?


Development Team

Abby Bentham teaches at the University of Salford, where she delivers modules on narrative fiction, critical theory and evil. Her research interests include transgression, empathy, psychopathy, psychoanalysis and masculinity. She works across literature, film and television and is a regular on the conference circuit. Not one to sit on her hands, Abby is also a freelance copywriter and a regular contributor to Real Crime magazine.

Lawrence Buttigieg not only pursues a career in architecture but is also an artist and freelance researcher. For more than eighteen years, the recurrent theme of Buttigieg’s studio-work and research is the representation of womanhood. Consequent to his practice-led doctoral research, he creates box-assemblages—three-dimensional, body-themed, artefacts—through which his association with the female subject is taken to an acutely intense level. By means of these artworks Buttigieg examines concepts of alterity and selfhood, and challenges the dominant role of male subjectivity in the western world. Furthermore, the box-assemblage not only allows him to explore the spiritual with the aim of exploiting that which is Other in the western theological tradition, namely God and the Divine, but also to draw links between the feminine and the transcendental. A major exhibition of Buttigieg’s box-assemblages and paintings, entitled Sacred|Profane, was held at Spazju Kreattiv in 2017. Later on this year he will be presenting his work at OSTRALE Biennale O19.

Janette E. McDonald is a Professor of Psychology and Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies at Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. An ordained Zen hospice chaplain, she researches and writes on such topics as hope, social madness, suffering, neuroscience and mediation. In spring 2018 Janette was awarded by her colleagues, the Faculty Scholarship Award for 2018-2019. She also a creative non-fiction writer in the genres of memoir and narrative short story.

Seán Moran is a philosopher at Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. He was educated at Lancaster,  Belfast, Dublin and Cambridge, and is currently researching for a second PhD at Leeds University. Seán has a regular column in the UK/US magazine Philosophy Now, entitled ‘The Street Philosopher’ He has given talks in Iraq, India, Turkey and Pakistan, as well as many European cities and takes black-and-white photographs of his travels on a vintage camera. Little known fact: Seán is a former national champion on the traditional Irish tin whistle. He lives in Tipperary and takes very little persuading to sing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ at conferences.