| …with Sara Ramshaw

…with Sara Ramshaw

  • 23 Jun

  • paul



Sara (lawyer and legal scholar) and I (musician and music academic) both share the view that improvisation is a social practice that transcends disciplinary boundaries and promotes new approaches to understanding creative decision making, critical dialogue, risk-taking, and collaboration across diverse domains and levels of expertise.

We co-direct the Translating Improvisation Research Group at Queen’s University Belfast.

We ran the AHRC-funded research project: Into the Key of Law: Transposing Musical Improvisation. The Case of Child Protection in Northern Ireland. During this project we were invited to deliver presentations on our research at a number of academic and professional venues including: Guelph Jazz Festival, Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington D.C., Berlin Improvisation Research Group, Department of Music at University of California San Diego, Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, British Library in London, and as part of an improvisation symposium at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Co-authored publications include:

Co-Edited Special Issue of Critical Studies in Improvisation on ‘Just Improvisation’

Sara Ramshaw & Paul Stapleton (2015) Un-Remembering: Countering Law’s Archive. Improvisation as Social Practice, in Stewart Motha and Honni van Rijswijk (eds.), Law, Violence, Memory: Uncovering the Counter-Archive, Routledge. Prior version presented at Critical Legal Conference 2013, Queen’s University Belfast.


From Pre-Peace to Post-Conflict: The Ethics of (Non-)Listening and Co-Creation in a Divided Society, in Daniel Fischlin and Eric Porter (eds.),
Playing for Keeps: Improvisation in the Aftermath, Duke University Press.