Dr John Blewitt

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John Blewitt studied Politics, History and Sociology at UCW Aberystwyth; Film and Television at the Polytechnic of Central London and Education at the Universities of Greenwich and Huddersfield. He has extensive experience of Adult, Further, International and Higher Education and has worked at the universities of Huddersfield, Bradford and Exeter. He is presently Co-Director of the MSc Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Aston where he is currently developing an online distance learning version of the course. He teaches Media Communications, Sustainability Theory and Practice for Engineers, the Sociology of Risk and Research Methods. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Communication and Education, a founding member of the International Environmental Communication Association (IECA), a Distinguished Schumacher Fellow, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

His research interests are in the areas of urban sustainable design, new media affordances and sustainability communications particularly environmental and political documentary film.  In 2011 he edited a Special Issue of Environmental Education Research (Vol.17, No.6) on the media, animal conservation and environmental education. He has also been a member of the Spectacular Environmentalisms Group which undertook an event ethnography of the 2010 Wildscreen International Environmental and Wildlife Film Festival. Their collective responses to the award winning film Green can be found on:  http://studyinggreen.wordpress.com/ . He is currently exploring the relationship between new media, cultural heritage and urban sustainability and is working closely with staff developing the new Library of Birmingham, The Royal Society of Arts and Be Birmingham. He is also a Library of Birmingham 'Face' and is currently exploring the redesign and reimagining of public library spaces as catalysts for local democracy, social inlcusion and economic well-being. He has given a number of public talks on this subject including oner at the Flemish Ministry of Education conference on Media and Learning called Digital Media and the Right to the City.

As editor for The Converging World book series John is also interested in educationally innovative work that embraces social and environmental justice, new media and community based action. He is currently working on a second edition of his best selling textbook Understanding Sustainable Development (Routledge-Earthscan) due to be published in 2014. He blogs on communication, sustainability and matters relating to the future of the public library. See his latest piece on The Conversation

He is currently co-editing a Special Issue of the International Journal of Social Ecology and Sustainable Development. Please see Call for Papers: Smart, Sustainable and Just: higher education and the remaking of the right to the city.


BScEcon, MA (Film/TV), MEd, PhD.

Administrative Roles

Co-Director MSc Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Chair of Academic Assembly

Staff representative on University Council

  1. EfS : contesting the market model of higher education: contesting the market model of higher education

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. Lifelong learning and environmental sustainability

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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  1. DPR 14

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  2. Converge

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

  3. Education Sciences (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditorial activity

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