Christian Hanser (PhD student and MSc tutor)

Thesis title: Wandering with a shepherd’s hut: fragments of a vagabond methodology


2005 -2007

BA (Hons) Journalism and Communication Studies with French (1st)

2007 - 2008

MSc (with distinction) Adult and Continuing Education, University of Glasgow

2009 - 2014

Full training as Humanistic Counsellor (Existential therapy in the tradition of Viktor E. Frankl) with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Logotherapie und Existenzanalyse (

since 2010

initiator and coordinator of a transnational concept and practice with travelling shepherd's huts for vagabond arts of hospitality ( / )


German (1st language), French (written, spoken and read), Portuguese (spoken and read), Spanish (read)


Responsibilities & affiliations

PhD student funded through the Scottish Council of Deans of Education Attainment Challenge Project

'Developing pedagogies that work for pre-service and early career teachers to reduce the attainment gap in literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing'

The broad aim informing the suite of projects is to research how the sector might better prepare early career teachers (understood as final year ITE and probationer year) to work more effectively to improve literacy and numeracy attainment and health and wellbeing outcomes in schools serving pupils from SIMD 1-40 backgrounds.


Tutor on the MSc Social Justice and Community Action, University of Edinburgh (fully online, part-time degree)


Member of ESREA (European Society for Research on the Education of Adults)

Postgraduate teaching

Tutor MSc Social Justice and Community Action (Online degree)

Theories and Politics of Social Justice (2019/2020)[SEM1]

Community Engagement: co-constructing knowledge with communities (2019/2020)[SEM2]


Course coordination 'La culture hors les murs' (5 ECTS), Cross-faculty electives, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon

Coordination of field work project on community education within course 'Adult learning' (10 ECTS), MA Adult Education, Universität Graz

Coordination of module 'Innovative research and practice development' Master of Social Work, University of Applied Sciences RheinMain Wiesbaden

Studierende gestalten Wanderschäferwagen - Hochschule RheinMain (



Research summary

Adult and community education

Informal and outdoor education, experiential learning

Social justice

Public pedagogy

Arts-based research

Pluralistic counselling and spaces of salutogenesis

Geographies of education

Temporalities in/of education

Existential care and life history

Neurodiversity and academic hospitality

Current research interests

Introspective, subjective and existential mapping in arts-based research (intrinsic ecologies) Existential care as peer support for journeys into meaningful professional trajectories My research interests connect methodological considerations from arts-based and participatory research designs with wider questions around (curricular) hospitality in formal and informal spheres of education. Findings of my PhD field work with student teachers in Scotland discussed questions of belonging, challenge normative assumptions around standardised routes into teaching and use 'non-home' as an analytical category to reframe the debates on teacher retention which focus on individual teacher retention but omit the need for existential peer care in a profession challenged by unsustainable workloads. My aim is to contribute to the concrete application of non-extractivist methodologies and working within the contradictions of such endeavours situated in western educational settings which are largely framed by positivism. My PhD research experimented with a mobile shepherd's hut as a de-optimised spatio-temporal disruption/suspension within high-stakes educational policies and metrics. I am interested in exploring ways to move with the intrinsic worlds of the other, be welcomed at the edges of what is observable and guard without reproducing captivity. Rescripting rigour in my understanding of science then means holding open an atmosphere for the undocumented wildlife corridors of relational singularity; not seize the moment and instead letting the robust evidence slip through in the hope that fragments of that other’s ecology may reappear again; not holding the keys and witnessing how doors still open. I also focus on the temporal aspects of 'letting go' of methodological mastery within fast-paced, highly audited Higher Education progression timelines and explore alternatives to 'scaling up' in educational debates around impact and public engagement.

Conference details

‘Nurturing Academic Hospitalities as Neurodivergent Welcome: a Shepherd’s Hut as ECR-led, Participatory Conference Fringe’. Emerging Researchers Conference (ERC)/ European Educational Research Association (EERA). University of Glasgow. August 2023 glasgow/emerging-researchers-conference

‘A mobile shepherd's hut in social work education: improvising with hospitalities in turbulent times’. Joint Social Work Education and Research Conference: Social Work Education, Research and Practice in turbulent times. University of Strathclyde Glasgow. June 2023

‘Diversifying the formats of language teaching through classrooms-as-vehicles: storytelling and encounters around the wood fire stove of a shepherd’s hut’. Association of University Language Communities (AULC) annual conference: Languages for All in Higher Education: Inclusion, Diversity, and Sustainability. University of Edinburgh. April 2023

‘Imaginer une méthodologie de recherche à partir d'un véhicule : trajectoire doctorale avec la «cabane itinérante» envers une écologie vagabonde de savoirs existentiels’. Colloque International EXPERICE for biographical research: Le Paradigme du Biographique à l’ère de l‘anthropocène. Université Sorbonne Paris-Nord. February 2023

‘From the research-policy-practice triangle to a collaborative Festival map: exploring arts-based affinity spaces within the Scottish Attainment Challenge through a vagabond PhD’ at Scottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2022. University of the West of Scotland Ayr, November 2022  

'Pop-up sanctuary in the public sphere: mediating a vagabond sense of belonging through a mobile tiny house encounter space' at Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies Conference on Belonging (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences ), June 2021

'Meaningful mobilities: re-imagining the format of educational conferences from an Early Career Researcher's perspective.' at Conference ESAI (Educational Studies Association of Ireland), Possibilities in education: Reimagining Connections with People, Purpose and Place, March 2021

Conference 2021 – ESAI: Educational Studies Association of Ireland

'Öffentliche Kommunikation als Ausgangspunkt einer aufsuchenden Forschungspraxis Public Engagement durch ‚non-specialist‘ storytelling im mobilen Tiny House', 5. Jahrestagung (Online) des AK Qualitative Methoden der Geographie und der raumsensiblen Sozial- und Kulturraumforschung des VGDH, March 2021 

'Hospitality and belonging in the public sphere: Facilitating pop-up conviviality in mobile tiny house encounter spaces' . at Séminaire doctoral européen sur les mobilités durables et inclusives.' Université de Strasbourg, January 2021

'Temporal belongings: on-site conference hub for an online conference', open access conference space, Imagining Canada: 'Discovering' and Navigating 'All Our Relations' in an (Un)Common Country, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau,  September 2020 

'Researching (non-)belonging through a conference fringe in the context of travel to academic events: the ’leisure’ of professional promotion or the promotion of professional ‘leisure’ ?', DoktorandInnenkolloquium Tourism Research AK Tourismusforschung (AKTF) und der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Tourismuswissenschaft e.V. (DGT),  Fully Online, July 2020

'Public pedagogies in a 'private' hut: facilitating civic sanctuary around the wood fire of a vagabond shed space', presentation, Adult Education in Global Times: An International Research Conference (AEGT 2020), University of British Columbia Vancouver, June 2020   (event cancellation)

'Narrating a poetics of difference at the existential fringe of Early Career Research: the struggle for collective temporal insurgence in the individualistic contexts of academic conferencing', presentation, ESREA Life History and Biography Network Conference. Canterbury Christ Church University, February 2020

'Les formations diplômantes bricolage en Europe : études de cas', presentation; Colloque du Département Formation Situation Professionnelle (Institut de Psychologie). Université Lumière-Lyon 2, January 2020.

'The poetry of the Scottish Attainment Challenge as seen from the SERA Edinburgh Fringe: re-scripting SIMD in three acts through experiential encounters in a tiny house conference hut', continuous 3-day arts-based workshop at SERA conference, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, November 2019 

'La pratique des histoires de vie dans une cabane itinérante: réflexion et rêv'lexion sur une utopie spatiale de la formation pour adultes', Colloque International La recherche biographique en situations et en dialogues - Enjeux et perspectives, Paris 13 Laboratoire Experice, October 2019 (

'Existential care for orientation in a complex society: re-scripting young people's everyday pressures to succeed through meaning-centered pedagogies', presentation at Conference Children's and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing: Communities, families, resilience and resistance, University of Stirling, September 2019 

'Experiencing a tiny house as mobile social work intervention', workshop at International Conference of Social Work and Mental Health (ICSWMH), University of York, July 2019   (Conference award for best abstract submission)

'Community development around the wood fire stove of a tiny mobile house: experiencing the civic shelter of the Welcome Hut', workshop at World Community Development Conference, School of Education and Social Work, University of Dundee, June 2019

'A tiny house dream tank for public sphere hospitalities', continuous 3-day workshop (gamechanger format for temporal disruptions) at European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Edinburgh, February 2019

'Vagabond learning in a 'tiny house' shepherd's hut', presentation at the Third International Conference on the Geographies of Education, Loughborough University, September 2018

'Landscapes of care beyond the consultation room: a counsellor's perspective', presentation at Emerging and New Researchers in the Geographies of Health and Impairment Conference (RGS), University of Bristol, June 2018

'Conceptualising civic sanctuaries for human dignity in an uninviting public sphere', presentation at the ESREA Migration, Transnationalism and Racisms network conference, University of Edinburgh, June 2018

(Published in the Conference Proceedings of the ESREA Transnationalism network ( through the University of Graz, Austria)

'Case study of life storytelling and narrative arts applied in a civic shelter in France', presentation at the International Inaugural Conference of Pluralistic Counselling and Psychotherapy, Abertay University Dundee, March 2018       (Young Researcher Award for Best Conference Presentation)

Invited speaker

Guest lecture for PhiloTalks Series (Philology/ Philosophy), 'Wandering with the Welcome Hut: an itinerant PhD design that explores questions of hospitality in and beyond academia', University of Freiburg (Germany)

Guest lecture at Come Together Event Series of the Institute of Adult Education, 'Potentiale einer aufsuchenden Erwachsenenbildung und narrativen Sozialen Arbeit am Beispiel des  'Welcome Hut': Die Kunst des Zuhörens in einem  öffentlichen Refugium', University of Graz

Guest lecture for BA Social Work, ‘Experimentelle Methoden der Erwachsenenbildung: Innehalten, Begegnen, Erzählen, Träumen - ein Möglichkeitsraum auf Rädern‘, Hochschule RheinMain Wiesbaden

Keynote at International Summer School in Social Work 2018,  'Social Work and Cooperation, two of a kind?', University of Applied Sciences Amsterdam HvA

Lectures and workshops in Certificate of Advanced Studies Life stories (CAS Lebensgeschichten), 'Life stories in institutions' / 'Life stories and social justice', Université de Fribourg (Switzerland)


Small Grant for Festival of Creative Learning 2019, University of Edinburgh, 'Slow Science and Speed Dreaming? Collaborative Utopia in a mobile shepherd's hut', Institute of Academic Development Festival Support Grant

Main organiser of European Welcome Hut citizen dialogue tours 2018/2019 (Burgundy, Bavaria, Scotland), funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the DFI (German-French Institute Ludwigsburg), with NGOs, museums, citizen groups and participants from the School of Education of the University of Glasgow

Micro-format organiser:

Contributing to events, workshops and conferences through informal, experiential drop-in Welcome Hut seminars:

Refugee Cycle Scottish Refugee Festival/ Spring School, UNESCO Chair Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts, University of Glasgow

BERA Youth Work and Outdoor Education workshop day, Learning Beyond the Walls, University of Edinburgh

Student-led Mental Health Nursing Conference, Future of Mental Health Nursing, Corn Exchange Edinburgh

Interweaving Conference 2019 (Moray House PhD-student-led research conference) (

Co-organiser (with Michelle Thompson and Romane Joly) of Tiny Campus Pop-Up Conferencing between Freiburg and Strasbourg:




More video

In the press

On Twitter:



Hanser, C. H. (2023). Teaching temporal reflexivity through a vehicle: experiential-existential time around the wood fire stove of a mobile shepherd’s hut. Time and Society (Special forum : Teaching Time). 

Hanser, C.H. (in press). Pop-up civic sanctuary and the right to retreat in the city: disrupting mobility regimes through pause and rest in a mobile ‘tiny house’ encounter space. In: Hamman, P. (Ed.). Sustainable Urban Mobilities. Lausanne: Peter Lang. chaire-goinuse/

Hanser, C. (2022). Une pratique vagabonde des histoires de vie : réflexion sur une utopie spatiale de la formation pour adultes en cabane itinérante. Le sujet dans la cité, 14, 15-30.

Hanser, C.H. (2021).  Touring academic events with a tiny house "conference fringe": Artistic welcome in a mobile storytelling shed as relational research into invisibility and (non-)belonging. In: A.S. Jepson & T. Walters (eds.) Events and Well-being. Events and Well-being | Taylor & Francis Group

Hanser, C. H. (2020). A space between: Social work through the lens of a mobile tiny house encounter space. Qualitative Social Work, 19(3), 380–405.  

Hanser, C. H. (2020). Community development around the wood fire stove of a mobile tiny house: experiencing the civic shelter of the Welcome Hut.  Practice Insights. The Community Development Journal of the IACD. 16, 26-28. (Special Issue: World Community Development Conference Dundee WCDC 2019) 

Hanser, C. H. (2020). Public pedagogies in a ‘private’ hut: facilitating civic sanctuary around the wood fire of a vagabond shed space. Adult Education in Global Times (AEGT 2020) Conference Proceedings. 

Hanser, C. H. (2020). Collective Temporal Activism as a Game changer for the Academy: Reframing Conference Hospitalities Among Colleagues Under Pressure. International Review of Qualitative Research. October 2020. doi:10.1177/1940844720968207 (Forthcoming Special Issue Qualitative Inquiry as Activism) 

Hanser, C. H. (2020). Itinerant encounters beyond the metropolis: expanding sedentary perspectives on teaching through pop-up community classrooms. Education in the North, 27(2), 256-266.

Hanser, C. H. (2020). Eine Bildungshütte vor dem Bildungshaus. Einblicke aus einer selbstgebastelten Berufspraxis zum gemeinsamen Tagträumen im mobilen Tiny House. Magazin Das Fachmedium für Forschung, Praxis und Diskurs. 41.

Contributions to project reports (2019 - 2021)

Board of trustees of the Welcome Hut Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation


Tutor for civic volunteers in the French government's Social Service Year (service civique)


Course coordinator 'Formation Civique et Citoyenne' for civic volunteers in the French government's Social Service year (service civique)


Coordinator of La Rêv'othèque, decelerated seasonal cultural centre for collective daydreaming in Burgundy, France