CFP (RGS-IBG 2016): Open discussion session: Doing food research: method, transdisciplinarity and reflexivity

Convenors: Charlotte Spring & Rebecca StClair (Salford University)
Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group

Call for contributions:

Food researchers grapple with big questions: climate change, systems complexity, power and justice, where the macro often collapses into the micro. The researcher’s role (or search for one) blurs into the research context, where reflexive awareness can shed light on the importance of interpersonal relationships, emotion and registers of identity/difference/privilege in negotiating ‘the field’. This can be especially the case for those aiming at participatory, action-focussed work that considers the ethics of engagement and impact, and the politics of knowledge beyond ‘policy relevance’.

Furthermore, the multi-disciplinary backgrounds of many food geographers bring a wealth of methodological tools to the discipline. The process of ‘borrowing’ methodological tools and adapting them to fit a particular research purpose deserves its own consideration and a discussion of the potential merits and pitfalls of a transdisciplinary approach. How does one learn the craft of research in fast-changing, uncertain times?

The (incomplete) turn towards reflexivity, complexity and transdisciplinarity has opened up a rich seam of reflection for academic method and theory. This session will provide a safe and gentle space for such reflection. We invite proposals for short (approx 5 min) spoken contributions (especially from postgraduates), to begin the session and stimulate questioning and discussion of the ‘doing’ of research: these could include insights from fieldwork, approaches to analysis and writing, uses of technology, experiences of collaboration, participatory/action research, institutional challenges, ethical quandaries and so on…we hope the session’s broad focus will appeal to researchers in the many fields food connects with.

Please send an outline of your proposed contribution to Charlotte Spring (c.spring@edu.salford.ac.uk)  or Rebecca StClair (r.stclair@edu.salford.ac.uk) by 16th February 2016.