Past Events

Here you will find notes and summaries on events that are linked to us or one of the RGS forums.

Risky Methods Workshop – Carceral Geography Working Group

On 23rd and 24th July, the Power, Space and Cultural Change research group in the Department of Geography and Planning, University of Liverpool welcomed 48 delegates to their Risky Methods Workshop. The event, which was organised by Dr Jennifer Turner in conjunction with the Carceral Geography Working Group and facilitated by funding from a MethodsNW Collaborative Innovation Grant, was targeted to Social Science Early Career Researchers who are engaging with environments and methods that might be considered ‘risky’.

Some of the most crucial questions social science researchers are currently examining entail risk. There is the risk of harm, for example, to vulnerable participants when undertaking research. There is a risk of discomfort to researchers who enter into emotionally demanding situations. Moreover, to examine some of the most pressing societal concerns requires a use of methods that themselves might be deemed ‘risky’.

The two-day workshop focused on methods training for scholars undertaking research that entails ‘risk’ (including restrictive or ethically-challenging work) and methods that may themselves be considered ‘risky’ (forms of ethnography, archival and interview work that fall outside of convention). With sessions dedicated to ethics frameworks, GDPR and negotiating access, attendees had the opportunity to share experiences and build contacts with renowned researchers working with a wide variety of contexts including prisons, international borders, maritime spaces, spaces of protest and landscapes of austerity. Keynote presentations were also delivered by Dr Kate Gooch (University of Leicester) and Dr Jennifer Fleetwood (Goldsmiths College). Event feedback was extremely positive, with the workshop being noted as providing a crucial basis for researchers whose projects are on the interface of risk and society.

The Postgraduate Forum hosts three key events each year: