Creative Practice and Improvisation within Methods: What happens when we get artistic with our research?

This session creates a space for exchanges concerning ethnographic research methods that engage with work generated in artistic and creative fields. To help us think through the nexus between creative practice and academic research, we invite postgraduates from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and encourage proposals of ‘unconventional’ formats such as installations, performative presentations (including circus, dance, music, visual art, theatre, etc.) as well as papers.

Working creatively with our research asks us to delve into the ‘immensely expressive and the immensely ambiguous’ (Edwards 1997 in Pink 2001, 3) and challenges (re)presentations of knowledges of ‘pre-linguistic’ capacities, such as embodied knowledges. Law (2004, 85) invites us to understand method as ‘endlessly uncertain, endlessly revisable’ though remaining coherent and framed. From this we become interested in reflections on improvisation and intuition in method and how these concepts and artistic practices might arrive within methods (Brown 2012). Further, we welcome examples of research methodologies that have looked to, or have been generated in collaboration with, the cohort of interest (Glaser and Strauss 1967). Presentations could also concern the responsibilities inherent in the (re)presentation of creative media within the parameters of a PhD thesis (Somerville 2008). Further, discussions surrounding the issues of positionality that may arise as we take on multiple roles as researchers and artistic practitioners in tight-knit communities are welcome.

We are seeking submissions (for contributions of less than 20 minutes) from postgraduates that are bridging geography, anthropology, ethnography or allied fields with their artistic or creative practice. It is hoped that this session will provide an opportunity for researchers to share the songs, dances, sculptures and stories that shape ones research.

Abstract submission:

Please submit and abstract or proposal of 250 words along with a short biography by 14 February to n.godfrey@unsw.edu.au and elena.kreusch@univie.ac.at