Tagged / arts-based research
Following the first very successful (and jam packed!) Centre for Qualitative Research Seminar “In Conversation …” the series continues with
“Social Work as Art”
presented by Lee-Ann Fenge and Anne Quinney
Wed., 5 Oct., Royal London House 201 at 1 pm.
Give these two some arts materials or a dressing-up box, who knows what will transpire! Mark your diaries now and join us for an intriguing conversation!
Because CQR is keen to make information available to students and staff about qualitative METHODS, the seminars are arranged somewhat differently than the typical lunchtime seminar.
We are asking TWO (or more) presenters to agree to present each research method as a CONVERSATION…first, between each other, and then with the audience. We are also asking that no PowerPoint be used in order that it is truly a conversation and NOT a lecture. The conversations will be about a particular research method and its pros and cons, NOT research projects or outcomes.
Many of us then move next door to RLH to Naked Cafe to continue the conversations and network. Faculty and Students invited to attend!
See you Wednesday at Royal London House 201 at 1 pm. ALL are Welcome!!
The most frequent advice from Kip Jones to participants was “Flip it!”
“Flip it!” –Kip Jones’ most frequent workshop advice.
Recently, 27 academics, some from as far away as upstate New York and Dublin, gathered for the Creative Writing for Academics with Kip Jones at Bournemouth University (BU). Their goal was two days of experimentation with writing techniques to engender more creative outputs in their academic writing.
The conclusion of one participant reflected the sentiments of many: “The Creative Writing for Academics workshop turned out to be a great experience, more than expected!!”
The two-day workshop was organised by BU’s Centre for Qualitative Research, and was promoted thusly:
“This unique event isn’t a typical writing retreat (with trees to hug and lots of time to ruminate), but a very active experience with exercises, suggestions and supportive feedback on participants’ work…”
Instead of taking 30 minutes or more to go round the room and let everyone make an introduction (listing job titles, universities, theses topics, etc. ad infinitum), Jones asked attendees to take 15 minutes and write their life story on a postcard instead. This is an exercise that comes directly from Michael Kimball’s work, Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard). Kimball is an American novelist whose writing Jones admires. A few examples from Kimball’s postcard book were shared with the group. Each participant then wrote her/his own life story on a postcard; afterwards, some of the attendants then shared their stories with the group.
Jones then explained tags, log lines and treatments—copywriting techniques used in advertising and filmmaking.
The Workshop as a Logline: Participants were challenged to write their “Life on a postcard”, they were introduced to creating tags and log lines; homework was to write a poem based on a dream. Next, they created a story from a photograph. Finally, they shared their stories with others who had used the same photo. (50 words)
Tag: “Artistic types take their time … in an Italian trattoria.”
Participants then had a go at creating tags and loglines for academic articles that they brought with them. This was an exercise in using simple sentences, reducing content to its essence and creating copy that could be used in titles and the body of articles, in blogs and on Twitter.
Jones used a relaxed and open-ended process throughout the workshop. Francesca Cavallerio’s extended feedback report captures the essence of the responses of many to this approach to the workshop:
I enjoyed the freedom that came from writing creatively, without prescriptions. Having no other goal than the story/poem itself was intimidating initially, but then turned into an amazing experience. I think (the workshop) allowed me to discover a few things about myself and the way I write. Also, by listening to what others wrote, and realizing how many different ways of writing exist, and how much I enjoyed each of them, gave me an increased sense of freedom and possibility.
I was expecting more “directions”, tips on “how to use creative writing in academia”. But now that we are at the end of the workshop, I think I can see why it was organised in this way. Yesterday, I would have said, “Yes, I wanted to be guided more”. Today, I am actually very happy of the structure and everything I learned, felt and experienced here. –Francesca Cavallerio, St. Mary’s University, Twickenham.
The last morning of the workshop consisted of reading some of the poems that were written overnight. Attendants then chose from amongst 11 black and white photographs. The brief was to write a story about what the photograph was about. The only instruction was that often a photograph could represent the moment between what led up to the event captured and what might happen next. The group took the rest of the morning to write the photo-based 1,000 word stories. After lunch, they assembled in groups of three (each group having chosen the same photo) and compared stories and outcomes.
“I feel a sense of satisfaction in having written a life-story postcard, a poem and a short story—all very personal.” –Anne Quinney, Bournemouth University
The workshop was envisaged as a way to help academics with publishing in the wider world of blogs and online outlets, moving work to mixed media, auto-ethnography, and even fiction, radio and film. Jones gave ideas of the kinds of blogs and even journals that are receptive to creative academic work. He shared experiences with his own outputs and finding like-minded editors with whom to work.
The intellectual exchanges encouraged joint exploration on how academics can engage with principles and tools from the arts in order to expand and extend their possibilities of dissemination of their work. Concepts of creativity itself evolved and were transformed by participants’ outlooks and willingness to engage with unfamiliar territory. These processes comprised a ‘facilitated learning’—in that knowledge was gained as a secondary goal through a process of developing new relationships. This was achieved through individual and small group problem-solving and self-examination, grounded in personal past experience and knowledge.
Summary: The Creative Writing workshop will be a unique event in that it will not be a typical ‘writing retreat’ (with trees to hug and lots of time to ruminate), but rather a very active experience with lots of exercises, suggestions and supportive feedback on participants’ work from Kip Jones and other participants. The point is to encourage both students and academics who would like to include more creative writing in their outputs, particularly those whose writing includes reporting on narrative and other qualitative methods of research. It also helps immensely in the move to publishing in the wider world of blogs and online outlets, moving work to media and film, auto-ethnography and even fiction.
Justification: The important point of Creative Writing for Academics is to help academics and students achieve the goal of achieving more of their work read by wider audiences; in other words, impact. By providing an intense two-day experience for participants to engage in developing writing skills, the playing field is levelled and opportunities for facilitated learning developed. By engaging in creative writing, it becomes possible for all to write more clearly, more simply, even more creatively, when writing not only for academic publications, but also for outlets previously unimagined.
Methods: The workshop will present opportunities to work with academic material and expand its means of production and dissemination to new and creative levels through interfaces with techniques from the arts and humanities, including blog and magazine writing, film treatments and scripts, and poetry and fictional exercises. These intellectual exchanges encourage joint exploration of how researchers can engage with principles and tools from the arts in order to expand and extend the possibilities of dissemination of research data. Concepts of creativity itself will evolve and be transformed by participants’ outlooks and willingness to engage with unfamiliar territory. These processes comprise a ‘facilitated learning’—in that knowledge will be gained as a secondary goal through a process of developing new relationships through small group problem-solving and self examination, grounded in personal past experience and knowledge.
Kip Jones BA MSc PhD is Reader in Performative Social Science and Qualitative Research in the Faculties of Media & Communication and Health & Social Sciences at Bournemouth University. Jones has produced films, videos and audio productions and has written many articles for academic journals and authored Chapters in books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality, and older LGBT citizens. His groundbreaking use of qualitative methods, including biography and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research and dissemination, are distinguished internationally.
Workshop Price: £120. for two days. £90. for students/BU staff
Academics and students at all levels welcome!
Register online at:
Five members of the AiR (Arts in Research) collaborative delivered an experiential workshop at the Social Research Association conference on Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences on Friday 8th May at the British Library, (Left to right: Anne Quinney, Maggie Hutchings, Caroline Ellis-HIll, Wendy Couchman and Michelle Cannon). The conference brought together researchers from a diverse range of disciplines including human geography, criminal justice, media, and migration studies. By inviting the delegates to create a sculpture in pipe-cleaners of their journey to the conference, the keynote speaker, Professor David Gauntlett from the University of Westminster, set the scene for an interactive and inspirational day in which presenters shared their creative research methods.
Drawing on the two day workshop, A past/a present, held at BU in September 2014, the collaborative shared their experiences and invited the audience to learn what it feels like to reveal our often most private self to an unfamiliar person by talking about the significance of a personal artefact that they had with them. The participants found it to be a very powerful process which can occur in a very short space of time.
As well as learning about collage as a research tool in working with offenders, the use of hand drawn timelines in working with returning Afghan migrants, walking as a tool for understanding marginalised young men, and walking to develop understanding the day to day lives of women asylum seekers, the AiR collaboration members made new connections and explored several potential research collaborations.
The ARTS in Research (AiR) collaborative is open to BU students and staff across faculties and disciplines. Please contact the AiR facilitator, Dr Kip Jones, (email@example.com) to join.
The Bournemouth University ARTS in Research Collaborative (AiR) held a two-day workshop in late summer to experiment with interviewing, narrative and ephemera, and arts-based representations of such approaches (reported here previously). An article available online from today in The Qualitative Report by Kip Jones entitled, “A Report on an Arts-led, Emotive Experiment in Interviewing and Storytelling” details the thinking behind this effort and the mechanisms put in place that contributed to the workshop’s success.
The paper reports on the two-day experimental workshop in arts‐led interviewing technique using ephemera to elicit life stories and then reporting narrative accounts back using creative means of presentation.
Academics and students from across Departments at Bournemouth University told each other stories from their pasts based in objects that they presented to each other as gifts. Each partner then reported the shared story to the group using arts‐led presentation methods.
Narrative research and the qualitative interview are discussed. The conclusion is drawn that academics yearn to express the more emotive connections generated by listening to the stories of strangers.
The procedures followed for the two‐day workshop are outlined in order that other academics may also organize their own experiments in eliciting story using personal objects and retelling stories creatively.
Because the group wanted to take the impact of this experience further, AiR applied and was accepted to present the concept at the Social Research Association’s workshop ‘Creative Research Methods’ on 8 May at the British Library in London. The Collaborative is about to meet up to brainstorm ways in which to translate their experiences of the workshop into a more presentational one.
Anyone from across Departments, whether lecturer, researcher, student or faculty, is welcome to join the ARTS in Research Collaborative. Please contact Kip Jones if you are interested in joining or just want to know more about the Collaborative.
This just in from Creative Quarter!
Sage Publications online presence, “Social Science Space” has published BU Kip Jones’ “Ten ‘Rules’ for Being Creative in Producing Research’ on its website.
Since the changing of the year seems to be the time for lists, top ten lists, etc., Jones decided to compile his about being creative whist producing cutting‐edge research. Jones warned, “Not for the faint‐hearted!” The list is available here.
Students and Academics with further interest in arts-based research and dissemination are welcome to join the Arts in Research (AiR) Collaborative. More information here.
The University has championed the film as ‘an outstanding example of public engagement at BU’ and as ‘inspirational’ in the University’s Annual Report.
RUFUS STONE is based on three years of a Research Council UK funded study of the lives of older lesbians and gay men in south west England and Wales, a part of the national New Dynamics of Ageing Programme of research.
Winner of two awards at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival in 2012, the film has gone on to be screened at film festivals, other universities in the UK, USA and Canada and by organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society UK, LGBT groups, and health, social and ageing support networks.
The film has been reported in the press widely, including in the New York Times, Times Higher Education, The Independent, BBC Radio 4 and local media.
RUFUS STONE was directed by Josh Appignanesi (The Infidel) and produced by Parkville Pictures, London. The film stars William Gaunt and Harry Kershaw, sharing the title role of “Rufus”. Niall Buggy and Tom Kane take on the part of Rufus’ love interest, “Flip”. Tattletale “Abigail”, a role shared by Lin Blakley and Martha Myers-Lowe, completes the triangle. The film cleverly interweaves each of the three main characters’ younger selves with their older selves. Gaunt commented: “It’s a sad and touching story, but also one about age and what it’s like to fall in love when you’re very young, and how that remains with you.”
Award-winning author and educator, Patricia Leavy, describes the plot in her review of the film for The Qualitative Report:
The film tells the story of a young man in rural England who, while developing an attraction to another young man, is viciously outed by small-minded village people. He flees to London and returns home 50 years later and is forced confront the people from his past and larger issues of identity and time.
Leavy sums up: “This film is as good as most Oscar-nominated shorts, and vastly superior to many. In my opinion, it is just about as good as a short film gets.”
Author and Executive Producer of RUFUS STONE, Dr, Kip Jones, has written widely in the academic press and elsewhere on the process of collecting the biographic material and subsequently his writing the story for the film. He has presented the film with follow-up Question and Answer sessions at prestigious institutions such as Cambridge, Birkbeck, Durham and Keele Universities in the UK.
Jones explains the process of creating composite characters based in the research and, indeed, in his own experience:
The naïveté of same-sex attraction and young love, too often forbidden and misunderstood love, was a story reported over and over again in our study and. therefore, became central to the plot of the film. By compositing these stories in RUFUS STONE, at last we remember them together, finally gaining strength in each other for something misunderstood and condemned from our isolated youthful experiences.
Jones is available by arrangement for Q&A discussions by Skype following screenings for larger audiences. Contact: Kip Jones mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Trailer for the film: https://vimeo.com/43395306
Background on the research and making of the film: http://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/rufus-stone/
Screenings of the film would be appropriate for a wide variety of audiences, including in undergraduate and graduate teaching, community groups, and LGBT and ageing support organisations. Length: 30 minutes.
View RUFUS STONE here:
LIVE and FREE from 25 October!
Sage Publications disseminates important research across the social science disciplines around the world. For the second time, Sage’s on line presence, Social Science Space, features an article by Bournemouth University’s Kip Jones.
“(The Grand Theory of) Neo Emotivism” is Jones’ take on the current state of mind of many researchers globally wishing to connect to their research “subjects” as well as to their own emotions. The article first appeared on Jones’ blog, KIPWORLD, where it has been viewed nearly 900 times in less than a month. The article went live today as the lead article on Social Science Space.
“’Neo-emotivism’ is a concept Kip Jones describes as intentionally using emotional responses for academic ends in large part by drawing from non-traditional sources like art and literature for inspiration and even vocabulary”. Fashioned in a tongue-in-cheek way after 19th and 20th Century art manifestos, the article makes it’s case by highlighting examples from a range of resources, including singer Jeff Buckley, composer Max Richter, artist Kazimir Malevich and architect Zada Hadid.
Thoughts for the article initially emerged from Jones’ interactions with fellow BU academics at a recent ARTS in Research (AiR) two-day workshop at Bournemouth University. Jones was surprised and encouraged by faculty and students, not only from Health & Social Care, but also from Media, Design, Engineering and Computing and Tourism with a similar ache to connect emotionally with their subjects and to acknowledge the “first person” in their dialogues. His concept of the “Pre-REFaelites” materialised from that encounter.
The ARTS in Research (AiR) cross-Schools collaborative will hold an additional two days of workshops at the Lighthouse in Poole led by artist-in-residence, Hazel Evans, on 20th and 21st November. Faculty and students from across schools and from outside of the University are encouraged to join us for the two days of creative engagement. More info
“I can’t remember ever attending such an inspiring ‘in house’ event “.
The newly formed ARTS in Research Collaborative recently held two days of exploration of biography and ways and means of expressing the stories of others creatively and ethically. The workshop was entitled, “A Past/A Present” ARTS in Research (AiR) Workshop.
Using shared objects representing a time or event in each participant’s life, a ‘partner’ then created a five minute presentation of and from the storied materials. Participants in the two-days of exploration came from HSC, the Media School and DEC. Both faculty and postgrad students took part.
The brief was kept simple and instruction to a minimum. Organiser Kip Jones shared examples from his own work of finding ways and means of responding creatively to detailed data as well as time and material constraints. Other than that, participants engaged in a learning process through participation itself and the sharing of their experiences. The group has agreed to write up the encounter for a journal article.
“Thank you all for the incredible willingness to be inventive, creative and think/be outside ‘the box'”.
“An illuminating two days of deep sharing. I was honoured to be there and look forward to more creative adventures together”.
“Inspiring. An artful and generative suspension of ‘normal’ activity”.
The ARTS in Research Collaborative’s next workshop is planned for November at The Lighthouse in Poole. Details to follow. It will be open to a wider audience and there will be a charge to attend, but BU faculty and students are encouraged to apply for training and/or development funding within their Schools.
At our first gatherings, there was great interest in the ‘next step’ or working with professionals from the arts to develop our arts-based academic work. One of the first projects that we are developing is a series of workshops over a year for academics who are interested in pursuing creative means of carrying out research and/or disseminating it, whether that be via lectures, presentations, publications or other means of diffusion to reach a wider public.
- One possibility, for example, is Creative Writing for Academics, an away day in a quiet place with an expert guide.
- Another is a day spent in TV production studios, particularly learning ways to edit video shot on still cameras, phones, ipads, etc.
- A third possibility being explored is a day at The Lighthouse, taking advantage of Lighthouse professionals to explore the use of drama, performance poetry, music, etc in academic work.
The AiR Collaborative is based at HSC in the Centre for Qualitative Research, but is a cross-Schools cluster and is open to academics and post-grad students across both campuses.
The only requirement to join is to express your interest and send a ‘selfie’ to Kip Jones!
We are pleased to announce the formation of the Arts in Research (AiR) Group. This effort grows out of the experience of HSC’s ReThink process and previous work at HSC in using tools from the Arts in carrying out research, disseminating findings and sharing them with students, colleagues and communities beyond the University. The Group is open to members of any School with an interest or even curiosity in how they might infuse their interest in the arts within more routine research and/or presentation practices.
The interest in Arts-based Research is international and growing. Areas such as video, film, photography, dance, drama, poetry, radio production, creative writing—even clowning—are becoming more mainstream. Conferences, for example, no longer routinely consist of hour-after-hour packed with 20-minute PowerPoint presentations. Young students balk at PPT and expect more creativity from lecturers in their learning experiences. Reaching wider audiences (including ‘service-users’ and the public) is now routinely demanded by funding bodies. Tools from the Arts can greatly enhance all of these efforts.
Using Arts-based approaches in research requires thinking about Method from novel viewpoints. Involving research participants in producing outputs frequently enlivens projects, for one example. Finding the right arts-based method for the research questions or findings is key to their use. Finding the right collaborator for your project can be central to its success.
The ARTS in RESEARCH (AiR) Group will begin meeting in January (watch for announcement by email, Facebook and Twitter). We will begin by exploring what interests group members have and what resources are already available. We will also explore the possibility of collaborations with working artists, so no need to feel that great personal skill is required, just enthusiasm.