Kip Jones will be taking RUFUS STONE by video link to Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, Kazakhstan this Friday.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s author and Executive Producer, Kip Jones.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s author and Executive Producer, Kip Jones.
Perhaps I’d better reveal more of our journey and tell you a bit about the group. We came together having booked our place at the auspiciously titled “Creative Writing Workshop for Academics” led by the legend that is Kip Jones. I would say it was a journey that we would all do again in a heartbeat.
Kip invited us, compelled us, to discard the shackles of academic or more formal forms of writing; we breathed in deeply and sought to find our inner selves, the child unconstrained by conventions that have both helped and hindered our writing over the years.
So, applying all that I learned from Kip, I am not going to over-analyse my writing and I will go with what feels right. Studying the ‘postcards’ from the group – Peter’s postcard will come first, just because it feels right, he sums up the experience for us all really.
From Peter Wolfensberger:
postcard to myself or
everything matters and nothing really does unless the moment you belong and love – exercise one
Struggling with my thesis I considered the creative writing workshop as a source for inspiration. So, I travelled long distance just to be confronted with myself and who I am and writing the story of my life on a postcard! Really?! Yes, – and no, there is more: Watching two boys on a crowded beach in the twenties has as much to do with me as trying to make sense of dreams that I can never remember. Writing a poem, a script treatment, a story, my story? In the end, it’s all just a tagline away from my thesis… But hey, I belonged to this wonderful group of people who kind of tried to do the same or something very different. Love you all! ‘
A bit more to reveal here with Mark’s postcard:
From: Mark Readman
‘Taglines, poems, life stories on postcards, writing, sharing, reading aloud and, ultimately, bringing my academic work to life through the art of storytelling – what a great way to start the new year!’
Now back to me. The writing is now getting more difficult. I can’t really complete with the beauty of the words conveyed in the postcards. Kip did promise that our first attempts will be quite bad and will need plenty of re-write. So, I walk away, I head off to make a cup of tea and read The Guardian. Nothing much to learn about me from my reading choice, nor, did I expect to learn much from it. I read it because I enjoy a few of the Saturday regulars and primarily because it’s still free on line. I click on one of my favourite columns, “Blind date” and this week’s column looks promisingly uplifting, entitled; “We parted with a kiss”. It was a good read, and I wondered if the format could be borrowed for the blog. And so I try below:
From: Susanne Clarke
The scene: The Group meets each other and Kip for our first “Blind Date”.
What were we hoping for:
Improvement, enlightenment, and perhaps a cry from the heart to help with the struggle that is a life centered around writing, at the very least, some basic hints and tips and a creative start to the year.
What we weren’t expecting, but I think we were all secretly hoping for as Caroline put so well in her postcard, “…one thing that I did take away from the creative writing workshop was passion and confidence in creative writing.”
Our First Impressions:
Positive, the group were warmly welcomed, Kip was laid back, relaxed and we got a sense it was all going to be ok. Kip set us some homework – to recall our night time dreams. I think we were all slightly scared.
What did we talk about:
Everything and anything, somehow Kip got us to reflect deeply, perhaps share things we wouldn’t normally be so bold with. Kip shared intimate reflections with us and made it ok to share back.
Any awkward moments:
There really should have been, we were stretched, we cried, we laughed, however, I don’t recall anything being awkward and I can’t find a hint of this in the postcards.
Although, if I am honest there was a moment for me. When Kip set us the task to create poems from our recollection of recent dreams, as a lifelong fan of Pam Ayres, my poem had to rhyme, consequently, my attempt lacked the depth of feeling conveyed by the poems written and read out loud by others in the group. But it did rhyme. I did feel slightly awkward, mine was rather light, however, in the end it was alright.
Good table manners?
We did lunch as a group, it was a great ending to our adventure, and our table manners were impeccable, as far as I could tell.
Would we introduce Kip to our friends?
A resounding yes, why wouldn’t anyone be less than delighted to meet Kip, and I would happily introduce Kip and the whole group to all my friends.
Describe Kip in three words:
Charismatic, warm and unconventional
What do we think Kip made of us?
He told us we were the best group he had ever taught, he was probably lying. He made us feel special though.
Did you go on somewhere?
This is where I will leave the ‘Blind Date’ format and head to something slightly more hypothetical, we are all now continuing somewhere, we are improved from our experience, but taking different paths. Let’s now share some more postcards from the group. I guess where we go next in our journey remains to be seen.
From: Trevor Hearing
….‘Kip’s Tree of Performative Social Science is a rare species that grows over ground and underground with each workshop I attend, sending hidden signals around the world through its mycelium that it is OK to write about yourself as a source of knowledge because in doing so we are feeding others with the compost of our imaginations. I learned the value of metaphor at this workshop’….
Love Trevor xxx
From: Caroline Jackson
“…. The interventions offered by Kip and my workshop colleagues were productive in many ways. I came away with the following:
- I like writing.
- I can let go and write something not directly related to an academic output and it be worthwhile.
- Some questions and techniques to use in future writing activities, academic or not.
- Some ideas for my own students on their creative thinking and work.
Wish you were here, love Caroline xxx
From: Carly Stewart
…” It opened up my thinking and reconnected me to the heart-felt reason I enjoy academia in the first place. I had time and space to think deeply about ideas and new ways to express them, not for outcome or in the surface skimming tone so often required of us. And the epiphany for me was that dedicating time for creative space did not send me spinning off on a tangent from academia but instead loosened my thoughts and reconfigured them in a way that inspired me to pick up the reins of academic writing once again.”
Love Carly xxx
And finally, from me (Susanne). I spent time with a colleague this week writing with a deadline to submit an abstract. I approached this with more confidence and my biggest lesson from Kip – I could hear his voice, “work on a catchy title” he said this a few times. Our title begins with “Shrek and the Onion…. “ It wouldn’t have done before Kip entered my life and thoughts. Will our abstract take us to the conference in the sun, who knows?
PS We would also like to thank others in the group who are not represented here but who contributed towards the experience.
The first Chapter, “Performative Social Science”, in J. P. Matthes, C. S. Davis, & R. F. Potter (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods, rehearses the development of Performative Social Science (PSS) as a research approach and method, developed over ten years at Bournemouth University through publication, film, research, workshops, Masterclasses, and PhD studies. Jones explains that PSS is not simply ‘art for art’s sake’ instead of research. PSS is research and dissemination practices based in the philosophy of Relational Aesthetics and has much in common with Social Constructionism. The ‘audience’ or reader/viewer are key to PSS, as is the wider community.
This 3-volume Encyclopedia is touted as the most current authoritative single-source reference on communication methods. The editors state that they have invited the best scholars from all over the world to accomplish this. Jones’ Chapter (draft) is now available at: https://www.academia.edu/22126458/Performative_Social_Science
The second Chapter, “Emotivity and Ephemera Research”, in Innovative Research Methodologies in Management: Volume I, edited by L. Moutinho and M. Sokelem provides an in-depth worked example of PSS. The Chapter reports on a two-day experimental workshop in arts-led interviewing technique using ephemera to illicit life stories and then reporting narrative accounts back using creative means of presentation. The workshop took place at Bournemouth and participants were all University faculty members. A key to the process was in replicating what research participants may be feeling and going through when they share very personal stories with researchers. The exercise built a respect for this process by acknowledging that fact through the personal experiences and emotive connectivity of workshop participants.
The Editors of this book on management were keen to include the Chapter, stating that many who are attempting a PhD, particularly using a qualitative approach, spend little or no effort in finding, then learning, an appropriate method for their research question. The felt that the Chapter would contribute substantially in this way to management studies. The Chapter was originally published as “A report on an arts-led, emotive experiment in interviewing and storytelling” in The Qualitative Report, 20(2), 86-92 and is available here: https://www.academia.edu/10835482/A_Report_on_an_Arts-Led_Emotive_Experiment_in_Interviewing_and_Storytelling
It is examples like these that substantiate the work being done not only by Jones, but by other members of the Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR) at Bournemouth University. Membership of CQR comes from across Health and Social Sciences’ disciplines at BU as well as from a number of other BU faculties, This attraction attests to the universal appeal of qualitative methods and particularly arts-led ones, including Performative Social Science, which are being developed through CQR.
Places are limited, but the workshop is free. Please express your interest by emailing Kip asap. You will be expected to attend for both days, and attend the lunches. You are asked to buy your own refreshments and lunches, but we will eat together at a restaurant each day. The first day we will go to the International Centre next to EBC for lunch. The second day, we will have a concluding longer lunch at La Piccola Italia Restaurant, near EBC. Writing is a very solitary endeavor. Sharing of experiences and conviviality are important components of a balanced approach.
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 seeing 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 ‘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.
To book a half hour (in person) with Kip at Royal London House on a Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon, just email firstname.lastname@example.org with your possible date. Kip will get back to you with a time.
To book a a half hour (via Skype only) with Caroline on a Wednesday morning, email email@example.com with our possible date. Caroline will get back to you with a time and Skype arrangements. (We particularly hope that colleagues and students at Yeovil and Portsmouth will take advantage of this particular distance resource.)
CQR members have expertise in a wide range of methods. If necessary, through the surgery process we can connect you up with a particular resourceful person.
These sessions seemed to work quite well last Summer. We hope that you will find them a valuable assistance. No need to be a CQR member (but you may want to become one!)
Kip and Caroline
Jones also writes for other blogs from time to time (LSE Impact blog, LSE Review of Books, Discover Society, Sociological Imagination, Creative Quarter, The Creativity Post, Bournemouth University Research Blog) as well.
As Jones reported earlier,
KIPWORLD is my personal blog where I write about projects that I am working on, but I also use it to develop my writing. A good example is a piece entitled, “How Breakthroughs Come: Tenacity and Perseverance”. First written for the blog, it was then reworked to include some reader responses to the earlier version. Through a Twitter connection, it was then published for a third time on the Social Research Hub, a site particularly aimed at PhD students in the Social Sciences.
Interestingly, the vast majority of the traffic to the site comes from Facebook where Jones moderates several special interest groups.The audience for KIPWORLD is predominantly in the USA, but the blog is viewed widely throughout the world.
The all-time top article on KIPWORLD is A summer holiday, three books and a story has received 17,499 views so far. The format is an exercise in creative autofiction, book review and a short story. This contribution to the site was written on holiday and is very much a personal reflection. A similar formula of tripartite creative writing developed by Jones recently made it to the pages of the academic journal, Qualitative Research Journal. (Interestingly, this ‘blog style’ article in an academic journal has been downloaded 30 times since publication in January 2017).
What might be called “How to” articles (such as What is a Systematic Review? or A Brief Outline for Organising/Writing the PhD Thesis) are also extremely popular.
Jones’ advice on blog writing to others:
Find your own voice, even your own subject material. Use your blog to develop your writing and your personal style. Don’t just assume that it has to look and sound like a blog to be one. Include at least one picture with every blog article. Let people know about the blog through social media—don’t expect an audience to just find it on its own. Promote it.
If the most important thing in your life IS to write about your cat, write about it as creatively as you possibly can. Enjoy the experience!
Written by leading international scholars from the main contributing perspectives and disciplines, The Routledge International Handbook on Narrative and Life History seeks to capture the range and scope as well as the considerable complexity of the field of narrative study and life history work by situating these fields of study within the historical and contemporary context.
Lichtman’s books on qualitative research are well-known and adopted for courses internationally.
The Chapter is an an expansion on an earlier interview conducted by the Media School’s Trevor Hearing. HSC’s Kip Jones illuminates several of his responses with excerpts from the story development for the award-winning, research based short film, RUFUS STONE. Hearing and Jones also collaborated on creating the trailer for RUFUS STONE.
The unique collaboration forged in making the film has been reported in the New York Times and Times Higher Education as well as in academic journals and other book chapters and featured as ‘inspirational’ in the BU’s Annual Report. The film has been screened in academic settings, for social and health service providers and general audiences in several cinemas. Rufus Stone won two awards for short film at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Monday, 9 December, 1 pm
Wollstonecraft Theatre (BG10)
Just a few reactions to Rufus Stone from audience members attending screenings:
“Critically the authenticity of the film shone through – the characters were real and genuine”.
Cinematographer Annika Summerson and crew set up shot with Harry Kershaw (centre) who plays young RUFUS STONE
A student from the Netherlands, Coco Sips, has spent time recently in Bournemouth and Dorset learning about LGBT teens and particularly those isolated in rural settings. Her study had resonance with the film, Rufus Stone, and so Coco sought the advice Executive Producer and Lead of the Gay and Pleasant Land? Project, Dr Kip Jones, when planning her study. Jones commented: ‘Although the main characters in Rufus Stone are in their seventies at the end of our film, the consequences of their youth are very much the driving forces of their lifetimes and the film. We hope to continue to explore LGBT youth through community connections and issues of social inclusion in a follow-up study now under consideration’.
Sips also sought advice from Intercom Trust, a organisation for LGBT people in the south west penisula, that was central to the earlier Gay and Pleasant Land? Project on isolated older lesbians and gay men in rural south west England. Coco then worked closely with a local LGBT Space Youth Project‘s organisers and teens to produce her report and a short video, Into SPACE.
In the film, young LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) youth tell their story about feelings of acceptance and/or social exclusion living in the rural area of Dorset, Southwest of England. The film was produced by Coco Sips as a part of her thesis project, “Social Exclusion amongst young LGBT people living in Rural Dorset” and performed on behalf of Space Youth Project, a non-governmental organization in Dorset.
Rufus Stone has just scooped two awards at the prestigious Rhode Island International Film Festival in the USA, the only short to win in two categories at the festival: the Grand prize in the Alternative Spirit category and the Youth Jury Award for best GLBT film at the festival.
The Rhode Island International Film Festival consisted of six days and nights of screenings, meetings and greetings featured more than 200 films selected from more than 4,000 entrants.
The Youth Jury is a programme that introduces youth to the world of independent film. The youth attend multiple screenings during the Festival, Q&A’s, and festival events. Their goal is to deliberate, and choose a Best Feature, Best Documentary, and Best Short to receive the Youth Jury award.
Just few reactions to Rufus Stone from audience members at earlier screeings:
“Critically the authenticity of the film shone through – the characters were real and genuine”.
“Rarely does one get the chance of seeing a love affair between two men portrayed on screen credibly and realistically, not to say very movingly”.
“A kind of ‘ To Kill a Mocking Bird’ type film that makes you really think about your morals”.
Bournemouth University’s Kip Jones (The Media School &; HSC) said, “Winning at prestigious film festivals such as RIIFF is important in getting the film seen by a wide audience. This is the kind of impact that we imagined from the outset of the research project itself”.
“I am particularly pleased for our director, Josh Appignanesi, who took on board the concept of fusion of research and a professional film and visually brought it to life through Rufus Stone.”
“Gay and Pleasant Land? -a study about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales” was funded by Research Councils UK.The Rufus Stone microsite gives more information about the film, and the research that inspired it.
BU’s Kip Jones, Executive Producer and Author of the short film based on his research findings, “Rufus Stone” has just been notified that the film has been selected for acceptance by the judges for exhibition during this year’s FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival August 7-12, 2012. The event is the largest public film festival in New England and an Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences qualifying event.
In 2002, Flickers was notified by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) that it had elected to recognize the Rhode Island International Film Festival as a qualifying festival for the Short Films category for the Annual Academy Awards. With more than 7,000 film festivals worldwide, only 65 have this recognition “One of the top 10 Short Film Festivals and Top 10 International Film Festivals in the United States” – Chris Gore, author of The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, 2nd edition.
Well done and good luck Kip!
Following Rufus Stone‘s world premiere at BU in November 2011, Trevor Hearing (BU Media School), Ross Hillard (composer) and Kip Jones (BU Media School & School of Health and Social Care) have now produced a short trailer that captures both the story of the film as well as the beauty of its cinematography in two and a half minutes. For previous blog posts about Rufus Stone, click here.
Rufus Stone is a film about love, sexual awakening and treachery, set in the bucolic countryside of south west England, and viewed through the lens of growing older. It is based on knowledge gathered as part of the research project “Gay and Pleasant Land? – a study about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales.”