6 – 8 September 2010
Call for Abstractshttp://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/hsc/international-qualitative-research-conference-2010.html
Any large and diverse research project benefits from the documentation of its very development. Relational humanism in documentation and dissemination means that personal autonomy, dignity, liberty and responsibility are considered positive values for consideration throughout the on-going dialogue created by the research itself and its dissemination. It is through having a record of this very process that knowledge can be shared with others, creating a continuum on which the outcomes of a project's efforts can begin to flourish. The concern is with ambiguity, process, meaning, totality and history (Plummer 1983) through the continuity and “aliveness” of ideas. Humanising the process of documentation can be achieved by historically accurate ways: by listening to the stories of process and change within the research development itself. In turn, humanising the method of dissemination means consideration of any audience's part in the overall progression and building audience participation into the overall plan. A relational humanism urges us as theorists, human scientists and practitioners to seek ways – multiple ways - of generating integrative conversation.
Relational humanism thus appears not as ‘top-down’ concept but as a practical process of give-and-take by all of the players. Humanism also prompts us to imagine our potential audiences in ways which challenge us to re-imagine the commonweal, common good, or imagined community across disciplines and the intellectual freedom (Wakelin 2007) of our audiences themselves—a relational aesthetic (Bourriaud 2002; Jones 2006). Our considerations, through embodied perception, encourage us to walk around the edges of processes, to see beyond factuality to the humanism hidden on the other side. By extending our gaze beyond the usual, to new technologies and modes of presentation, we open doors to new understandings and resources (Jones 2006).
‘The precise meaning of relatedness, then, remains indeterminate and dependent upon further co-ordinations within relationship’ (Gergen 1997).
Bourriaud, N. (2002; English version) Relational Aesthetics.
Gergen, K.J. (1997) Social Theory in Context: Relational Humanism. Draft copy for J. Greenwood (ed), The mark of the social.
Jones, K. (2006) ‘A Biographic Researcher in Pursuit of an Aesthetic: The use of arts-based (re)presentations in “performative” dissemination of life stories’. Qualitative Sociology Review, April 06.
Plummer, K. (1983) Documents of Life An Introduction to the Problems and Literature of a Humanistic Method.
Wakelin, D. (2007) Humanism, Reading, and English Literature 1430-1530.
Elana wrote and asked me what thoughts I had on social science and artistic vision (in her case, photography) and the merging of the two fields. Are there specific criteria that I hope to see reflected in the creation of ‘scientifically supportive imagery’?
I responded that I still find writing about the visual to be ironic, at best. I strongly believe that we can learn more by looking, reveal more by showing than through simple justification in text. Art and Science are both about discovery and creating a record of that discovery. Both are infused with the time and place in which they are practiced. The 'audience' for any work of art, any scientific discovery makes the ultimate interpretation. This is as it should be.
The visual image needs to be interrogated. Just like a criminal in a police station. We should never accept what we first see as the final truth, but realise that we are peeling an onion of multiple truths (and lies). Sociology, when done well, is a good detective story.
Some of the best 'social photography' today is done on cell/mobile phones and appears on flickr and Facebook. Photography does not always have to have a 'cause' or social issue in order to be about social life. There is much fodder for investigation in the ordinary.
Elana cited Howard Becker a lot. It reminded me of his piano playing. I want both Beckers/I want to be both. I suggested that Elana read this blog. I proposed that it is a non-course in performative social science, an educational process by subterfuge (see preceding blog item).
Next, an anthropological journal sent me a friend’s paper on the use of poetry in social science to review. I highly recommended publication of the paper; then I added:
When any breakthrough occurs in art (or social science or anthropology?), it is necessary in order for it to find its place on a continuum of time that other attempts are made to refine answers to a set of questions that change only slowly (Kubler, The Shape of Time, 1962). This effort in the refinement of the use of poetics in social science contributes to the development of the use of the arts in this arena by astutely placing the case in a solid social science framework. Not the artistic endeavor that will punctuate the historical continuum as a great work of art, rather, this contribution is the quieter and deeper foundation-building labour that is necessary for other great strides forward to make their mark and prosper in the first place.
The author only hints at the audience (or community) so necessary for the dialogic to exist within our relationships with works of art. Further attention to relational aesthetics (Bourriaud 2001) may very well help inform further development of the theoretical base for poetics in social science research. The intuitive aspects of a shared culture, coupled with a more universal response to injustices (and, therefore, an artistic expression of these emotive components), compete for resolution within more rigid ethical frameworks and well-tested methodologies in the discussion. My take is that by developing a trust in personal instinct and intuition and the naturally expressive and moral potential of these resources, social science research will become more comfortable within these new paradigms and more willing to jettison some of the baggage of its old ‘academic rigor’ and procedural ethics.
• Admission comes 55 years after Turing took his lifeCaroline Davies The Guardian, Friday 11 September 2009
Gordon Brown issued an unequivocal apology last night on behalf of the government to Alan Turing, the second world war codebreaker who took his own life 55 years ago after being sentenced to chemical castration for being gay.
Describing Turing's treatment as "horrifying" and "utterly unfair", Brown said the country owed the brilliant mathematician a huge debt. He was proud, he said, to offer an official apology. "We're sorry, you deserved so much better," Brown writes in a statement posted on the No 10 website.
Turing is most famous for his work in helping create the "bombe" that cracked messages enciphered with the German Enigma machines. He was convicted of gross indecency in 1952 after admitting a sexual relationship with a man.
He was given experimental chemical castration as a "treatment". His criminal record meant he was unable to continue his work for the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) because his security privileges were withdrawn. Two years later he killed himself, aged 41.
Thousands have signed a Downing Street petition calling for an official apology, among them the novelist Ian McEwan, scientist Richard Dawkins, and gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Paying tribute to Turing's contribution to "Britain's fight against the darkness of dictatorship", Brown described him as "a quite brilliant mathematician".
"Without his outstanding contribution, the history of world war two could well have been very different," he writes.
"The debt of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of gross indecency – in effect, tried for being gay.
"His sentence – and he was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison – was chemical castration by a series of injections of female hormones."
The petition, which yesterday had 30,805 signatures, was the idea of computer scientist John Graham-Cumming, who has also written to the Queen to request Turing be awarded a posthumous knighthood. Although an official apology is unusual, the act is seen as symbolic. Alan Turing is survived by three neices – Inagh, Shuna and Janet, from his brother's first marriage – and a nephew, John Dermot Turing, from his brother's second marriage, along with their associated family members.
Acknowledging the strength of feeling, Brown wrote: "Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt with under the law of the time and we can't put the clock back, his treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him.
"Alan and the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more lived in fear of conviction.
"This recognition of Alan's status as one of Britain's most famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long overdue."
"But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to humankind … It is thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism, people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war are part of Europe's history and not Europe's present.
"So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely thanks to Alan's work I am very proud to say: we're sorry, you deserved so much better."
Though most famous for his codebreaking, Turing is often considered to be the father of modern computer science, having made highly significant contributions to the emerging field of artificial intelligence and computing. After the war he worked at many institutions, including the University of Manchester, where he worked on the Manchester mark 1, one of the first recognisable modern computers.
In 1999 Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century.
• This article was amended on Sunday 13 September 2009. We said that Alan Turing, the man often considered the father of modern computer science had no surviving family. In fact, his family includes three nieces, a nephew and his mother, and several children and spouses of this group. This has been corrected.guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009
Bournemouth University’s Centre for Qualitative Research
is excited to announce a two-day
of Research Data
For researchers, film & theatre folk and citizens!
We are looking for a small group of people with some background in film, theatre or improvisation work or at least an interest in performance who are not shy about experimenting in front of each other! You don’t necessarily need to be a researcher or a performer; rather, we are more interested in a gathering of creative people with an interest in performance as a way of raising awareness. If you are fascinated by learning about improvisation and its potential as an interpretive tool for research, then this is a great opportunity to try something cutting edge in the research process. This is definitely a new way of thinking about the interpretation of research data through improvisation.
The fee for this Masterclass is £99.00 for two full days.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Claire: +44 (0)1202 962179
'This book presents the first comprehensive introduction to arts-based research (ABR) practices, which scholars in multiple disciplines are fruitfully using to reveal information and represent experiences that traditional methods cannot capture. Each of the six major ABR genres—narrative inquiry, poetry, music, performance, dance, and visual art—is covered in chapters that introduce key concepts and tools and present an exemplary research article by a leading ABR practitioner. Patricia Leavy discusses the kinds of research questions these innovative approaches can address and offers practical guidance for applying them in all phases of a research project, from design and data collection to analysis, interpretation, representation, and evaluation'.
“You show me anything that depicts institutional progress … anything that somebody can get a promotion on, and as soon as you invent that statistical category 50 people in that institution will be at work trying to figure out a way to make it look as if progress is actually occurring when actually no progress is... The same game is played everywhere – nobody’s actually in the business of doing what the institution is supposed to do... If there’s an institution that is supposed to serve you or that you are supposed to serve, and it’s supposed to care for you and be a societal positive, it will betray you.” David Simon, creator of The Wire.
Raven Row’s inaugural exhibition is the first large UK show of the collages and mailings of New York artist Ray Johnson (1927–1995). Johnson used radical means to construct and distribute images, inadvertently inventing the ‘mail art movement’. He made art out of social life – both real and imagined – gathering celebrities, the art world, and friends into his work. His influence on twentieth century art far exceeds the recognition he receives.
‘Ray Johnson. Please Add to & Return’ is significant in representing Johnson’s mailings, objects he regarded as gifts and thus contrary to the market, equally with the collage works he made for gallery exhibition in the sixties and seventies. Also included are the collages he subjected to a seemingly endless process of reworking and overlaying, which were found signed with multiple dates and neatly arranged in his house at the time of his death.
Wednesday to Sunday
By JEFFREY R. YOUNG
Most people who stumble across the YouTube video of the self-proclaimed rock star Gory Bateson singing to a scantily clad prostitute in Amsterdam's red-light district probably have no idea that the work is part of a research project — or that the man holding the guitar is a tenured professor. The video has attracted more than 12,000 views and won a few online fans. But it has upset some of the professor's colleagues, who say that whatever this two-minute clip is, it is definitely not academic work.Read the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education at: http://chronicle.com/free/v55/i34/34a01001.htm
Aesthetics as much as economics guides the interpretation of social life’ (Smith 1997: 502)It is a historical fact that the major upheavals and transformations in Western art and science occurred during periods of cross-pollination from discipline to discipline (The Enlightenment of science and reason, truth and beauty, for example, or the Paris of the beginning of the 20th Century in art, music, literature, dance and design). Forward-looking arts and humanities academics are currently directly involved in such cross-disciplinary communication with contemporary practitioners from other disciplines. Some have, however, reached an impasse when re-exploring historical concepts such as the death of the author (Barthes, 1967) in literary criticism and the utility of silence (Sontag, 1967) in fiction. These conundrums, when complicated by contemporary questions in art criticism such as the direct involvement of audience in producing relationships with the world through signs, forms, actions and objects (Bourriaud, 2002) contribute to this contemporary unease. All of these questions challenge the traditional means of production and diffusion in both the arts and humanities and their scholarship.
Can art change the world? Can the Arts and Humanities produce radical new knowledge? How can the effects of material and ideological change be traced? How do traditional research fields or areas approach changes in research theory and methodology? Can interdisciplinary methods in research better record innovation and change?What is learned when art talks to social science, social science responds to art? A not so quiet revolution is currently taking place in the application of research in the social sciences. The use of tools from the arts and humanities, in both investigation of concerns and dissemination of data, is gaining critical mass (Jones, 2006; Gergen & Jones 2008). Photography, music, dance, poetry, video installations, dramatic monologues and theatrical performances have recently been added to the researcher's investigative toolbox, calling itself, “Performative Social Science” (PSS). For example, a series of five workshops, “Social Science in Search of its Muse: Exploratory Workshops in Arts-related Production and Dissemination of Social Science Data”, took place at Bournemouth University (BU) from November, 2006 through June, 2007, supported by the, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and funded under its Nature of Creativity Scheme. These efforts were put forward in order to indicate means with which social scientists could benefit by identifying areas of possible collaboration with each other as well as with practitioners from the arts. Participants were able to return from these encounters across disciplines to more traditional outlets of dissemination with renewed possibilities for creative and innovative exploration of knowledge production and diffusion.