Troubling Research: Liminal Spaces, Methodological Challenges, Innovative Approaches

In July this year, Newman University hosted a one-day conference followed by a half-day workshop with the title ‘Troubling Research: Liminal Spaces, Methodological Challenges, Innovative Approaches’. Its aims were to explore ways of:

  1. Engaging with marginalised groups so that research into their/our experiences and life-worlds can be more inclusively and authentically designed, conducted, recorded and communicated;
  2. Representing – for example, aesthetically, affectively – research processes and knowledge so that necessary complexities, uncertainties, instability, disorder can find a place in educational research discourse;
  3. Crossing boundaries, stepping over thresholds, that often unhelpfully divide and separate the multiple epistemic and psychic spaces we inhabit in our professional and personal lives.

Colleagues took part, from all parts of the UK and from as far afield as the USA; the presentations, think-pieces and performances spanned a range of disciplinary areas and professional fields, and were communicated through a variety of media. We were extremely fortunate to have Professor Alison Phipps (University of Glasgow), Professor Morwenna Griffiths and Dr Rosa Murray (University of Edinburgh) as keynote speakers  their presentations and the full programme and abstracts can be viewed here.

The next day’s workshop explored the opportunities and challenges for the kinds of research inquiry that use aesthetic/affective modes such as creative writing, dance, drama, media, music, the spoken word and the visual and plastic arts – and in particular ways of aligning these with troubled, troubling and/or troublesome areas of social science research.











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