Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mon 20 Feb 4.00pm Prof Ann Light: Research as Intervention: a case of transdisciplinary studying?

The first in our series of Teatime Talks. Tea and cakes are on the house.

According to Wikipedia, what sets transdisciplinary studies apart is an emphasis on real-world engagement, investigation, and participation in addressing issues and problems in a manner that explicitly destabilizes disciplinary boundaries while respecting disciplinary expertise. Tim Ingold (2012) has questioned whether it is even meaningful to talk of boundaries. Instead he rejects spatialising metaphors: “scholars do not inhabit fields but follow paths. They are, if you will, like walkers rather than cows”. He suggests that a discipline is not so much a bounded field as a tangle of pathways that happen, at least for a certain period of time, to have converged.

My work with the Connected Communities programme (an RCUK initiative led by the AHRC) has involved running a range of research workshops with selected members of the public. I use the lens of transdisciplinarity and the idea of a tangle of pathways to begin to explore the methodology of making intervention to learn about practice. And I actively seek audience feedback to help understand the processes I have been using.

Ann Light is a professor of design at Northumbria University, after a career that has spanned drama, journalism, human-computer interaction and a range of qualitative research methodologies, in an eclectic journey towards understanding the diversity of human relations and how they are mediated.

In the Transdisciplinary Common Room (TDC), Fletcher Quad

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