Workshop on multi-sensual methods with Yasmin Gunaratnam

Call for Papers

27 April 2018, Conference Centre Rezidence Dlouhá 17, Prague

With an increasing emphasis on creating research output and societal impact, research in the humanities and social sciences draws on and adapts methods such as interviews, observation, archival and visual methods to reach towards the ongoing relational and sensuous practices of world making. Research might also experiment with curating, performing and circulating research findings to new audiences. As the etymology of the term method (from Greek meta- ‘in the midst’ ‘in common with’ ‘between’ and hodus ‘a path’) begins to suggest rather than pre-determined tools that are applied, methods are attuned to and remain in the midst of and entangled with research processes and findings. Practice-oriented approaches and relational ontologies in fields such as gender studies, critical race studies, and science and technology studies have posited that knowledge making takes place in a ‘mangle’ (Pickering) of researcher, researched, instruments and environments. At the same time such entanglements might be perceived to threaten the ‘validity’ of research and can be transformed back into conventional presentational formats.  

This workshop seeks to explore the generativity, implications, challenges and (in)sensibilities of methodological practices, including but not limited to emerging forms of precarity, dispossession and vulnerability. What methodological practices can be most responsive to marginal and embodied knowledges without re-inscribing notions of alterity and subordination? How do affect and the senses (the visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic) contribute to and reorient methodological practices and the empirical? What temporalities and transformations are generated in research encounters? How do we become responsible to what is not available, the spaces between, the unintelligible or unsaid? How to do justice to the disorienting forces of negativity, failure and forgetting and what they enable?

The workshop will be led by Yasmin Gunartnam who will give a talk on ‘Borders of Becoming – Researching Immigration Policing’, based on a multi-method research project, the ‘Mapping Immigration Controversy’ (MIC) project that examined the effects of UK government public immigration campaigns between 2013-15. Yasmin is a Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths (University of London) where she teaches on race, feminism, disability, cultural representation and research methods. Yasmin’s monograph 'Researching Race and Ethnicity: methods, knowledge and power' (2003, Sage) is one of the first British books to investigate the history and development of epistemic regimes, social scientific values and methodological practices in researching race and ethnicity. Her monograph ‘Death and the Migrant’ (2013, Bloomsbury Academic) brings together her multi-sensory ethnographic research in migration and bodily vulnerability. Her latest co-authored book is ‘Go Home? The Politics of Immigration Controversies’ (2017, Manchester University Press), is a multi-method study of UK government immigration campaigns. Yasmin has edited nine collections, including a themed issue of Feminist Review on ‘Feminist Methods’ (2016) and she is a published poet. She is on the editorial collectives of Feminist Review and Media Diversified.

We invite abstracts (250 words) for contributions and interventions in a variety of formats and encourage presentations of work-in-progress for this one-day workshop. Proposals are to be submitted to sensualmethods@gmail.com by 1 March 2018. Presenters will be notified by 15 March 2018. For more information, please contact Dagmar Lorenz-Meyer at d.lorenzmeyer@fhs.cuni.cz.