Research theory and practice

As the world continues to evolve, so must our frameworks and practices of inquiry. The way that we practice research is inextricably connected to the knowledge we can produce; the knowledge we produce is inextricably connected to way we can understand and live in our world. To this end, I am committed to an ongoing development of research theory and practice that is responsive and accountable to the world in which we live.

Aanyu, K., Barrett, B., Catanzano, B., Checchia, V., Duclos, V., McLean, H., MmaB Modise, O., Perry, M., Robinson, J., Sharp, J., Strachan, Z., Todd, H., Zaman, S. (2020)

A Critical Resource for Ethical International Partnerships

DOI 10.17605/OSF.IO/DJTN4

About a year ago we (Mia Perry and Jo Sharp) sat together to brainstorm a way to collaborate across different ways of doing international development research, motivated with the contention that the approaches we encounter very often assume the worldview of the northern partners. Our experience shows that even work that is well-intentioned emerges from inequalities: due to the structures and infrastructures that supply our salaries and support our capacities, the different access to resources available to partners, and even the expectations of what each considered appropriate work for the project.

Rather than sit and moan or critique, and rather than concoct another project, we decided to explore and articulate some of the lessons and principles that we’d been fortunate enough to encounter about partnerships and collaborations over the past years with international colleagues.

The Critical Resource for Ethical International Partnerships is the result of a week-long workshop hosted by the Centre of Contemporary Arts in Glasgow, attended by colleagues from Uganda, Botswana, Italy, Malawi, Canada, Bangladesh, and Scotland.  Drawing on experiences of international, interdisciplinary and cross sector projects we explored the processes that had led us to the work, our expectations of project formation and conceptualisation, the day-to-day practicalities of the doing of the project, and the ways in which project outcomes were managed and prioritised.

What became paramount across our discussions was the importance of openness and reflexivity – to difference, to our own expectations and hopes, to the range and realities of contexts from which partners came to participate from. The Critical Resource seeks to offer some nudges, provocations, and guidance to those either well practiced or starting out with new partnerships, to help promote the importance of reflexivity and honesty with one another in the context of international development related research.

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Participatory Futures

Cluster

Participatory Futures is a GCRF “Challenge Cluster” project. The GCRF Challenge Cluster Grant programme asked us to identify new challenges through clustering current and previously funded GCRF research whilst also leveraging external expertise to accelerate impact, share knowledge, and build capability and capacity beyond GCRF.

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Medina, C., Perry, M. & Wohlwend, K. (Contracted)

Playful Methods: Difference, Imaginaries, and the Unexpected in Literacy Research.

Expanding Literacies in Education Series, Routledge.

Perry, M. & Medina, C. (Eds.) (2015)

Methodologies of Embodiment: Inscribing Bodies in Qualitative Research.

NY: Routledge

This volume is dedicated to exploring and exposing the challenges, the possibilities, and the processes of empirical work in embodiment. Grounded in qualitative inquiry in the humanities and social sciences, the chapters describe perspectives and contexts of embodied research, but focus on the methodologies, methods, and analytic frames taken up to grapple with this ever-more theorised aspect of qualitative inquiry. The authors drawn together in this volume share an investment in the ways in which the body inscribes and is inscribed within research that foregrounds the cultural, social, affective, and political discourses that are at the core of how bodies act and are acted upon.

 

Contents:

Foreword.  Kathleen Gallagher. 

  1. Introduction: Working Through the Contradictory Terrain of the Body in Qualitative Research  Mia Perry and Carmen Liliana Medina 
  2. Devising in the Rhizome: The “Sensational” Body in Research in Applied Arts  Mia Perry 
  3. Making the Body Visible Through Dramatic and Creative Play: Critical Literacy in Neighborhood Bridges  Candance Doerr-Stevens, Cynthia Lewis, Deb Ingram and Maria Asp  
  4. The Disenchantment of Western Performance Training and the Search for an Embodied Experience: Towards a Methodology of the Ineffable  Jane Turner 
  5. Becoming Attuned: Objects, Affects and Embodied Methodology  James Ash and Lesley Anne Gallacher 
  6. Embodied Multimodality Framework: Examining Language and Literacy Practices of English Language Learners in Drama Classrooms  Burcu Yaman Ntelioglou 
  7. Chicana/Latina Feminist Methodologies of Embodiment: Testimonios in the Young Adult Novel, Before We Were Free  Carol Brochin and Carmen Liliana Medina 
  8. Behind the Body-Filled Scenes: Methodologies at Work on the Body in Graphica  Stephanie Jones and James Woglom 
  9. Afterword: Troubles with Embodiment  Elizabeth Adams St. Pierre
Perry, M. (2019)

Coded to smithereens and danced to abstraction:  Forms of affect in the industry of research

In Eds. K.M. Leander and C. Ehret, Affect in literacy teaching and learning: Pedagogies, politics, and coming to know. New York: Routledge. pp. 190-206.

This chapter is based on three basic assumptions: Firstly, all research revolves around the researcher, until it reaches the reader. Secondly, what we can see, learn, and feel, is determined by the questions that frame and guide the intention or inquiry; what we know is predicted by the questions we are able to ask. Thirdly, the articulation of literacy research is a project, in part, of persuasion within the complex systems of academia and education. Putting these three premises to the forefront at once simplifies, bounds, and liberates the project, or industry, of research in the living moments and movements of literacy.

Beginning with a playful exploration of these premises, I position affect and movement in relation to the social, historical, and discursive forces always at play in research. I map the place of affect in the context of the research question, which leads me to the research context, which leads me to the institutional and the political context. I propose that there is no such thing as an innocent methodology, and that the life – the energy of the literacy practice-research interaction – is transformed into learning-research in alignment with the contexts surrounding it. This chapter challenges us to allow and account for the multiple and emerging layers of purpose and person present and alive in each piece of research, no matter how coded to smithereens or danced to abstraction it might be.

I invite readers to attend to the affects and the impulses caused by examples of certain types of research (that take up movement in various ways) and position these possible affects in relation to the wider systems in which they were created. Finally, in this chapter, I propose that with the vast scope already out there in terms of alternative, creative, affective methods of representation, what we seek, as researchers and educators, is not to re-insert movement where is wasn’t, or to express affect where it wasn’t, but rather, to instill in our readers and students the awareness of affect, and from here extend its possibilities of impact.

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Perry, M., Collier, D., & Moffatt, L. (2015)

Talking, Wrestling, and Recycling: An Investigation of Three Analytic Approaches to Qualitative Data.

Qualitative Research. 15 (3), pp. 389-404

This article is a product of qualitative analyses followed by a collaboration and conversation amongst critical friends. Three methodologies (social semiotic/sociocultural, ethnomethodology, and rhizomatic analysis) were used to analyze the same piece of interview data. An inquiry into the various characteristics, commonalities, and distinctions of these diverse approaches to analysis was then undertaken through extended conversations. Authors worked through the kinds of questions that could be asked and the answers that might be possible given particular theoretical and methodological stances and choices. Analysis of the ensuing inquiry suggests the possibility of deeper reflexivity and new understandings in talking across paradigms. Struggles over representation and compromises in the process created tensions and questions that could not be easily resolved.

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Medina, C. & Perry, M. (2013)

Texts, Affects, and Relations in Cultural Performance: An Embodied Analysis of Dramatic Inquiry.

In Eds. P. Albers, T. Holbrook, & A. Seely Flint, New Methods in Literacy Research. NY: Routledge. pp.115-132.

This chapter is based on three basic assumptions: Firstly, all research revolves around the researcher, until it reaches the reader. Secondly, what we can see, learn, and feel, is determined by the questions that frame and guide the intention or inquiry; what we know is predicted by the questions we are able to ask. Thirdly, the articulation of literacy research is a project, in part, of persuasion within the complex systems of academia and education. Putting these three premises to the forefront at once simplifies, bounds, and liberates the project, or industry, of research in the living moments and movements of literacy.

Beginning with a playful exploration of these premises, I position affect and movement in relation to the social, historical, and discursive forces always at play in research. I map the place of affect in the context of the research question, which leads me to the research context, which leads me to the institutional and the political context. I propose that there is no such thing as an innocent methodology, and that the life – the energy of the literacy practice-research interaction – is transformed into learning-research in alignment with the contexts surrounding it. This chapter challenges us to allow and account for the multiple and emerging layers of purpose and person present and alive in each piece of research, no matter how coded to smithereens or danced to abstraction it might be.

I invite readers to attend to the affects and the impulses caused by examples of certain types of research (that take up movement in various ways) and position these possible affects in relation to the wider systems in which they were created. Finally, in this chapter, I propose that with the vast scope already out there in terms of alternative, creative, affective methods of representation, what we seek, as researchers and educators, is not to re-insert movement where is wasn’t, or to express affect where it wasn’t, but rather, to instill in our readers and students the awareness of affect, and from here extend its possibilities of impact.

Perry, M., Collier, D., & Moffatt, L. (2015)

Talking, Wrestling, and Recycling: An Investigation of Three Analytic Approaches to Qualitative Data.

Qualitative Research. 15 (3), pp.389-404