Geographer-artists: creative practice as research tool?

Consider yourself a geographer-artist?

If so then you may be interested in submitting an abstract for the following session – ‘Geographer-artists: creative practice as research tool? – being organized by Dr Harriet Hawkins (University of Bristol) and Dr Phil Jones (University of Birmingham) at the 2011 Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual conference being held in Seattle:

The aim of this session is to explore the use of creative practice as geographical research method, critically engaging with the entwining of research and creative sensibilities. Artist-in-residence schemes and other, less formal, collaborations, have established the idea of scholars working alongside (and sometimes as) artists and other creative practitioners. While the outputs of these richly varied creative practices are increasingly visible through exhibitions, websites, performances, and academic papers, critical engagements with the practice, form, content, conduct and judgement of these hybrid projects are few and far between. This contrasts with other disciplines where there is more mature debate, for example, the use of documentary photography and visual culture by anthropologists and sociologists, and the ongoing debates around the relationship between literary studies and creative writing practices.

Considering creative practices as geographical research method involves both questions of production and consumption. In this session we are keen to reflect on the practice of geographer-artist projects, their varied audiences and the politics involved in their knowledge production.  Issues to be explored include:

  • the disciplinary, institutional, political and epistemic conditions that allow, enable, or are reconfigured through these creative practices
  • the impact of creative practices on doing research
  • whether we need a reworked set of criteria through which to critique these critical-creative research practices
  • the challenges of and limitations to thinking and practicing in this way, including questioning what counts as research
  • the impacts of these practices both within the academy and upon wider society

We invite papers and other forms of presentation that engage with elements of the production, consumption and circulation of creative practices, themes for the session include, but are not limited to:

  • The methods and practices and experiences of creative geographies:
  • The settings for these intersections of art and geography, their production, consumption, audiences and impacts
  • The challenges of critical creative practices

Send abstracts or an outline of work to be performed/exhibited to Harriet Hawkins (h.hawkins@bristol.ac.uk ) or Phil Jones (p.i.jones@bham.ac.uk) by 8 October 2010.

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