Research with Reach held an inaugural conference at King’s College London, on the 16th May 2014. The conference brought together professionals in academia and publishing, as well as postgraduates at King’s, to discuss the key questions surrounding an engaging research practice and how to develop it.
The conference drew on the experiences and expertise brought by our speakers, who represented a wide spectrum of positions in the field, and of the various disciplines with the arts and humanities. As well as exploring practical recommendations and tips, we also explored the implications of ‘research with reach’ in several animated discussions.
Information about the panels and speakers can be found below. The most significant conversations and practical recommendations that emerged from the conference are detailed on the Learn and Train page.
Speakers: Jules Evans, winner of the BBC / AHRC New Generation Thinkers competition; Dr Catherine Wheatley, Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London; Paolo Gerbaudo, Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London.
The panel brought together writers from across the arts and humanities already working successfully within public platforms, and explored writing from within a research practice that prima facie reaches beyond the academe. Speakers focussed on practical advice for emerging researchers on developing an engaging and lively research output.
Speakers: Peter Florence MBE, founder of Hay Festival; Roderick Conway Morris, arts writer at the New York Times, the Times Literary Supplement and The Spectator; Alan Read, Professor of Theatre at King’s College London and Director of the Performance Foundation.
Formed of professionals from the cultural sector, the panel explored platforms which facilitate sustainable research output, and looked at ways of breaking into (paid) writing opportunities within existing quality publications and festivals.
Speakers: Nick Bradshaw, Web Editor at Sight & Sound; Dr Kieran Fenby-Hulse, Twitter expert and Researcher Development Officer at Bath Spa; Lynne Meehan, Library Liaison Manager and Open Access expert at King’s College London.
This panel looked specifically at ways to harness the digital sphere in building a public presence and generating an engaged readership. It addressed the use of Open Access, online social media, and the particularities of writing for web publications, blogs and other outlets.
Facilitated by The Institute of Critical Practice, with Diana Damian, performance critic, and Dr Seb Franklin, Lecturer in Contemporary Literature and digital humanities at King’s College London.
A critical, playful and self-reflexive approach, this section nuanced earlier discussions through questions of research ethics and politics, the problematics of the digital infrastructure and the critical parameters of a research space beyond academia. It took the form of a workshop comprising independent “Deparments”, or working groups, followed by a central discussion.
Jules Evans is policy director at the Centre for the History of Emotions at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations, which was a Times Book of the Year in 2013 and has come out in 19 countries. He blogs at www.philosophyforlife.org and speaks and writes on various media including Radio 3 and 4, The Times, Prospect and the Spectator. He is interested in taking philosophy beyond academia.
Dr. Catherine Wheatley is a Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London. She is the author of two books on the Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke as well as two books on the Anglo-French film relations. Catherine is a regular contributor to the magazine Sight & Sound. She has made several appearances on BBC radio, reviewing films for segments such as The Film Programme and The Strand, and discussing topical film matters on The Today Programme. She is a member of the editorial board of Film-Philosophy.
Dr. Paolo Gerbaudo is lecturer in Digital Culture and Society at King’s College London. His current research focuses on the use of new media and social media by social movements and emerging digital parties. He is the author of Tweets and the Streets (2012), a book analysing social media activism in the popular protest wave of 2011, from the Arab Spring, to the indignados and Occupy Wall Street. He is currently writing a book about the culture of the movements of the squares, from the indignados and Occupy, to the 2013 protests in Turkey and Brazil.
Peter Florence MBE is the Director of the Hay Festivals group, running cultural celebrations in 10 countries each year from Colombia to Bangladesh. He has edited three books that have made over £2M for Oxfam – OxTales, OxTravels and OxCrimes. He holds honorary doctorates from the Open University and the University of Glamorgan, and is a Fellow of Cardiff University, Bangor University, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Hereford Art College, The Japan Foundation and the British America Project.
Prof. Alan Read is Professor of Theatre at King’s College London, and Director of the Performance Foundation, which is responsible for the development of the Anatomy Theatre and Museum on the Strand and the Inigo Rooms in Somerset House. He was previously Director of Talks at the ICA and of the Rotherhithe Theatre Workshop, and is author of Theatre in the Expanded Field: Seven Approaches to Performance (2013), Theatre & Everyday Life: An Ethics of Performance (Routledge: 1993/1995) and Theatre, Intimacy & Engagement: The Last Human Venue (Palgrave: 2008/2009).
Roderick Conway Morris is a contributor to the New York Times, The Spectator and the Times Literary Supplement and has previously been a publisher’s editor, and a researcher and scriptwriter for BBC radio. In 2004 he was awarded a ‘Villa Veneta’ Gold Medal by the Istituto Regionale Ville Venete, ‘for his article on Vincenzo Scamozzi published in the International Herald Tribune, which showed that subjects that might appear specialized could be successfully presented to a wide international public’.
Dr. Kieran Fenby-Hulse is a Researcher Development Officer at Bath Spa University. He has a background in research policy and support, a PhD in Music from King’s College London, and a number of publications that examine the relationship between music and narrative. His research is thoroughly interdisciplinary in nature and combines ideas and methodologies taken in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Lynne Meehan is Library Liaison Manager (Research) at King’s College London. Lynne provides the strategic lead for research support across Library Services to ensure that the provision of space, services and collections is appropriate to the needs of researchers at King’s. Lynne’s interests include scholarly communication, especially Open Access, research evaluation, and researcher development. In her current role she is heavily involved in developing policy around Open Access as well as advocacy across the institution. She has worked in academic libraries for 16 years, directly working with researchers for the last 6 years.
Nick Bradshaw is Web Editor at Sight & Sound, the International Film Magazine published by the BFI. He previously worked as a film editor at Time Out London and plan b magazine, has written for the Guardian, Independent, Telegraph, Sunday Times, LA Weekly and Vertigo magazine, and is the co-author of two editions of The DVD Stack guidebook. He has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University and a MFA in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts.
Diana Damian Martin is a Lecturer in Performance Arts at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Visiting Lecturer at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is co-founder of Writingshop and of the Institute of Critical Practice, and as a performance critic has published for both print and online in the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and Romania.
Dr. Seb Franklin is a Lecturer in Contemporary Literature at King’s College London. His first monograph, titled Control: Digitality as Cultural Logic, is under contract with the MIT Press, and his writing on critical theory, literature, cybernetics, and media has appeared in CTheory, Cultural Politics, Textual Practice, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and World Picture.