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Conferences are like buses

You wait a while then two come along at once. But seriously, I’ve been lucky enough to have had papers accepted at two conferences this week. On May 13 I presented the early findings from my pilot research carried out in March at the Autoethnography: Learning from Stories conference at the University of Brighton. The event, organised by Jess Moriarty and C21: Centre for 21st Century Writings was a warm welcome into the world of academic conferences. Tomorrow I am delivering a paper at the Solent 2015 Research and Innovation Conference.

Here is the deck of slides with notes that I presented in Brighton:

Exploring contemporary advertising practice through autoethnography

And here is the deck presented at Solent:


Day 1 Residential 1 Year 2

Embarking on year two of the EdD Creative & Media programme at CEMP. Opportunity to participate in a beach research project in teams. Very quickly I volunteered to use a visual approach and I could perhaps have been more open to research methods I hadn’t tried before. The team were generous and facilitated my preference. The weather was inclement but the team persevered and I did wonder whether cyclin the length of Bournemouth sea front taking photos with my increasingly soggy iPhone had been sensible. It did, however provide some data which can now be used to elicit responses and at least provides a basis for some quantitative research on numbers of people using the beach (also promenade and sea) 1.30-3.00 on 9 October. The broader question was ‘What brings you to the beach today?’, and the images address that question. Wes was alas recording images in a fixed point and other methods included observation and interview. If you leaf through the images you will see people surfing, learning to surf, working, dog walking, sheltering. You will not see people eating ice creams (as was much anticipated in planning while the sun shone). Nor will you notice (probably) the end of some sleeping bags of those making part of Boscombe Peer their home on quite a bleak day.

Heres is a link to the 33 images: Beach Research

In the afternoon I had the opportunity to present my EdD research to a mini conference. Just the process of assembling a 10-minute overview was useful in reflecting on the year. I was also able to develop some new connections through some of the excellent sessions during the day.

Here is a link to my presentation: T R Berry

Finally, as I left the group to travel home on the train I read through a paper on qualitative interviews which I used to outline my pilot study and in many ways this facilitated some clarity of thought about the research as a whole and the relationship to my practice. For the first time, and thanks to the presentation just before the conference, I began to consider curriculum design as an artefact of practice and the research both emerging from the narrative about that process, but also informing the design of the artefact.

Challenging terrain

In reading some of the pages leading up to and including the conclusion of Hall et al I was drawn to the references to field, practice, discourse and their interrelation (which I suppose in itself reproduces the subject of the collaborative writing). So far I have been considering a field of practice as a distinctive and self-contained entity (see that I have automatically linked field to practice which in itself supports the more sophisticated approach of the paper), whereas the authors suggest that as well as being constructed through theory and work (either a research field such as ethnography or a subject field such as media studies), concepts of language, subjectivity and discourse might be considered fields. They go on to take this further in considering fields of effects and relations. What I draw from this is that rather than mapping a field one might be mapping a range of inter-connected fields relating to research approaches, the subject, discourse and language each with their own relations and effects.

Hall, S. et al. (1980) Culture, Media and Language: working papers in cultural studies. London, Unwin Hyman.