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Mark Westmoreland and Francesco Ragazzi receive a Seed Grant

Dr. Mark Westmoreland (Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology) and Dr. Francesco Ragazzi (Institute of Political Science) have been awarded a Seed grant for their project, ‘Other “ways of knowing”: should we prepare for a post-textual turn in the social sciences?’. The grant amounts to €3.000,-.

Broadening the repertoires of scholarship in the social sciences

With the increased accessibility of digital tools, academics are more than ever exploring opportunities for conducting, analysing, and sharing their research through audiovisual technologies. Both anthropologists, through visual and multimodal ethnography, and artists, through practice-based research, have long been at the forefront of initiatives to broaden the repertoires of scholarship, however, efforts within other disciplines, namely in the social sciences, have remained rather disparate and idiosyncratic.

While the digitally-mediated experience of the world has become increasingly an object of study, social scientists by-in-large have neither embraced audiovisual tools in their methods of analysis nor in their formats of dissemination, thus precluding possibilities for conceptualizing research through modes of practice. By privileging the production of propositional knowledge supported by text-based methods rather than presentational knowledge through other means, social scientists have missed opportunities to activate our thinking through other sensorial channels, such as sound and vision, which connect to rationality but also emotional intelligence and embodied knowledge. Furthermore, by remaining beholden to textual modes of dissemination, social scientists have largely consigned their work to the echo chambers of the Ivory Tower, thus missing opportunities for greater public impact and the democratization of knowledge production. Despite these limitations, we have witnessed a growing interest among social scientists to expand their methodological practices, explore broader epistemological frameworks, and extend the reach of their academic expertise.

In recognition of this apparent “post-textual” turn, we will host a workshop with scholars and practitioners who conduct research through varying mediating practices in order to: (1) take stock of the existing initiatives that exist around the various disciplines of the social sciences, (2) map the current challenges and issues related to practice-based methods, and (3) reflect together on the possibilities of solidifying relations across disciplines, universities, and regions of the world. We believe this would be a key strategy for integrating practice-based and multimodal approaches into a broad spectrum of research initiatives and enable Leiden University to take a leading role in shaping the post-textual scholarship of the future.

For more information please contact: 

Dr. Mark Westmoreland (m.r.westmoreland@fsw.leidenuniv.nl)

Dr. Francesco Ragazzi (f.ragazzi@fsw.leidenuniv.nl)

Image credit: Mark Westmoreland | Broken Ground, 2018

Global interactions

Further information about the Global Interactions programme and its Seed funding opportunities can be found here:

› Research focus area Global Interactions

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