“Mini publics”- practice and research

I attended a seminar today at UWS about academic blogging, which is something I have left alone for a while but always intended to get back to (this is what not to do, for I think blogging is often best as a regular and scheduled activity).  I thought I would “revive” my blog here as a little reflection on today’s seminar and as a way of pressing play on this blog again.

The seminar was organised by UWS Centre for Social Science and Creativity (CSSC) and invited speakers were Pat Thomson,  Paul Cairney and  Jane Tinkler  who all provided inspirational presentations about their own practice and their thoughts on the role(s) of blogging in academic life.  If you follow the hashtag #uwsblogging  you can get a feel of the discussions, it was even trending in Glasgow for a while!

I was particularly taken by the term “mini publics” used by Pat Thomson as it made me think about all the projects I have been involved in recently and in the past, and what those audiences were.  For some of the projects like Digital Commonwealth  blogging was integrated within these practices and was an intended teaching and learning outcome, I’ve tinkered with collective blogging based around training sessions and seminars  but for others the work was documented as part of an institutional publication  or went unblogged as it was part of everyday work in a particular role. I have also been employed specifically to blog, as I was the IHBC newsblog consultant   for several years and wrote about the work of that organisation and current heritage and cultural issues.

The visibility of researcher work discussed by Jane Tinkler was fascinating.  I am only a “Phd-er” (again, Jane’s term, not one I had heard before but very relevant to my own academic identity; am I currently “invisible”, “solidly middle”, or an “influential-communicator”? ) What do I want to be as a practitioner-researcher? (another term I have only just learned, which seems very relevant to my own approach (comes from Little et al, 2013).  I’ve only just completed my PhD transfer event, so these issues are very fresh in my mind.

I am a visual thinker.. but I also love writing, I think today’s session has given me a kickstart back to posting on here again.. here is my short visual summary of the session.  My featured post image is space for contemplation, for this is what the session gave me!


Little, S., Robson, J., Lesage, D., Arlander, A., Baxter, V. and Riley, S. R. (2013) Practice as Research in the Arts. [Online]. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9781137282910


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