From ABER to research-creation: Propositions for walking-writing

Sarah Truman, Visiting Research Fellow at ESRI, and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, led this session, in which we began by considering the genealogies of arts-based educational research (ABER). The origins of the movement in social sciences has created various challenges and crises for arts-based educational research, which, Sarah argues, always operates in dialogue with the representationalism and proceduralism of traditional qualitative research.

Sarah’s work is grounded in research-creation, which has a different starting point from arts-based research. Coming from the work Brian Massumi and Erin Manning at SenseLab in Canada, and WalkingLab, an international hub of walking scholars (which Sarah co-directs with Stephanie Springgay) research-creation works at an intersection of art, philosophy, activism, and research.

To explore what research-creation might look like in practice, the group took a propositional walk (see image above). Walking-with, and thinking-with both human and nonhuman participants, inventing enabling constraints and seeing what kinds of concerns emerge from these activities, are starting points for a research-creation practice.

Springgay and Truman’s propositions for research-creation are as follows:

  1. Speculate
  2. Find yourself in a speculative middle
  3. Create problems
  4. Think-in-Movement
  5. Event (in)tensions
  6. More-than-represent

You can read more about this work in the following paper:

Springgay, S. and Truman, S. (2017). On the need for methods beyond proceduralism: Speculative middles, (in)tensions, and response-ability in research. Qualitative Inquiry.



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