Anthropological Limericks

My Supervisor is great (yes she will possibly read this – no, I’m not just being smarmy / looking to get this PhD on charm alone) I genuinely enjoy our sessions once a month or so, looking at what I have done so far, thinking about what I can do next. Her bringing literature recommendations and thoughts about the structural impacts on my topics, me bringing my bright-eyed, bushy-tailed idealism and dreams of ‘far out’ experimental methods, and tiny seedling thoughts planted collectively by the people I have read. Sometimes with new cross-pollinations, although I think at this stage they will appear slightly more like the kind of experiment you’d palm off on your mum than something you’d put forward to exhibit in the ‘best-in-show’ category of a flower competition (also referred to as a Viva -!) but – this will come.

In recent news, I got the feedback for my assessments for last term’s modules, Research Design and Practice (RDP) and Research Philosophy (RP). But I was more than pleasantly surprised by the grade I received for the research proposal we had to write for RDP – I somehow wangled an 84 which is the highest mark I’ve ever got for anything, and although it struck me as perhaps a little over-excited I thought – “yeah ok, I’ll take that-!”. So the feedback from that – things to consider relating to methods, participants etc, combined with the latest supervision has given me some good solid ground to use as a springboard (aaaah, fond memories of gym classes as a kid…) to jump into my next literature review from.

The next literature review will be an exploration of literature that has looked at ethnicity, heritage, identity and place. I will wind within and between these four TINY concepts, in an attempt to understand the context my own work will come from, and allow me to identify arguments, both recurrent and new, as well as plotting opposing ideas, tracing how debates in these areas may have changed over time, as people have moved around more, requiring new understandings or what it means to BELONG; what the relationship is between heritage and place and what mobilisation of people means for identity and belonging.

Current books I have borrowed from the library include:

  • The Politics of Heritage; the legacies of ‘race’ – Littler and Naidoo
  • ‘Heritage, Place and Community – Bella Dicks 
  • ‘A Place in the World?: Places, cultures and globalisation’ Doreen Massey 
  • ‘Pluralising Pasts: Heritage, identity and place in multicultural societies’ Gregory John Ashworth , Brian Graham and J.E. Tunbridge
  • ‘Senses of Place’ Feld and Basso

– Just to give you a taste of where my bookshelf/brain is at just now…

A mind-map is long overdue too…my whiteboard shouldn’t be so naked…

– Also, it’s part of my plan to scatter my thesis with limericks-! I wrote a limerick to introduce each section of my Research Philosophy essay (which, yes, I got a fairly poor mark for but I am convinced that this is not because of my bangin’ limericks, but rather due to a fairly ill-researched piece of writing with underdeveloped ideas….). I feel like the limericks are the basil/salt/cheese/garnish of your choice for what I’m hoping will be a reasonably tasty meal of a thesis. I hope they will serve to add that extra something that makes eating/reading the beast when its all done that bit more engaging…

I’m going to this conference in Bristol in March:

Writing Organisation: Disruption and Difference: a symposium organised by Nancy Harding, Mary Phillips and Alison Pullen

To be held on APRIL 2ND 2015, 9.30 am – 5.00pm at the University of Bristol

The aim of this series of one-day symposiums is to promote and provoke experimental forms of representation that challenge and reach beyond the constricting norms of social science research, reinforced by the requirements of many academic journals. This event builds on the highly successful meeting held at the University of Bradford in 2014  (!!!) which brought together scholars engaged with writing organization/s differently. We explored whether and how scholars can productively and creatively engage with writing that problematises the inter-relations between gendered, sexed, raced and classed bodies normally constrained by writing rules and genres.

This workshop will focus on the practice of producing writing to address the ethical imperative to account for difference in academic representation and as a form of activism and engagement with non-academic audiences. We will explore writing research as a fictionalized account, the ways in which embodied and poetic writing can induce us to re-think our connections to the world, and look at writers whose work can help us towards new ways of acting and writing ethically from the body and from the everyday. We will go on to experiment and play with our own writing and to think how we might further develop these exciting approaches within Management and Organization Studies.

The workshop is free of charge and refreshments will be provided

Which I’m pretty damn excited about – being surrounded by people are considering new ways of representing / researching in more experimental ways sounds like a pretty good way to spend I day, I think and I hope to continue my thinking about the methods I may use in my own research as a result of going to this conference. (BOOK if you’re interested!)

So by way of tantalising your eyebuds, I will introduce each blog post with a limerick, some more relevant than others. Because at least if the academic world isn’t ready (“these are nice but not very good philosophy” I believe was the comment I received…), I’m sure someone will (she said, hopefully). So I will sign off with one about Franz Boas, an interesting chap I want to read more about:

There once was a fellow called Boas, 

who thought conversation should flow as, 

conversations unfold

many stories are told

and its blurred who are known and who knowers.


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