Welcome to the Methods Lab, Department of Sociology

Goldsmiths Sociology is committed to developing inventive ways of doing sociology. This new initiative aims at constructing a laboratory for the practice of sociological imagination. The aim is to make social research responsive to social life, to bring it alive. As C. Wright Mills alludes above ideas are often elusive and they don't announce their arrival in advance. This initiative hopes to build a laboratory to stimulate creative debate about the ways in which the practice of sociology is changing, what social research should look like today, and how sociology can best respond to the demands of users of social research.

About the Methods Lab
The danger that every researcher faces is that the process of analysis and investigation can inadvertently execute that which is vibrant in his or her object. Here the sociologist becomes like a coroner who presides over social life as if it is a lifeless corpse fit only for autopsy. We are arguing for a vital sociology that both connects to the social world, yet at the same time aspires to forms of sociological representation that are in themselves alive. This is the challenge of putting images and facts together, a compound of imagination and craft that will contribute to the development of social theory while opening out to an engagement with society at large.

The Lab is intended to provide a space for us to question and develop our own methods of sociological reasoning, to be open to the possibilities of practicing a sociological imagination in a world in which the fundamental co-ordinates of social life are held to be undergoing change. [Find out more...]

We Can’t Be There. Emergency Provisions For (Un)Anticipated Futures

24th January 2015, 1-3pm, Cinema 1, ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

Accompanying image

Event 1: Mikhail Karikis + panel discussion


London-based artist Mikhail Karikis will screen and discuss recent work with invited guests, Oreet Ashery (Art, Goldsmiths) and David Oswell (Sociology, Goldsmiths). 

Chair: Rebecca Coleman (Sociology, Goldsmiths). 

The first in a series of events featuring artist filmmakers in discussion with academics, writers, and cultural commentators about the approaches and methods they use to explore temporality, disasters and the politics of futurity. 

Mikhail Karikis’ work embraces a variety of media to create immersive audio-visual installations and performances, which emerge from his long-standing investigation of the voice as a sculptural material and a socio-political agent. His work has been exhibited widely, including at the 19th Biennale of Sydney, Danish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, and TATE Gallery. His sound works have been published world-wide solo, with Bjork, DJ Spooky and on Sub Rosa Records.

In 2014 his solo show on his project Children of the Unquiet, was exhibited at Villa Romano, Tuscany, Italy. The project involved Karikis working with children from this region to explore and take-over a deserted workers’ village that had been created as part of the first geothermal power station in the world. It consisted of seven pieces of work, including a film that will be screened and discussed at this event.

Oreet Ashery is an artist and academic concerned with the appearance of the Political in art, performances of western liberation and freedom, and the nature of events, situations and public platforms.  She is a Lecturer in Fine Art (Studio Practice) at Goldsmiths, and has been a Visiting Professor at the RCA, Honorary Research Fellow and an AHRC Creative Research Fellow at Queen Mary. In 2014 she is Fine Art Fellow at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University.

David Oswell is Professor of Sociology at Goldsmiths. His research focuses on the sociology of childhood, science and technology, cultural studies and social theory. He has published widely on childhood, including on the relationship between infancy, politics and sound. His most recent book is The Agency of Children: From Family to Global Human Rights (2013: Cambridge University Press).

Rebecca Coleman is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths where she researches and teaches on visual and sensory sociology, temporality, the present and future, bodies and inventive research methods.  She convenes the MA in Visual Sociology.

Series conceived by curator Yasmina Reggad in collaboration with Dr Rebecca Coleman and Dr Michael Guggenheim (Sociology Department, Goldsmiths).

Supported by the European Research Fund ‘Organising Disaster. Civil Protection and the Population’ Starting Grant, and the Methods Lab, Sociology Department, Goldsmiths.

News & Events

Latest News

  • In her talk 'Reading the Colonial Archive' written for the MA Gender, Media + Culture students, at Goldsmiths, Lata Mani reflected on her research journeys, including the making of her classic article 'Cultural Theory, Colonial Texts: Reading Eye Witness Accounts of Widow Burning' and the subsequent book 'Contentious Traditions'. Download the transcript here

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Content last modified: 12 Jan 2015

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