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Methods Lab Annual Lecture (2017)

Methods Lab Annual Lecture

Wednesday 1st November

RHB 137a

4pm to 6pm, with drinks reception

This year's Methods Lab Annual Lecture brings together speakers from social activism, theatre and architecture to explore links between academic research and inventive, interdsiciplinary initiatives inside and outside of the academy. Speakers will reflect on how creative mis/use of methods and tools of the trade can challenge viewers, disrupt cultural discourse and open up new landscapes for critical discussion. The panel is chaired by the incoming Methods Lab Directors Kat Jungnickel and Beckie Coleman.

Sarah Ellis

Digital Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company who in collaboration with Intel and in association with The Imaginarium Studios produced a high-tech version of The Tempest
in which one of the characters was digitally animated on stage. 

James Turner 

Founder of Glimpse and is behind CATS - Citizen Advertising Takeover Service which used crowdsourced funding to replace all the advertising spaces in Clapham Tube station with images of cats.

Gemma John

Social anthropologist who researches and writes about behaviour in the built environment and has recently set up Human City, a spatial research, design strategy and innovation consultancy.

Please register a place by emailing or at Eventbrite


Digital Security / Anti-Surveillance Masterclass

Wednesday 18th October

Margaret McMillan Building (formerly EB) 109


Doing digital research requires researchers keep themselves, respondents and data safe. This is becoming increasingly critical and complicated. In collaboration with Tom Sanderson of the Centre for Investigative Journalism (CIJ), Methods Lab is hosting a bespoke digital security/anti-surveillance masterclass to teach (or refresh) Sociology students on how best to do online searches on topical subjects, encrypt sensitive communications and safely secure data.



Marketing Global Justice – How Justice became Marketable in the 1990s

Christine Schwöbel-Patel, Discussant: Kate Nash

Work In Progress Research Seminar, Unit For Global Justice

Friday 17 March 2017
RHB 141
4.00 – 6.00 PM

‘Monopolising’ justice, ‘branding’ international organisations, identifying ‘stakeholders’ for peace and security, and getting ‘returns on your investment’ has become common parlance in the global justice sector. Whether marketing terminology is used literally (what is the monetary value) or in a more metaphorical, loose understanding (what is the persuasive value), speaking in these terms about global justice is commonplace. This paper is part of a research project which analyses this terminology as indicative of a deeply rooted market rationale of global justice projects. I argue that the idea of individual criminal accountability has become the foremost understanding of global justice because it is the most competitive of propositions within the global justice sector; demonstrating how it is both a symptom of the neoliberal world in which we live as well as productive of it.

In this paper, I will explore the historical aspects of the marketing of global justice. The starting point is the intersection between the rise of branding as a marketing practice and the rise of individual criminal responsibility as a global justice project. My focus is on the 1990s as a time in which both branding and international criminal justice, although having histories predating it, came to new prominence.

Beyond Good and Bad practice: Collaboration, Creativity and the Value of Failure

Wednesday, 16 November 2016
RHB 304, Goldsmiths University of London

The terms ‘participation, collaboration and co-production are becoming ubiquitous. A range of actors in the higher educational sector are taking an increased interest in working with others. The notion of ‘working with others’ often entails entering into research or ‘advisory’ relationships with external organisations, working in partnership and collaboration with colleagues and departments form other institutions on scale which spans the a local to the global. Research partnerships between higher educational institutions and non-academic partners are increasingly favoured by funders. They are seen as fostering relationships between institutions, across disciplines, offering good value for money, knowledge exchange and public engagement. Simultaneously there has been a growing interest in social art practice, and ‘practice-based’ or ‘practice -led’ research. This reflects an interest in the potential of art practice to extend the possibilities of knowledge production, and articulating this in meaningful ways to diverse publics.

Although these relationships arise out of a desire to do things better by doing things together, in their realisation these arrangements , which require that we work closely with others, are filled with internal and external tensions, misunderstandings, differing expectations and unequal power relations. In the exchange between practice and education historical, institutional and social assumptions and traditions are exchanged and reproduced. The ‘success’ of collaborations relies on multiple factors, not least a commitment to conduct careful, ethical collaboration and dialogue.

Taking as its starting point the “ Nine Urban Biotopes, an international artist residency exchange, this seminar examines the challenges of collaborative practice at an individual and institutional level and the local and global politics of collaboration.

This seminar invites practitioners, /artists/researchers working collaboratively beyond the university to come together to share their reflections on ‘good practice’, failure and learning in regard to collaboration.

It asks:

What are the bad practices developing in collaboration, impact and public engagement initiatives?

What are the challenges of working with a foot inside and outside the university?

What are the benefits of collaboration and how are they distributed? Who benefits from collaboration and how?

How can the power relations of practice be interrogated?

How are the ‘rules’, ‘norms’, ‘habits’, ‘traditions’, and ‘terminology’ reproduced and exchanged.

Free, all welcome.


Border Stories: Nick Thorpe and Olumide Popoola in conversation

Wednesday, 16 November 2016
RHB 300a, Goldsmiths University of London

In this discussion Central Europe correspondent for the BBC, Nick Thorpe and writer and lecturer Olumide Popoola will talk about their respective work in Hungary (journalistic) and the Jungle Camp in Calais (fiction).

"Look at all these borders, foaming at the mouth with bodies 
broken and desperate" (Warsan Shire, 2011:25)

Discussions of immigration and immigration control, securitisation and illegality have become more pressing in recent years. According to the United Nations Population Fund, in 2015, 244 million people, or 3.3 per cent of the world's population, lived outside their country of origin, with increasing numbers of people being forcibly displaced as a result of conflict, violence and human rights violations (UNPF, 2016).

Harrowing scenes of what has become known as the Mediterranean ‘refugee’ or ‘migrant crisis’ play out in the media almost daily, as more people fleeing war, violence and poverty in Africa and the Middle East try to find safety in Europe. Sometimes, these lives have faded from our screens and pages as another spectacle has caught journalistic and public attention, but these dangerous journeys and the trauma and deaths — ‘bodies broken and desperate’ — that they entail continue. How to tell and do justice to the stories of these men, women and children?