Time Session
9.30-10.00 Coffee/tea and arrivals
10.00-10.15 Intro to the day
10.15-10.50 Louisa Penfoldpresentation & discussion of partnerships in research
10.50-11.00 Break
11.00-12.00 Bobby Beaumont presentation & discussion of researcher subjectivities
12.00-12.30 Lunch
12.30-1.00 CRACL Planning: discussion of activities and opportunities over the next 12 months
1.00-2.00 Frances Howard presentation & discussion of research dissemination
2.00-2.45 Breakout Sessions 1:

–       Portraiture as method (Brittany Wright)

–       Ethnography and uncertainty (Cassie Kill)

2.45-3.00 Break
3.00-3.45 Breakout Session 2:

–       Troubles of interdisciplinary discourses (Julia Molinari)

–       Decolonisation? (Jane Trowell)

3.45-4.00 Closing comments/feedback


FEBRUARY 7: Special Professor Paul Collard workshop with PGCE Primary.


Public lectures

“Teachers are despised in this country”: teachers’ work and teachers’ status since the 1960s
05 June 2017 (16:30-18:30)
A32, Dearing Building, Jubilee Campus

Postgrad seminars run every month. Frances Howard coordinates the programme.

14th December 2016: Leonardo Barichello – ‘Free’ software and coding of images

Leo will talk about what free (open, libre) software is and why researchers should know about it. He will then give a demonstration of OpenQDA, a programme he is developing in order to organize and code visual images from his research.

In this practical session, there will also be opportunity for the group to upload, organize and code their own images and to discuss the implications of archiving visual material from their studies and features that could be useful for the group.

25th January 2017: Rebecca Parry – Visions of Dystopia or Civic Engagement?: Reading Films Made by Young People.

Youth filmmaking has been criticised for presenting itself as a panacea or (to paraphrase) ‘giving voice to disenfranchised youth’. The rhetorical claims made about filmmaking with young people can be problematic (Blum-Ross, 2012), but as helpful as this acknowledgement is, it should not detract us from further study of film production by young people. It remains important to understand young people’s film-making practices on and offline, at home, school and in informal spaces.

This presentation introduces ‘Media Fish,’ a model of participation which involves young people in curating a festival and watching, discussing and making films. Parry focuses on one young filmmaker who has been a member of ‘Media Fish’ for ten years. She will examine the impact of this lengthy participation and focus on the way in which it has led to the creation of a feature length film. She invites discussion about the different ways in which this film can be understood as literate, agentic and civic or as a bricolage of popular media (Carrington, 2012a), representing unsettled youth (Carrington, 2012b) – or indeed both. In doing so, Parry will reflect on the pedagogic space created by ‘Media Fish’ and what we can learn from this when devising film production activity with young people.

22nd February 2017: Roma Patel – The Runaway Hare

Roma Patel will give a talk about her participatory and interactive theatre performance for young children. The Runaway Hare is a hide and seek adventure performance for toddlers and their grown-ups. The audience is invited to become part of the story and join the performer in a curious, playful and sensory journey through a digitally enchanted performance. The show is presented in collaboration with the Lakeside Arts Centre and has been developed and designed by the Theatre Designer Roma Patel, as part of her PhD research at the University of Nottingham, Horizon Digital Economy Research and Mixed Reality Lab. Her research is focused on the design of visual, sensory and interactive digitally enhanced performance spaces to harnesses young audiences innate playful nature.

Roma will share some of the footage gathered from the workshops and the physical objects that children responded to, as well as discussing some early findings from this data.

22nd March 2017: Practical session – Academic Posters

Posters are widely used in the academic community, and most conferences include poster presentations. Research posters summarize information or research concisely and attractively to help publicize it and generate discussion. This is a practical session to

help you design your poster. We will start by looking at other posters created by CRACL colleagues and discussing these. We will then use some web-based resources to help us design a research poster, such as infographics and text effects.

Wednesday 17th May: Advanced image elicitation methods – Large-scale image analysis: Phototrails and Selfiecity.

 Recently Frances took part in Gillian Rose’s module on advanced image elicitation methods, and would like to share some examples given of large-scale image analysis and two websites in particular:

They are both projects from Lev Manovich and the Software Studies Initiative – as digital humanities research. He is working with very large sets of images and sharing their methods and results. There are a number of software packages available commercially that will trawl through online platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook and analyse the huge number of images that they find there, looking for specific configurations of colour and shape. These projects/websites in particular look for patterns and trends.

Sharing some of what was covered in the module, this session will invite discussion around the following:

1.What does ‘elicitation’ mean in the context of thousands of images? What form does it take?

2.What are the qualities of large visual data-sets that an analytical method should attempt to describe? Why?

3.Which visualisations from the Phototrails and SelfieCity projects do you like and why? 

Monday, 12th June : Field, Capital and Habitus: Using Bourdieu to frame research into the arts.

Chaired by Pat Thomson, this informal seminar will have contributions from three CRACL Members who have utilized Bourdieu as a theoretical framework for their research. Nicky Sim talks about the notion of field in relation to ‘the arts’ and ‘youth’ in the context of the Circuit programme; Frances Howard explores the Arts Award as cultural capital as inspired by Bourdieu in combination with Paul Willis’ counter-cultural approach; Becky Coles talks about her notion of ‘precariat habitus’ in relation to her work on longitudinal tracking of young people seeking arts careers.

Following these introductions into differing uses of Bourdieu to research arts projects/programmes with young people, an open discussion will follow around the uses and challenges of using Bourdieu to research the arts, drawing on commonalities and differences of these approaches and considering whether there can be a ‘Nottingham School’ approach to Bourdieu.

Monday 17th July: Children’s Cinema in India: Construction and Reconstruction of Childhood through Narratives

Visiting Scholar – Sonia Ghalian from the Manipal Centre for Philosophy and Humanities , India who won a Charles Wallace / British Council scholarship to visit CRACL in the SoE.

2015-2016 academic year programme

Education in Britain: how did it come to be like this?

Ken Jones, NUT, Special Professor in CRACL

Tuesday 28th June 2016 (17:00-18:30) LocationA32, Dearing Building, Jubilee Campus


We currently have a postgrad seminar on the last Wednesday of every month in the 2015-2016 academic year. This is coordinated by Frances Howard and Louisa Penfold.

Next seminar:

Wednesday 15th June 2016 from 12pm to 1pm in Dearing Room B37.

In this session Nicky Sim will discuss her PhD research, investigating partnership working between galleries and youth organisations. Nicky’s PhD is a Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with Tate, and the setting for her ethnographic fieldwork is a Tate-led national programme called Circuit, which aims to connect 15-25 year olds to the arts through working together with the youth and cultural sector.

In this talk, Nicky will cover some of the key arguments in her thesis, using a spatial lens to discuss relational tensions between the arts and youth sectors; programmatic efforts to create new models of partnership, and implications for practice.

Read more about Circuit here:


Academic Writing  with Julia Molinari on Wednesday 18th May 2016, 1pm to 3pm in Dearing Room B33.

Julia Molinari will report on her current PhD research into what makes academic writing ‘academic’.

Thursday 12th May 2016, (1730 – 1900) Location A 32, Dearing Building, Jubilee Campus

Designing innovative learning spaces

Jill Blackmore, Deakin University and Special Professor in CRACL

Wednesday 20th April 2016 from 12pm to 2.00pm in Dearing Room B73. Prof. Christine Hall will be presenting on research conducted as part of the Dolly Parton Project.
The session will feature a case study of the philanthropic literacy initiative, the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book-gifting scheme for under 5’s. The research considers the impact of the scheme on literacy policy in the city where it was introduced. Four theoretical lenses will be drawn upon to help make sense of the current pressures on educational policy making in English cities, as city officials struggle to manage competing political agendas, to initiate reforms in situations where they have significant responsibilities but reduced power, and to maintain the distinctiveness of the places they represent. Attached is a journal article which can be read in preparation for the session.

Wednesday 16th March 2016, 12pm to 1.30pm in Dearing Room B73.

During the session we will have two presentations from Olga Karaiosif and Tilda Stickley. Olga and Tilda are CRACL researchers working with young people to explore issues of identity, personhood and expression through play and drama in Nottinghamshire classrooms. In this session they will be sharing and discussing some of the challenges, both theoretical and practical, that have emerged throughout the doctoral study period thus far. This includes the dilemma of the ‘schizophrenic’ ethnographer/practitioner, dealing with both unruly data and unruly participants*, technical issues and the quest for a solid theoretical framework. In the session there will be practical opportunities to reflect upon your own practice and share how you deal with the challenges that research throws at you.
*And the ethical implications of calling your participants ‘unruly’.

No postgraduate seminar in February. Instead the public lecture by Paul Collard February 12. – Creative Learning – should England be ashamed of itself? 

Wednesday 20th January 2016, 12- 2pm, Dearing B46. Early years arts engagement

Louisa Penfold: Children, play and art galleries
In this presentation Louisa will discuss the theories and practices informing her doctoral research, focusing upon the value of play in the design of leaning environments for young children in galleries. Case studies will be drawn upon from Louisa’s previous work as a curator of children’s exhibitions in Australian art museums.

Roma Patel: CRAFTING TOUCH: The integration of wearable technology and smart materials into theatre for young audiences
In this talk, Roma will present some of the finding of a recent study undertaken with children and performers at the Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham. Her interdisciplinary doctoral research examines the capabilities and limitation that current digital technologies, such as, wearables and smart materials have on enhancing live audience’s participation and interactivity with scenography and costumes for early years theatre.

Wednesday 16th December: Cultural mapping. Becky Coles and Pat Thomson

Mapping is an increasingly popular practice in arts and cultural policy-making. Cultural mapping promises a comprehensive survey; once we know what exists we can assess “hot and cold” spots, allocate resources differently, and thus ensure more equitable provision. This presentation draws on geographical and contemporary art approaches to maps to query both the assumptions underpinning this approach to cultural mapping, and also its practicality. We present two case studies of cultural mapping undertaken in one regional English city. We show that those who commissioned the mapping were provider led. They assumed an ordinance map imaginary of a static city and homogeneities within postcodes, schools and cultural organisations. The commissioners of these two maps were also profoundly over-optimistic about the kinds of data available to organisations and the time they had available for responding to requests for information. We argue that this approach to cultural mapping fails to acknowledge contemporary understandings of maps as discursive objects. We speculate about other approaches to mapping that might be used such as maps of vernacular cultural practices and non-realist and psychogeographic maps of cultural experiences.

Wednesday 18th November – Finishing your PhD: Lexi Earl.

A session for CRACL postgraduate researchers with advice on how to tackle the mid to later stages of the PhD: dealing with (ridiculous amounts of) data, surviving the first draft comments and preparing for the viva. Lexi will also talk about the importance of exercise and social activities and blogging as a means of developing and playing with voice.

Weds 7th October 2015 – Using Film in Research

Host: Anton Franks, University of Nottingham, Speakers: Tracey McCoy, Frances Howard, Olga Karaiosif, Tilda Stickley

An event for just for CRACL researchers who are drawing on video data as part of their research. A time to present a short extract of video and how it fits into their project and to discuss with the group. Key questions / reflections: What to do following film data gathering? Editing – for what, who? Presence of the camera shapes action, interaction, reaction. The camera as player? The role of the subjects – what kind of meanings are being made? Can video ever be a neutral observer? The difficulty of interpretation – what do we have? And, what more do we need to know?

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