Call for papers: Community and Creative Research. Developing Participatory Methodologies


Deadline: Papers must be submitted by August 15, 2017

Special issue editors: Lorena Sancho Querol and Claudia Carvalho (Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal) 

Cultural researchers across disciplines are increasingly investigating and experimenting with practice-led, creative and participatory methodologies and approaches. This academic rethinking of research practices could on the one hand be understood as a long-waited willingness to not only look at, but also engage socially with, what is researched. On the other hand it could be approached as a result of an increasing pressure on academic research to create more tangible/inclusive results and effects.

This special issue addresses the multiple ways in which community research practices and methodologies can positively influence active citizenship and nurture social transformation in both rural and urban areas (e.g. a neighbourhood), in specific cultural settings and in various types of institutions (e.g. cultural and media institutions, health institutions). But also the challenges raised by participatory-creative research in terms of their potential renegotiation of established notions of autonomous-critical research, academic quality, effect and ownership.

We invite empirical, theoretical and practical academic contributions from across disciplines that deal with community-engaged participatory processes. They can take into account the ethics, power structures, risks, potentials and impacts of community-engaged cultural research, but also how these practices and methodologies enable other kinds of involvement and knowledge (such as inter-knowledge, collaborative knowledge and experiential knowledge) and motivate new modes of reflection and innovative relations between researcher and researched.

Topics may include, but need not be confined to, the following:

  • Transformational potentials of community research
  • Creative research methodologies
  • Ethics and power in community research
  • Material participation
  • Engaging non-human actants in participatory research
  • When is a methodology ‘participatory’?
  • Developing participatory methodological setups
  • Evaluation of participatory community research
  • Participatory research in cultural and media institutions
  • Critical approaches to participatory research