Speculative Research Day & Book Launch

To celebrate the recent publication of Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures (Routledge, edited by Alex Wilkie, Martin Savransky, and Marsha Rosengarten), this event co-organised by The Unit of Play and the Centre for Invention and Social Process will bring many of the authors in the collection as well as other international scholars together for a day-long, experimental summer school. Throughout the day we will collectively explore the challenges and potentialities of speculative thought and practice through a series of hands-on experimental workshops, situated reflections, and roundtable discussions.

Research Students and ECRs from all disciplines are especially encouraged to attend. The event is free and everyone is welcome. Registration is required (due to limited capacity). Please register here.

Continue reading “Speculative Research Day & Book Launch”

Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures

Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures book cover. Cover image: Photograph © 2002 Jorge Dragón & Carlos Canal from the ‘el viaje’ section (the trip) of the work ‘Presunciones y apariencias: El coleccionista de miradas’ (Presumptions and appearances: The collector of gazes) – an album of retrieved and redetermined exposures originally rejected from a photography lm processing laboratory in Andalusia, Spain.

My new book Speculative Research (edited with Martin Savransky and Marsha Rosengarten) is out next month, published as part of the Routledge CRESC series.

Continue reading “Speculative Research: The Lure of Possible Futures”

Speculation in Social Science

Last Friday I participated in a conference session at the British Sociological Association entitled ‘Speculation in Social Science: Novel Methods for Re-Inventing Problems’. The session was organised by Marsha Rosengarten, Michael Halewood, Jennifer Gabrys, Martin Savransky and myself as part of the Unit of Play.

University of Leeds Roger Stevens Building, designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon
University of Leeds Roger Stevens Building, designed by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon.

Here’s the session blurb from the conference handbook: “In this panel members of a research cluster within the Unit of Play, Goldsmiths, will collectively discuss and develop approaches to speculative research and practice. Speculative approaches to research and practice are emerging across multiple fields as a way to develop not simply descriptive engagements with topics, but rather to make propositions that invent new possibilities for research and practice. Speculation may be considered a fitting response to a dynamic world that cannot be held, observed and acted upon without effect. Relatedly, its intention to engage with the dynamic and, hence, transformative nature of ‘things’, including the way in which distinctions between ‘things’ are situational, contingent and, therefore, always in process invites us to consider what we might seek in our research effect/s. In this session, we present some of the methodological premises for devising a mode of speculative research and, through reference to a series of empirical ‘problems’, offer a series of context specific illustrations of what novel methods – textual, visual, aural, digital – might do. In contrast to the usual order of selecting methods, it is their prospective doing that will be discussed as the guide to their design. Our key concern will be to address the question: What might a speculative research approach offer to the re-inventing of otherwise seemingly near intractable ‘problems’?”

Continue reading “Speculation in Social Science”