Regular readers will know that we’re always grateful to our curators for the time and energy they give us. This is even more the case this week as Kieran’s helped us out of a tight spot as we weren’t able to contact our scheduled curator. And despite the tight timescales he’s written us a fabulous introductory post all about the grey margins of academia. We hope you enjoy this different take on the humanities and the conversations he’s got in store for us this week.
I often feel I sit somewhere at the margins of academia, a grey area that people don’t quite understand. But I quite like grey areas – as it provides a place in which you are afforded the opportunity to rethink, challenge, and critique knowledge paradigms, traditions, and orthodoxies.
As the Researcher Development Officer at Bath Spa University, I am primarily responsible for delivering and developing research development workshops and online training materials to support researchers that are predominately from the arts, humanities and social sciences. To support my researcher development role, I currently undertake research in two distinct areas. The first is concerned with the notion of creativity and how to best support and undertake practice-led research and creative research projects. The second explores notions of impact and the relationship between technology, cultural value, and audience with a particular focus on digital platforms. The diversity of people with which I work at Bath Spa enables me to think about my research from multiple perspectives. The constant challenge to think beyond my discipline means that I am able to make connections between and across disicplines. This then informs the way in which I not only think about my research but also the way I research, design, and deliver training sessions.
In a way, I feel that both my role and my research occupy academic grey areas. My research sits between disciplines and my role blurs the boundaries between professional service role and research positions. As this week’s curator of We The Humanties I hope to generate discussion on grey areas and spaces at the margins of academia. Through the day, I’ll try to give you a taste of what a researcher development officer with a predominantly arts and humanities focus does and how this relates to (and is underpinned by) my own research interests. By evening, I’ll talk more about my research, my current projects, and what I’m currently up to and the intersection (and tension) between humanities research and creative approaches to research.
My twitter account is @drkfenbyhulse and I blog at kieranfenbyhulse.com