The Artist Researcher in Performance: Situating Artistic Enquiry in Research Design
Symposium on Practice as Research in the Performing Arts
June 6-7 2018
University of Bedfordshire, Bedford Campus

Keynote presenters:
Professor Vida Midgelow, Professor Yvon Bonenfant, Dr Ben Spatz


It has been over a decade since the completion of the Practice as Research in Performance project (PARIP, 2001-2006) at the University of Bristol, which served to validate approaches to the situation of practice within doctoral degrees in the United Kingdom. Practice as research has gained increasing validity as a mode of research in the academy for professional artists, PhD and PGR students, as well as PGT and undergraduate students. Initial modes of inquiry for the field were proposed by Robin Nelson, Angela Piccini, Barbara Barrett and Estelle Bolt and Susan Melrose, each of whom have contributed to artists and academics being able to develop more robust approaches to their practice within the academic context. In addition to models emerging out of the UK professional and academic contexts, international researchers in the Performing Arts have also proposed new models for the interrogation of practice from processual, ethnographic, experiential and emic perspectives. Emerging from these contexts are skilled artist-researchers who integrate a refined artistic practice within a deeply reflective and purposeful research agenda. The consequent valuation of practice at higher levels of research in the academy has enabled established artists to pursue academic inquiry as part of their practice.

Artistic practice is characterised by idiosyncratic but often highly systematic enquiry. Artists engage in a range of self-reflexive, experiential, embodied, movement based and somatic modes of investigation as part of their making processes. This symposium invites specific reflection upon how the inherent methodologies in artistic practices are harnessed in the methodological design of advanced and professional research projects. It draws together case studies from national and international contexts to pose the question; ‘where and what now for the artist researcher in higher education?’

The symposium will offer the delegates opportunity to present papers, propose panels, workshops, performances, installations and round tables. Hosted at the University of Bedfordshire, Bedford Campus, presenters have access to lecture spaces, studios and theatre spaces, as well as interesting outdoor areas.  We welcome practical and experimental proposals that make use of these spaces.

We invite contributions that explore methodological questions, tensions and processes for the artist researcher. Proposals might explore, but are not limited to the following:

–          Artistic practice and research in academia

–          Cross sector identities of artist researchers

–          Methodological strategies of artist researchers

–          Intersections of PaR, artistic research and qualitative research paradigms

–          Experiential knowledge in research

–          First person enquiry in artistic research

–          The application of somatic practices to artistic research

–          The value of performance as research

–          Performance as a way of knowing

–          Artistic research and its audiences

–          Cultures of the artist researcher

–          Supervision of artistic research projects in academic contexts

–          Collaboration, authorship and artistic research

–          Embodied knowledge and research

–          Activist perspectives on PaR and artistic research

–          International dimensions on PaR and artistic research

–          Future questions and hopes for the field

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: Friday 30 March, 2018

Proposers should send the following to<> :

1.       Name(s), institutional affiliation, address, email address of lead contact

2.       Type of proposal: paper, panel, performance, work in progress, film, workshop, etc.

3.       250 word abstract

4.       Short biographies of contributors (100 words per person)

5.       Technical requirements – please state if you are wanting to present performance work or wish to present work outside. We can accommodate simple requests for lighting, video and sound.

Please send any questions or enquiries to<>

Symposium Convenors
Dr Tamara Ashley, UoB
Dr Victor Ukaegbu, UoB
Dr Thomas Kampe, Bath Spa University
Annie Lok, Independent Artist
Laura Brera, PhD Student, UoB