Pre Conference Workshops



Date and time: Pre conference workshops which will run from 9am on the 23rd of July

Venue: The Arnolfini, one of Bristol’s most celebrated contemporary arts spaces.

These pre conference workshops were in response to delegates at previous conference asking for opportunities to develop specific skills, expertise and knowledge with a focus on

  • Creativity and the use of arts based methodologies
  • Collaboration & friendship
  • Ethical challenges and dilemmas, and ways these can be negotiated in order to publish and share research
  • Mentoring, advising and writing practices
  • Digital technologies, sound, animation and film

Cost includes lunch and refreshments: One workshop £60, two workshops £80, all the workshops £90 please download booking form on the registration page.


KPOLLITT_activeCorporeal Writing: how to use your body to hold your pen with Kyra Pollitt

Kyra has almost three decades of experience as a translator and interpreter, working both nationally and internationally. She has an MA in Language Studies, an MSc in Translating and Interpreting in European settings (EUMASLI), and specialist knowledge (PhD) of creativity in sign languages, particularly poetics. Her own English language poetry has been published in a number of magazines. Kyra’s practice extends to intersemiotic translation, and her work has been staged and shown at various venues, including the RWA, Spike Island, M-Shed, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Bristol Poetry Festival, the Scottish Parliament, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and StAnza.

Workshop description:

Reimagine your writing practice through your body. From Hippocrates’ humours, to Victorian phrenology, to contemporary British Sign Language poetry, this workshop will explore how we understand experience as located in the body. Come prepared to investigate, locate, map, unlock, and illustrate your own experience. Activities will not be strenuous, but will include writing, thinking, reflecting, engaging, wondering, and perhaps even laughing.

A true friend stabs you in the front: Friendship as autoethnographic method in the Paraversity with Alec Grant & Trude Klevan 
Trude Klevan
Trude Klevan

Trude is an Associate Professor at the University of Southeast Norway. She has a background as a child welfare worker, and has a masters in clinical health work (MSc). Most of her career has been spent as a clinician, mostly in child welfare services and mental health. She completed her PhD in 2017. Her PhD was a qualitative study exploring service users’, carers’ and clinicians’ experiences of helpful health in mental health crises.  Working on her PhD, she became increasingly interested in troubling research, knowledge, truths and the researcher through critical qualitative inquiry and autoethnography. This interest led her into contact with Alec Grant and their contact and collaboration contributed to her thesis ending up being written in an autoethnographically inspired way. In the thesis, she explores how her “becoming as a researcher” is entangled with understandings of knowledge and truths. She has continued collaborating and co-writing with Alec Grant, exploring friendship as method and working to spread autoethnography and critical qualitative inquiry in Norway.

Alec Grant

Alec Grant

Alec has an international reputation in autoethnography, having published single- and co-authored articles, book chapters and books using this methodology for over a decade. His co-authored autoethnographic work can be found in TQR (The Qualitative Report) and QI (Qualitative Inquiry), among other journals.

With Nigel Short and Lydia Turner, he co-edited Contemporary British Autoethnography (Sense Publishers, 2013), and more recently, with Lydia, Nigel and Tony Adams, International Perspectives on Autoethnographic Research and Practice (Routledge, 2018). These books were, respectively, the first UK and international collection of autoethnographic writing. In these texts, he has attempted to move tScreenshot_20180401-191718he autoethnographic theoretical dialogue forward in a number of areas, including voice, subjectivity and the relationship between writer intent and reader response . He has worked with Trude Klevan since 2015, and has championed the approach with her in Norway, including in postgraduate course and seminar work. Together, they are interested in developing Friendship as method in autoethnographic writing, and in troubling the mentoring and pedagogic approach to qualitative inquiry in the neoliberal academy, using their own relationship as both exemplar and embodied relational resource.

See also: Alec Grant in Qualitative Conversations in this episode of qualitative conversations Alec talks about collaborative autoethnography, hyphen identities and the importance of telling stories that challenge the dominant narrative about mental illness. He shares some ideas about why different writing strategies are important, how to become a better storyteller and the need to write from different perspectives.

Workshop summary

This workshop is a synthesis of theoretical, conceptual and empirical work (Grant, 2018; Klevan et al., in press a,b; Klevan et al., in review) emerging from our ongoing, friendship-based, collaborative autoethnographic relationship. Our overall aim is to help participants achieve an understanding and appreciation of the place of friendship in collaborative autoethnography that can inform their own work. The workshop will proceed from a definition of the following key terms and concepts: paraversity; friendship; friendship as method (FAM); the New Public Managed (NPM)/Neoliberal Academy; trouble-nurturing; mentransgressoring; becoming-researcher.

For additional information download the following pdf. Grant 2018

Creativity & Collaboration: Sound, Audio, Moving Image & Animation

With Melanie Hani, Kitrina Douglas, David Carless, Tim Allen
Melanie Hani

Melanie Hani is a member of The Animation Academy, Loughborough University ‘a Centre for animation research, scholarship, practice and exhibition dedicated to excellence at a national and international level in all its activities’. Melanie is also founder member of HEART (Healing Education Animation Research Therapy); a research organization that comprises of practitioners, researchers, filmmakers, educationalists and student practitioners who use the process and outcome of animation practice and film in a therapeutic, educational and informative way locally, nationally and internationally. Melanie has now developed a new branch of HEART in the East Midlands at Loughborough University (HEART EM).

Melanie’s research examines the effectiveness of the animation practice within therapy, criminology, education, as a methodology and translational device. Service users are from statutory (health, education, social care, research and probationary services) and voluntary sector organisations. Melanie’s work has received recognition by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and was invited to an award event at Buckingham Palace “marking those who have made a significant contribution to local or national life”; similarly, her inclusive strategies for children excluded from mainstream education and her work with the severely bereaved have been commended by Baroness Morris of Yardley and the Duke of Gloucester. Melanie has also won an NHS Innovation Award, the enterprise Award for social and cultural impact and been awarded a Community Fellowship. Melanie has worked nationally and internationally with diverse groups such as children who were first generation child immigrants in the UK; have transgendered parents; suffering with attachment disorder in Slovakia; bereaved; from the travelling community; bereaved and also have a diagnosis of ASD; high risk sex offenders. Additionally, Melanie has developed a model; the Good Hearts Model (GHM 2011), a programme of therapeutic practice that employs the process of producing animated films and allied materials. Melanie continues to test the facility of animation and creative practices when working with people who are marginalised and/or have physical, social, emotional, educational and cognitive issues whilst combining the process with person centred approaches and psychotherapeutic theories.


David Carless 

David is a professor of narrative psychology in the Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure at Leeds Beckett University and a singer-songwriter. His professional background spans physical education, health and the performing arts. David’s performative and arts-based research methodologies has informed over 50 journal articles and book chapters; several commissioned evaluations and research projects; invited lectures and seminars; conference papers and keynotes; audio CDs; and live performances.

David is co-author (with Kitrina Douglas) of Sport and physical activity for mental health and Life story research in sport: Understanding the experiences of elite and professional athletes through narrative and is co producer of the qualitative documentary series “Qualitative Conversations” available on youtube:

With a belief that the best way to learn a skill is to “do it” this workshop offers hands on practical experience of using arts based methodologies and digital technologies to enhance communication of research. The stages we transition with delegates in the workshop include (i) generating content through collaborative autoethnographies that are malleable to sound recording, moving pictures and animation (ii) considering ethical issues (iii) equipment challenges (iv) recording voice and voice overs (v) recording ambient sound (vi) simple mixing and editing (vii) communicating platforms and copyright, (viii) basic animation.