Symposia/Workshop: Reengaging the body

April 27th & 28th 2024

The Ship’s Studio, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon

Delegates assemble at the conclusion of the 2023 symposium/workshop at Dartington Hall

Dartington Hall, Ship Studio

April 27th &. 28th 2024

Reengaging the body; a writing and performance workshop

Ship Studio will be our home for the two days, an amazing space to enhance creativity and discussion

Face to face opportunities to fill and expand our creative sensibilities were severely impacted by Covid, as were opportunities to explore ideas in a physical space with others interested in developing their potential. This 2-day symposium titled “Re-Engaging the Body” is part conference and part workshop.

We invite you to share your research in a supportive, responsive environment and then to engage in creative exploration with others through three modes of artistic expression: writing, sound, and embodiment. Our purpose is to gather creative people into a nurturing space that fosters playful experimentation and that values what bodies can achieve together. We will provide opportunities to be inspired and motivated in sharing your work, to expand creative potential through facilitated workshops, to be refreshed by the beauty of the gardens and environs, and to strengthen community by sharing meals, performances, and possibilities with one another.  

While delegates are invited to present their research/work, as well as to receive feedback if desired, such public presentation is not a requirement for attendance. We grow equally from listening and responding to others, from informal conversation, and from quiet reflection. There are many ways to engage and to participate, and we invite you to do so through whatever form is most useful and comfortable for you. 

The workshop sessions are facilitated by experienced academics who have all been pioneers of creative methodologies in their work, having published and performed in myriad forms within academic and social communities. 

The spaces for the symposia are limited, if you would like additional information, or if you would like to attend please download and complete the attached form, or contact Jessie Ip our administrator

The cost of participating is £170 and includes:

  • Two day workshop facilitated by Gayle Letherby, Kitrina Douglas and David Carless
  • Morning coffee and afternoon tea, lunch on both days*
  • Building Community Evening Event,
  • Symposia
  • Bring and share picnic on the Saturday night

*If you have any food allergies or special dietary request please contact Jessie

We intend to have a “bring and share” picnic on the Saturday evening as it was popular last year, concluding with an ‘open mic’ style event.

The cost does not include travel and accomodation, the latter of which can be booked directly with Dartington their accomodation ranges from £40 per night for hostel accomodation in the grounds, to £140 per night in Dartington Hall, there are also clamping and camping options. The is also lots of types of accomodation near and in Totnes, and we encourage delegates to explore these through airbnb and


Gayle Letherby

Gayle Letherby

 I am Visiting Professor at the Universities of Plymouth, Greenwich and Bath (specifically at Bath within the Centre for Death Studies (CDAS)). Alongside substantive interests in the meanings and experiences of love, reproductive and non/parental (especially non/mother) identities; gender, health and wellbeing; death, loss and bereavement; travel and transport mobility; gender and identity within institutions; and solitude. 

I have always been fascinated by research methodology, including auto/biographical, feminist and creative practices. In recent years I have become interested in writing sociologically for non-academic audiences and creative writing within academic work.  

For some examples of different sorts of writing see

Kitrina Douglas

I am a video/ethnographer/director, storyteller, singer songwriter, and narrative scholar whose research spans the arts, humanities and social sciences.

With David Carless I have carried out research for a variety of organisationS including Department of Health, Addiction Recovery Agency, Royal British Legion, Women’s Sports Foundation, UK Sport, local authority and NHS Primary Mental Health Care Trusts.

Broadly speaking my research is in the area of mental health, however, the research projects David and I have been involved with have provoked us to find ways to communicate our research beyond traditional academic reporting channels and in ways that account for and include somatic, pre-linguistic knowing. To this end we publish our research as films, documentaries, and musical theatre, in addition to written peer reviewed publications, magazine articles, on-line publications and books. 

With David I also direct and produce the on-line qualitative research series “Qualitative Conversations”.  

David Carless and I have co-author of two monographs, Sport and Physical Activity for Mental Health and Life story research in sport: A narrative approach to understanding the experiences of elite and professional athletes (Routledge).

University West ondon

David Carless

David’s interdisciplinary research uses storied forms of communication to understand and represent human experience. Through a range of narrative, auto/ethnographic and arts-based methods, his work explores how mental health and identity are developed, threatened or recovered in sport and physical activity contexts. A core aim is to create research which is accessible and engaging for public audiences and students through the use and development of filmmaking, songwriting, storytelling and performative methodologies. 

David’s work is disseminated internationally through keynotes, conference presentations, live performances and invited seminars and is published as peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters. His multimedia research collaborations are publicly accessible online via YouTube.

For additional information

David Carless YouTube

Terms and conditions

Prices are in UK pounds
All major credit cards are accepted
The registration fees DO NOT cover insurance, travel, or accommodation other than where explicitly stated. (Travel insurance is recommended by the organisers.)
People who must cancel their registration are eligible for a refund up to 1st March, 2024. A £10 cancellation fee will apply.
After 1st March there is NO REFUND available for any reason. Please understand that after that date costs have already accrued.