Social work and social science

Dr Helen Johsnon talking in to a microphone

Exploring the rapidly developing area of arts-based social science research

Dr Helen Johnson will lead a seminar this Wednesday, 3 March, exploring the rapidly developing area of arts-based social science research.

Dr Johnson is Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the School of Applied Social Sciences, and is also incoming Co-director in the Centre for Arts and Well-Being. She will be speaking under the auspices of the Converge Evaluation & Research Team (CERT) at the event, which takes place from 1-2pm on Wednesday 3 March via Zoom. To sign up, email Robert at r.bennett@yorksj.ac.uk.

As both a social scientist and spoken word poet, Dr Johnson brings together expertise and experience in arts-based research methods, creativity and critical community psychology. She has been a pioneer of the collaborative poetics method and network, which uses participatory arts-based research to explore and communicate the lived experiences of communities and individuals, with a view to supporting their resilience.

Dr Johnson said: “Arts-based research is an exciting and rapidly developing area, which has been hailed as a new methodological research paradigm, challenging the established qualitative-quantitative binary. It has the potential to transform how we think about research and knowledge on a fundamental level, and to produce accessible, creative research that has wide ranging impacts for the communities with whom we work.

In this seminar I will consider the principles and practice of my participatory arts-based research method, ‘Collaborative Poetics.’ We will discuss some of the applications of this method in research and carry out hands-on activities using poetic inquiry methods.“

You can listen to Helen performing The Master’s Tools from the Poetry&Words playlist at 2020’s (virtual) Glastonbury Festival. You can also hear Helen’s piece Bird Poem – a family history poetry film developed from her poem However Far The Dawn, in collaboration with videopoet Sarah Tremlett, co-director of Liberated Words.

Kerry Burnett • March 1, 2021


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