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Creative Archives (fieldwork)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Ian Sanjay Patel
  • Assessment: a 2500-word written assignment (100%) and oral presentation

Module description

This course aims to foster the development of a psychosocial research imagination and psychosocial research practice drawing on established and emerging debates in the fields of anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, as well as interdisciplinary domains of social and cultural analysis such as feminist, queer and postcolonial studies. It introduces you to a variety of ethnographic styles and modes of analysis and representation, and encourages you to explore how practices of observation, analysis and writing can contribute to the development of a psychosocial research imagination.

You will reflect on the relation between epistemology and methodology in the research process, and develop an understanding of power, positionality, reflexivity and ethics in psychosocial research. You will also develop research design skills and learn about a diverse range of research practices that connect to theoretically sophisticated approaches to researching the psychosocial. Finally, you will produce a creative archive that explicitly connects the philosophical underpinnings and epistemological preoccupations of the interdisciplinary field of psychosocial studies to the study of the social world, following metaphors, people and/or things.

Indicative module content

  • Ethnographic objects, participant observers, global worlds
  • Site, context, place
  • Representation, tense, ethics
  • Fragment, montage, assemblage
  • Voice, dialogue, silence
  • Sound/image, body, mood
  • Things, bodies, networks
  • Borders, space, affect
  • Memory, traces, remains
  • Emergence, virtuality, futures

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to demonstrate:

  • knowledge and understanding of the relevant literature
  • a command of key genealogies of theorising in the field of psychosocial studies and a creative deployment of psychosocial theory in their projects
  • sophistication and depth in their approach to epistemological and methodological issues in psychosocial research
  • an ability to design and implement a research project, or ‘creative archive’
  • communication skills, the ability to work independently, good planning and organisational skills
  • a solid understanding and awareness of ethical issues in psychosocial research.