Pre-Conference Methodologies Workshop - Call for Participants

The MSA Methdology Working Group invites participants for the Pre-Conference Methodologies Workshop, which will be taking place on Monday 3 July 2023. 


To apply, please send a 150-word motivation to participate and a 150-word bio to by Thursday 20 April. Please also indicate your preferred group for the afternoon breakout session. The workshop can accommodate 30 participants in total. This pre-conference event is for registered conference delegates only. Selected participants will be informed in early May.


Preliminary Workshop Programme


10-12 am: Site Visit (Dr Andy Clark, Dr Rebecca Dolgoy), 30 participants


A visit of Newcastle Quayside, led by Dr Andy Clark (Newcastle University). This visit will serve as a starting point for the methodological challenges memory studies scholars might want to address when investigating memories of deindustrialization. 


Newcastle Quayside was one of the earliest examples of the attempts to regenerate deindustrialised areas, with apartment housing and events spaces occupying the former docklands. This visit will offer delegates the opportunity to reflect on the meanings of space in deindustrialising communities, and the role of regeneration in promoting or supressing memories of difficult economic pasts and contested presents.


1-3 pm: Break-out groups


Group 1: Collaborative Data session (Dr Thomas Van de Putte), 10 participants


During the two-hour session, Dr Andy Clark will bring a 3-minute piece of spoken interaction and its detailed transcription. After 10 minutes of listening to the excerpt, and 20 minutes self-study of the transcript, the group will engage in a discussion of all the possible interpretations of whatever is happening and is meaningful in the excerpt. In the discussion, we will ground our claims in the fine detail of conversation. The data bringer will remain silent during that discussion. After the discussion, the data bringer reflects on the groups discussion and brings in their own research hypotheses and interpretations.

The aims of this two-hour workshop are fourfold. First, to share and develop methods of interpretation while analysing a piece of data collaboratively. Secondly, to take our time to analyse a small fragment of conversation in close detail. Thirdly, to figure out if and how we can theorise memory 'upwards' by looking into those fine details of human interaction. And finally, by focusing only on the text, we will be able to reflect on how much, and which, context(s) we need to make sense of what our participants find meaningful.

Group 2: Discussion on ethical approaches to memory studies working with communities (Dr Rebecca Dolgoy), 20 participants 

During this session participants will have a chance to discuss ethical approaches to Memory Studies-based research with senior scholars in both an open and facilitated setting. The discussion will focus on the site and the challenges that were introduced in the morning sessions. Participants will also be invited to share experiences from and dilemmas encountered during their own research. The aim of the session is to create a community of practice and to start to develop a set of shared tools and approaches to sensitive research. 


While the overarching theme of the workshop is deindustrialization, participants are encouraged to share their work from all across the Memory Studies field. We hope to find interesting areas of intersection and to learn from one another's experiences. 


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