Created and Contested Territories

Research Questions

The Research Question(s) and how the group sought to address these using a dialectical approach.

Research Question 1: To establish the feasibility (or otherwise) of designing and producing research-based artefacts as portable vehicles to facilitate dialogues with transnational partners. These dialogues seek to address and enhance shared understanding of intractable (‘wicked’) challenges commonly associated with representations of historical and contemporary (territorial – migratory) conflict.

Research Question 2: to identify transferable model to facilitate collaborative (inter)disciplinary research.

From an early stage the group recognized the importance of being problem-oriented and challenge driven; that is, to identify the problem(s) posed not only by collaborative (inter)disciplinary research, but also the problem of how to address topical, real-world and ‘wicked’ challenges associated with representations of historical and contemporary (territorial – migratory) conflict.

The research question(s) therefore were constituted conditionally in stages forming a dialectical critical path along the following lines.

Stage 1 hypothesis:  To test the feasibility of forging an interdisciplinary consensus to address and interpret a complex title/thematic[1]?

(Tools for testing included, discourse, visual presentations, presentation of artefacts (including Ballot[2]) and written essays to provoke reasoned argument and debate).

Milestone: If stage 1 viable[3] then:

Stage 2 thesis: Might such a consensus be mobilized to produce a unified critique of dominant narratives[4] whilst remaining genuinely interdisciplinary?

(Tools for testing included, discourse, visual presentations, presentation of artefacts and written essays to provoke reasoned argument and debate).

Milestone: If stage 2 viable then:

Stage 3 antitheses:

To challenge the credibility and viability of such a consensus approach.

To countenance the non-feasibility of being able to embody the theme in a verbicovisual (and portable) vehicle (such as an exhibition, symposium, publication etc).

To challenge the suitability of possible vehicles for field testing/dissemination beyond the immediate academic context[5]?

(Tools for testing included discourse, visual presentations, presentation of artefacts and written essays to counter previous argument and debate[6]).

Milestone: If stage 3 antithetical challenges met[7] then:

Stage 4 synthesis: Call for submissions and a wider (literature-style) review of practitioners based on a brief agreed by the group.


[1] Created and Contested Territories

[2] https://nua.collections.crest.ac.uk/15988/

[3] Non-viability was also a permissible stage outcome. Such an outcome would have closed down this particular critical path and tested alternative routes.

[4] …around the theme of ‘territory’ – with all its implied associations.

[5]  And the island territory of the UK.

[6] Examples of where such challenges proved successful include the abandoned exhibition/symposium at the National Radar Museum and the ‘spiked’ Created and Contested Territories Art-Science publication.

[7] See footnote 8 above for results

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