This may be the most exciting blog post I have ever written. I am founding a conference! This is an audacious move for an independent researcher, and there are several reasons why I have decided to make the leap.
First, I want to go to a conference on creative research methods! I helped to organise one in May 2015, with the Social Research Association and the British Library. It was a one-day conference and it was a great success. We had around 100 submissions for presentations, from four continents – and the creative research methods field has expanded massively since then. But, to the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been another one since.
Second, I have tried to persuade various organisations and institutions to host a conference on creative research methods, but none of them have been willing and able to do so.
Third, I am confident that there will be enough interest in this conference. There is no conference on creative research methods anywhere in the world. There are a couple of conferences on visual methods, and a few conferences on qualitative methods that will include creative methods. But that’s all. And I know a lot of people are working in this area now.
Fourth, I have saved enough money to take the financial risk of signing a contract with the venue. And this is a risk – it’s a five-figure sum – I do not want to lose that much money, but I could. Yet this is how confident I am that this conference will succeed: I am literally betting on it with my very own cash.
I have spent the summer picking people’s brains and making plans. I have organised events before, so I have some useful experience, but I am also grateful for the input of a whole bunch of people whose advice and support has been invaluable.
It will be a two-day conference at The Studio in Manchester, starting mid-morning on Monday 11 September 2023, finishing mid-afternoon on Tuesday 12 September 2023. Save the dates! And it will be a hybrid conference, so people can attend in person or online.
If you are interested in contributing to the conference, you can download the call for contributions here. The deadline for proposals is 1 December 2022, and all the details you need should be on the call, including an email address for any queries you may have.
I am so excited about this project! It has been such a struggle to keep it secret; I am delighted I can tell the world at last. Please help me pass the word around – and I hope you can join us in September of next year.
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