Writing in the home and in the street

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Sch of English Lit, Lang and Linguistics


This project invited participants from three areas of Rotherham to reflect upon everyday literacy practices and their place in the lives of communities.

The research team included academics from different areas of the humanities and creative practitioners working in various media. The work focused on three different kinds of writing: texts produced in domestic spaces (writing in the home), texts found in public spaces (writing in the street), and texts spanning the official and personal domains (documents such as passports and other textual artefacts).

The research had an important self-reflexive dimension and the team was particularly concerned to reflect upon the collaborative process itself with a view to refining the methods used in future participatory projects.

Key ideas to emerge included (1) The value of the concept of the 'provocation' - a stimulus that emerges out of arts practice but which, rather than representing an end in itself, constitutes a move in an on-going dialogue, (2) The value of using arts practice as a means of 'reframing' research so that the meaning and value of work becomes more negotiable and less prescribed in terms of instrumental values, and (3) The value of cross-disciplinary 'borrowing' as a way to enrich research practice.


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Pahl KH (2013) Dividing the Drawers in Creative Approaches to Research