Education for Critical Consciousness

Paulo Freire

On Monday 9th November between 1 – 3pm in room G202 we’ll be discussing Paulo Freire’s ‘Education for Critical Consciousness’.

Participants will be asked to reflect on the difference between ‘dialogic’ and ‘anti-dialogic’ reading groups and their relationship to contemporary art, design and practice-based research methodologies.

We’ll pay particular attention to Freire’s understanding of ‘generative words’ and his concept of praxis i.e. reflection and action on the world in order to transform it.

Everyone (and their dog) are welcome!

(Text introduced by Jonathan Baxter.)

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Bodies that Matter

Judith Butler

On Monday 26th October between 1 – 3pm we’ll be discussing Judith Butler’s ‘Bodies that Matter’ (Chp 1., Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex).

Participants will be asked ‘how the criteria of intelligible sex operates to constitute a field of bodies [within practice-based research], and how precisely we might understand specific criteria to produce the bodies that they regulate’?

Everyone is welcome!

(Text introduced by Caroline Gausden.)

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What Is an Author?


On Monday 12th October from 1 – 3pm in room G202 we’ll be responding to Michel Foucault’s text ‘What Is an Author?

We’ll open up the text in whatever way we choose; pursuing whatever interests or frustrates us most.

In the background of our reading we’ll be invited to consider what Foucault refers to as ‘the role of the dead man [sic] in the game of our writing’, and what this might mean for reflection-in-practice (Schön) and the writing and reading of a thesis.

In short, ‘[w]hat difference does it make who is speaking?’

Everyone is welcome.

(Text introduced by Jonathan Baxter.)

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Performance … Text

Performance … Text

‘By using texts as commonplaces for shared interpretations and discussions, learners can examine their personal and cultural situations. By creating and performing them, they may be able to recover experience lost to insidious trauma and thus come to understand their situations differently.’

Claire Robson, Writing for Change: Research as Public Pedagogy and Arts-Based Activism (2012)


Starting on 12th October 2015 a new iteration of Gray’s research reading group commences.

Performance … Text asks us to consider our relationship to reading and writing. It utilises the format of a reading group and asks the question, ‘how do we read texts and how do texts read us?’








in this context might constitute a performance.

Beginning with four pre-selected texts – which aim to introduce a common, if contested, framework for discussion – further texts will be chosen in conversation with participants and through a process that negotiates 1. historic and paradigmatic relevance for practice-based research 2. personal interest and 3. performative potential.












in this context might constitute an affect.

Performance … Text takes place on a fortnightly basis as part of Gray’s School of Art’s postgraduate research programme. Everyone is welcome – whether they are within or outwith the institution.

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30.03.2015 Writing Group

A few weeks ago, we enjoyed a seminar and workshop with Elizabeth Reeder, Lecturer in Creative Writing at Glasgow University.

These stimulating sessions focussed on the essay, with particular attention to the lyric essay and crossover essays. During the seminar we looked at play of poetry and language and writing the critical to make it feel like fiction: keeping the play and joy in that, while retaining the critical and cultural content, exegesis and so on.

During the workshop we did some close reading of particular writers. We split into small groups to do some writing of our own and give each other critical feedback afterwards. We found this a stimulating way of developing our own writing and a good model to follow for future workhops.

We suggest that we hold a Reading Group once a month and a Writing Group once a month, retaining the scheduled Reading Group sessions.

The first Writing Group will be on Monday 30th March.

No prior preparation is necessary. The first session will be led by Nicola Chambury.

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16.03.2015 Horne and Tobin – Open space

Horne, V. and Tobin, A., 2014. Open space – an unfinished revolution in art historiography, or how to write a feminist art history. feminist review, 107, pp. 75-83.

Text chosen by Caroline Gausden

Ahead of the SCAN event I am organising around feminist praxis I would like to suggest a short text around writing from a feminist perspective. The text was produced by researchers currently working in the Edinburgh College of Art and contributing to the Scottish Graduate Cohort training programme as Gray’s researchers also will on collaboration. My interest is in exploring writing and reading as a collaborative practice and thinking about ‘ the collective as a model for instituting new research through self reflexive interrogation’.

I would also like to suggest the following very inspiring presentation by Rosi Braidotti as providing a broad philosophical context for discussions on collaboration and relational knowledge. Braidotti is a contemporary philosopher and feminist theoretician based at Utrecht University who has written extensively at the intersection with social and political theory, cultural politics, gender, feminist theory and ethnicity studies. The talk is 40 minutes but well worth it to get a really interesting perspective on some of the philosophical histories we have dealt with in the reading group over time and also to see a great example of public speaking. I will select sections from it to think on collaboration.

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02.03.2015 Selected Texts

Text chosen by Nicola Chambury

I will be leading the reading group on Monday.

I chose 5 or 6 short passages from writers relevant to my research for close reading and would like to talk about their relevance to my work and my research and discuss further.

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