Professor Elizabeth Adams St. Pierre visited University of the Arts Helsinki

Professor Elizabeth Adams St. Pierre from University of Georgia, USA, visited University of the Arts Helsinki November 17, 2014. She gave a highly interesting guest lecture titled Practices for the “New” in Posthumanist, New Empirical Inquiry.

St. Pierre’s visit was arranged by MA programme in dance pedagogy, Theatre Academy. It was documented by CERADA and can be found on CERADA’s vimeo page.

The abstract of the lecture:

Deleuze and Guattari, using the ontology of the Stoics, created an experimental empiricism and a flattened ontology in which human bodies, other living bodies, things, language, ideas, representations, values, qualities, and so on exist on the same plane in mixture. But this ontology is difficult to think for those well-trained in traditional social science research methodologies (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods) that rely on the separation of the human from everything else and maintain hierarchies and binary oppositions like human/nonhuman, culture/nature, mind/body. Deleuze and Guattari, however, invented concepts (e.g., assemblage, rhizome, diagram, plane of consistency, line of flight) that help us escape those taken-for-granted binaries. Interestingly, artists of all stripes have easily taken up Deleuze and Guattari’s concepts and put them to work in exciting ways in their work. But what does one do in this kind of research - what would research practices be? How might one begin, and what does one do next and then next? And does this inquiry count as “research”? St.Pierre suggests that we might think of this kind of inquiry as concept-driven instead of methods-driven. Thus, we begin with a concept and method is invented differently in each study. What we are looking for, then, is not repetition of what exists but the “new.”

Prof. St. Pierre gave a related paper at the University of Helsinki, and a keynote lecture at Oulu (FERA conference). Her paper at the University of Helsinki is published here: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/agora-sje/wall/wall-in-english/

Bio: Elizabeth Adams St.Pierre is Professor in the Educational Theory and Practice Department and Affiliated Professor of both the Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research Program and the Women’s Studies Institute at the University of Georgia, USA. Her work focuses on theories of language and the subject from critical theories and poststructural theories and what she has called post qualitative inquiry or post inquiry —what might come after conventional humanist qualitative research methodology. She’s especially interested in the new empiricisms/new materialisms enabled by the ontological turn. She’s recently edited several issues of journals on this topic: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education (theme: post qualitative inquiry), Qualitative Inquiry (theme: qualitative data analysis after coding), and Cultural Studies-Critical Methodologies (theme: the new empiricisms/new materialisms).

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