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Posts from the ‘802 Assignment 2’ Category

DAY 2: exhale.

March 11, 2014

lisa hammershaimb


It. Is. All. Over.

Jury duty, Assignment 3 conceptual framework, Assignment 2 presentation, and probably all of the chemicals my adrenal glands had stored up for the past month. Today was a cacophony of experiences that in many ways are completely out of body. I thought I’d have a ton of words to process it all, but it turns out…not so much. All I really want is whiskey and sleep and to feel my own permanently tense back muscles revert back to their flesh and blood state as opposed to the rock solid masses they’ve become.

That said, there’s no doubt in my mind that this path, however hard or confusing or stressful it may feel at times, is precisely where I should be at this moment…these battles are exactly what I should be fighting and this dread-mixed-with-ecstasy is changing me for good and refining me for whatever future is in store. and in that, even in the midst of so much chaos there’s a weird tranquility that legit I have no idea how to explain.

So, enough for now and enough words for one day. Here’s a link to my Assignment 3 if anyone in the wider world wants to see it and my hand prints (which like the design nerd I am, I’ll totally admit still make me so happy to see.)

Good night world. See you tomorrow.

DAY 0: tissue paper typography…

March 9, 2014

lisa hammershaimb



I’m not going to lie. My favorite part of prepping for this presentation was creating these opener slides and type throughout the presentation. After the insane trajectory of this week and the looming monster of next week, I’ve lost all my verve and passion around arts-based research and presenting and all the other stuff that goes with being an academic and I just want to cut out shapes with tissue paper and drink Saint Germaine martinis and listen to Sigur Ros and be an artist. Not an artist-educator, not an artist-educator-researcher, not an artist-educator-researcher-Senior Associate Dean-out to save the world and fight the injustices of the world by her own cleverness, and creativity…just someone who’s work is totally her own, whose vision only impacts the very narrow boundaries of her own life.

I might be a little burned out.

Which is why Sunday is such a good idea. And days off are so vital. So today I’m okay with being just lisa. (And yet being just lisa who is also blogging a bit because she’s kind of ashamed of the fact that last week had a total of one post. Oops…good news is that Assignment 3 is finished and out of my hands, the slides for Assign 2 are killer, and there will no doubt be words galore this week as pretty much everything will happen. But not today. Today none of that even exists…

DAY 4: movie making…maybe

February 27, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that arts-based research is kind of the best thing ever because it combines art methodology and academic research and it is holistic and it actually has the potential to move close the gap that seems to exist between theories and musings and other amazing academic endeavors and the stuff of human life and human emotion. Yesterday I was all hung up on truth and power and identity and yet after doing yet more reading today, I’m coming to realize that truth doesn’t really matter…arts-based research like art itself isn’t about finding the “one” right answer rather it is about opening dialogue.

It seems to be hardwired into me (and I’d say many many others) that because I’m in school, I need to find the one right answer. I can write eloquent sentences about my epistemology and my own constructive ontology and yet when I actually live…it’s so much harder because when there are lots of right answers…you actually have to pay attention to details and context and all the thick, textural goodness that is life. I think my new challenge is to take the capital “S” out of school and the captial “R” in research instead approach these endeavors like I do my own creative practice.

And also along the lines of arts-based research, I want to make a short movie because I have no experience in movie making and I think it would be awesome to try and yeah…everyone needs to try movie making occasionally, right? I think, yes.

DAY 3: getting photo-vocal with it

February 26, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

Last night in the flurry of research and new potential and new ideas (arguably my favorite part of any new project…pursuing the many options is totally intoxicating for me. Nailing things down, figuring out the details, actually managing people through the details…yeah, I hate to say it given my current management position, but it’s a stretch for me. If I could just have crazy big ideas all the time and not have to worry about the actual “real life” part of things my life would be infinitely less stressful. But I digress…) Last night I came across this research concept and conveniently named non-profit called “photovoice.”

Photovoice is a participatory research method where people take photos of their daily experiences or their world or things that are important to them. Then the photographers construct narratives about the photos they’ve taken which when shared, give researchers vital information into how said people see the world, see places where activism needs to occur, etc. It’s often used with marginalized people groups as it is such a direct route to seeing the world through another person’s eyes. Photography falls into the canon of arts-based research, thus photovoice too falls under the umbrella.

In early brainstorming about how we could introduce the idea of arts-based research to the cohort, I came up with the idea of having the cohort use photovoice to take pictures of their lives/experiences as doctoral students in a distance education program as a sort of pre-presentation exercise. My partner thought it was a good idea, so hopefully we can get it off the ground.

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DAY 2: hello arts-based research!

February 25, 2014

lisa hammershaimb

And…Assignment 2 has begun.

I’d say that there is no rest for the weary doctoral student, but in all actuality I did get plenty of rest the last several days on my own self-proclaimed “step away for personal sanity” break. Good news is that the break actually worked and I’m excited to get back into things, fire up Google Scholar, hit the digital library, and see what amazing journal article rabbit trails I can follow and eventually put together yet another project.

For this assignment, I don’t have to conquer any mega monsters of the 6,000 word variety, but I do have to conquer a 20 minute presentation. Lucky for me (and all the attendees at said presentation) I have a sidekick to help get me through, bounce ideas off of, and generally make the experience way way better in a synergistic manner. Me and my stellar partner are going to give an overview of arts-based research methodology. Neither of us knew what it was about when we partnered together over a month ago and in the ensuing month I’ll admit I’ve done nothing to remedy that. But…we present on March 11 and so between now and then it’s nose to the grindstone time and I have a feeling it’s going to be a fabulous foray into something kind of tangentially related to the virtual studio (where my head has been for way to long) but not quite so intense or abstract or un-researched.

So…you might ask, “Lisa, what in the world is arts-based research? Is it research into art? Is it research where the researchers take notes in crayon or brush rather than with pens or typing? Is it only for artsy people? Is it even legal in the academic world or is it one of those fringe activities that are only for pseudo-intellectuals?”

All good questions. Research into art? Not so much. That’s more art history and criticism. Research where the researchers take notes in crayon or other “artsy” mediums? Again, nope. (Though as soon as I get a decent stylus I totally plan on taking notes via iPad and my Paper 53 app…and I might use the brush.) Is it only for artsy people? Yes. If you’re not artistic, if you don’t wear a lot of black, if you don’t have funky glasses….it’s not for you.

Ha. Just kidding.

Is it legal? Who really knows…I’d say at least in the States almost anything is beginning to be legal, so I’d say arts-based research probably is as well. That said, like any methodology…don’t do it if it doesn’t suit your style. And arts-based researchers are inherently cool and totally don’t care if people in the quantitative world might not get them.

But seriously…for a good definition here’s what the experts say:

Arts-based research is an emerging mode of social inquiry, uniquely situated with roots in postmodernism and participatory forms of research.  –Susan Finley, Arts-based inquiry: performing revolutionary pedagogy

The ethos of arts-based inquiry is to eliminate the separation between researchers and the community being researched by eliciting the free and conscious voice of research participants. –Foster, Ways of knowing and showing: Imagination and representation in feminist participatory social research

…and my own very limited synthesis so far is that arts-based research is using art methods (be they dance, drama, writing, drawing, etc.) to tap into research subjects in ways that would be otherwise impossible given language or power relationships or even comfort levels. In addition arts-based research seems to use art methods to illuminate things that might be beyond speech for participants. Cool stuff indeed, and I have a feeling this is going to be a blast to study and maybe make art as I study it!


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