The Seminar II

The Seminar II: Preparation of the Thesis (Spring 2014)

Seminar II places attention upon the task of writing a thesis and, for practice-based researchers, examines approaches to art practice. The subtitle of this module, ‚ÄėPreparation of the Thesis‚Äô, refers to a range of practices, including reading, writing, critical thinking, fieldwork and art practice, that need to cohere in order to produce high-quality, original research. Weekly set readings and interventions prompt debate in key areas of interest relevant to the devising and development of doctoral research in the arts.

Schedule & Readings 2014

Wednesday 26 February (12-2pm)
Session 1: Units of Analysis
Based on some short extracts, but also your own research and what you think constitutes ‘analysis’ in your work, this session will consider the different kinds of analysis we engage in and what similarities and differences exist across subject areas.
Set Reading
(1) Lynch, K. (1960) The Image of the City. MIT Press, pp.46-49.
(2) L√©vi-Strauss, C. (2001) ‘Structure’ in C.Counsell and L.Wolf (ed.)¬†Performance Analysis. Routledge, pp.17-24.
(3) Rose, G. (2012) Visual Methodologies, 3rd ed. Sage, pp.19-21.


Wednesday 12 March (1-3pm)
Session 2: Planning Projects
This session will discuss the practicalities of planning  projects that either connect with or underpin your PhD research. The session will explain about accessing Faculty resources and funds (with reference to Health & Safety and Ethics approval), and will also provide a forum to discuss how we might collaborate to gain wider exposure  and experience with research events and initiatives.

Wednesday 19 March (1-3pm)
Session 3: Designerly Ways of Knowing
The Sciences and the Arts (or Humanities) have long been¬†referred to as the ‘Two Cultures’ of education and research. But what about a ‘third culture’: Design? This seminar invites discussion around ideas of ‘designerly ways of knowing’, based on two specific articles by Nigel Cross.
Set Reading
(1) Cross, N. (1982) ‘Designerly Ways of Knowing’,¬†Design Studies, Vol. 3, No. 4,¬†pp.221-227.
(2)¬†Cross, N. (2001) ‘Designerly Ways of Knowing: Design Discipline Versus Design Science’,¬†Design Issues, Vol. 17, No. 3,¬†pp.49-55.
See also: BBC Radio 4, Life Scientific,interview with Professor Mark Miodownik from UCL, and one of the founders of the Materials Library:
See post-session blog-post: Designerly Ways of Knowing

Wednesday 26 March (12-2pm) NB. Highfield Campus
UoS Event: Computationally Intensive Imaging Art Exhibition
As part of Interdisciplinary Research Week 2014 at the University of Southampton:
“The ability to exploit data processing/mining, visualisation, inverse modelling, large scale computation and best practice in data handling produces fundamental challenges in the information available, making computation a core element of virtually all major imaging developments. Southampton is well placed in supporting this reality of contemporary imaging. Commonality is identifiable across the Southampton activities in terms of both their computationally intensive nature and their interdisciplinarity. This exhibition will showcase some of the amazing 2D and 3D images used in research by members of the Computationally Intensive Imaging USRG who will also be on hand to explain the techniques used in creating these images”
NB. Places limited: BOOKING REQUIRED
Venue: Observatory, Level 7, Building 85, Highfield Campus Time: 12:00 ‚Äď 14:00

| Easter Break | 

Wednesday 30 April
Session 4: Against What? Screenings, Seminar + Picnic
“Filmmaker, artist and writer Harun Farocki is among a number of European auteur filmmakers who explore the limits of representation in so-called ‚Äėessay films‚Äô. He once stated that his films were made ‚Äėagainst the cinema and against the television‚Äô. [‚Ķ] Farocki employs found footage and sequences that foreground the discrepancy between television style ‚Äėofficial‚Äô history, and real-life events.” (Tate). This seminar will begin at 12pm with an occasion to view some of Farocki’s video works, followed by discussion of two set texts about visual critique.¬†Please feel free to bring lunch with you so we can share a picnic as well as the films!
Set Reading
(1) Brenez, N (2010) ‘Harun Farocki ad the Romantic Genesis of the Principle of Visual Critique’¬†in Eshun, K. & Ehmann, A. (eds.)¬†Harun Farocki: Against What? Against Whom?¬†Walther K√∂nig, pp.
(2) Ranci√®re, J. (2011) ‘The Intolerable Image’ in¬†The Emancipated Spectator.¬†Verso, pp.83-105.
See also: Harun Farocki: Talking Art (Tate) | Video Data Bank |

Wednesday 7 May
Session 5: What the Thesis Looks Like
Dr Rima Chahrour recenlty completed her PhD with us at Winchester School of Art. In this seminar she will offer her insights into the nature, scope and practicalities of the practice-based thesis.
(See Rima’s blog post about her research:¬†Your Mother is a Doll)
Set Reading
Katy Macleod and Lin Holdridge (2005) ‘The enactment of thinking: the creative practice Ph.D’ in¬†Journal of Visual Art Practice, Vol 4, No.2-3, pp.197-207.

Wednesday 14 May
Session 6: Museum Values
‘Museums have several functions as custodians of heritage and culture, disseminators of knowledge about heritage and as places that attract tourists as well as local residents.’ This seminar will be consider the function and management of the museum. Given the wide range of cultural contexts associated with current postgraduate research at WSA the seminar will also provide an opportunity to discuss the broader politics of display and cultural identity.
Set Reading
(1) Thu Thi Trinh & Chris Ryan (2013) ‘Museums, exhibits and visitor satisfaction: a study of the Cham Museum, Danang, Vietnam’, Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 11:4, 239-263.
(2)¬†Sue M. Davies et al. (2013) ‘The museum values framework: a framework for understanding organisational culture in museums’,¬†Museum Management and Curatorship,¬†Vol. 28, No. 4, 345-361.

Wednesday 21 May
ALL DAY EVENT : Looking at Images (Workshop 1)
AHRC-funded Event. Booking Required. More Details…

Wednesday 4 June
Session 7: Of Performance and Performativity…
Ideas about ‘performance’ crop up in a number of our discussions. The idea of eventfulness and different kinds of temporarily and ephemerality are potentially issues that arise in your work. Also, crucially, social and political questions concerning presentation and representation (not least of issues relating to gender) are central to much of our work. This week’s seminar will look at a very well known and important text by Judith Butler on ‘performativity’, along with a few other different examples of what we mean by performance.
Set Reading
(1) Judith Butler, ‘Performative Acts and Gender Constitution’,¬†Theatre Journal, 40, No.4, 1988, 519-31.
(2) Emilyn Claid, ‘Setting the Scene’, from¬†Yes? No! Maybe‚Ķ Routledge, 2006.