In Brown & Dowling (1998) we describe the process of research as involving an analytic division between theoretical and empirical fields. The theoretical field comprises general claims and debates relating to the researcher’s area of interest and their specific research question. The empirical field comprises relevant, local practices and experiences from which the researcher will establish their empirical setting in operationalising their question. This five session seminar is predicated upon the claim that this way of thinking about research can be productive (perhaps, sometimes dialogically) in all traditions of academic research: mathematics, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. The focus, in the seminar, will be on the theoretical field, although there will be necessary forays into the empirical. These sessions will be driven by what participants bring to them, but will include a consideration of key terms and traditions in theory and, in particular, the opportunity to explore the theoretical spaces that are opened up by participants’ own research projects.
A commitment to full attendance (excluding emergencies, of course) and active participation is a requirement for registration on this seminar.
Subject to there being sufficient interst, the seminar will run twice in 2006-7: