Researching & Writing at the Crossroads (2024-25)

Syria Programme Updates

Researching and Writing at the Crossroads (2024-25)

“Researching and Writing at the Crossroads” is a course that challenges conventional academic researching and writing. Delivered by guest speakers on a range of topics and methodologies, it introduces participants to alternative forms of research-based writing. It is not a creative writing course, nor is it a technical course designed to improve writing style according to social science norms, although improved creativity and style may well be an outcome. The course is recommended for researchers at any stage of their career.

This 12-session course will be run by academics from the Universities of Middlesex and Essex in partnership with Cara (Council for At-Risk Academics) and external speakers. It aims to challenge conventional academic researching and writing, introduce participants to alternative forms of research-based writing. To benefit fully from the course, participants are recommended to attend all sessions.


Introduction Session  (10 April 16.00)

Course introduction

Live session on Zoom + recording of a brief promotional video instead on this, which will be shared for dissemination as well.

Session 1 (23 April 2024 16-17.30)

An introduction to Researching and Writing Differently

Ilaria Boncori (University of Essex, UK)

Session 2 (13 May 2024, 16.00-17.30)

Postcolonial Autotheory

Agnes Woolley (University of Southampton, UK)

Session 3 (25 June 2024 16.00-17.30)

Beautiful Writing, how to integrate beauty, joy and freedom into our writing.

Beatriz Acevedo (Anglia Ruskin, UK)

Session 4 (4 July 2024, 16.00-17.30)

Using autoethnography in service of others in scholarly work

Rima Hussein (Northumbria University, UK)

Session 5 (23 September 2024, 16-17.30)

Autoethnographic writing and collaborative autoethnography

Emmanouela Mandalaki (NEOMA Business School, France)

Session 6 (23 October 2024 16-18.00)

The poetics of ethnographic looking

Monika Kostera (University of Warsaw, Poland) and Joanna Srednicka (SWPS University Warsaw, Poland)

Session 7 (21 November 2024, 16.00-17.30)

Assembling Voices: Collating, Conjuring and Critiquing

Nico Pizzolato (Middlesex University)

Session 8 (3 December 2024) 16.00-17.30

Using collage as a reflexive tool to support writing.

Samantha Parsley (Portsmouth University, UK) and Harriet Shortt (University of the West of England, UK)

Session 9 (23 January 2025, 16.00-17.30)

Diverse Voices in Critical Creative Writing: Decolonial and Indigenous Approaches using Storytelling, Visual Arts, Multimodality and Poetry

Anastasia Christou (Middlesex University, London, UK)

Session 10 (20 February 2025, 16.00-17.30)

Writing ourselves into our research: when, why and how?

Kasia Narkowicz (Middlesex University)

Session 11

The Politics of Writing Process/Process Writing (12 March 2025, 16:00-17:30)

Stefanie Sachsenmaier (Middlesex University)

Concluding session (26 March 2025, 16.00)

Cost: The course is free to academics and postgraduate research students from the two host universities (Middlesex and Essex) as well as to Cara Fellows, however, participants from other institutions or the general public are invited to make a donation to Cara using the donate button at the time of registration.

Outcomes: * Discover a new voice away from the standard academic jargon and formulaic styles. * Understand a range of alternative writing practices and methods, including autoethnographic, visual, narrative and reflexive approaches. * Enhanced written communication with an audience beyond the conventional academic one. * Networking with researchers and community-building across different disciplines, institutions and backgrounds. * Although neither a creative writing course nor seeking to improve writing style, improved creativity and style may well be an additional outcome.

The course does not provide you with university credits and it includes no formal assessment, but you will be encouraged to work towards a submission that will be peer-assessed in a formative way.

Attendance is not compulsory, however to fully benefit from the learning and community building of this course we recommend that you attend all sessions. Participation is limited to 60 students on a first come first enrolled basis. If you don’t attend, you will be asked to leave your place to applicants in the waiting list.

Course Substack Website link (you can subscribe whether or not you attend the course)

Disclaimer: This online event will be accessed via Zoom. The Zoom URL link will be shared via email with registered participants one day prior to the event.