PhD Studentship at King’s College London with Royal Academy ‘Information, Interaction and Interpretation in Museums and Galleries’ #sociology #EMCA #museum #art

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Information, Interaction and Interpretation in Museums and Galleries

Ph.D Studentship: King’s College London with the Royal Academy, London

King’s Business School, Doctoral Programme, King’s College London

 

Studentship start date: October 2019

Application Deadline: 22ndFebruary 2019

https://liss-dtp.ac.uk/case-studentships-student-applicants/#1543419212249-53f51303-994d

We seek applications for a studentship to undertake a Ph.D at the King’s Business School, King’s College London, in close collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The project will examine how visitors use information provided by museums and galleries, for example through labels, gallery cards and electronic devices, in exploring, discussing and interpreting works of art. It will focus on the interaction of visitors and the ways in which resources provided by museums and galleries inform how people engage works of art and participate within exhibitions. Data for the project will consist of audio-visual recordings of ‘naturally occurring’ conduct and interaction within museums and galleries augmented by field studies, interviews of visitors, curators and designers, and textual analysis. The project will also involve undertaking a series of small-scale, ‘experiments’ in actual exhibitions in which we make systematic changes to the information provided to visitors. The project will contribute to contemporary developments in studies of social interaction and in particular our understanding of how the sense and significance of art arises in and through talk, embodied conduct and the use of material and digital resources. It will also contribute to practice, – how the particular resources provided by museums and galleries bear upon the ways in which people engage art and participate in exhibitions. The successful applicant will be supervised by Professor Christian Heath, Dr Dirk vom Lehn (King’s College London) and Dr Maurice Davies (Head of Collections) Royal Academy, London.

Applicants should have a background in the social sciences and some familiarity with qualitative methods and research. The applicant is expected to have an interest in art and museums and galleries. The studentship may fund a one year MSc, followed by a three year studentship to undertake the Ph.D or if the applicant will have already secured an MSc. Or MA, then fund the undertaking the PhD only. We will only consider applicants that are expected to gain a 1stor at least an upper 2:1 in their final degree.

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must be ordinarily resident in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, and have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship grant.

Further information on the eligibility criteria for full awards can be found on the UKCISA website: www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Fees-and-Money/Government-Student-Support

To find out more about of the studentship and the proposed project please contact either Professor Christian Heath (christian.heath@kcl.ac.uk)or Dr Dirk vom Lehn (dirk.vom_lehn@kcl.ac.uk). The final deadline for applications is 22ndof February 2019 but we would very much welcome applications before that date.

LISS DTP (liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk) can answer any general questions regarding the application process, core methods training requirements etc.

To be accepted, applications must include:

  • a completed ESRC LISS DTP Collaborative (CASE) Application Form
  • a copy of your CV
  • 2 academic references, or 1 academic and 1 professional reference (these should be sent directly to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk by your referees)
  • copies of transcripts for all relevant degrees

These materials should be sent BOTH to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk and the project academic lead by the deadline.

https://liss-dtp.ac.uk/case-studentships-student-applicants/#1543419212249-53f51303-994d

 

 

Call for Papers – ‘The Senses in Social Interaction’ – Symbolic Interaction #sssi #sociology

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Special Issue – The Senses in Social Interaction

 

Co-edited by

Will Gibson (University College London, Institute of Education) & Dirk vom Lehn (King’s College London)

 

Symbolic Interaction invites submissions for a Special Issue exploring the role of the senses in social interaction. Our particular concern is with how the senses are invoked in communicative practice in everyday life and how people make their sensorial experiences accountable to one another. The papers will mark a turning point in the study of the senses by analysing empirically senses as interactional phenomena — i.e. how people communicate about the senses; how talk, gesture, gaze, material artefacts, physical environments, and other resources are used to make the senses accountable to other participants; and how senses are made relevant and observable to unfolding interaction. We regard this approach as contrasting with existing research in the field that often looks at the ‘cultural significance’ of sensorial action or at the phenomenological experience and the meanings of sensorial action in absence of a close analysis of the interaction order in which such meanings are situated.

Studies have begun to explore the ways that the sensorial activities figure in and configure social practices, and how they play a role in the structuring of contextually specific ‘practical relevancies’ (Mann 2018). We are particularly interested in research that develops this idea by looking at how the senses become relevant to ‘making something happen’. This ‘something’ may be in an organisational context, such as at work or in an organisationally ‘structured’ experience like visiting a gallery or going to a concert. Similarly, papers may look at more mundane contexts such as chatting, shopping, eating/drinking either in private or public spaces. A part of our interest is in exploring the methodological challenges in studying the senses (Vannini et al., 2013). In the light of this, we would be keen to publish a variety of methodological approaches from different theoretical perspectives, and to include work that uses a range of methods including observations and video methods, but also more experimental forms using contemporary modes of data representation from the arts.

We welcome tentative expressions of interest and are happy to explore the fit of possible research papers with the above theme.

Full papers should be submitted to the online system of Symbolic Interaction. Please select the tab related to this Special Issue when submitting your paper, or indicate in your cover letter that your paper is for the Special Issue. When preparing your paper please follow the author submission guidelines of Symbolic Interaction.

Deadline for submission is May 30, 2019. You will be informed by July 15 if your paper has been accepted for the Special Issue and if revisions are required to prepare the paper for publication.

To submit your article, please go HERE.

In case of any questions, please contact Will Gibson (w.gibson@ucl.ac.uk) and/or Dirk vom Lehn (dirk.vom_lehn@kcl.ac.uk).

 

References

Mann A (2018) Ordering tasting in a restaurant: experiencing, socializing, and processing food. The Senses and Society 13(2). 135–146.

Vannini P, Waskul D and Gottschalk S (2013) The Senses in Self, Society, and Culture: A Sociology of the Senses (Contemporary Sociological Perspectives). Routledge.

Dancing as Interactional Achievement #sociology #emca

aesthetics, dance, Ethnomethodology, experience, sociology, SSSI, Uncategorized

Together with Saul Albert I am currently working on video-data collected at Lindy Hop Dance workshops for beginners. Our interest is in the nexus between the body and the social, that for long have been kept separated in sociology. In July 2017 we presented a paper titled ‘Beginning to Dance: methods of mutual coordination between novice dancers‘ at the Joint Action Meeting (JAM) held at Queen Mary’s University London. The paper explores how novice dancers are able to make a first step in step with a dance partner, with the rhythm of the music and with the other dancers. Analytically and methodologically the paper draws on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis and the more recent development of video-analysis of interaction (Heath, Hindmarsh & Luff 2010) as well as from the fabulous analysis of Lindy Hop dance lessons by Leelo Keevalik.

Further information information about the project is on Saul’s website on Dance as Interaction.

Publications

Presentations

Interaction #sssi #sociology

interaction, Symbolic Interaction, symbolic interactionism, Uncategorized

Across the social sciences as well as some of the technical sciences like CSCW or HCI there is great interest in “interaction”. Studies explore interaction between systems, interaction between human beings, often called “users”, and systems, interaction between two or more people and much more. In 2011, together with Will Gibson (UCL/IoE) I co-edited a Special Issue of Symbolic Interaction (Vol.34(3)) concerned with different ways in interaction features in symbolic interactionism. The introduction to the Special Issue can be found HERE. Below is the Table of Content of the issue:-

Symbolic Interaction Vol.34(3)

                   Interaction and Symbolic Interactionism (pages 315–318)

Dirk vom Lehn and Will Gibson

    1. “Scissors, Please”: The Practical Accomplishment of Surgical Work in the Operating Theater (pages 398–414)Jeff Bezemer, Ged Murtagh, Alexandra Cope, Gunther Kress and Roger Kneebone

       

      Book Review

From Visitor Research and Eye-Tracking Studies to Research of Interaction in Museums #sociology

aesthetics, exhibitions, interaction, mobility, museums, Uncategorized, visitors

Last week, I have attended a fascinating workshop organised by Mathias Blanc at the Louvre-Lens and Meshs in Lille. The workshop forms part of a project Mathias runs in cooperation with the Louvre-Lens and their current exhibition “The Le Main Mystery“. As part of the project “Ikonikat” Mathias and the team developed an app run on tablet computers that encourage visitors to the exhibition at the Louvre-Lens to mark-up areas of painting they have seen. The traces that people leave on the iPad are an interesting novel form of data to understand what people consider to be relevant when looking at paintings.

lenain

The workshop included participants from Austria, France, Germany and Great Britain who in teams worked on data gathered with Ikonikat and with video-cameras in the exhibition. In their subsequent presentations the participants drew on their respective expertise in art history, eye-tracking, image analysis, and video-analysis. The presentations led to fascinating discussions about the relationship between looking at and seeing art and the scientific, social-scientific, and sociological analysis of exploring museums and looking at works of art. I used my slot for a short discussion of relationships and differences between visitor research, investigations using eye-tracking and studies of social interaction in art museums.

Visitor Research has long been defined by studies using quantitative measures to assess the effectiveness of exhibits in attracting and holding people’s attention; the best-known measures are attracting and holding power – for a discussion of the relevance of ‘time’ as a measurement for visitor research see the Special Issue in Curator: The Museum Journal Vol.40(4) [1997]. In 1976, Harris Shettel, now a classic in visitor research, published a study in which he explored the attracting and holding power of exhibit elements. For the purpose of the study Shettel placed a camera behind exhibits to capture visitors’ eye movement. In a way, Shettel’s innovative research can be seen as a precursor to recent studies using more complex eye-tracking equipment.

Eye-Tracking is used by visitor researchers as well as by art historians to identify the elements of paintings (or other exhibits) that people’s eyes fixate for a measured time and where they ‘jump’ (‘saccade’) from there. The result are images transposed onto paintings that show the movement of a spectator’s eyes across a canvas. The analysis of these images allows researchers like Raphael Rosenberg who participated in the workshop to compare spectators’ visual behaviour with art historical theories about the form and content of paintings. Over recent years, eye tracking studies have moved out of the research laboratory into museums and are increasingly interested in how other actions, such as speaking, influence looking at works of art.

As the response by Gregor Wedekind revealed art historians are not in agreement about the use and usefulness of eye-track within the discipline. Not only is the technical effort of eye-tracking studies large but also the outcome at times seems to reflect knowledge about works of art and their form and content that art historians have held for a long period of time.

Sociological Interpretation of Pictures – Save for the scientific analysis of looking at art  conducted by art historians and cognitive psychologists, in sociology there are strands of research that has emerged in light of Alfred Schütz’s phenomenological analyses. For example, Jürgen Raab presented the phenomenological analysis of pictures and Roswitha Breckner presented objective hermeneutics as two methods designed to reveal contemporary people’s interpretation of images.

Social Interaction in Museums has been investigated for more than two decades. Whilst earlier research in Visitor Studies considered the presence and actions of people in museums as ‘social factors’ since the mid-1990s research originating either in socio-cultural theory (Crowley, Knutsen, Leinhardt and others) explores how what is being looked at and how experiences and learning arises at exhibits are the result of social interaction, talk and discussion. These studies often have a particular interest in people’s ‘learning’ from exhibits and therefore, for example, compare the content of people’s talk with the content of exhibitions.

 

Change of Perspective: Visitors’ Point of View

The approaches exploring people’s experience of exhibits and exhibitions can be described as ‘scientific’ or “formal-analytic” (Garfinkel & Sacks 1974). Researchers taking the perspective of the scientific observer categorise and measures the behaviour. They often consider behaviour as a response to the physical, visual and social environment.

For long, interactionist research has  challenged the scientific view of ‘behaviour’ and developed theories and methods to investigate ‘actions’ and their social organisation from the perspective of the ‘actor’; how do people produce their actions at particular moments in a situation? In developing ethnomethodology Harold Garfinkel proposed to eliminate the distinction between the scientific and the actor’s perspective. Thus, he radicalised interactionist and related approaches who argued for a theoretical change in perspectives and asked for a practical change of perspectives. As researchers we are not using typologies to describe people’s actions but we are interested in the practical organisation of people’s action. In other words: we are interested in how an action orients to a prior action, and how the action provides the context for a next action (Heritage 1984).

Audio-/video-recordings  provide access to this recursive interrelationship of actions as they are produced in front of exhibits. Rather than using a formal-analytic scheme to categorise action video-based studies of interaction (Heath, Hindmarsh & Luff 2010) examine in detail the moment-by-moment emergence of action. They examine the (social) organisation of people’s talk, gestures, bodily and visual action and their orientation to the material and visual environment. In museums, this means that they are concerned with revealing how people who, for example, stand at a painting look at the piece in concert with each other, use talk and gesture to jointly examine a particular exhibit element together and provide each other with ways of making sense of the object. Rather than considering action to be stimulated by exhibit elements, as visitor research has often argued, video-based research that draws on Garfinkel’s ethnomethodology inspects how people orient to each other and how they systematically embed aspects of the environment in their action and interaction.

 

Implication of Video-based Research in Museums

Visitor research is a largely applied field of research. From its origins it was concerned with assessing the effectiveness and to inform the design and development of exhibits. and exhibitions. However, by considering the material and visual material to be external to people’s action and interaction and conceiving it as a stimulus of action visitor research ignores the social organisation of action.

By focusing on the ways in which people organise their action and how they contingently intertwine their action with material and visual aspects of the environment, video-based studies that draws on ethnomethodology can inform, for example, the design of information resources deployed in museums and galleries. This requires systematic studies of how people orient to labels and paintings in art museums, how they use information provided in labels in their examination of works of art and in their talk and interaction with others. They can show that labels as well as novel interactive systems and devices are not only information sources for individual users but that the technology as well as the information displayed on them often become a resource that people embed within their interaction with others and that they use to influence and shape each other’s experience of art.

References

Bachta, R. J., Filippini-Fantoni, S., & Leason, T. (2012). Evaluating the Practical Applications of Eye Tracking in Museums | museumsandtheweb.com. In Museums and the Web. San Diego, CA.

Bitgood, S. (1993). Social influences on the visitor museum experience. Visitor Behavior.

Bitgood, S., & Shettel, H. H. (1996). An overview of visitor studies. The Journal of Museum Education, 21(3), 6–10. http://doi.org/10.1080/10598650.1996.11510329

Breckner, R. (2010). Sozialtheorie des Bildes : Zur interpretativen Analyse von Bildern und Fotografien. Bielefeld: Transcript.

Heath, C., Hindmarsh, J., & Luff, P. (2010). Video in Qualitative Research. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Heath, C., & vom Lehn, D. (2004). Configuring Reception: (Dis-)Regarding the “Spectator” in Museums and Galleries. Theory, Culture & Society, 21(6), 43–65. http://doi.org/10.1177/0263276404047415

Heath, C., & vom Lehn, D. (2008). Configuring “Interactivity”: Enhancing Engagement in Science Centres and Museums. Social Studies of Science, 38(1), 63–91. http://doi.org/10.1177/0306312707084152

Heritage, J. (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Klein, C., Betz, J., Hirschbuehl, M., Fuchs, C., Schmiedtová, B., Engelbrecht, M., … Rosenberg, R. (2014). Describing Art – An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Effects of Speaking on Gaze Movements during the Beholding of Paintings. PLoS ONE, 9(12), e102439. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0102439

Knoblauch, H., Schnettler, B., Raab, J., & Soeffner, H.-G. (Eds.). (2006). Video-Analysis: Qualitative Audiovisual Data Analysis in Sociology Methodologies of Video Analysis. New York: Peter-Lang.

Massaro, D., Savazzi, F., Di Dio, C., Freedberg, D., Gallese, V., Gilli, G., & Marchetti, A. (2012). When Art Moves the Eyes: A Behavioral and Eye-Tracking Study. PLoS ONE, 7(5), e37285. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037285

Raab, J. (2008). Visuelle Wissenssoziologie. Theoretische Konzeption und materiale Analysen (Erfahrung – Wissen – Imagination): Theoretische Konzeption und materiale Analysen (1. Aufl.). UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.

Shettel, Harris H. 1976. An Evaluation of Visitor Response to ‘Man and His Environment’. Report no. AIR-43200-7/76-FR. Washington, D.C.” American Instituts of Research.

vom Lehn, D. (2010). Examining “Response”: Video-based Studies in Museums and Galleries. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 4(1), 33–43.

vom Lehn, D. (2012). Configuring standpoints: Aligning perspectives in art exhibitions. Bulletin Suisse de Linguistique Appliquée, 96, 69–90.

vom Lehn, D. (2014). Harold Garfinkel: The Creation and Development of Ethnomethodology. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

vom Lehn, D. (2017). Harold Garfinkel und die Kultursoziologie. In S. Moebius, F. Nungesser, & K. Scherke (Eds.), Handbuch Kultursoziologie: Band 1: Begriffe — Kontexte — Perspektiven — Autor{_}innen (pp. 1–10). Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-08000-6_66-1

vom Lehn, D., & Heath, C. (2016). Action at the exhibit face: video and the analysis of social interaction in museums and galleries. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(15–16), 1441–1457.

 

Musical Technologies of Memory

Uncategorized

over on the SSSI Music blog Jason Sumerau posted an interesting piece on Musical Technologies of Memory

Symbolic Interaction Music Blog

I have an electric guitar in my office. Cherry red and white, it lives on a little stand situated between one of my bookshelves and a file cabinet. Sometimes when I get stuck on a manuscript or course preparation, I pick it up and just play for a little while (without amplification) to clear my mind. I find the feel of the strings between my fingers allows me to relax and think about other things for a while, which often helps me work through whatever has me temporarily stuck. At other times, it sparks conversations with students and colleagues who notice it upon entering my office. In such cases, some people ask about its origin, design, or sound while others comment on its appearance or seek to get me to play a bit (to varying degrees of success). While preparing for my university’s graduation ceremony this past week, I found…

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Openness in the Academic and Corporate World

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“Consultants frequently tell academics that they are obliged to become more “corporate” in outlook-to pay more attention to the bottom line and to develop more proprietary products and services. These pressures are particularly intense in fields with immediate commercial relevance. However, certain principles of openness derived from traditional science and academic life might end up serving the long-term economic interests of American industries.” (p.253)

from Frank Pasquale. 2011. RESTORING TRANSPARENCY TO AUTOMATED AUTHORITY. Journal of Telecommunications and High Technology Law. Vol.9: 235-254

How To View Critics Telling You How to View Art in a Museum

Ethnomethodology, exhibitions, experience, Uncategorized

Excellent post by Ed Rodley in response on a critic’s explanation of how to look at art in museums.

Thinking about Museums

The blind fingerless art critic by Flickr user Shareheads CC-BY 2.0 The blind fingerless art critic
by Flickr user Shareheads
CC-BY 2.0

I have a confession to make: art critics baffle me. Especially when they venture to make grand pronouncements about the right way to go about experiencing art in museums. So when I saw the title of Philip Kennicott’s piece in the Washington Post, titled “How to view art: Be dead serious about it, but don’t expect too much” I will confess that I died a little bit inside. “Sigh. Another ‘you people are doing it all wrong’ piece.” Just what the world needs, another art critic holding forth on the sad state of museums and museumgoing. But, though there is plenty of sneering, there’s also a lot worthy of discussion. And debate. Kennicott’s post didn’t stand alone too long before Jillian Steinhauer posted a reply at Hyperallergic, and Jen Olencziak a rebuttal at Huffington Post. So, let’s take a…

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Research Paper on Openings in Optometric Consultations

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As part of the ESRC funded project The Practical Work of the Optometrist Helena Webb, Christian Heath, Dirk vom Lehn, Will Gibson and Bruce Evans have published an article concerned with the opening of optometric consultations in the journal Research on Language and Social Interaction. The paper particularly explored the sensitivity clients display to the use of the word ‘problem’ in the opening questions of the history taking.

The Problem With “Problems”: The Case of Openingsin Optometry Consultations

Abstract

This article contributes to conversation analytic understanding of openings in health-care consulta-tions. It focuses on the case of optometry: a form of health-care practice in which an optometristconducts checks of a patient’s vision and eye health. Patients are advised to attend regularly for rou-tine assessments and can also request a specific appointment at any time. Analysis of a corpus of 66 consultations shows what happens when the optometrist’s opening question solicits the client’s“problems” with their eyes. We find three types of patient response. Patients who have requested aspecific appointment (most often) report a problem with their eyes and establish a problem-purposeencounter. Patients attending for a routinely timed appointment either report no problems and estab-lish a routine-assessment purpose, or if they do have a problem, they delay reporting it or downplay it.We track through what happens subsequently. The findings have practical implications for diagnosisand treatment.