Call for contributions

Engaging Tactics

/////// BSA Postgraduate Conference
/////// Monday, April 30th and Tuesday, May 1st 2012
/////// Sociology Department, Goldsmiths, University of London

Engaging Tactics is a two-day BSA Postgraduate event exploring social sciences’ insightful and creative ways of engaging with the social world. The event seeks to survey the tactics by which we seek to produce and share knowledge, focusing on the construction and upholding of meaningful and confiding relationships with both research participants and emerging publics. The symposium will take place as a set of site and tactic specific presentations, workshops, round-table discussions and happenings throughout Goldsmiths College and neighbouring New Cross and Deptford.

The conference is organised by the Postgraduate Research Community at Goldsmiths’ Department of Sociology in collaboration with the British Sociological Association (BSA) and Goldsmiths’ Methods Lab.

Confirmed speakers are Sophie Hope (Media and Cultural Studies, Birkbeck), Noortje Marres (Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process, Goldsmiths), Claudia Mitchell (Integrated Studies in Education, McGill), Alison Rooke (Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths), Nirmal Puwar (Methods Lab and Curating Sociology, Goldsmiths) and Vic Seidler (Sociology, Goldsmiths).

/////// Contact and submissions: engagingtactics [at]
/////// Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 9th, 2012.
/////// further information and call:


/////// Call for papers/contributions
/////// The call for contributions is divided into 2 strands:


In strand one we ask participants to critically examine the engaging tactics they employ when researching or communicating a specific topic or findings. We would like these tactics to be presented and discussed in a ‘tactic-specific’ way, i.e. in a way that recalls in practice the specific actions, spaces, collaborations, experiments and/or tools of which the particular way of engagement makes use. Within this strand, papers and all forms of participation are welcome always when the presentation form clearly resonates with the engaging tactic under examination. Possible modes of putting forward the discussion on each ‘engaging tactic’ range from performative presentations (e.g. of data) to guerrilla-‘doings’ (cooking for example); from body narratives to derives, flash-gigs and sound-walks; or from specific visual/graphic approaches to modes of ‘material thinking’ to works of dialogical art… Possible locations for actions/presentations inside and outside college include (but are not limited to) a terrace, a café, a public library, a corridor, a garden, a car park and a zebra crossing (as well as a conventional lecture theatre…). If these spaces do not suit the proposed presentations, please suggest a space inside or near Goldsmiths College or challenge us with a specific type of space that we would be happy to try to make available.

Contributions in strand one will be 15 min. each. They will be grouped in sessions according to the type of tactic they examine, the type of locations they require and the type of action they imply. Between contributions there will be plenty of time for informal discussions while moving from one venue to the other.


Strand two encourages submissions that present open questions and (so far) unfulfilled wishes regarding the how, where, with whom and with what means of engaging tactics. This session is designed to provide space for discussing work in progress, to develop ideas and to open up possible future collaborations. It seeks to be a laboratory for engaging tactics still in the making. The session/sessions of strand two will be held in collaboration with Goldsmiths’ Methods Lab and Curating Sociology course, convened by Dr. Nirmal Puwar, as well as with invited artists and curators working in the field of socially engaged art practices.

Presentations in strand two will be of 5 min. each followed by Q/A and discussion with other participants.


For contribution under strand one, please send us your title, 250-word abstract, preferred location (or type of location) and any relevant specification regarding technical or any other requirements together with your name, department and university (or organisation). For submissions under strand two, please send us a working title and 250-word abstract together with your name, department and university (or organisation)

/////// Please send all submissions to: engagingtactics [at]
/////// Deadline for all submissions is Friday, March 9th, 2012.

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