"PU Doctoral Training" workshop with Anya Lewin, Roberta Mock, Deborah Robinson, Amanda Russell 


The 2 days of training are made up of workshops and seminars investigating approaches to Artistic Research along  with one to one sessions focusing on what students can access through the University of Plymouth library.

Day 1 Dr Anya Lewin and Dr Deborah Robinson
"Thinking / Researching through Artistic Practice"

Research, therefore, means the state of not knowing – or even better, not yet knowing along with a desire for knowledge (Rheinberger 1992, Dombois 2006).

Part I
We will consider Henk Bordorff’s article "Artistic Practices and Epistemic Things" as well as modeling our own research practices. We will than move to discuss approaches to artistic research and the ways a practice as research methodology can be undertaken. We will consider how there is potential to involve the self or selves of the maker in the artistic research process, and for the research to be grounded in personal engagement. This suggests a move away from the objectification of subject matter,and can involve methodologies that are premised on embodiment. 

Part II 2:30 - 5:00 PM
The second session will be focused on diffractive methodologies and will be based on a close reading of chapter 2 "Diffractions: Differences, Contingencies, and  Entanglements That Matter`"  of Karen Barad’s  book "Meeting the Universe Halfway." We will also think through how or if diffractive methodologies would be useful to our own projects.

Day 2 Professor Roberta Mock
“Your Practice-Research: Articulating Methodology and Significance”

The purpose of this workshop is to offer you a sense of confidence in locating your project in such a way as to meet the criteria and expectations of practice-research PhD theses in the UK in general, and the University of Plymouth in particular. We will be concentrating on research methodology, significance and articulation, with specific reference to Robin Nelson’s “Dynamic Model for PaR” (2010). At least half of the workshop will revolve around discussions of participants’ projects, including how they might operate within the extended disciplinary and professional networks that confer ‘significance’ (and lead to making an ‘original contribution to knowledge’). You will be briefly introduced to the research groups at the University that engage with artistic/practice research and how you might access their activities. The rest of the session will consider such topics as definitions, characteristics and typologies of practice-research; as well as documentation, collaboration, data and ethics (as time permits).

1:1 Sessions with Amanda Russell, MSC

1:1 sessions with Plymouth University’s librarian, will be aimed at your specific needs whether it is about search strategies for resources management of results, interrogating the right resources, advice on copyright or unraveling the mysteries of Referencing.





Anya Lewin is an American artist based in the UK where she is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Art and Moving Image at Plymouth University. Prior to working in academia she had jobs in diverse fields ranging from shepherding (she never lost a sheep) to robotics (sorting robot parts in a basement) to art and community education. Her works often reflects her own personal history, which includes stories of immigration, translations from multiple languages, and fictional connections to real events.    


Roberta Mock is Professor of Performance Studies and Director of the Graduate School at the University of Plymouth, where she also convenes the Performance.Experience.Presence (P.E.P.) research group. Until 2016, she was a founding co-director of the AHRC-funded 3D3 Centre for Doctoral Training, which focuses solely on practice-led research in the digital arts, design and performance. Her theoretical, historical and practice research tends to explore gender, sexuality and the body in performance, with a particular interest in stand-up comedy and live art. Her books include Jewish Women on Stage, Film & Television (2007) and, as editor, Performing Processes: Creating Live Performance (2000) and Walking, Writing and Performance (2009). Between 1996-2006, her practice research took place within the context of a company she co-founded, Lusty Juventus Physical Theatre. Since then, she has mainly made autoethnographic solo performances and, in 2014, she produced an EU-funded LGBT community dance film, Heaven is a Place.   


Deborah Robinson is an artist and Associate Professor (Reader)in Contemporary Art at Plymouth University. She makes experimental audio-visual artworks mostly through collaborations that involve colleagues from across disciplines especially the life sciences. Her projects have been supported by research fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, the ESRC UK Genomics Forum, Edinburgh University, and a number?of residencies including with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge and Bath University (with ICIA). She is currently involved in a Wellcome Trust funded project Waiting Time (with Exeter University and Birkbeck). Her work has been exhibited in the UK and internationally. 


Amanda Russell is a Senior Information Specialist at Plymouth University who supports various programmes including Architecture, ATE, Environmental Building, Digital Art and Technology, Fine Art, Graphic Communication, Illustration, Media Arts, Photography, Publishing, and Three Dimensional Design. This includes support in teaching information literacy skills (Effective searching for and accessing of quality information) and the management of resources, both electronic and print, relating to these subject areas. Russell offers support and advice on the use of the Endnote referencing tool and co manage the supporting website.