Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 20 years.
Under the umbrella term of 'arts-led research', his main efforts have involved developing tools
from the arts and humanities for use by social scientists in research and its impact on a wider
public or a Perfomative Social Science.

Jones was Reader in Performative Social Science and Qualitative Research at
Bournemouth University for 15 years.
He is now a Visiting Scholar and and an independent author and scholar.

Kip has produced films and written many articles for academic journals and authored chapters
for books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality, and older LGBT citizens.
Jones' most recent work involves working with Generation Z youth to tell their stories using
social media.
His ground-breaking use of qualitative methods, including Auto-fiction, biography
and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research
and dissemination are well-known.

Jones acted as Author and Executive Producer of
the award-winning short film, RUFUS STONE, funded by Research Councils UK.
The film is now available for free viewing on the Internet
and has been viewed by more than 14,000 people in 150 countries.

Areas of expertise
• Close relationships, culture and ethnicity
• Social psychology, sociology
• Ageing, self and identity
• Interpersonal processes, personality,
individual differences,
social networks, prejudice and stereotyping
• Sexuality and sexual orientation
• Creativity and the use of the
arts in Social Science

Media experience
His work has been reported widely
in the media, including:
BBC Radio 4,BBC TV news,Times
Higher Education, Sunday New
York Times, International
and The Independent.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

"A Past/A Present" ARTS in Research (AiR) Workshop at Bournemouth

The AiR collaborative at Bournemouth will be gathering in a week to experiment with the stories of others and how to represent them using various media. Participation in the two-day workshop is closed now, but others are welcome to the concept and to experiment with it themselves.

The instructions are simple:
The ARTS in Research (AiR) Collaborative would like you to contribute to an experiment. Please bring your past as a present to the workshop. You will give it to someone else. They get to keep it.

Look through that box at the back of the wardrobe or in the loft—the one with bits and pieces that you have been unable to throw away because they represent you and your past.  You are going to give some of them away now.

Find some of those precious objects to include in a small packet.

Objects might include a paperback novel, pamphlets, railroad tickets, stamps, old letters or
photographs (from when photographs used to be physical things), a mix-tape cassette (still have
any?) or a 45 record, a food stained recipe card, a small piece of clothing, an accessory like a ribbon or a badge, sheet music, keys, post cards, used concert or theatre tickets, a self-penned poem or a song, or a drawing. Select a few of the objects that tell a particular story from a particular time in your life. Finally, find a box or something else to put them in or wrap them in. Wrap them lovingly, using beautiful materials, perhaps ones that you also have collected. No more than could fill a cigar box or a shoebox at most.

Bring your gift to the workshop. You will agree to exchange presents with one person, someone chosen for you by random. You will talk to each other, telling each other stories about the contents. You might make some notes, but be a good listener/observer. After eating lunch with your partner, we will gather to begin to create individual projects around the earlier exchanges.

Day Two: will be ‘Show & Tell’ –more show than tell. You will present your partner’s story in 5 minutes using any media of your choosing that is convenient. You may want to have your phone, your iPad, your laptop with you. These will be ‘narrative postcards’ of the stories that you have experienced.

Two-day Workshop on Biography, Narrative and Arts-based approaches to collecting and
disseminating the personal stories of others by using our own.
  Other than listening, how do we gather life stories?
• Other than dry academic reports, how can we retell these stories in a sensitive
and ethical way to wider audiences?
• How do the stories themselves inspire creativity in retelling them?
• How can we involve participants in the retelling of their stories?
• How much of their story is also our story?
• When is the gathering of the story itself, itself the story?
• How willing are we to let go of our selves?
• Form new relationships with colleagues across disciplines and Schools.
• Experiment with arts-based methods to represent/disseminate research findings.
• Develop more participatory relationships/collaborations with research participants.
• Develop visual and tactile methods of gathering data using all of the senses.

 “It’s difficult to draw a line between the past
and the present –awfully difficult” –Little Edie,
Maysles Brothers’ documentary,
Grey Gardens

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Amy Genders Questions Kip about Academic Blogging

By Amy Genders

Q&A: Kip Jones on the Art of Academic Blogging
Posted on August 12, 2014

I recently interviewed Jones to find out more about how he uses social media to share his research and his advice for other academics who want to try their hand at blogging.

You have created quite a prolific online presence with regular blog updates and use of Facebook and Twitter to share your research. Why is this important to you?
I have always been keen to reach wider audiences with my work, both my academic and creative outputs. It seems a shame to spend months, sometimes years, working on a project, only to have it end up on a library shelf or in an academic repository. I first used a personal website to get my work out there in combination with email newsgroups. When social media came along, I then began to experiment with Facebook and then Twitter as well to build audiences for my work.

A good example is my PhD Thesis, which I uploaded to my website at least ten years ago now with little interest then. In the past year or so it has also been uploaded to where it has now been viewed more than 700 times. This did not happen not only because of the site, but also because I frequently tweet about it and post it on Facebook as well. The fact that an 80,000 word document can generate this kind of attention is, quite frankly, mind boggling and demonstrates the strength of both social media and the impact of open access publication resources more generally.

My watchwords for social media are ‘Repetition, repetition, repetition!’ Don’t expect an audience to necessarily see your post the first time and don’t forget that they live in different global time zones. I have also been experimenting with what are called ‘tag lines’ in film distribution in writing 140 character tweets for Twitter. Creativity helps in getting attention in a very fast moving (and limited attention span) social media audience such as Twitter! And followers: be good to your followers and don’t forget to retweet their posts as well. Retweets build the audience, I have found.

The film based on your research, ‘Rufus Stone’, has been featured in such media outlets as The New York Times and BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed. What role has social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, played in promoting your work and engaging with wider audiences outside of academia?

In terms of the NY Times or Radio 4, I think ‘networking’ more generally was responsible for those successes. It really was a case of who do you know and more importantly who knows about you. I suppose social media helps a bit too and the Radio 4 producer still follows my tweets as does a reporter from Times Higher Education. So I would say it is mix of networking and always keeping up contacts through social media, which is easier and bit less off-putting then barraging reporters with email messages. If you have an idea for a story for a media outlet, a direct message through Twitter or Facebook is many times enough to create interest, without being too ‘self-promoting’.

Your blog KIPWORLD covers a range of topics from advice on writing a PhD thesis, to insight into your creative process. What advice would you give to other academics wanting to start their own blog?

KIPWORLD profoundly changed the way I write academically. I stepped into the waters of blog writing a bit sheepishly at first, trying to find both my style and what I might write about. I definitely did not want to make my blog a daily diary of my life or work (and I don’t have a cat). I tend to painstakingly write and rewrite anyway, so putting something out frequently was never going to work for me. I still write for my blog about once a month, although I now write for other blogs from time to time (LSE Impact blog, LSE Review of Books, Discovery Society, Sociological Imagination, Creative Quarter, The Creativity Post, Bournemouth University Research Blog) as well.

At the same time as I was beginning to write KIPWORLD, I was also turning to contemporary fiction writers (mostly to help with writing RUFUS STONE’s backstory). I particularly was attracted to the ‘Conceptual Novel’ approach of writers like Michael Kimball. His lean style and exquisite choice of phrase attracted me because it is similar to the necessity of brevity in script-writing.

Because I was also writing about my own story in constructing RUFUS STONE, I began to use the blog to write about my past as well. I began to develop what I call a ‘fictive reality’ or fiction based in a remembered past. At one point I realised that I had written creative fiction for the blog 11 times over five years and compiled it as one piece, Creative Writing Eleven (short) Stories from KIPWORLD 2009-2013.

All of this experimentation affected my more academic writing almost by stealth; I was writing more clearly, more simply, even more creatively when writing for academic publication. Probably the best example of this is: Infusing Biography with the Personal: Writing RUFUS STONE first published in the journal, Creative Arts Research.

My advice to others? Find your own voice, even your own subject material. Use your blog to develop your writing and your own style. Don’t just assume that it has to look and sound like a blog to be one. Include at least one picture with every blog article. Let people know about the blog through social media—don’t expect an audience to just find it on its own. Promote it. If the most important thing in your life IS to write about your cat, write about it as creatively as you possibly can. Enjoy the experience!

Reposted by permission from Amy Genders' Arts on Television blog.