International Summer Workshop on Alternative Methods in Social Research

Barcelona, July 13 – 17, 2015
In memoriam of Ricardo Reis

The Visual Arts and Education Graduate Program of the University of Barcelona and the research group Esbrina are pleased to announce the schedule for the first annual summer workshop, a weeklong course open to graduate students in the Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (with preference given to Ph.D. students).

This program is a result of our interest in broadening the scope of our research through the development of alternative methods. It reflects our commitment to developing socially and politically engaged projects capable of coping with new social issues.

The main aim of the workshop is to generate a deeper understanding of the relationship between method and research subject. In particular we wish to focus on the issue of researching with, to consider how research projects emerge as a collaborative learning experience, sensitive to interactions and exchanges with others.

Within this framework, the course will focus on: Visual Ethnography, Artistic Methods, Community-based Research, Network Ethnography and Artistic Research. The course will focus on one methodological approach per day, with a master class in the morning and a workshop in the afternoon.


The course will be carried out in English, with the option to complete the workshop component in Spanish.

Participants must be prepared to present their research methods and current processes, as the workshop will be based on individual research projects.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance.


The admission for students with the right to present their work has ended. If you still want to attend the workshop, please send a document in Microsoft Word format to with the following information:

  1. Personal information: name, institutional affiliation, graduate program (specify year), supervisor, e-mail address.
  2. Expression of interest: include a brief explanation of why you want to attend the workshop. 200 words maximum.
  3. Research focus: submit a list that orders the five research methods that the course will focus on by personal preference (1st to last). This will help the organizers create groups for the workshop component.
Application deadline: JUNE 12th, 2015Close


Registration to the course is free, although students will have to cover their own travel, accommodation and daily expenses.

Schedule (Monday – Friday)

9:00 Registration
9:30 Opening remarks
10:00 Master class (see daily schedule below)
11:30 Coffee break
12:00 Master class (continued)
14:00 Lunch
16:00 Workshop
19:00 End of the day


Sala de Juntes / School of Fine Arts / University of Barcelona
C/ Pau Gargallo, 4. 08028 Barcelona, Spain



Community-based Research Methods (July 13th)

Case study: (TBD)

The Vagabond Reviews workshop

AILBHE MURPHY. Visual artist based in Dublin, Ireland whose practice has evolved primarily within the community development sector.

CIARAN SMYTH. His research approach combines an ethnography of a contemporary public psychiatric system with a post-structuralist analysis of mental medicine in its community-based mode of operations.

Participatory Visual Ethnography (July 14th)

Case study: Searching for respect: A Visual Ethnography on Barcelona’s youth gangs.

LUCA QUEIROLO PALMAS. Laboratory of Visual Sociology. University of Génova, Italy.


Artistic Methods In Social Research (July 15th)

Case study: The project Communicating Chronic Pain at LSE.

JEN TARR. Assistant Professor in Research Methodology in the Department of Methodology, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK. Principal Investigator of the project Communicating Chronic Pain, funded by the National Centre for Research Methods.

Network Ethnography (July 16th)

Case study: ‘Roll-out neoliberalism’ through one-to-one laptop investments in Swedish schools.

CATARINA PLAYER-KORO. Lecturer, University College of Borås, Sweden.

Artistic Research (July 17th)

Case study: (TBD)

ANNIINA SOUMINEN. Aalto University, Finland


Organized by

  • Visual Arts and Education Graduate Program, University of Barcelona

With support from

  • International Master’s Programme, AGAUR, Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Fine Arts Faculty, University of Barcelona
  • Departament de Didàctica i Organització Educativa, University of Barcelona.

In collaboration with

  • Esbrina – Contemporary subjectivities, visualities and educational environments
  • REUNI+D – University Network on Research and Innovation in Education
  • Visual Arts and Education Graduate Program, University of Granada
  • Visual Arts and Education Graduate Program, University of Porto

Header image by Kyle Szegedi