Through A Northern Lens: An Auto-ethnographic Turn
Reading Landscape Research Group, University of West of Scotland

Event Type:

Research Presentation


Seminar Room Film City Glasgow 401 Govan Road Glasgow, G51 2QJ


26 Oct 2018

Fri 13:30 - 17:15



"It's our parents who didn't see us", August 1957
Olive Wallace, Inherited family snapshot, From the Wallace family archive

Through A Northern Lens: An Auto-ethnographic Turn

Event info

Through A Northern Lens: An Auto-ethnographic Turn


Friday, October 26 2018

Seminar Room, Film City Glasgow
401 Govan Road
Glasgow G51 2QJ
For directions please click here

Limited places, booking essential.
Click here to book.

This on-going Public Seminar Series started in October 2015 with the topic 'Women, Picture, Place', in which guest speakers from Scotland and Finland presented research findings on women photographers and film makers addressing 'the North' in the 1930s. The October 2017 event addressed the theme of 'Place Image, Heritage and Archaelogy'. This October 2018 seminar will be on the theme: 'An Auto-ethnographic Turn'.

Auto-ethnography is an approach to observation and field work that has been adopted in various ways in art and design research and practice. Auto-ethnography developed in order to disrupt the unequal power relations that had obtained between apparently objective external specialist observers of people, places and activities and the observed 'others' of observation. In practice, expressions range from a species of situated autobiographical artworks, writings and reflections, through to the considered evaluation of the 'observer's part' in the research process and their negotiations with participants. In relation to the concerns of the Northern Lens series, our contributors to this seminar will discuss how their work engages with the auto-ethnographic shaped in very specific ways by notions of 'North'.

Co-organisers: Dr Frances Robertson, Dr Nicky Bird and Jenny Brownrigg

With thanks to: Film City Glasgow and University of West of Scotland


Audience Suggested Reading Material:

Boym, Svetlana. Future of Nostalgia, Basic Books (7 March 2002)
Hawkes, Jacquetta. A land. Orig. ed. published by The Cresset Press (1951)
Kohn, Eduardo. How Forests Think: Towards an Anthropology Beyond the Human ,University of California Press (August 2013)
Maitland, Sara. A Book of Silence, Granta Books (3 August 2009)
Myles, Eileen. The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art, MiT Press (June 2009)
Weinberger, Eliot. An Elemental ThingNew Directions (17 May 2007)



13:30 Welcome: Jenny Brownrigg, Nicky Bird, Frances Robertson

13:45 Teiji Wallace-Lewis (Ph.D. Research Student, School of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art): The Politics of Home/Land: Geographies of Trauma Within the Canadian Family Farm and Archive
This presentation is a narrative-based visual archaeology of a generational return to a family farm in Harrowsmith Ontario, Canada. In recounting the first of three fieldwork trips, the discussion focuses on the early use of auto-ethnography in the field, familial performances of memory, paradigms of place and displacement, the political dimensions of the private and familial, and how these tropes all blend into the framing of the Canadian "ready-made" farmhouse as an institutional and colonial space of transmission for "bodily, psychic and affective traumas" (Hirsch 2008, p. 103-4). 
Teiji Wallace-Lewis was born on Pender Island BC, Canada and currently lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. 

14:20 Dr. Rachael Flynn (Lecturer In Creative Practice, School of Media, Culture & Society, University of West of Scotland) Letters from home: Releasing emotional narratives of migration and diaspora through creative research practice 
Situating personal practice amidst intimate histories, this talk will open with a narrative account, recording a particular period from the author's family history. The author will then shift to introduce the ways in which her own artistic research modes have been developed to explore the ways in which her prior artistic sensibilities have supported and built towards a cross-disciplinary research practice, including how auto-ethnographic traditions have supported the use of emotional insight as critical inquiry mode. 
Dr Flynn's interdisciplinary work bridges sculpture, performance, writing, mark making, moving image and installation. Her practice research explores familial stories of migration and diaspora between Scotland and Ireland, principally in terms of women's accounts. 

14:55 Respondent: Dr. Jo Clements
Clements' activities are tied together by an interest in why and how people write history. They are interested in the role museums and other heritage organisations in the Highlands play in the histories individuals and communities write. 
Jo Clements is a freelance archivist and curator based in the Highlands. 

15:10 Coffee Break

15:20 Dr. George S. Jaramillo (Lecturer and Research Associate at The Innovation School, GSA) Lines of Enquiry: Drawing as auto-ethnographic practice 
This paper explores the sensory experiences in landscapes as it is expressed with the drawing, asking how does drawing embody the landscape? It does so through two research studies of rural regions in the United Kingdom: the Peak District and the Outer Hebrides. 
Jaramillo is an architect and heritage specialist, with interests in rural landscape, industrial material culture and ruins. 

15:55 Dave Loder (Lecturer in Interior Design, GSA) Decolonising Landscape and the Entangled Visuality of the Anthropocene 
This paper presents ongoing practice-based research on the category of the monument as contextualised by the discourse of the Anthropocene. The current focus of this research concerns the decolonisation of landscape as categorised under the monument, proposing nonlinear strategies of decoloniality to recalibrate current temporal planetary materialisms, where the act of observing the planetary is complicit with the current conditions of its precarity.
Loder is an artist-researcher and thinker of geophilosophy, a philosophy of materialism and the planetary. His artistic research practice includes monument making, composing (non)scalar procedures and fabricating tools and apparatus for embodied processes.

16:30 Respondent: Dr. Ranjana Thapalyal (Senior Lecturer, GSA)
Dr. Ranjana Thapalyal is an academic and artist based in Glasgow, working in inter-disciplinary, inter-cultural research with postcolonial critical perspectives. Her most recent publication, Education as Mutual Translation: A Yoruba and Vedantic Interface  for Pedagogy in the Creative Arts proposes that more resilient original voices emerge from interaction with community than from individualism, and that genuine pedagogic exchange requires ontological awareness that can be drawn from critical dialogue with ancient ideas.

16:45 Panel

17:15 Finish