The Research Studio for Narrative, Visual and Digital Methods is a collective and creative space where researchers collaborate learn about and put into action innovative qualitative and post qualitative narrative, visual and digital methods.
The Studio is funded by (SSHRC) Canada Research Chair funds, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and a SSHRC Insight Grant. This is also the methodological and epistemological research space for the SSHRC-funded Partnership Grant, Reimagining Care/Work Policies. The Research Studio is located in Walker Complex Rm 251 and shares the lab space with the Social Justice Research Institute and The Digital Media Centre for the Global Study of Social Movements. The Studio’s Director is Andrea Doucet.
The Studio’s focus on visual methods is inspired by Andrea’s background in participatory and visual methods, which she first gained while working as a participatory research facilitator in water supply and sanitation projects with UNICEF and UNDP/PROWESS (Promotion of the Role of Women in Water Supply and Sanitation) in Central and South America in the 1980s, and over the last few decades, through training, research collaborations, and her involvement on the Board of the International Sociological Association (ISA) Visual Sociology Research Committee (2014-2018). The Studio has supported collaborations with former postdoctoral fellows Lindsey McKay, Robyn Lee , Lisa-Jo van den Scott, Sophie Mathieu, and current postdoctoral fellows Kim de Laat, Sadie Goddard-Durant, Janna Klostermann, and Natasha Stecy-Hilderbrandt.
The Studio supported the Consuming Intimacies Symposium in 2016, which was co-led by Lee, Doucet, McKay, and Alanna Cattapan and the 2017 Qualitative (“Qualitatives”) Conference on “Visual Research Methods and Visual Ethnographies”, which was co-organized by Doucet with van den Scott, Jennifer Rowsell, Nancy Cook, Deanna Simonetta, and Jennifer Turner A recent visual project is a narrative and visual methods project with young mothers and two community organizations, TAIBU community center and Strive Niagara, led by Sadie Goddard-Durant and Doucet, with peer researcher Jane-Ann Sieunarine and MA student Helena Tizza (see here for this project’s first short article).
The narrative focus of the Studio is informed by Andrea’s training in the Listening Guide approach to narrative analysis, which she first learned from Carol Gilligan when she was a doctoral student at the University of Cambridge. She continued to use and further develop the approach in collaboration with Natasha Mauthner (see, for example, Doucet, 2006/2018, 2008; Doucet & Mauthner, 2020/2012, 2008, 2009; Mauthner & Doucet, 1998, 2003) and has since been developing a feminist ecological version that integrates broad onto-epistemological and narrative resources. (i.e., see Doucet 2018a, 2018b, 2018c, 2021).
The Studio has deepened its narrative approaches through research with Goddard-Durant and team, and with former postdoctoral fellow, now colleague, Eva Jewell, on two projects with the Fort Erie Native Friendship Center (FENFC) , Jessica Falk (MA student researcher), and FENFC peer researchers Sue Fyke and Karen Hilston (you can read a bit about this work here and see a recent presentation here).
The digital aspect of the Research Studio is evidenced in its focus on in-depth training in the qualitative software ATLAS.ti. Our interest in digital methods has also been heightened due to the restrictions to in-person interviewing since the pandemic. With postdoctoral fellow Janna Klostermann, Andrea is currently creating digital versions of her Household Portrait technique for mapping gendered divisions and relations of household work and care work as well as connections between unpaid work, paid work, and paid care work.
Photo: (Jewell, Fyke, Falk, Hilston and Doucet, Conference presentation at the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association [NAISA], June 2021.