Working without a map: Co-production as a Driver of Research Pathways
From Lisa Otty
Dr Seth Mehl - Working without a map: Co-production as a Driver of Research Pathways
Co-production methods are a ‘process-oriented’ approach to collaborative projects (Graham and Vergunst 2019: 5), in which decision-making power is shared among collaborators, and the focus of research shifts from ‘problem solving’ to ‘questioning who defines the problem’ (Ersoy 2018: 4). Co-production methods can constitute a valuable approach not only to the design of individual research projects, but also to the development of entire research programmes. Combined with reflective practice, co-production can also be a meaningful but less-than-obvious driver of career paths. In this talk, I first discuss the nature of co-production. I then reflect on how the principles and aims of co-production methods have impacted - and in some cases defined - a series of my own recent research projects. Indeed, co-production, with its focus on shared decision-making, often means working ‘without a map’ (Facer and Pahl 2017: 14), but the methods themselves create new pathways within and between projects. In my own recent work, co-production has connected, in a stepwise fashion, apparently disparate projects. I will discuss co-production methods alongside processes and outcomes of several projects that I have recently contributed to, from corpus linguistics, to international development, to community archiving, and beyond, including The Keywords Project, Writing as Resistance, UKZA Community Research, and the University of Sheffield Centre for Equity and Inclusion.
Dr Seth Mehl is a Lecturer in the Digital Humanities Institute (DHI) at University of Sheffield, where he conducts research in subject areas from international development to corpus semantics, and acts as academic lead on the MA in Digital Culture and Communication, and the MA in Cultural Data Management and Communication.
He has been at the University of Sheffield since 2015, working closely with the Digital Humanities Institute throughout that time. From 2011 to 2015, he was a research fellow and teaching fellow at University College London’s Survey of English Usage. He completed his PhD in English at University College London (UCL), following an MA in English Linguistics at UCL.
He is a member of The Keywords Project, the OED Advisory Forum, and the White Rose Gender Equality College. He is Digital Humanities theme lead for Sheffield in the N8 Centre of Excellence in Computationally Intensive Research. He was a council member of Britain’s oldest learned society, The Philological Society, from 2016 to 2020, and the society’s Honourary Secretary for Student Associate Members from 2012 to 2015.
First broadcast on 27 April 2022
Chaired by Niamh Moore