Skagen Conference on Transgressive Methods 2014

Annette Markham

Nov 24, 2014


Method innovation in the 21st Century:
Transgressing boundaries to reconsider the purpose and practice of inquiry.

  • When: November 24-28, 2014 (will reoccur annually)
  • Who: open to anyone from PhD students to junior/senior lecturers or professionals
  • Format: One week intensive working / writing retreat
  • Location: Klitgaarden, Skagen, Denmark
  • Language: English


Late November is an appropriately gloomy time to gather in a wild and windy retreat to contemplate what constitutes ‘transgressive methods,’ ‘academic inquiry,’ and ‘innovation’ in ’21st Century research practice.’ Over the course of a week spent in Skagen, Denmark, participants will discuss these terms at the theoretical level with each other, practice innovative methods in group exercises, and work on their own materials.

This workshop was put together to embrace and trouble what we see in the digital age as a significant significant mismatch between traditional norms and techniques for inquiry and the complexity of the social contexts these methods seek to comprehend. By connecting a group of interested participants with some methodology and writing experts from a range of disciplines, we seek to apply discipline-specific innovative methodologies across disciplines. By pushing against normative boundaries of what counts as data, method, and scientific analysis, we hope to enrich and extend the way scientific communities conceptualize and utilize the strength and rigor of qualitative approaches, particularly for the study of entangled yet data-rich phenomena.

The Skagen conference, part of a larger, long term project, is modeled after the idea of a working retreat. Here, participants spend intensive time focusing on applying innovative concepts, assumptions, and techniques in one’s own research project. During the week, participants will:

  • investigate connections and gaps in intra-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches;
  • critically interrogate current methods for data collection, analysis and repre-sentation;
  • discuss strategies to engender more innovation and creativity, by looking not only at methods, but also above method—at the level of epistemology, and below method—at everyday practices of researchers; and
  • explore and write about building methods that resonate better with the complexity of 21st Century social spaces as well as design possible critical interventions into a common and flawed practice of reinventing the wheel in terms of method, particularly in research of digitally-saturated or socially net-worked social contexts.

Discussion leaders and facilitators:

Dr. Cheryl E. Ball, Associate Professor of Digital Publishing, University of West Virginia, USA: Cheryl studies and teaches rhetorical activities and genres in digital media and publishing contexts, emphasizing how users learn to analyze and produce texts for professional purposes. She is editor of the longstanding online, peer-reviewed, open-access journal Kairos, which exclusively publishes digital media scholarship and is read in 180 countries.

Dr. Annette Markham, Associate Professor of Information Studies, Aarhus University, Denmark, Affiliate Professor at Loyola University, Chicago:  Annette studies research methods and ethics related to Internet studies and in her own sociological work, focuses on how identity is performed and enacted in digitally-mediated contexts. She is internationally recognized for her study of research methods and ethics and her contributions to innovative research practice.