Practitioner-Researchers As “Maroons” Within The University

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Due to becoming caught-up in teaching and administrative duties, which have taken my time this academic year, the subject of this proposal is as yet somewhat unknown and its framing perhaps unprofessional. There is irony in this as the root of what I plan to discuss is Stephano Harney and Fred Moten's 'The University and the Undercommons'(2013), which addresses teaching and scholarly labour. I will speak from the position of a professional practitioner working within the university, who has written a Case Study that argues for and evaluates the impact of practice-as-research outputs, and whose research has been included in an Environment Statement, which measures the quality of performances by financial income, transforms audiences and reception into figures and capital, and quantifies dissemination. I will return to previous papers (e.g. Clarke, ‘An Experiential Approach to Theory from within Practice’, PARIP, Bristol, 2003), which made the case for practice-as-research and the place of embodied knowing within the academy. These positions will be questioned in light of Harney and Moten’s problematisation of professionalization and notion that the university territorialises new knowledges that can be economically exploited, "encircles them with war wagons" and capitalises on them. I will explore my role in the discursive enclosure of practices within the institution's resource of knowledge, the appropriation and professionalization of performance by the academy, the measurement of its performance, and commodification of sociocultural impact. After Harney and Moten (37), this paper will address the role of “unprofessional behaviours” within the institution, of practical examples, that are “passionate” and “prophetic” rather than provable, that do not “allow themselves to be measured, applied or improved”, “incompetent” studies that make weak arguments based on know-how and no attempt to defend themselves. I will consider the subversive potential of the practitioner within the "maroon community of the university".
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014
EventTheatre and Stratification: IFTR Annual Conference - University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jul 20141 Aug 2014


ConferenceTheatre and Stratification
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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