Prof. Orvar Löfgren (University of Lund) :
"The importance of messy methods in cultural analysis"
moderator Dr. Anu Kannike (Tallinn University)
Degree course co-sponsored by the Estonian Graduate School of Culture Studies and Arts (GSCSA) and the Centre of Excellence in Cultural Theory (CECT) University of Tartu, Estonia
Methods serve as an invisible tool kit for scientific knowledge production, encompassing theoretical approaches, established terms and concepts, explanatory frameworks, and various scholarly practices from fieldwork and gathering of source data to the dissemination of research results. Contemporary research trends in human and social sciences treat methods, however, also as a direct object of investigation. Methods provide limited interpretations of reality, while critical considerations of accredited paradigms reveal or disenchant hidden meanings, help to trace disciplinary histories and reveal disciplinary identities. Even though the title of this Winter School session refers to Gadamer`s magnum opus, the intention is not to demarcate approaches but to provide potential inspiration to look beyond the self-consciousness of humanities scholarship and to reflect on the making of method.
Rethinking of methods proposes innovative ways for explaining the social role of scholars, power relations, research ethics, or scholarly agency. Such an approach subsumes both the objects of study as well as the emergent research interests. The concept of freedom implies in this context simultaneously also its opposite, the concept of limitation: circumscription of a method, freedom to choose a research field, conventions of research methods.
The GSCSA Winter School of 2013 aims to revisit the intense and complex relationships between rules and freedom, the given and creativity, objectivity and subjectivity, truth and values in the scholarly process, both as direct objects of investigation and from meta-discursive perspectives.
Winter School lecturers include: Prof. Stephen Bann (University of Bristol), Dr. Ain Riistan (University of Tartu), Prof. David Huron (Ohio State University), Prof. Liesbeth Korthals Altes (University of Groningen), Prof. Orvar Löfgren (University of Lund), Prof. Keith Moxey (Barnard College, Columbia University), Ass. Prof. Andrea Petö (Central European University), Prof. Nigel Rapport (University of St. Andrews).