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Anitafrika: The Labour of Being Studied / The Labour of Refusing to Be Studied

  • University of Toronto 140 Saint George Street Toronto, ON, M5S 3G6 Canada (map)

The Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC) is hosting a critical conversation about research cultures and economies in the Arts & Humanities, revolving around “The Labour of Being Studied/The Labour of Refusing to be Studied,” with distinguished speakers Aylan Couchie, d’bi.young anitafrika, Emily Simmonds and Karyn Recollet.

DREC is an interdisciplinary research ethics-focused endeavour that seeks to disrupt settler colonial, dispossessory and asymmetrical forms of knowledge and to think through the ways that value and reward are circulated within research cultures and economies. At DREC we are grappling with the ways in which institutional research values normalize, and apologize for, extractive logics and practices that make it okay for researchers to often take more than they give (and to see and hear only what they want to see and hear).

We hope this event will be an afternoon of thinking together about relations between artists and researchers (and artists as researchers), as well as Arts & Humanities research logics, centering the voices of artists and arts-based practitioners to flip the academic order of things, to lead with artist- and/or community-focused priorities.

Some questions we will be considering in this critical conversation include:

What does it mean to study?

What does it mean to be studied?

What are the labours of being studied?

Upon what terms are these labours invited/expected?

What does the university expect from you? How do you negotiate those expectations?

What does accountability look/feel like to you?

What does reciprocality look/feel like to you?

What does compensation look/feel like to you?

What does value look/feel like to you?

How do you navigate accountability, reciprocality and compensation within or beyond the limitations of the university?

How do artists, community-organizers and researchers refuse these labours, or refuse the terms upon which these labours are invited or expected?

What are the labours of refusing study?

How does a move towards “participatory” and/or “community-engaged” research shift what it means to study, to be studied or to refuse study?