Manchester Institute MMU -Linda Knight 

The Graphic Novel as post qualitative inquiry: using arts based research 
‘Linda Knight – created a graphic novel as a way of experimenting with arts based post qualitative inquiry to explore how visual texts might operate as data and how research can be generative – assumptions and fixed ideas about the world can be dismantled and rethought.'( MMU blurb)

Notes from the session 

Researching / methodological sense / context . Not new . Not art making as such , art rich, not fixed within a particular frame work . Delurze  Affect. Imagining/ image , not feelings – sensations intuition , a particular moment, passage from one affect , thought, temperature, movement, tension, muscles, ideas, materials , shift/ change, series of assemblagesInstruct – sensation , create, generate,

 Linda has produced a graphic novel about a child refugee. Child hood subjectivities – looked at the topic/ theme through a series of pages that explore different ways of dividing up a page, materials,not a finished published piece more like a visual journal –  there are very few words.

 There are exploratory drawings, children’s drawings.collected images and instructional text about how to do various techniques. Examples of other graphic novels 
The book is an exploration of her ideas and thoughts. No imperial study , she is generating research, engaging in the research through her body. What informs research? 

Other people make value judgements about what is research. Her  activity is other than qualitative or quantitative- a/rt/ographical research  

We were asked to respond to a page from her book that appealed to us. And draw – it could be in graphic novel format or experimentation – use a pencil/ pen as you don’t usually use it. 

I was attracted to a page about the refugees friend who carried around a carved wooden elephant in his pocket- it reminded me of Margaret Somerville story of a how she and children had carried stones around in their pockets. The stoned had weighed her down and caused pain in her shoulder as if she was trapped under a mountain shelf 

On the page she had played with the image of the elephant in a pocket from inside the pocket. I loved the idea of the dark and your eyes getting used to a shape that gradually became an elephant as a hand came in and withdrew it into the light. 

The pencil marks were textured shading – no outlines and beautiful- I was drawn to using the technique with my doodling pen – which is usually used in a neat and tidy way  

Linda’s page 
My response – playing with the idea of the stone, then the idea of weight on the shoulder and then where did the stone come from and how did it get small and round with no hard edges – then as it my wont – I started adding text …   


Manchester Summer Institute MMU Margaret Sometville , Sue Collins 

I am enjoying the conference – I have particularly enjoyed sessions where delegates have been encouraged to participate – I made notes during the sessions I attended.  I am going to type these up and include them along with my stuff 

First session 

From Lacan to Barad : the body and material entanglements with Margaret Somerville and Sue Collins 

Sue : Embodied theory, messy, destabilised expert knower – blah writing , stream of consciousness. 30 yr old story , a cat knocks at a door asking to be let in. It starts with a cat. The cat is sitting on my chest . Needed to make connections, to make a meaningful story. Free associations Mothers, the act of writing, a cat. A form of subjectivity, language, and representation. 

Margaret : “Body landscape journals” people embodied in the landscape indigenous people – she wanted to belong in the landscape. aural tradition – abstract thought made her feel ill. French feminist theory. 

Places, where the people sat, table, water tank, maternal relationships

“Tissue Talk” massage, exploring image, Freud hysterical women, wrote images, bodily presence, how productive failure is. Mirror Stage Lacan. emergence of language from the body. an Aunt died the  matriarchal responses I a policeman  Young Man your handwriting is terrible – what your hand is writing is terrible.  Time , how long does an Agential cut  last? , radical shift, 30 yrs space, time, mother. New Materialist – child in a sand pit – sand forming child, child forming sand. Epistemic shift. Water as data,child playing at the edge of a river, the silence, the gurgling of the water,drizzling sand, a stone in a pocket, the ontology of lemons, plums, different modes, footfall. 

We were asked to free association write here is what I came up with 

‘Plums, lemons, feet, furry textures , mouths , peaches, jumpers, a water tank , a wooden porch, the movement created by the throwing out of a cat, fear, terror.

The terrible things that the hand wrote. Hands, feet, appendages, touch, massage, leaning in against a mountain, pain, my shoulders, your knee, my neck

 My brother doesn’t like apricots because they taste like furry peaches….there is a surrealist sculpture of a furry cup and saucer …(by Meret Oppenhiem) – that I disliked intensely as a teenager- the thought of that fur , wet in my mouth drinking a cup of tea.

I am channelling my mothers handwriting and it is freaking me out, like the knock at the door in the middle of the night . My thoughts are going round and round randomly ‘


I am in Manchester for a week doing The Summer Institute in Qualitative Research at MMU. We came to the conference a couple of years ago it was hot and sticky and I found being in the city oppressive. After living in Edinburgh for 2 years I feel a lot more used to cities and I am really enjoying the fiddly over the top Victorian architecture 



I have been doodling in circles for the last 2 years – I was amused to find my self making stripes I reckon it must be the architecture 


 I feel I have completely over decorated this journal. I have used lots of vintage pictures and I just don’t want to draw over the top of them .  I am liking the disruptions the images are causing to the patterns – makes the page more interesting than the bottom example of doodling