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Communicating with non-academic audiences using Zines, Blog-posts, Podcasts and other creative methods
June 15 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
In this workshop MJ Barker explored the use of zines, blog-posts, podcasts, and other creative methods to get research and academic ideas out to wider audiences, and potentially as a form of ongoing self-care and/or reflexive practice through our work. MJ Barker talked about their own experiences working on Queer: A Graphic History and the follow up Graphic Guides to Gender and Sexuality, as well as developing the self-care zines available on their website rewriting-the-rules.com, and creating blog posts and podcasts for that website and for megjohnandjustin.com. During the workshop participants were invited to consider the ways in which they might use zines, blog-posts, podcasts, and other methods themselves, and given the opportunity to try out planning and creating content which might work for communicating their ideas to a wider audience.
Workshop attendees were asked to reflect on a number of questions/provocations including:
- Why communicate with non-academic audiences?
- What are your fears and concerns around communicating/working with non-academic audiences, whether self-care and/or practical?
- What draws you in or makes you hold back?
- concerns around criticism, misrepresentation; low self-esteem/confidence; worries about participants being identified
Strategies suggested to counter some of the above included:
- Insist on a recording which you can review/approve prior to publication; [where appropriate] do the work with a contract- this doesn’t have to be onerous; take the control back and do things on your terms; seek help from the experts e.g. your Universities press office if you’re working with the press; seek training, e.g. media training in advance; you might want to seek help/support for emotional challenges through informal networks, or even formal networks if available; consider working with others/collaboratively to share the load/and ease anxieties