Introducing the Get Creative Webinar Panel: Helen Kara

Categories: Comics, Creative Methods, Creativity, Focus Series, MethodSpace Live!, Students, Teaching, Uncategorised

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MethodSpace will host a webinar on July 18 at 10 am EDT, 8 am PDT, or at the time in your zoneGet Creative! Research with Pictures & Stories will feature a lively virtual panel discussion with Melissa Nolas, Helen Kara, and me. Read the series of MethodSpace posts on arts-based, visual, and creative methods.


Learn more about panelist Dr. Helen Kara! Helen is a UK-based independent researcher, writer and SAGE author, Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Visiting Fellow at the UK’s National Centre for Research Methods.

JS. In the upcoming webinar you will be discussing the use of comics and graphic books for disseminating research. Why should researchers think about comics and graphic books as publication options?

Click to download Helen’s comic about interview research.

HK. Because comics and graphic books enable the reader to ‘witness’ events where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to be present, such as a research interview.

JS. You’ve written about and taught creative methods. How do you define creative methods?

HK. All research methods were creative once. The questionnaire as a research instrument is less than 200 years old. And all research methods have the potential to be used creatively. People often think creative methods must be innovative or arts-based or both, but that isn’t how I see it. For me, a conventional method used in an unusual way or in an unusual context may equate to a creative approach. Researchers are doing some very creative work with methods using technology, with quantitative and mixed-methods research, with embodied research – research is essentially a creative process.

JS. Should a researcher who wants to communicate results graphically design the study with that goal in mind? If so, how?

HK. It is always worth thinking, at the design stage, about how you will communicate your results. If you want to use comics or graphic books, that will have resource implications – so even if you think you only *might* want to use them, it would be worth ensuring you can allocate sufficient funds.

JS. Research ethics is the topic of your most recent book. Are there particular ethical issues of concern to researchers who use creative methods?

HK. There is an interesting link between ethics and creativity as shown in chapter 3 of my book on creative research methods . Michael Mumford and his colleagues from the University of Oklahoma in the US studied doctoral students and found strong and consistent relationships between skills in creative thinking and skills in making ethical decisions (Mumford et al 2010).

Chapters 10-12 of my book on research ethics explore this in more detail, from the opposite direction, by examining the ethical aspects of reporting on, presenting, and disseminating research. These are parts of our work where people are necessarily creative (even if they don’t think they are!), by creating reports and presentations and figuring out how to get them in front of people. Yet these are also parts of our work that most ethics committees ignore, but where there are very real ethical issues: for example, about representing participants, choosing appropriate language, and meeting audiences’ needs.

books by Helen Kara

Related Posts from Dr. Kara’s Blog

Blog post about the comic, “Conversation with a Purpose”
Blog post about Kara’s animation, “Rigourous Rabbit”
Blog post about Creative Methods Twitterchat


Related MethodSpace Posts

Mumford, M. D., Waples, E. P., Antes, A. L., Brown, R. P., Connelly, S., Murphy, S. T., & Devenport, L. D. (2010). Creativity and ethics: The relationship of creative and ethical problem-solving. Creativity Research Journal, 22(1), 74-89. doi:10.1080/10400410903579619

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