Can You Picture This? Academic Research Published as a Graphic Novel!

27/07/2012 – 8:30 am
Tony McCall

What would be a novel way of engaging people more people with research findings? Academics are wondering if traditional journal articles are still fit for purpose or if an injection of creativity is needed. Gareth Morris looks at how illustrated findings can draw greater impact for researchers.

My colleagues and I at the Universities of Salford and Lincoln recently completed a two-year study into homelessness. During this time, a project advisory group, consisting of senior members of homelessness services in Stoke-on-Trent (where the research took place), guided our endeavours as we undertook more than 100 life story interviews with people experiencing homelessness or vulnerable housing. The interviews provided plenty of data. People who have experienced homelessness have led diverse, captivating, heartbreaking, and inspiring lives. And in the telling of these stories, there was regret, shame, pride, success, sadness, and humour. These stories helped us understand what can happen in a person’s life to lead them toward homelessness; these stories were worth retelling to a larger audience.

We took an open approach to our research from the beginning (using a research blog, for example) and this gave us valuable knowledge: we knew from talking to our project advisory group that people working in the homelessness sector are unlikely to spend much time reading the latest journal articles and, moreover, will not pay for them given the limited resources available to homelessness services; we also knew that informing more people of the real life stories behind homelessness would require something to draw the eye. We needed to do something a bit different. We published our findings as a graphic novel.

More at:-

author: Gareth Morris
source: The London School of Economics and Political Science (23/07/12)

Tags: , , ,

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.