Relational and Creative Qualitative Research Methodologies in Social Sciences 2023


This doctoral course invokes creativity and materiality as a necessary means to understand what philosophical concepts can do in, with and through research encounters. Research becomes an encounter of thinking – making – doing, a relational and ethical practice where listening can never be less than listening with all your senses. During lectures, workshops and group discussions, we are intrigued to investigate what research-creation practices can do in academia, how they can rethink the way we encounter (or engage with stories of) vulnerable people in research, how they can break open normative practices and touch activist potential. Intuition, sensitivity, affect, embodied knowledge, materiality and voice will become important threads – where diversity and vulnerability are always central.

Target audience

Doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in the fields of educational sciences, disability studies, gender studies, cultural studies and applied philosophy and arts.


This course aims to offer researchers in social sciences a challenging platform to engage and experiment with invoking creativity and materiality in their research practices where they encounter people (often in vulnerable situations). It also aims to invite and support students to think critically about the way they (co-)create research, how they engage with stories that emerge through research encounters and how they gather and analyse our data where affect, body and material are always present. The course aims to demonstrate, foster understanding of, and trigger experimentation with the use of creative and relational qualitative methodologies, to lower the threshold as young researchers now often struggle with translating these practices into project proposals or publications in recognized journals. The internationally leading lecturers will contribute to all of these aims by sharing their interdisciplinary angles, philosophical foundations and academic experience.

Organizing and scientific committee

  • Dr. Inge Blockmans,  UGent, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Special Needs Education
  • Dr. Silke Daelman, UGent, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Special Needs Education
  • Prof. Dr. Elisabeth De Schauwer, UGent, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Special Needs Education
  • Jentel Van Havermaet,  UGent, Psychology and Educational Sciences, Department of Special Needs Education
  • Prof. Dr. Christel Stalpaert, UGent, Theatre Studies - Performing and Media Arts
  • Prof. Dr. Katrien De Graeve, UGent, Centre for research on Culture and Gender

Preliminary programme

Dates and venue

13 - 16 November 2023

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

Day 1: Intro - voice - research creation

  • 10u - 12u: Introduction to the course by Dr. Inge Blockmans, Dr. Silke Daelman and Prof. Dr. Elisabeth De Schauwer
  • 12u - 12u30: Introduction zine making as red thread by Lieve Carette 
  • 13u30 - 15u30: Lecture 1 by Prof. Dr. Erin Manning (online)
  • 16u - 17u30: Workshop by Dr. Marieke Vandecasteele en Annelore Boone – animating whatever touches you by film/clay/sand

Day 2: Affect - embodied knowledge

  • 9u30 - 10u: Sensitizing in smaller group: (1) soundwalks, (2) mapping
  • 10u – 12u: Lecture 2 by Prof. Dr. Anna Hickey - Moody
  • 13u – 14u30: Group discussion mediated by Prof. Dr. Anna Hicky-Moody
  • 15u – 16u30: Workshop by Dr. Inge Blockmans – working/moving/touching with the body and affect

Day 3: Relationality – ethics – vulnerability

  • 9u30 – 10u: Storytelling moment
  • 10u15 – 12u45: Theorising and practicing relationality/ethics/vulnerability with Prof. Dr. Bronwyn Davies). We ask participants to bring something (anything—a small object) to the morning session with Bronwyn that has some personal significance for them.
  • 13u45 – 14u45: Group discussion mediated by Prof. Dr. Bronwyn Davies
  • 15u – 16u30: Workshop by Dr. Daelman small stories as a way into research encounters based on a process of research-creation with Relaas and parents of the parent organization Parents for Inclusion (Ouders voor Inclusie).

Day 4: Bringing everything together

  • 9u30 – 11u30: Workshop on making Zines by Lieve Carette
  • 11u45 – 12u45: Common threads by Dr. Inge Bockmans, Dr. Silke Daelman and Prof. Dr. Elisabeth De Schauwer


Follow this link for the registration and waiting list. 

Registration fee

Free of charge for Doctoral School members.

The no show policy applies.

Number of participants

Maximum 30



Evaluation method

We consider active participation very important. This also involves coming prepared (we will provide a list of readings for each course day), participating in group discussions and in workshops. The participants will also be asked to contribute in the process of making a zine.

After successful participation, the Doctoral Schools will add this course to your curriculum of the Doctoral Training Programme in Oasis. Please note that this takes up to one to two months after completion of the course.