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A Techne training and development workshop for PhD researchers in arts, humanities, and social sciences disciplines. 

Co-organised with Owen Coggins as part of Global Lives Research Centre, Brunel University

navigating ethics and social justice in research

This workshop engaged PhD students in critical reflection on the ethical issues in your research through talks from our 6 invited speakers, an interactive workshop, and a roundtable discussion.

accountability – care – voice – justice – activism – controversy

Ethical issues are central to academic research—but university ethics approval procedures can make questions of care, harm, fairness and accountability into a bureaucratic process that centres institutional liability. And as ethically troubling and potentially harmful research continues to be published in academic journals and books, it is clear that institutional ethics processes are necessary but not sufficient in ensuring that research does no harm and makes a positive contribution.

Often, the potential harm is in how research is reported in the media, or in (mis)interpretation and (mis)use by political actors. The value of scholarship in arts, humanities, and social science disciplines continues to be loudly denounced in public discourse by actors whose political and/or commercial interests are threatened by its conclusions and even its starting assumptions, as for example in high-profile reactions against critical race theory and gender studies.

Against this backdrop, it is vital that academics think about ethics and social justice beyond a tick-box exercise. This workshop will address questions such as:

  • How do we identify our ethical and political commitments, and how do these inform our research agendas?

  • To whom are we accountable in our scholarship?

  • How should we negotiate our various responsibilities as researchers?

  • When we produce academic knowledge, who do we speak (or write) for, with, to, and about?

  • Can (and should) academic scholarship be activist - and if so, how?

programme - 31 october (in person)


Keynote/Agenda-setting session

Prof. Sunny Singh

London Met

“From Colonial Knowledge Production to Anticolonial Justice: Some Thoughts on Research Ethics”


Panel 1

Insiders and outsiders

Dr Chrystie Myketiak


“The Ethics and Politics of Researching at the Margins”

Dr Naomi Lawson Jacobs

Research and disability equality consultant

“Scholar-Activism: The Trouble with Putting your Researched Community First”



Identifying ethical and political commitments in our research

All participants and speakers

programme - 1 november (online)


Panel 2

Accountability and voice

Dr Kavita Maya

Royal Holloway

“White Feminism, Ethnography, and the Politics of Voice”


Dr Tammy Wilks

University of Cape Town

“On Unreliable Speakers”


Panel 3

On Being a 'Scholar-Activist'

Dr SM Rodriguez


“Revisiting A Methodology of Connection”


Roundtable dialogue

Research ethics & social justice

All speakers

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