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Creative Bricolage or Surfing in the Shallows?
Transcript of Creative Bricolage or Surfing in the Shallows?
Paul Mellon Centre
Dr Raphael Hallett
Director, Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence
Student Behaviours Online
Collection, Curation & Display
Creativity (posting, re-posting)
Followers, tags, likes, and notes' = impact of identity
Originality = re-mix, re-assembly, adaptation and (sometimes) novelty
Students as 'Bricoleurs'
Scholars, intellectuals, and bricoleurs
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education published online 20 May 2013
"bricolage is a functional response to both
the increasing velocities of information flows and the breakdown of cultural hierarchies"
"Bricolage allows for a creative playfulness. Through incongruous juxtaposition it constantly extends itself beyond boundaries."
"it is not the act of bricolage that is an issue,
but whether or not the bricoleur has the intellectual depth to produce a meaningful sophisticated whole"
"This contingency concept – adapting one’s techniques and methods to the situation at hand – is probably more fruitful than an approach that mposes one particular solution for all possible situations"
(Verjans, 2003, p 15).
If one calls
the necessity of borrowing one's concept from the text of a heritage which is more or less coherent or ruined, it must be said that every discourse is
Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"
Writing and Difference
Bricolage as a way of life – improvisation and
irony in information systems
Bricolage defined as a research method since 90s (using Levi-Strauss' original metaphor), emphasising the use of diverse 'tools-at-hand' to gather and mix knowledge and methods from different contexts and disciplines. It implies flexibility, interdisciplinarity but also a context-based convenience of using what is ready to hand, rather than specialising in particular silos of knowledge or sticking to conventional research 'schools' and methods.
Are students adopting this research method as they prepare for University?
"Our students are certainly more adept bricoleurs than we are. They are creative assemblers. They learn by appropriating culture, dismantling and putting it back together... teens are comfortable sampling, ripping, mashing, and remixing as well as multitasking."
"Authors remix. The text is an
intertext or a hypertext or just a never-ending process. The Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0 proclaims, ‘‘process is the new god; not product’’ (Presner et al.,
Intelligence is defined as a collective entity spread across the web and inhabiting the electronic
Bricolage allows for a creative playfulness. Through incongruous juxtaposition it constantly extends
itself beyond boundaries. Loose allusions open up channels of interpretation limited by more 'rigorous' analysis...
Perhaps it is not the act of bricolage that is an issue, but whether or not the bricoleur has the intellectual depth to produce a meaningful sophisticated whole
a mode of inquiry and a production practice, correlates neatly with the power of
the digital to reproduce, de-contextualize, and remix into new forms
From Lone Scholar to Digital 'Bricoleur'?
A transformed culture of student scholarship?
Curricula that respond to and shape
The Point? Digital Craftmanship and Critique
Do we need an Assessment Revolution?
The Online Curator. The Student Creator. The Digital Scholar.
A method of using available tools and 'tinkering' with diverse resources, information and methods to produce outputs.
"Our students are certainly more adept 'bricoleurs' than we are.
They are creative assemblers. They learn by appropriating culture, dismantling and putting it back together... students are comfortable sampling, ripping, mashing, and remixing as well as multitasking"
Intellectuals, Scholars, Bricoleurs
Arts and Humanities in Higher Education October 2014 (vol. 13 no. 4)
A new student epistemology:
the hyper-visualisation of
knowledge, ideas, arguments
Culture of online assembly and exhibition,
Students as co-creators of research
Claude Levi-Strauss (1966)
Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari (1970s)
1990s and 2000s:
Formalised as a research method:
Denvir & Lincoln; Kincheloe
"When we go online, we enter an environment that promotes cursory reading, hurried and distracted thinking, and superficial learning"
The Shallows: what the internet is doing to our brains
Online Project outputs
Collaborative digital work
Public engagement through
Creating the the 'digitally adept' Student Scholar
Prof David Platten, Pro-Dean for Student Education,
Faculty of Arts, University of Leeds
Dr Adam Cathcart, Lecturer in Chinese History, University of Leeds
But how should we
our students to read in a digital
and then what else...
To stimulate a new digital
Digital Literacy For All!
Studying in a Digital Age
University of Leeds
Introduces University's digital platforms
Nurtures digital research &
discipline-based online tasks
Heightens awareness of digital identity and presence
Academic resistance to 'skills' teaching
Different phases of online student engagement
Student conservatism, unequal readiness,
Changing institutional conventions
Finding academic champions, discipline 'leads'
Light-touch but rigorous assessment of 1000s
'Play' and 'Rigour'
How do we nurture and trace student use of digital resources?
...Online resources that invite participation and re-mediation as well as display
"I’ve had to challenge some of the sacred cows of liberal arts education (like the primacy of writing)
in my University to achieve this...
I like to label my approach: “radical bricolage” and, as the animator of this activity, I am the “radical bricoleur”
James Clayson; Radical bricolage: building coherence in the liberal arts using art modelling and language. (2008)
Nurturing Digital Literacies
Suite of new modules
In this approach, the student tinkers his way – using words, sketches, guided trial and error and computer modeling into an iterative exploration of complex visual tasks
James Clayson; Radical bricolage (2008)
In the saturation of screen-based, networked, and digital media that saturate our lives, students:
1. Become active agents in the process of meaning-making
(they become participants).
A refreshed student
as (anxious, frenetic?) co-producer of knowledge
Should module and learning resource designers police, mimic or facilitate this?
construction of resources
Mark Deuze: Participation, Remediation, Bricolage: Considering Principal Components of a Digital Culture, The Information Society, 22:2, 63-75.
UK Medical Heritage Library
Digital display at the Paul Mellon Centre
Wellcome... to archival
2. Adopt but at the same time modify, manipulate, and thus reform consensual ways of understanding reality
(they engage in remediation).
3. Reflexively assemble their own particular versions of such reality
(they are bricoleurs)