Proposal for a Concept Lab

The Concept Lab would meet on a weekly basis, usually for an hour unless there was logistical business to be undertaken concerning the future of the lab. Each meeting would revolve around a presentation from one member, detailing either:

  • A practical problem they have faced in their research, as well as a singular concept they have turned to in order to resolve or at least better understand the problem in question. The focus would be on the actual or hoped for application of the concept in the research process.
  • A new concept which they have encountered, to be introduced and placed in an intellectual context. If there is no immediate practical application for this concept, the onus would be on accounting for the enthusiasm the concept provokes in them. Why is this felt to be important? What might it bring to research practice at a later stage?
  • A new concept which they have developed, which would be introduced and contextualised in a similar manner to above. The focus would be on the claimed novelty of the concept, the circumstances in which it was developed and the potential uses to which it could be put.

The purpose of the Concept Lab would be to provide a forum in which participants account for their work with concepts, as well as facilitating the generation of a language within which to describe and analyse this work across intellectual and disciplinary boundaries. For this reason, it would be important for the pool of participants to be intellectually diversity and commit to attending multiple sessions. While allowing for the inevitable exigencies of working life, it would be expected that participants where possible attend all sessions for an agreed period of time. If the format was successful, participants would benefit as much from presentations by others as from the opportunity to present themselves.

One response to “Proposal for a Concept Lab”

  1. The ongoing commitment seems like the biggest hurdle here, but if it could be surmounted I think such a lab would be very valuable.

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