Failurists: When Things Go Awry

Lammes, Sybille; Jungnickel, Kat; Hjorth, Larissa and Rae, Jen, eds. 2023. Failurists: When Things Go Awry. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. ISBN 9789083328201 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

Failure is a popular topic of research. It has long been a source of study in fields such as sociology and anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), privacy and surveillance, cultural, feminist and media studies, art, theatre, film, and political science. When things go awry, breakdown, or rupture they can lead to valuable insights into the mundane mechanisms of social worlds.

Yet, while failure is a familiar topic of research, failure in and as a tactic of research is far less visible, valued, and explored within academia.

In this book the authors reflect upon the role of creative interventions as a critical mode for methods, research techniques, fieldwork, and knowledge transmission or impact. Here, failure is considered a productive part of engaging with and in the field. It is about acknowledging the ‘mess’ of the social and how we need methods, modes of attunement, and knowledge translation that address this complexity in nuanced ways.

In this collection, interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners share their practices, insights, and challenges around rethinking failure beyond normalized tropes. Across four sections — Section I: Digitality, Archives, and Design; Section II: Care/Activism; Section III: Creative Critical Interventions; and Section IV: Play and the Senses — the contributors bring different subjectivities, relationalities, and positionalities — rhythms reflecting the numerous material, social, and digital encounters. Each subtheme is an invitation to probe certain areas of failure in all its complexity; an invitation to sit with someone’s own lived experience of failure and how it manifests in research practice and theory. What does failure mean? What does it do? What does putting failure under the microscope do to our assumptions around ontology and epistemologies? How can it be deployed to challenge norms in a time of great uncertainty, crisis, and anxiety? And what are some of the ways resilience and failure are interrelated?

Item Type:

Edited Book

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30 March 2023

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Date Deposited:

19 Apr 2023 08:30

Last Modified:

19 Apr 2023 08:30


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