Anyone involved in academia will know of the importance of impact and on 8th June I will be speaking about the Open Graves, Open Minds project at the Public Engagement with Research Conference 2016 (Prince Edward Lecture Hall, University of Hertfordshire, College Lane Campus). I will be live tweeting on the day from @OGOMProject and @DrSamGeorge1 using #uhengage16. I hope some OGOMERS will be following and responding. A synopsis of my paper is below:
|Open Graves, Open Minds – adventures in the media and ‘The people seeking the company of wolves’.
|This paper will focus on ‘impacts’ relating to the ‘Open Graves, Open Minds’ project. OGOM relates the undead in literature, art, and other media to questions concerning gender, technology, consumption, and social change. It extends to all narratives of the dark arts, the fantastic, the fabulous, and the magical. I will seek to explore the measuring of impact in relation to the project and the difficulties faced in providing evidence for cultural change (or pedagogical shifts) in response to the underpinning research. From this, I will address the problem of archiving material (going back to 2010), to demonstrate the reach of the project. In particular I will interrogate the problems encountered in disseminating and evaluating responses to the project’s activities in the media, taking the 2016 ‘Company of Wolves’ conference as a case study. The 3 day event ‘The Company of Wolves’: Sociality, Animality, and Subjectivity in Literary and Cultural Narratives—Werewolves, Shapeshifters, and Feral Humans’ received unprecedented attention in both the national and international press (from the BBC to The Guardian and The Independent, from Russia Today to the Smithsonian Magazine in the US and the South China Post), but the question remains as to who exactly was reading these stories, and how this can be measured or disseminated? Responding to the coverage in the BBC I will seek to answer the questions who were ‘The people seeking ‘the company of wolves”? And why does this matter?