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23rd April, 2020

Doing Arts Research in a Pandemic

The Culture Capital Exchange

An invitation to contribute to a DIY, crowd sourced, document, Complied by Prof Vida L Midgelow, Middlesex University

The global pandemic has given rise to profound changes in our lives and in the ways in which we do research, touching us all in complex and perhaps as yet unknown ways. 

Responding to the immediacy of this moment and what might follow after, this is an invitation to contribute to a crowd-sourced, rough and ready, document to capture and share your Covid-19 research methods. Inspired by Deborah Lupton’s Doing fieldwork in a Pandemic’, we are looking to gather short insights into the methods being used in the Arts and Humanities; the adaptations made to established methods, protocols designed and creative approaches to research that have emerged. 

Given one of our strengths as Arts and Humanities researchers is our ability to address conceptual, historical and social issues in imaginative, sensitive and inspiring ways: How has this been manifest during the pandemic? Arts researchers already employ a wide range of methods and have a history of using online platforms as a way to engage with participants, collaborators and audiences. Yet much of our research is focused upon variously corporeal, material, technological, situated and interactive processes, emphasising human encounters, the experiential and modalities of social and aesthetic communication. What methods has the pandemic given rise to when our movement is restricted and we are limited perhaps by our more immediate circumstance – our homes, the people and things we find there, and our online worlds? These may encompass guidance for online data gathering, through to previously un-imagined or un-named approaches to research practices.

We invite you to share your emergent research methods as inspiration for other researchers now and after this pandemic has past, so that we emerge with new insights and alternative possibilities in arts research. 

How to get involved:

  1. Send us your email

If you would like to participate just send us your email, and we will give you access to a shared google drive document in which you can add your entry. Email:

  1. Add your entry by May 14th at the latest.

As a crowd-sourced document, we are after short entries (c.400-800 words), plus any suggested references, sources, links or images (ensuring you have permission to share them).  This gathering process will be open until May 14th.

  1. What then? 

After May 14th, we will share this DIY document through The Cultural Capital Exchange website as an open access resource, offering an insight in Covid-19 Arts and Humanities research methods.  


Vida L Midgelow is Professor of Dance and Choreographic Practices at Middlesex University (UK) where she directs the research degree programmes in the Arts. She has a been a leading advocate for Practice as Research, is PI for the Artistic Doctorate in Europe in Dance and Performance project, co-director of The Choreographic Lab and editor the Oxford Handbook on Improvisation in Dance.


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