PhD Workshop | Carving Out the Space: a reflexive workshop on PAR | with Rachel Pain, Katy Jenkins, Bettina van Hoven and Sonja Marzi | March 8, 2023 | 9:00 -12:30 | Wageningen

Carving out the space: A reflexive workshop on PAR

With special guests: Rachel Pain, Katy Jenkins, Bettina van Hoven and Sonja Marzi

Date and time: 8 March 2023, 9:00-12:30, followed by lunch

Location: Wageningen University – B: 351 R:0031 Dance Room C:018 (Clockhouse, Generaal Foulkes 37, Wageningen 6703BL)

Registration required: 

Max. no of participation: 20 (priority is given to PhD candidates)


Participatory Action Research (PAR) requires a lot of emotional labour from its practitioners and co-researchers, not only during ‘fieldwork’ periods of data co-creation but also prior to and after them. The ethical development and long-term sustenance of relationships and commitments characteristic of PAR are quite unlike other research approaches in which scholars are regularly trained and for which they are most rewarded in university systems. How are we navigating – or, for those wishing to begin, how are we to navigate – the many nuanced challenges associated with PAR, not just conceptually and logistically but also emotionally?

In this 3.5-hour workshop, international PAR practitioners with an array of experience, from seasoned to novice, focus together with PhD candidates and others with whom we do research, on the complex feelings that emerge specifically when attempting to move forward together after the participatory fieldwork phase: what is involved in maintaining contact, co-producing something meaningful as a ‘we’, and working to decolonise our practices?

We will be using lino as an arts-based method to explore these challenges. Familiar with lino from your primary school years? Great! No? No worries! Total beginners are welcome – no previous knowledge or experience with the method is needed to participate! Just be ready to roll up your sleeves and reflect on your and others’ experiences. A vegan lunch will be served after the session to facilitate continued reflection and discussion among participants.

Registration required: 

Rachel Pain is Professor of Human Geography at Newcastle University in the UK. Her research focuses on spaces of violence, fear and trauma, with gender-based violence a particular interest from intimate to international scales. Her work is informed by feminist and participatory theory and practice. She collaborates on this research with public and voluntary sector organisations, and with survivor groups.

Katy Jenkins is a Professor in International Development. She is an interdisciplinary feminist scholar with specialisms in gender and development; women’s activism and volunteering; gender and large scale resource extraction; NGOs, professionalisation and the changing nature of civil society. She is committed to working in partnership with development NGOs, and grassroots and community organisations, with a particular focus on feminist and participatory approaches.

Bettina van Hoven is Associate Professor Cultural Geography and her research in the past years has focused on the experienced dimensions of wellbeing and liveability, predominantly in urban spaces. Much of her research addresses different aspects of and perspectives on ageing. She employs a qualitative methodology and increasingly include participants actively throughout the research. In an effort to find better ways to access the life-worlds of different groups of people, and to connect knowledge production to wider audiences, she recently has begun to work at the intersection of science and arts.

Sonja Marzi is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Research Methods and Inequalities at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Glasgow. Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses on urban inequalities in Latin America cutting across the fields of Urban Geography,  Sociology and International Development. Building on cutting-edge methods of using audio-visual digital methods (e.g., film and video) she co-produces knowledge on gendered urban inequalities with displaced women in Medellin and Bogota.

This workshop is organized by the Transformative Learning Hub @WUR, with the kind support of WASS.