Call For Papers for FailSpace Conference

Closing date: Fri 17 Jun 2022: 5pm

A national conference underpinned by learning from the AHRC FailSpace Project, examining how the cultural sector can better identify, acknowledge, and learn from failure.

Date: 7 December 2022
Venue: Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

Over the last three years the FailSpace team have been examining how the cultural sector can better identify, acknowledge, and learn from failure. What they have found through their research is a cultural landscape that is not conducive to honesty or critical reflection about failures. A lack of trust and open dialogue between participants, artists, organisations, and funders, fuelled by a fear of losing funding, future work, or professional reputation encourages narratives of success as a self-defensive act of blame avoidance. But this discourages risk taking, encourages repetition of past mistakes and results in a failure to learn that limits significant change. In response, they developed a framework for talking about failure which they hope will help to normalise conversations about the failures that inevitably occur.

This conference will reflect on that work and offer an opportunity to share learning and challenge the current dominant narratives of success. They hope to complement these discussions with inputs from other academics, policymakers, and practitioners, both professional and amateur, who have a perspective on the role and value of failure regarding cultural policy. They are therefore seeking proposals for contributions to this event. Topics may include, but need not be confined to, the following:

  • Case studies of failure in cultural participation projects/policies
  • The value and role of recognising, understanding, and learning from failure for policymaking
  • Defining and recognising failure in relation to creative practice and/or cultural policy
  • The relationship between risk and failure in relation to creative practice and/or cultural policy
  • Failures of leadership/governance in the cultural sector
  • Case studies of organisational failure in the cultural sector
  • The politics of failure
  • The psychology of failure
  • The morality and ethics of failure in policymaking
  • Evaluating and reporting on failures in cultural projects and policies
  • The relationship between quality and failure in relation to creative practice and/or cultural policy
  • Framing failures in policy and project evaluations
  • Discourses of failure and success in cultural policy

They will consider presentations, panels, and workshop-based activities. Proposals should be submitted at: https://forms.office.com/r/ivH69xjCss

For further information, please contact pc16ewr@leeds.ac.uk (Lizzie Ridley), call 07940 468229 or visit https://failspaceproject.co.uk/

Closing date: Jun 17th 2022

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