In the last few months we went around the world and back again, arriving back to comfortable beds, mince pies in the shops, and meetings with our PhD supervisors. You can read about some of our adventures on tour here, and check in often because we’ll posting some very exciting news there in the new year. 2016 will involve much less travel abroad, giving us both the chance to focus on academics – a kind of journey of the interior.
Now, in my PhD’s second year, a topic is finally coming into focus. My research questions are all to do with the individual experiences of playwork in specific settings – looking at how playwork is done with, through and on the body. There hasn’t been much crossover yet between embodiment theory and playwork, and I’m curious: how is ‘the body’ framed in playwork discourse? How do the metaphors in our terminology dovetail with lived, frontline practice? I’ll be using reflective diaries and staff conversations to generate data, and starting fieldwork in earnest January 4th in Houston, Texas.
All that means there’s a lot of writing in my future, and much as I love my topic now academic writing is absurdly difficult. Using a voice that doesn’t feel natural can suck the fun out of writing, and writing is one of my favorite things – one of the most elusive and deepest forms of play I know. I’ve been brainstorming ways to encourage more writing in my own life, and to share that process with friends near and far.
Something is percolating, and should be ready for your enjoyment soon! In the meantime, best of luck with December fun, whatever form it might take.