The Skagen Institute
The Skagen conference
The Skagen conference is an annual event held in Denmark in November, modeled after the idea of a working retreat where foremost experts join participants to collaboratively practice innovative, ethical, and robust methods for studying complex and digitally-saturated social contexts. During this week-long conference, participants spend intensive time interrogating and applying innovative and creative ways of knowing.
Skagen Conference 2018: Speculative Methods
This year, a team of international and interdisciplinary scholars gathered to consider how their approaches could incorporate more speculative methodologies. Professor Annette Markham led several creative workshops drawing on the playful critical pedagogical techniques used by Augusto Boal (Theatre of the Oppressed). Using counterfactual writing prompts, participants wrote short vignettes to explore different possible trajectories from a future-looking-backward viewpoint. These writing sessions were punctuated by evenings of fire dancing, storytelling, and card games. Both senior researchers and PhD students participated. November 19-23, 2018, Klitgaarden Refugium in Skagen, located at the Northern tip of Denmark.
Skagen Conference 2017: Migratory Methods
Skagen Conference 2017 featured Professor and artist Dalida Maria Benfield as guest facilitator. Founder of the institute for (IM)possible subjects and founder/facilitator of the transnational arts/intervention project Migratory Times. At the Skagen Conference, she drew attention to how the concept of migration can help us consider the politics, concerns, and possibilities for troubling and transgressing typical knowledge migration. This is particularly useful for PhD students and early career researchers to consider the fundamental purpose of inquiry in what Isabelle Stengers has labeled “Catastrophic Times.” Conference was held March 5-9. 2018, at Klitgaarden Refugium in Skagen, located at the Northern tip of Denmark.
Skagen Conference 2016: Rethinking ‘Innovation’
The Skagen Conference in 2016 focused on how we might develop ‘transgressive methodology’ as a way to consider complexity of social contexts in the digital age. This workshop/meeting/retreat invited professional researchers seeking to learn more about how to innovate in qualitative methods, particularly as these can be used to shift from description to intervention, or from objects of analysis to flows and layers of meaning through analysis. This is particularly useful for PhD students to learn how alternative approaches can satisfy criteria for rigor and quality across many disciplines.
Skagen Conference 2015: Creative Future Making
In 2015, the Skagen Conference focused on innovative theories and methods for disseminating or sharing academic knowledge beyond the typical academic writing genre. Guest Professor Katrin Tiidenberg (Estonia) facilitated workshops wherein participants could explore short form writing for social media, or creative and fictional writing in short or long form. Participants considered conceptual and practical frameworks for justifying this type of work and discussed strategies for articulating the credibility of such knowledge production practices to various stakeholders.
Skagen Conference 2014: ‘Transgressive’ Methods
The inaugural Skagen Conference in 2014 focused on developing ‘transgressive methodology’ as a way to embrace and trouble what we see in the digital age as a significant mismatch between traditional norms and techniques for inquiry and the complexity of the social contexts these methods seek to comprehend.