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Practical Theory Master Class -- An Opportunity to Cook Ideas

Joshua Barbour

We had a wonderful workshop last week! Here's the flyer.

Drs. Mark Aakhus, Robert Craig, and Vernon Cronen visited with us for two days. In the spirit of a master class in the performing arts given our focus on practical theory, we spent the first day focused on presentations from the visitors. We watched the masters play. Then, the next morning, we spent a session in one-on-one and group meetings with the three visitors. In the afternoon, we turned to three case studies to let us play with practical theory under the guidance of our visitors.

I was lucky enough to present one of the case studies, and in my small group, Dr. Cronen walked us through how Coordinated Management of Meaning Theory would ask questions of a project that I've been developing. The time talking about my project gave me space to develop my ideas. That was great. But my most valuable take away was more generic: the value of cooking ideas together. We so often work on our projects in isolation. It was wonderful and generative to spend the time talking through my ideas while other scholars asked questions. I described this experience as cooking ideas together. I couldn't wait to get back in the kitchen after the workshop, and I have ideas to move forward thanks to spending time with the ideas with others.

Thanks to all who participated!

Next spring, we are holding another workshop on collaborative research strategies. I hope to get to cook ideas together again.