Sketching Possibilities: Poetry and Politically-engaged Academic Practice




academic practice, higher education research, poetry, politics, writing


In this article I draw together and reflect upon my own experiences of writing poetry as a part of a politically-engaged academic life. My aim is to trace the political possibilities I have found in poetic practices, with the hope that describing and reflecting on my own experiences may illuminate pathways for others to integrate poetry into their academic practice. As I will detail, I have published research poetry and have been a leader of workshops that encourage academics to incorporate poetic and other forms evocative writing into their researcher toolkits. Often participants in these workshops have remarked how unusual it seems to think of poetry as a resource for academic work. I hope that this article might demonstrate some previously unimagined possibilities for new poetic enquirers, and provide stimulus for further thought for experienced practitioners to connect poetry and academic practice.

Author Biography

James Burford, Thammasat University

Dr. James Burford works at the Faculty of Learning Sciences and Education, Thammasat University. James’ research interests include doctoral education, queer and feminist theories, affect studies, and qualitative methodologies. His current project explores the subjectivities of expatriate academics working in Thailand. James co-edits the academic blog Conference Inference.


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How to Cite

Burford, J. (2018). Sketching Possibilities: Poetry and Politically-engaged Academic Practice. Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal, 3(1), 229–246.