Curated Panel

Crossing Paradigmatic Boundaries: Considering Tensions to Bolster Alliances

Curated by Julia Gray, PhD and Catherine Graham, PhD


This panel seeks to explore how cross-paradigmatic commonalities and tensions can become sources of empowerment when performance-centered scholars/artists collaborate with scientific researchers in health, healthcare, medicine and illness/wellness. Cross-paradigmatic tensions often emerge around expectations of accountability (to whom are social/health scientists, artist-humanist researchers, community members, audience members accountable to?) and around the interrelationship between ‘process’ and ‘product.’ These occur particularly between:

1) those whose accountability is structured by the post-hoc reasoning of positivism in health sciences and health care (including therapeutic practices, health services, medical education, public health education, knowledge translation, social work and biomedical research), where bodies are generally ‘acted upon’ and processes focus on “fact finding” and

2) those from the embodied, imaginative, spatial, relational and ‘risky’ performance-related disciplines, where bodies are invited to ‘enact’ ad hoc options and processes focus on finding possible new interactions and opportunities.1-4,9


  1. Boydell, K. M., Hodgins, M., Gladstone, B. M., Stasiulis, E., Belliveau, G., Cheu, H., … & Parsons, J. (2016). Arts-based health research and academic legitimacy: transcending hegemonic conventions. Qualitative Research, 16(6), 681-700.
  2. Boydell, Katherine M, Gladstone, Brenda, Volpe, Tiziana, Allemang, Brooke, & Stasiulis, Elaine. (2012). The production and dissemination of Knowledge: A Scoping Review of Arts-based Health Research [40 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(1).
  3. Boydell, K. (2011). Using performative art to communicate research: Dancing experiences of psychosis. Canadian Theatre Review, (146), 12-17.
  4. Gray, J. & Kontos, P. (Accepted) An aesthetic of relationality: embodiment, imagination and playing the fool in research-informed theatre. Qualitative Inquiry.
  5. Fraser, Kimberly Diane, & al Sayah, Fatima. (2011). Arts-based methods in health research: A systematic review of the literature. Arts & Health, 3(2), 110-145.
  6. Hodgins, Michael J, & Boydell, Katherine M. (2014). Interrogating Ourselves: Reflections on Arts-Based Health Research [67 Paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 15(1), Art. 10.
  7. Konnikova, Maria (2012) Humanities Aren’t a Science. Stop treating them Like One. Literally Psyched.
  8. Lafrenière, D., & Cox, S. M. (2013). ‘If you can call it a poem’: toward a framework for the assessment of arts-based works. Qualitative Research, 13(3), 318-336.
  9. O’Donoghue, D. (2014). Revisiting the Idea of Arts-Based Research. International Review of Qualitative Research, 7(2), 169-183.
  10. Shah, S., & Greer, S. (2017). Polio monologues: translating ethnographic text into verbatim theatre. Qualitative Research, 1468794117696141.