The objective of this session is to investigate the relationship between theoretical and applied research. It will provide a vital discussion about the ways in which theoretical scholarship is stimulated by and interwoven in applied & public research practices in the social sciences and humanities.
Applied, public and activist scholarship is becoming an increasingly significant part of mainstream social science and humanities practice. In a contemporary context academics across the globe are being urged by universities and research councils to do research that has impact in the world beyond academia. Yet to date there has been very little reflection amongst scholars and practitioners in these fields concerning the relationship between applied practice and theoretical scholarship. This means that the relationships and the potential cross-fertilisations between theoretical and applied research often go with out being acknowledged and a theory/applied dichotomy tends to persist across fields of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research practice. In a context where new researchers are increasingly aware of the need for and drive towards applications of social and humanities research, there is little to build on. This session offers a new way forward for scholars and researchers seeking to develop their own research agendas that are at once theoretical and create impact and interventions in the world. The central aim of this session is to fill this gap by advancing our understanding of and ability to effectively and ethically engage relationships between theoretical and applied research in the making of interventions. It will provide a vital investigation into and commentary on the ways in which theoretical scholarship is becoming interwoven in recent applied and intervention practice in the social sciences and humanities.