Running Cultures Research Network: Towards innovative and inclusive pathways

Joint AHRC Network Bid in progress.  Co-investigator: Veronique Chance.

The overall objective of this research network is to disrupt existing discourses around the cultural understanding, study and practices of running beyond its typical framing within sports/fitness studies.

The Running Cultures Research Network (RCRN) will facilitate a critical re-evaluation of running as a creative, hybrid, innovative, inclusive tool and activity, and lay the groundworks to establish ‘Running Studies’ as an important field of study, worthy of wider recognition, both within and outside academia. RCRN builds on the track record of 3 previous Run! Run! Run! events held in 2014. 2016 and 2018, which also led to the Running Cultures Research Group (active since in 2014 on JISC Mail), to further the work of the group into a formalised, recognised network.

RCRN will draw attention to running cultures as an emergent, important, critical field of study…to further support and develop the assertion that running continues 'to elude serious study outside the natural sciences' (Bale, 2004).

Press release / expanded info:

How can existing discourses around the cultural understanding, study and practice of running be disrupted and reframed, as a serious, emergent, radical, critical field of study? How can running be understood as a revolutionary, innovative and creative social practice?

Objectives of this initiative are to:

  1. Bring together and work in partnership with academics, policy makers, professionals and practitioners working with running as a primary focus within the arts, humanities and social sciences for the purposes of knowledge exchange and dissemination, contributing to a shared discourse and wider understanding of running as a serious field of study and practice.

  2. Critically examine potential economic, social and cultural benefits from bringing together shared practices and discourses on running across disciplines within the arts, humanities and social sciences.
  3. Foster and further develop cross-disciplinary collaboration between researchers working with running practices as a serious field of research within the arts, humanities and social sciences across different disciplines.
  4. Enable early career researchers with new approaches to engage with more established scholars in the field.
  5. Hold meetings, workshops, public events, exhibitions and online presence as outlined in the timetable. These are envisaged as ‘pilot’ events, with a view to longer-term development and legacies.
  6. Disseminate outputs of the above through: a manifesto; academic and popular publications; public exhibitions and events; social media, culminating in a special issue and anthology.
  7. Through knowledge exchange that is at the heart of this network, academic and public outreach events, we will address a significant gap in existing research, developing and establishing an enhanced understanding of a particularly rich yet under-researched aspect of running as a serious creative, cross-disciplinary tool and critical field of research.

Related links:

Run! Run! Run! Biennale 2018 #r3fest

Run! Run! Run! article on Tumblr

An exploration of running as metaphor, methodology, material through the RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale #r3fest 2016

Thames Run: Source to Sea on Veronique Chance's website

Thames Run (Greater London) on Veronique Chance's website

London to Cambridge Run Commute on Veronique Chance's website

Veronique's blogs on a-n Network