Call for papers | Communicating research between writing practices and the performing arts

Edited by Tiziana Tarsia, Maura Tripi, Michela Semprebon

The practice of writing concerns all disciplines and is central to scientific knowledge production processes. Research activity takes different forms: scientific article, monograph, essay but also field note, ethnographic diary, construction of instruments and repertories. To each form corresponds a stylistic baggage, a language, an expressive code, a rhetoric. The anthropologist Fabio Dei, echoing Geerts, highlights how writing is "the dimension within which cognitive practice is defined" (2000, p. 181). Writing and knowledge are interdependent, they condition each other, but their relationship is not neutral.

The researcher chooses not only what to write, but also how to write, and with whom and for whom to write. He/she does in relation to his/her disciplinary framework, in reference to belonging to a professional community and a geographical context, to rules and conventions related, for example, to what is meant by a scientific or popular contribution. These choices also relate to one's own positioning with regard to access to knowledge and the legitimisation of who can or cannot contribute to the production of knowledge, but also to ethical-political choices that are more or less recognised and challenged.

On the one hand, the political dimension of writing methodology and practices reveals the constitutively intersubjective nature of knowledge creation processes and the legitimation and visibility of those who contribute to knowledge production.

On the other hand, the practice of writing informs the process of knowledge production: Burawoy, dwelling on the meaning of writing in sociology, states: “after a century spent constructing professional knowledge by translating common sense into a scientific language, we are ready to engage in a systematic 'back translation' to bring knowledge back to those from whom it comes” (2007, p.3). In this call, we understand knowledge production as an intersubjective social practice and writing as a space of reflexivity and legitimacy of different (individual and collective) social actors.

The intent to make writing and methodology explicit as political acts and the intention to recognise and enhance the constitutively dialogic character of knowledge creation can also be found in the proposals for collaborative writing (Cardano and Gariglio, 2022; Massari, and Pellegrino, 2021), in which disciplines as well as practical and theoretical knowledge are mixed. It is to be found in the choice of writing styles very close to narrative (Tedeschi, 2008) or poetry, as in the case of poetic inquiry (Martire et al., 2023), or in that of flanking or replacing words with cartoons, comic strips, theatrical performance, music or in general artefacts such as videos and documentaries or products of manipulation of different materials (Moretti and Scavarda, 2023; Cancellieri, 2023; Della Puppa et al., 2021; Giorgi et al., 2023; Stagi and Queirolo Palmas, 2015). In recent years, various experiments are emerging on the Italian and international scene and a debate has opened up on the importance of different types of writing and processing of empirical data and materials. At the same time, the challenge of setting up mixed working groups between the academic world and that of the artistic and social work professions is becoming increasingly interesting.

The Primopiano section of Educazione Aperta Journal intends to contribute to this dialogue with a space for reflection. We ask for articles that:

  1. focus on the relationship between the different actors involved in knowledge production processes and writing practices, the range of formal choices available to those who wish to reconcile scientific accreditation and the possibility of communicating with a wider audience, the different perceived gradations between academic prose and popularisation, and the constraints on other types of professional writing;
  2. analyse and describe, also addressing methodological and ethical issues, the processes of appropriation and colonisation of knowledge by researcher or other dominant players;
  3. analyse and describe collaborative writing practices in the scientific field, in the arts and in the educational and social professions, between writers who usually adhere to different codes (researchers, non-academic intellectuals, practitioners, artists);
  4. reflect on the strengths, weaknesses, difficulties and potential of multidisciplinary paths combining scientific writing with art-based practices (e.g. forum theatre, use of literary texts, photography, etc.).

Contributions written by different actors in the knowledge production process (academic researchers with practitioners, social workers, artists, etc.) are particularly welcome. Proposed articles must be unpublished. They may be written in Italian, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. They must strictly adhere to the editorial standards available at this link:

We invite contributors to submit an article by 30 June 2024 to By 7 August 2024, the editors will announce whether the submitted contribution has been selected for submission for refereeing. At the end of a double-blind review process, accepted articles will be published in issue 17 of Educazione Aperta Journal due out in early 2025.


Burawoy M. (2007), Per la sociologia pubblica, in “Sociologica”, 1-45.

Cancellieri A., Peterle G. (a cura di) (2023), Quartieri. Viaggio al centro delle periferie italiane, Becco Giallo, Torino.

Cardano M., Gariglio L. (2022), Metodi qualitativi. Pratiche di ricerca in presenza, a distanza e ibride, Carocci, Roma.

Dei, F. (2000) La libertà di inventare i fatti: antropologia, storia, letteratura, in “il Gallo

silvestre”, 13, 180-196.

Della Puppa F., Matteuzzi F., Saresin F. (2021), La linea dell’orizzonte. Una ethnographic novel sulla migrazione tra Bangladesh, Italia e Londra, Becco Giallo, Padova.

Giorgi A., Pizzolati M., Vacchelli E., (2023), Metodi creativi in pratica. Un laboratorio aperto, Università di Bergamo, Bergamo.

Martire F., Parra Saiani P., Cataldi S., (2023), La ricerca sociale e le sue pratiche, Carocci, Roma.

Pellegrino V., Massari M., (2021), Scienze sociali ed emancipazione: Tra teorie e istituzioni del sapere, Genoa University Press, Genova.

Moretti V., Scavarda A. (a cura di), 2023, in "Salute e Società", 2.

Stagi L., Queirolo Palmas L. (2015), Fare sociologia visuale, Professional dreamers, Genova

Tedeschi E. (2008), Comunicare la sociologia. Il sociologo come “storyteller”, in “Studi di Sociologia", 46, 1, 55-64.