The weight of … weight…

A couple of days ago I got an email from a friend… one of the contributors in the DEAF space sessions at this years AAG she shared a ‘crazy dream’ that one day there might be a funded research centre focused on Deaf geographies.

Certainly, there’s enough research to do… the coverage of the two AAG sessions was enough to demonstrate that: linguistics, poetry, architecture, politics, history, personal narrative, urban planning… essentially there’s enough in DEAF geographies to sustain a mirror human geography department dedicated to providing a critical counter to mainstream human geography…

… where DEAF space should be that instrumental is another question… I’d argue that it shouldn’t, but that it could be… that it should simply be and challenge other spaces on their assumption of hegemony or validity… and a predominantly sound-produced space, or touch-based could do the same… without the culture (perhaps) which then turns the lens back on DEAF space… and so on…

… anyway… that aside, there’s certainly enough research.

But… where’s the funding for a centre like that.

Now I don’t want to go into a diatribe about new research being the only valid research etc… I don’t think that’s true. But it did strike me the other day at the HEA conference (that I posted about before) that you don’t have to have very many new ideas to have a great amount of influence in the academic community – you just have to be a safe pair of hands.

In fact, those with the greatest sway, appear to be those with the best publication and funding record… and – particularly if you accept that the best journals and the best funding tend to be hedged in powerfully established organisations – means that anyone too outlandish has to work much harder to get acknowledgement, and financial support.

So… what’s the answer? Do we play the game until we get the funding profile and run the risk of losing that edge that defines new research as so critically different? Are there funding bodies out there looking to fund new and exciting work that the rest of academia hasn’t yet heard of?

If there are… if they’d like to get in touch, we can certainly spend some of it for you… and provide you with some world-changing research to boot ;)