Spark Journal call for papers

Research supervision: pedagogies and practices in the arts (Special issue 2020)

Spark is an open-access online journal for university teachers, researchers and students with a focus on exploring all aspects of teaching and learning in arts, design and communication. Spark is published by the Teaching, Learning and Employability Exchange twice a year.

In the forthcoming special issue of Spark in Spring 2020 we will explore the theme of research supervision pedagogies and practices in the arts.

Political changes within the university sector over the past few decades as well as the awareness of the need to challenge long-held beliefs about doctoral practices have led to increased scholarly interest in the particularities of both effective research supervision and art and design as a form of research. We plan to bring these interests together by exploring teaching and learning linked to postgraduate research study in these specialist subject areas.

The issue will be guest edited by Dr Frederico Matos and Elizabeth Staddon from the Exchange.

This special issue of Spark is a creative space for UAL communities of PhD supervisors and students to:

  • Share and situate examples of the forms of PhD generated by the range of disciplines at UAL and partner colleges
  • Engage in debate and critical dialogues about key issues of theory and practice in creative arts teaching and learning at research degree level
  • Develop pedagogic responses to processes linked to the PhD journey, such as evolving relationships between written and material practices, or between students and their supervisors
  • Examine ways of promoting wellbeing and resilience among PhD communities
  • Apply pedagogic readings to the dynamics of supervisory teams
  • Chart individual development of supervisory practices
  • Explore research supervision from an institutional perspective.

Other areas of doctoral pedagogy and practice will be considered. You are welcome to discuss this with Frederico ( or Elizabeth (

Contributions can be in the form of case studies, research papers, provocations, student (and student-staff co-produced) contributions and book reviews. Non-text format contributions are welcome.

View and register as an author with Spark here:

Read the Spark submission guidelines

Deadline for submissions: Monday 13th January 2020

Questions? Email Catherine Smith (editor) on

Illustration © Francesco Poiana, 2019

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