Affective Artful Expression for Engagement and Transformation


  • Stephanie Mason St. Francis Xavier University




field notes, arts-informed research, place, engagement, transformation



 For my doctoral research into adults’ informal learning through material objects in four public places in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I used sketchbooks as fieldnote journals. In contrast to objective observations, I recorded during my site visits a panoply of overheard conversations, drawings, remarks, puns, encounters, temperatures, and colours. These and other elements comprised my experiences in each site, and I wanted to represent their gist and connotations through multiple forms of expression. This approach aligns with arts-informed research methodology that celebrates complexity and shared meaning-making with engaged scholarship. I used these notes to produce for each site a written vignette, to introduce and reacquaint others with that place; two of these vignettes appear in the following report. In translating what I came to call my “feel’d,” not “field,” notes into these written pieces, I gleaned new understandings about scribbling and scrawling expressive, affective feel’d notes. I found that engagement enriched my research process, and also fostered a greater awareness of place meanings. I recognize that transformed notetaking has a bearing on understanding, research process, people/communities, and places, and offers methodological insights that carry out and further engaged scholarship knowledge. 

Author Biography

Stephanie Mason, St. Francis Xavier University

PhD, is a graduate of the Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University, and holds degrees in Lifelong Learning and English Literature. She has studied and taught in New Zealand, Nova Scotia, and Ontario. Her research interests include arts-informed methodologies, adults’ informal learning, and public place learning. Email: smason@stfx.ca or stephanie.mason2@msvu.ca 


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How to Cite

Mason, S. (2022). FEEL’D NOTES IN PUBLIC PLACES:: Affective Artful Expression for Engagement and Transformation. Engaged Scholar Journal: Community-Engaged Research, Teaching, and Learning, 8(1), 39–44. https://doi.org/10.15402/esj.v8i2.70752



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