Poetic Inquiry as Minor Research: A New Direction in Humanities’ Methodologies of Research

By Nilofar Shidmehr.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

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This paper introduces poetic inquiry as “minor” research and positions poetic inquiry not in opposition to “major” forms of research in the social sciences and humanities but as “transforming” and “deterritorializing” in relationship (Deleuze and Guattari, 1986, 1987). Where, unlike discursive-narrative forms of research, poetic inquiry is not defined by the hegemonic “power (pouvoir)” of constraints of description, argument, analyses and interpretation, as an onto-epistemological activity, but by the contagious “power (puissance)” of the variations of responsiveness as an ethical act or performance (Deleuze and Guattari). Stretching tensors all throughout, in ever-new direction of continuous variation, the inquiry makes the research itself “stammer”, introducing a line of departure or flight to dominant territories of epistemology or assemblages of a thousand plateaus of narrative-discourse. In this way, poetic inquiry transforms the inquiry itself into something else: it is the possibility of an event of responsiveness. Poetic inquiry as a research methodology introduces the emergence of a system of openness (Massumi,2002) and creative contagion within a research genre that may perform nothing more than the act of ethically responding to the call of an other.

Keywords: Minor Research, Poetic Inquiry, Responsiveness, Deterritorialization, Stammer, Ethics

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 358.568KB).

Dr. Nilofar Shidmehr

Ph.D. Candidate, Center for Cross Faculty Inquiry, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Nilofar Shidmehr is a Ph.D. candidate in the Center for Cross Faculty Inquiry at The University of British Columbia. She is a poet and the author of Shirin and Salt Man that was nominated for a BC Book Prize in 2009. She develops a philosophical treatise on poetic inquiry as a viable methodology of research in humanities, social sciences, and education—one that introduces ethics as a new direction to inquiry. She enquires into issues such as diasporas and Iranian immigrants identity formation via her poetry.