Roskilde Universitet
Kommunikationsvej 1,
Bygning 42.3
4000 Roskilde

Tlf: 46 74 26 92
Chris Holmsted Larsen

Tlf: 46 74 38 08
Kim Christian Schrøder


FMKJ er en national forskerskole, der:
• Arrangerer ph.d.-kurser på
- internationalt niveau,
• Er vært for internationale
- gæsteforskere,
• Uddeler stipendier til skolens
- studerende,
• Har indstillingsret til
- Forskningsrådet for Kultur og
- Kommunikation.

FMKJ-kursus: Applying dialogue-based approaches in communication research:

Dates and location
11am, 22 March – 2pm, 25 March 2010, Roskilde University, Kalundborg Youth Hostel (1 hour train ride west of Copenhagen)


About the course 
The course is organised under the joint auspices of the Nordic Network for the Study of the  Dialogic Communication of Research funded by NordForsk ( and The Danish National Research School in Media, Communication and Journalism (

“Dialogue” has become a buzzword in the production and communication of research. Researchers are encouraged to produce socially robust knowledge and further social innovation in dialogue with different social actors and their perspectives. In policy documents and practical initiatives, the turn to dialogue is presented positively as a new form of scientific governance based on dialogue, interaction and participation throughout the research process, rather than the unidirectional knowledge transfer of completed research results from researchers to policy-makers, practitioners and members of the public. According to this positive account, researchers who are engaged in dialogue-based activities of knowledge production and communication have renounced their privileged position as sovereign experts and their monopoly on scientific knowledge and stepped down from the proverbial ivory tower of the academy to enter into dialogue with the world around them.

Studies have been carried out that critically interrogate this so-called dialogic turn, pointing to the inherent tensions and contradictions in practices that claim and aim to be dialogic, participatory, and democratic. These studies belong to disparate traditions, as the field of study on producing and communicating research represents a fragmented research area, made up of separate traditions in dispersed fields. On the course, we aim at cross-fertilisation across different theoretical and methodological perspectives by drawing on three central traditions of research on dialogue-based approaches to producing and communicating knowledge: Dialogic Communication Theory, Action Research and Science and Technology Studies.

Dates and location
11am, 22 March – 2pm, 25 March 2010, Roskilde University, Kalundborg Youth Hostel (1 hour train ride west of Copenhagen)

Kalundborg Youth Hostel

How to get from Copenhagen Airport to Kalundborg Youth Hotel:

  • Train from Copenhagen Airport to Copenhagen Central Trainstation (København Hovedbanegård)
  • Change train at Copenhagen Central Trainstation (ask information for details on arrival – this can be also be done at the Airport)
  • How to get from Kalundborg Trainstation to Kalundborg Youth Hotel here
  • You can also plan your journey online here (see english version – lower part of the webpage)

Course readings

Download reading list here

Download texts

Anderson, Baxter, and Cissna chapter-2

Baxter, Communication as Dialogue

Bradbury.ARJ_What is Good AR.ARJ.2010

Buber, Elements of the Interhuman

Deliberation, storytelling and dialogic moments

Greenwood, Pragmatic Action Research

Gunnarsson The snake and the apple



Duncan Levinsohn

Ilona Sammalkorpi

Cathy Brown


Maria Florencia Enghel

Kristian Bruun Rasmussen

Maria Duclos Lindstrøm

Sanne Elisabeth Almeborg

Ann Starbæk Bager

Karen Dons Blædel

Brian Due

Agnete Neidel

Nadja Marlene Antoine

Pia Andersson

Lars Olsen

List of participants here

Full program here

Course teachers

Professor Ken Cissna, Chair of the Department of Communication, University of South Florida

Professor Ewa Gunnarsson, Chair of the Division of Gender and Innovation, Department of Human Work Sciences, Luleå University of Technology

Associate Professor Marianne Kristiansen, Department of Communication, University of Aalborg (course

Associate Professor Louise Phillips, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University (course convenor).

Course Participants
The course is designed for Ph.D. students who are carrying out projects based on a research design that aims to be practice-oriented, dialogue-based, interactive, participatory or collaborative. Such a  research design entails that practitioners in the field under study are engaged as active participants in the collaborative research process and  as co-producers of knowledge, rather than (only) as respondents or informants. We invite doctoral students from across the social sciences and humanities who are working with projects on a wide range of fields of study and empirical topics.
The idea is that we will be able to talk across these different fields of study and topic areas and gain valuable insights from applying different approaches to dialogue to different fields of study and topics.

Possible topics of doctoral research that would be relevant to the course include (but are not restricted to!) dialogue-based communication practices in organisational change projects, public engagement with science activities, participatory health communication or co-design processes in digital communication. Course teachers will present empirical examples from contexts such as organisational change projects, health communication and digital media. 

Course goals
The overall aim of the course is to support doctoral research by applying dialogic approaches to communication and knowledge production to central dilemmas and challenges in practice-oriented research and in the analysis of practices.  By focusing on the interplay between theoretical understanding, practice, and analysis, the course is intended to provide students with insights and various kinds of methods for tackling complexity both with respect to their own research practices and with respect to the practices that represent objects of empirical analysis. The course, then, is designed to hopefully generate solid answers to the following questions:

  • How can we practise, analyse, and understand practice-oriented, dialogue-based research in ways that take account of the complexity of relations among the collaborating actors (researcher and practitioners) and among the different knowledge forms?
  • If we understand the communication of research as the ongoing communication processes through which collaborating actors co-produce knowledge (as well as the communication of research results), how can we analyse and understand those communication processes in terms of different theories of dialogue as processes where different knowledge forms meet, are negotiated and may collide?
  • Can we use such analyses in order to tackle the tension between, on the one hand, opening up for a plurality of different voices and, on the other hand, managing the research process in order to produce a product (or set of products) that can satisfy all the relevant parties (including the board of Ph.D. examiners that demand scientifically valid knowledge- claims and practitioners who seek input that they can put to practical use)? What do we do to cope with such tensions in our research practice? How do we, for example, organize the research process?
  • How can we critically analyse different practices of dialogue-based communication, and how can we, in such analyses, deal with issues of power, participation, democracy, governance, and agency? How do we define power? How do we handle power and participation during the research practice?  How does our own handling of power influence our data?  
  • How, on the basis of the analyses, can we further develop concepts and methods that can be applied to improve practices of dialogic communication?

Course Format and Programme

The course will be organised along interactive, dialogic lines in a series of workshops. Each workshop will consist of a combination of presentations by course teachers and hands-on  group work. In the group work, doctoral students will be able to draw directly on their doctoral research (as sketched out in the 10-page paper submitted prior to the course) and work practically with different theories, concepts and methods in relation to theoretical and methodological challenges and dilemmas that are specific to their projects. The aim of this format is to create a dynamic interplay between different theoretical and methodological perspectives presented in the course, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, doctoral research practices. Each day, there will be regular coffee breaks, lunch and (with the exception of Thursday) dinner.

See the day-by-day programme below

Course registration
In order to register for the course, you should send an email to Associate Professor Louise Phillips by 15 January 2010. You need to download the form entitled “course enrolment” from FMKJ’s website (address:, complete the form and attach the completed form to your mail. You should also attach a 2-page description of your Ph.D. project which sketches out the topic of the project and main theories and methods. You are also welcome to contact Louise Phillips if you require more information about the course before deciding whether to attend or not.

Course Requirements and ECTS points
To participate in the course, you need to register for the course by 5 January 2010 and then submit a 10-page paper by 1 February 2010. The paper should outline the research design of your doctoral project, describe your ongoing research practices, including methods of data production and data analysis, and highlight the main challenges, dilemmas and problems that you face. If you have already produced some data, you are encouraged to include some of it (1-5 pages, in addition to the 10-page paper) so that it can form an object of analysis in one of the workshops. In addition, all participants should read a collection of course readings prior to the course. The course readings will be distributed in January 2010.

ECTS points: 3 ECTS

The Nordic Network for the Study of the Dialogic Communication of Research will cover all  expenses (travel, accommodation and meals) for Ph.D. students who are members of the network. 

The Danish National Research School in Media, Communication and Journalism (FMKJ) will cover all expenses for Ph.D. students who are enrolled in the School. Ph.D. students who are not  members of the network or enrolled in FMKJ will have to pay for their own travel, accommodation and meals. Accommodation and meals are estimated at approx.3340 DKK (app. 450 euro). A deposit for this amount will be invoiced to non-network members and non-FMKJ students soon after registration.


Download Day-by-day programme here

Course teachers

Professor Ken Cissna, Chair of the Department of Communication, University of South Florida, is a central figure in the emergent research area on the theory and practice of dialogue, having authored or edited books, articles and chapters, and special journal issues in the research area. For example, he has co-authored Moments of meeting: Buber, Rogers, and the potential for public dialogue (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002) and The Martin Buber – Carl Rogers dialogue: A new transcript with commentary. (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997), guest-edited a special issue of Communication Theory on “Fresh Perspectives in Dialogue Theory” with Rob Andersen in 2008, and co-edited Dialogue: Theorizing difference in communication studies. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004). Most recently, he co-edited The Routledge Handbook of Applied Communication Research (New York: Routledge, 2009) (see

Professor Ewa Gunnarsson, Chair of the Division of Gender and Innovation, Department of Human Work Sciences, Luleå University of Technology. Her current research concentrates on action research methodology and theory in the fields of innovation systems, entrepreneurship and applied gender research, with a focus on change processes. She has, since the ’90’s, contributed to developing the doing-gender research orientation within the Nordic countries. Today, one of her main interests is in exploring methodological and theoretical dilemmas when combining an action research approach with a doing-gender approach in organisational change processes, for example in the ongoing project Gender and Equality development in the Faste Laboratory (an excellence centre) in which 8 industrial companies and 7 academic divisions at Luleå University of Technology are participating. Recent publications include “Gemensamt kunskapande – den interaktiva forskningens praktik” (Joint knowledge Production – the Praxis of Interactive Research) (2008) (eds. Bengt Johannisson, Ewa Gunnarsson och Torbjörn Stjernberg) and “Other Sides of the Coin. A Feminist Perspective on Robustness in Science and Knowledge Production”, International Journal of Action Research, 3 (3), 2007.

Associate Professor Marianne Kristiansen, Department of Communication, University of Aalborg  (course convenor), Her current research focuses on employee-driven innovation and involvement in teams from a dialogic communication perspective. It is carried out as an action research project in  co-operation with 18 teams from Danfoss Solar Inverters, CSC, and Citizen Service, Silkeborg  Municipality and is funded by the Danish National Council of Technology and Innovation/the  Ministry of Science. She became co-editor of the journal Action Research in 2007 and  a member of the Editorial Committee of the International Journal of Action Research in 2009.  She has co-authored Midwifery and dialogue in organizations. Emergent, mutual involvement in action research. München: Rainer Hampp Verlag (2005) (together with Jørgen Bloch-Poulsen) and  published articles on the challenges and dilemmas of action research, dialogue, and power in  journals such as Action Research, International Journal of Action Research and Southern Communication Journal and in Handbook of Action Research edited by Reason and Bradbury, Sage: 2008. 

Associate Professor Louise Phillips, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University (course convenor). Her current research interest is in dialogue-based approaches to producing and communicating research-based knowledge. She is the initiator and convenor of the Nordic Network for the Study of the Dialogic Communication of Research (2008-2011), funded by NordForsk. The network brings together 33 researchers based in four Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – and aims to support the development of the emergent field of study on dialogic research communication by bringing together dispersed traditions of research and by building on the central role of Nordic research in those traditions. She is also the the co-author of Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method (London: SAGE, 2002) and How the media and citizens talk about politics: a discourse analytical study of politics in mediatized society (in Danish), Århus: Aarhus University Press, 2004 and has published articles in journals such as Public Understanding of Science, Media, Culture and Society, European Journal of Communication and Discourse and Society.

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