FailSpace Book Club

Talking about failure is not a one-off event. Understanding different types of failure and how to learn from them is a process. One way to embed these discussions within your project or organisation could be to create a FailSpace Book Club! We’ve done a lot of reading and writing about failure over the past few years, and have gathered a few reading options to get you started. We have also included a longer reading list with plenty more reading options to keep the conversation going. Tea and biscuits strongly encouraged!

Session 1

Why the feel-good narratives must end

by Dr Leila Jancovich and Dr David Stevenson
Published in ArtsProfessional, November 2020

Download the article here.

 

15 minute read time

Questions for discussion

How are success and failure defined in the article?
What do the authors claim the risks are of overstating successes?
Does this resonate with projects you have been involved with? How?

Session 2

Stories of Success, Histories of Failure

by Dr Leila Jancovich and Dr David Stevenson
Published by Conjunctions: Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation, October 2020

Read the article here.

 

30 minute read time

This research has not only led to the development of the tools presented here but also a growing body of writing about failure, which thanks to the AHRC, are all available free open access. This article is the editorial of our special issue on Failures in Cultural Participation for Conjunctions: Transdisciplinary Journal of Cultural Participation.

Questions for discussion

How are success and failure defined in the article?
What is ‘the deficit approach to cultural policymaking’? Why might it be an issue?
How does this relate to your organisation or project?
**Based on the reading and your discussion, choose an article for Session 3.

Session 3

Choose an article from this special issue

In the previous session’s reading, the authors mentioned 8 articles – choose one or two to read and discuss as a group.

View the articles here.

 

45 minute read time

Questions for discussion

How are success and failure defined within the article?
How do these failures relate to the 5 facets of failure you have looked at in the other activities?
Whose voices are heard both in the programmes described and by the researcher?
What learning do you take from the article and how might it inform your own actions?