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CUCo’s first unusual researcher-in-residence

At the end of last year, Ohad Ben Shimon approached CUCo with the question: can I do fieldwork at CUCo? For his work on the role of embodiment in knowledge-intensive institutions he was looking for a fieldwork site, and became interested in working with CUCo.

After meeting up to explore the possibilities, we were keen to collaborate. Ohad suggested he needed a role that would allow him to be embedded within CUCo. As we didn’t have such a role, we needed to create one. This became the unusual researcher-in-residence.

We’re proud to introduce Ohad here – as our first unusual researcher-in-residence!

Can you tell us who you are and what brings you to CUCo?

I am not sure how to answer the question ‘who are you?’ as that can differ per situation, and it also depends on the evolving relationship between the one who is asking, and the one who is answering. In the context of the inter- and transdisciplinary research collaboration we are initiating I guess I am the unusual guest and CUCo is the unusual host. I like to think of interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and collaborations along the lines of the theme of hospitality, where scientific researchers visit each other’s discipline for a certain period.

As CUCo encourages and facilitates inter- and transdisciplinary research collaborations, it feels like a hospitable environment for my research, which actually has to do with how who are we? plays a role in the knowledge we produce and share, and how the knowledge we produce and share, plays a role in who we are? or become. I would be very interested in hearing from the different mid-career researchers that are part of CUCo teams, about their experiences of working in highly interdisciplinary collaborations.

Ohad Ben Shimon is an artist, researcher and educator with a background in cognitive sciences, psychology, philosophy, cultural analysis, international business education and art. His current PhD research (’21-’26) focuses on the role of embodiment in knowledge intensive institutions and is funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

What makes you excited to fulfill this role as the first researcher-in-residence at CUCo?

First of all, I am very excited that thanks to initial conversations I had with Anke de Vrieze and Corinne Lamain from CUCo, I could propose such a position of researcher-in-residence in the first place. It showed me that CUCo is not just talking the talk, but open to actually walking the walk. It is also very exciting to initiate something together that will remain within the centre, also after my researcher-in-residence period ends.

As for being the first researcher-in-residence to fulfill this role, I like to think of ‘first’ along the lines of the double meaning of the ancient Greek word Archē, meaning both beginning/ founding principle, and also commandment/ order, or in other words that which launches a telos, an aim. In that sense, being the first to begin a researcher-in-residence period at CUCo also means that during my residency I can play an active part in shaping CUCo’s evolving nature and future, which is very exciting.

Can you tell us more about your research? What are you going to explore in your time with CUCo?

My PhD research (funded by NWO Doctoral Grant for Educators) challenges the underlying assumption within knowledge-intensive institutions that the role of the body is to bring the brains to work. Instead of neglecting the body, my study tries to give different, everyday, and lived experiences of bodies a more prominent role in knowledge intensive institutions.

I would like to use my time as an unusual researcher-in-residence at CUCo to conduct one-on-one interviews with CUCo research team members, and staff, to learn of their personal CUCo experience, as researchers and humans, as they work in highly interdisciplinary teams.

And finally, what’s your favourite animal and why?

In my art practice I have played a variety of animal figures in a series of video-performances titled ANIMAL (2007-ongoing) including: lion, sheep, koala, bee, owl, and more. I couldn’t say which one is my favorite, but I could say that I have been wanting to play the role of a worm for a while, and I am still trying to figure out how to do that.

Interested in learning more about Ohad’s work? Reach out to him at o.benshimon [at] uu.nl.

Would you like to know more about the position of unusual researcher-in-residence? Contact Knowledge & Learning Adviser Anke de Vrieze at anke.devrieze [at] wur.nl.