Artists in Australian Academies: Performance in the Labyrinth of Practice-Led Research
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The practice-led-research phenomenon began in Australian academies over two decades ago and it has maintained strong momentum since. The first studio/practice doctoral programme was established in 1984 at the University of Wollongong, supporting scholars of visual arts, graphic design, music, performance, drama, creative writing and journalism in research using practice modalities. The mid to late 1990s saw five other institutions follow this lead. Four more followed suit in the first few years of the new century and now thirty institutions offer creative arts doctorates.1 Concurrently, there has been considerable debate over the rationale and regulations that should govern such an innovative and challenging mode of research. The performance studies peak body, the Australasian Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies Association (ADSA), played an instrumental role in advocating for its formalization and recognition, with Alison Richards and Bill Dunstone leading the vision and testing the framework that still holds relevance and insight today.2 The maturation of the practice-led-research field, however, came about from the significant contribution of many individuals, consortiums and peak bodies across the range of creative arts disciplines. Drawing from this body of work, and that of various practice-led researchers in theatre and performance, this chapter revisits the confidence and conflicts that characterise the field in Australia today, both in the postgraduate context and beyond.
KeywordsCreative Work Creative Industry Live Performance Australian Academy Creative Writing
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