Dr. Natalie Loveless held a symposium and think-tank in the Spring of 2014 which brought together researchers and artists interested in research-creation. The KIAS supported events invited discussion and debate about research-creation and the Fine Arts PhD among other topics that emerged. Over 300 people attended the keynote presentation by Dr. Donna Haraway on March 24th which has now been viewed over 3000 times.
Research-creation is a growing field of interest among Canadian researchers. Also referred to as practice-led research, the term research-creation is meant to encompass a variety of practices that combine artistic literacies with, most commonly, social-science and humanities-based research. Dr. Loveless received a KIAS Research Cluster grant in support of her endeavours.
The research-creation working group, comprised of faculty and graduate students from the University of Alberta, formed in the Fall of 2013 to discuss readings and issues relevant to the critical discourse of research-creation in Canada as well as the emergence of practice-led PhD programs internationally. In February a symposium entitled Researching Research-Creation featured a public provocations panel and a day of intense discussion for the working group members. An international group of scholars were invited to attend and offered insights into the state of practice-led research including practice-led PhDs from their regions (such as in the United Kingdom where practice-led PhDs have existed for over a decade).
About a month after the research symposium Dr. Loveless hosted another distinguished group, this time focusing on Canadian researchers interested in research-creation. The think-tank, Knowings and Knots: Methodologies and Ecologies in Research-Creation, included two full days of discussions and provocations examining research-creation in a national and interdisciplinary context. In addition to the diverse group of academics and artists from several Canadian institutions -- representing different disciplinary perspectives from medical anthropology to performance studies -- Dr. Donna Haraway was invited to attend as a distinguished participant and offered a keynote presentation on March 24th. Dr. Haraway’s presentation was one of the most well attended events in recent memory, bringing together over 300 faculty and students from a variety of disciplines to the Faculty Club and many more have viewed the now archived presentation via online video streaming.
Many of the researchers invited to the symposium and think-tank had never previously had the opportunity to meet and share their work within the frame of research-creation. Dr. Loveless was surprised by the disjointed nature of research-creation study across Canada and this was her initial reason for organising the events. Dr. Loveless is working on three projects to further the discussion and academic presence of research-creation; an edited volume from participants who contributed papers and responses to the think-tank, a monograph on research-creation as interdisciplinary method, and finally Dr. Loveless hopes to use the momentum from these publications and events to establish a research-creation institute here at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Loveless’ approach to research-creation highlights the possibilities for nurturing a critically engaged academic community that is open to cross disciplinary collaboration and takes seriously the potential of artistic research in the university today.
More information on the research-creation working group: researchcreation.ca