FRONTLINE: The emergence of creative practice as research
The term ‘Creative Practice as Research’ is now in common usage in the tertiary sector, although it is relatively new in its inception. This article traces the rise of the term (and its variations), which emerged about the same time as the tertiary auditing processes, such as Aotearoa New Zealand’s Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF). But creative practitioners had already been sneaking production into the traditional university, at times facing resistance and even derision from scholars undertaking more conventional research within the arts, humanities and social science departments. The author argues that the term Creative Practice as Research, and the many practices under its umbrella such as journalism, is now widely accepted, in part because it has been convenient, fulfilling particular needs within a changing tertiary landscape. Its greater acceptance allows traditional universities to respond to student demand for skills-based learning without losing their reputation for research excellence. But the term also suits the former polytechnics, or ‘new universities’, that are eager to imbue their craft and technical teaching history and practice with richer research content. Drawing on a new wave of ‘production studies’, the article also explores how a specific instance of Creative Practice, the documentary, does indeed fulfil the requirement of research as articulated through other academic disciplines such as the social sciences. Furthermore, documentary and other creative practices can contribute to ‘impact’, an increasingly important metric deployed in the assessment of research within the tertiary sector.
Bacon, W. (2012). An innovative direction in academic journalism. Pacific Journalism Review. 18. 153-166. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v18i2.270
Bacon, W. (2020). Submission to the Australian and NZ standard research classification review.
Dovey, John (2009). Making a difference: Media practice-as-research, creative economies and cultural economies. In Ludivine Allegue, et al. (Eds.), Practice-as-research in performance and screen. Hampshire and New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.
Gaines, J. and Renov, M. (Eds.) (1999). Collecting visible evidence. Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press.
Goldson, A. (2011). Brother number one. BNO Productions.[Documentary]. http://op.co.nz/
Goldson, A. (2014). Testimony and translation: tracing the past in Brother Number One. Studies in Documentary Film, 8(1), 2-20, DOI: 10.1080/17503280.2014.900709
Goldson, A. (2015). Journalism plus? The resurgence of creative documentary. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 21(2), 86-98. https://doi.org/10.24135/pjr.v21i2.120
Goldson, A. (2017). Kim Dotcom: Caught in the web. Monsoon International, produced by Behse, A. [Documentary]. http://kimdotcom.film/
Goldson, A., & Ellmers, K. (2013). He toki huna: NZ in Afghanistan. [Documentary] Occasional Productions. http://op.co.nz/
Johnston, C. (1973). Women’s cinema as counter-cinema. In C. Johnston (Ed.), Notes on Women’s Cinema. London, UK: Society for Education in Film and Television.
Juhasz, A. (1999). They said we were trying to show reality—all I want to show is my video: the politics of the realist feminist documentary. In J. Gaines & M. Renov (Eds.), Collecting visible evidence (pp. 190-215). Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press.
Mayer, V., Banks, M., & Caldwell, J. (2009). Production studies: Cultural studies of media industries. New York, NY: Routledge.
McHugh, S. (2019). Beyond journal articles: Navigating the NTRO. Retrieved from https://www.flowjournal.org/2019/04/beyond-journal-articles/comment-page-1/
Mulvey, L. (1975). Visual pleasure and narrative cinema. Screen. 16(3), 6-18. doi:10.1093/screen/16.3.6.
Nash, C. (2017). Journalism, the question is … Australian Journalism Review. 39(1), 25-29.
Nash. C. (2016). What is journalism? The art and politics of a rupture. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
Nichols, B. (1983). The voice of documentary. Film Quarterly. 36(3). DOI: 10.2307/3697347
Nichols, B. (2001). Introduction to documentary. Bloomington & Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press.
Renov, M. (1993). Theorizing documentary. New York, NY, & London, UK: Routledge.
Robie, D. (2015). Advocating journalism practice-as-research: A case for recognition in the New Zealand PBRF context. Asia Pacific Media Educator. 25(1), 62–73. https://doi.org/10.1177/1326365X15575591
Wayne, M. (2008). Documentary as critical and creative research. In T. Austin & W. de Jong (Eds.), Rethinking documentary: New perspectives and practices (pp. 82-94). Austin, TX: McGraw Hill Education.
Copyright (c) 2020 Annie Goldson
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.