'Research Active' vs. 'Practice Active': Re-imagining the Relationship between the Academy and the Creative arts Sector

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Where research active academics are also creative practitioners, the relationship between the notions of 'practice active' and 'research active' is· often vexed. Many academics, and academic institutions, would maintain that creative works do not in themselves constitute serious research, or make an explicit contribution to the generation of new knowledge. However, artist-academics have for some years contended that their creative work deserves recognition in research terms. As a result in Australia there has been an argument that creative works should be accorded 'research equivalence', thus granting creative works made by academics a status that universities are able to incorporate into their research rep01ting structures. Yet many academics continue to maintain that creative works are generated by a different kind of impulse than that which motivates researchers; that research papers and creative artefacts are different kinds of things; and that, in any case, even creative artists frequently do not identify their creative outputs as constituting a form of research. This view is as prevalent in the field of creative writing as it is in other creative fields. This paper offers a reflection on issues raised by poets about the relationship between research and their creative works in interviews we have conducted over recent years. It asks whether we need to deconstruct the current research paradigm that dominates universities and think more laterally about what constitutes new knowledge-and it also asks what kind of knowledge that might be. It questions whether the research value of many artworks lies not so much in their explicit addressing of any research question or problem, but in the ways in which such works raise issues that throw light on our relationships to the world, language, and the ineffable.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOld and New, tried and Untried
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity and Research in the 21st Century
EditorsJeri Kroll, Andrew Melrose, Jen Webb
Place of PublicationChampaign, USA
PublisherCommon Ground Publishing
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781612298405
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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