CTC and MECO activity reports (2016-2017)

CTC: The Centre for Texts, Culture and Creative Industries

The CTC was established in 2016 and has since hosted a number of activities intended to foster programs of individual and collaborative research resulting in high quality outcomes and grant applications. In December 2015 and February 2016, two seminars were held with leading academics from the Digital Media Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology with a view to encouraging staff to develop projects for competitive funding schemes. A number of these projects are now in train with one ARC Discovery already submitted and five Linkage grants at various stages of development. Centre members are currently involved in five ARC Discovery projects and two ARC Linkage projects. In September/October 2016, the Centre hosted the visit of Professor Stuart Walker from ImaginationLancaster in the UK. A number of collaborative initiatives have resulted from this visit that will lead to further competitive grant applications. The monthly seminar series in 2016 featured seven different presentations by CTC members showcasing work in progress. In 2017, these have been replaced by one day work-in-progress seminars. Visiting scholars are now being invited to participate in one-day symposia intended to enable centre members, with particular attention to ECRs and HDR candidates, to present their work and receive mentorship. In 2016, the two writing retreats, held in July and December were extremely successful, with a wide range of outcomes including high-level publications as well as progress towards grant applications. Other activities have include a symposium on Transnational Audiences with keynote speaker, Associate Professor Adrian Athique, Deputy Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Queensland which gave CTC members including ECRs and HDRs the opportunity to present.

MECO: The Material Ecologies Research Network

MECO was established in 2016 as a network to explore collegial relationships between a diverse range of disciplinary researchers concerned with new materialites in the context of the Anthropocene. The focus of the network was on the establishment of a culture of collaboration, development of new writing practices, and the extension of network relationships outside UOW. Key achievements were a sequence of public symposia culminating in Thinking Landscapes (Sept, 2016) a major collaboration with Global Challenges, the VC’s VISA programme, the Royal Holloway Centre for the GeoHumanities and theArts and Humanities Research Council, UK (AHRC).. The seminar and workshop was fully subscribed including attendees from the Powerhouse Museum, the University of Sydney, AUSCCER, artists, writers, digital humanities’ scholars, and postgraduate researchers. Work-in-progress seminars built on the series of themed MECO Camps that resulted in partnerships with Bundanon for Site-works, exhibitions at major venues, and three international conference panels (ISEA Hong Kong, AAANZ Canberra, and AAL Griffith). MECO has auspiced Lucas Ihlein’s DECRA and Ihlein in turn has generated substantial HDR and ECR interest in socially-engaged art practices which remain a strength of the network. In 2016 MECO partnered with research network Space Place and Country (SPC) at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University; CEMENTA Festival; and the independent research group Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation (KSCA) to present the high-profile Futurelands2 symposium. Based in the regional NSW town of Kandos, Futurelands2 provided an opportunity for cross-disciplinary dialogue about the relationships between humans and land. Over 160 people registered and attended Futurelands2. MECO also experimented with using a web presence as a publishing platform, and the MECO360 was instigated as a short-form essay. These are published monthly on the MECO blog, 16 essays have been published to date, and have had over 2000 independent visits/hits. MECO’s major activity for 2017 is the collaboratively-authored book, 100 Atmospheres: Studies in Scale and Wonder. The authors are working with Open Humanities Press in the publication of the book and this will continue as an activity in 2018.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *