7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Birut Zemits (PhD)

Dr Birut Zemits has extensive experience lecturing in subjects related to language, art, film, academic writing and cultural issues and supervising candidates in Visual Arts and Education. Birut completed a PhD titled Ethno-eco dialogue: Filmmaking for sustainability, which provided an opportunity to bring together interests in creative practice, sociolinguistics and environmental education. Within the research process she completed a number of film projects which included extensive surveys and interviews. Her passion is for research as well as supporting the learning process at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. She currently works as Assistant Dean Research in the College of Education at Charles Darwin University.

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Talks

Non-traditional Research Methods in the Arts: Building Social Engagement

Creative practice strategies used as research methods in the arts provide an opportunity to showcase skills and ideas of an artist. These techniques can also build an interaction with the audience of the work, potentially impacting the broader community to engage with cultural and social issues at the core of the artist’s work. In the formal PhD or Master’s research space, practicing artists are finding new ways to present their work to integrate traditional and non-traditional research methods.

This presentation will discuss the value of non-traditional research methods and showcase two PhD projects that have combined creative practice with other approaches as part of a broader outcome of research. The first project applied Actor Network Theory to work with people in Australia, Europe and India to explore concepts of sustainability using filmmaking as an interactive and creative process. The second project provided an interdisciplinary forum to engage with the key social and philosophical questions about the arts and sciences of mining. Both projects sought to build social engagement through art practice.

The presenters will briefly explain the way practice-based or practice-led research is different to traditional thesis presentations. They will then consider how qualitative methods have been integrated in their projects to culminate in a creative output that aims to have social impact.