© 2018

Artists in the University

Positioning Artistic Research in Higher Education


About this book


This book focuses on the relationship between the university and a particular cohort of academic staff: those in visual and performing arts disciplines who joined the university sector in the 1990s.  It explores how artistic researchers have been accommodated in the Australian university management framework and the impact that this has had on their careers, identities, approaches to their practice and the final works that they produce. The book provides the first analysis of this topic across the artistic disciplinary domain in Australia and updates the findings of Australia’s only comprehensive study of the position of research in the creative arts within the government funding policy setting reported in 1998 (The Strand Report).

Using lived examples and a forensic approach to the research policy challenges, it shows that while limited progress has been made in the acceptance of artistic research as legitimate research, significant structural, cultural and practical challenges continue to undermine relationships between universities and their artistic staff and affect the nature and quality of artistic work.


Research management and governance Higher education management Artistic research Visual and performing arts Academic tribes and territories University governance Practice based research Practice led research

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher EducationUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

About the authors

Jenny Wilson is an honorary fellow at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne.  During a long career as a senior administrator in Australian and UK universities, she has been instrumental in the establishment of many new higher-education initiatives and centres of research excellence. She was invited as a consultant to the European Commission’s Green Paper on Innovation in 1995 and played a key role in the development of the Forum on European-Australian Science and Technology cooperation (FEAST).  She is now an independent consultant to universities and academic organisations.  She acts as research officer for the Australian Council of Deans and Directors of Creative Arts and is editor of their online publication, ‘NiTRO’. Jenny’s research interests centre on the relationship between the university, its management systems and the ‘academic tribes’ which inhabit them. She is a regular contributor to the discussion on artistic research in the higher-education sector. She has an honours degree in law (LLB), a professional postgraduate qualification from the UK Chartered Institute for Marketing and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

Bibliographic information