Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Research Seminars

The Research Seminars showcase the diversity of projects being undertaken across the School of Communication and Creative Industries.

For further information please contact the SCCI Research Seminar Coordinator, Dr Sam Bowker - sbowker@csu.edu.au

Seminar Title Link to Seminar

Ché Baker

Screen Spill: How are Australian Filmmakers responding to the Pandemic?

20 October 2020

Throughout recent history, Australia has seen unprecedented change in the social and economic conditions surrounding the creative industries. Given the drastic change in conditions, including the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, a disruption to ‘business as usual’ has been felt throughout many sectors, and the creative industries have been particularly impacted.

This research is investigating how Australian storytellers have responded to the situation which has evolved over the period from 2015 to today, culminating with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. I will particularly focus on narrative mediums and the film industry, and the innovations in technology and methods being employed to respond to this unique situation.

Due to proprietary footage, this seminar recording cannot be shared here.

Silvia Wistuba

Malweiber: The 'Painting Women' of German Modernism 

9 October 2020

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, female career artists in Germany were subjected to discrimination, ridicule and insult. As these women posed a direct threat to male artists, the derogatory term Malweiber [Painting Women] was introduced to denigrate and diminish their artistic merit. My research will focus on forgotten and overlooked artists called the Malweiber, tracing their modes of oppression in order to draw attention to the gender inequality they endured. Justice, in the form of gender equality, is at the core of this project. The marginalisation of women artists by patriarchal infrastructures is an issue which is of great importance to me as an art historian and an artist, as well as to the wider community of artists. My thesis will show the value of this historical research and connect it to the needs of people in the present day. The significance of this project is in the concluding question: What can we learn of the Malweiber, and what can we learn from them?

Recording Link

Sabrina Keen

W.B. Gould and Tasmanian Gothic Portraiture

25 September 2020

The Tasmanian Gothic is a thriving contemporary mode of storytelling and historical revisionism in literature, film, television, and the visual arts. However, do precedents of this Gothic mode exist in the art of colonial Tasmania, or is the contemporary Tasmanian Gothic only a genre of hindsight? In this presentation, I will be considering one approach to answering this question by exploring the portraits of convict artist William Buelow Gould, and considering whether his work can be located within a larger Gothic trend. Links to other convict and colonial artists, and to contemporary Tasmanian Gothic portraits will also be considered.

Recording Link

Rafael De Lima

Who plays the player? The nodal process of collaborative translations in immersive media

18 September 2020

Synopsis: The adoption of immersive media technologies, such as virtual reality (VR)  and virtual production, has allowed for a reimagining of collaborative processes in the collective creation of films, visual effects and multimedia works. While making use of new media technology in this practice-led research, I would like to explore a non-hierarchical, performative approach to filmmaking production – the nodal process – in opposition to the more traditional, industrialised methods of filmmaking, where roles are a lot more rigid and stratified. My goal is to propose a more inclusive, level-playing ground between those who own current technological means of visual production/reproduction and those who are the subjects or happen to own the cultural artefacts and stories being translated into films and immersive experiences. More specifically, I will be looking at these issues from a cinematographer point-of-view, a position that I argue is that of a chief visual translator in a production, one who embodies the creator-technician, and is a crucial node in establishing a link between practitioners, subjects and their audiences.

Recording Link

Roslyn Cox

Paracrisis and Pro-Immunisation Communication

11 September 2020

How are organisations adapting to the risk of crisis events in an online society? This is a study of a paracrisis orientated and controversial topic—pro-immunisation messages and communication.

This seminar explores the emerging concept of paracrisis, a phenomenon where organisations are increasingly facing and addressing a crisis-prone, crisis-oriented, dormant state where reputationally damaging events can be easily triggered by online platforms like social media. A paracrisis state is further fostered by the nature of digital platforms which are fast-moving, highly visible, easily accessible, and often used as tools and weapons by anyone with a smart phone.

What do organisations need to know in order to prepare for paracrisis? The study explores the unique features of paracrisis to reveal important understandings and considerations for professional communicators designing strategies and seeking to utilise online platforms to communicate. This research offers a model of paracrisis to help organisations better understand what is happening and what is now demanded in terms of listening and responding to critical stakeholders. It also explores the immunisation paracrisis through a nested case study of a pro-immunisation Facebook site and a phenomenological analysis and representation of pro-immunisation strategists tasked with promoting the immunisation message in Australia.

Recording Link

Dr Jamin Forbes and Amanda Shepard

Telling Your Impact Story

4 September 2020

The  SCCI Research & Postgraduate Committee has invited Dr Jamin Forbes to host a seminar on strategies for measuring impact ratings for research.  Impact measures are an increasingly important tool, and they align with the four CSU values. Our objective is to help academics at all levels plan for the measurement of research impact, which will make it easier to anticipate and establish these claims.

Recording Link 

Rachel Schmid and Marton Robinson

Contemporary African American Artists: Movements and Influence

21 August 2020

International guest speakers Rachel Schmid, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at California Lutheran University in Los Angeles, and Costa Rican artist Marton Robinson, present a special public seminar on contemporary African American artists.

Working from the mid-20th century through the present, American curator and art historian Rachel Schmid will discuss African American artists who created or are creating influential and revolutionary work. The lecture will cover several luminaries in the art world, such as Kehinde Wiley and Kara Walker, with time also dedicated to artists that might be less familiar to an international audience, such as Titus Kaphar and Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, who create work you'll want to know about. The focus will be on utilizing the artists' words and artworks themselves to provide a narrative, but keeping in mind the backdrop of periods of American civil unrest, from the Civil Rights era to the LA Riots, to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Recording Link 

Samantha Dowdeswell, Dr Robert Lewis, and Dr Dominique Sweeney

Open Discussion: Developing 'Rush' for Artstate 2020

14 August 2020

This talk will serve as an open discussion with SCCI academics Dr Dominique Sweeney, Dr Robert Lewis and Samantha Dowdeswell  around the practice-led research project ‘Rush’, which will be performed as a part of Artstate 2020.

To move forward, we need to go back; in order to keep up with technological and aesthetic advances in performance and integrative performance training, we need to look at the core of what we do as actor trainers and performers, which is ‘groundwork’: connection to our bodies, connection to place, and embodied transmission.

These processes are integral in the development of the performance. One critical aspect is intimacy. ‘Rush’ interrogates themes of informed consent, power structures and arousal. Through the lens of the clown (as provocateur), audiences are  challenged to question intimacy, both in professional and private contexts.

Recording Link

Rebecca Humphries

Rudolf Steiner's Impact on contemporary Australian Art

7 August 2020

Emerging from the storm of contrasting perspectives on culture, religion and society, in Western and Central Europe in the early 20th century, Rudolf Steiner is best known for his pedagogy implemented through Waldorf schools across the globe. But Steiner and his ideas also had a significant influence on European artists, in particular Wassily Kandinsky and Joseph Beuys, and Australian artists such as Godfrey Miller and Frank and Margel Hinder. This talk will give an overview of research which aims to assess Rudolf Steiner’s impact on visual artists in Australia, both modernist and contemporary.

Recording Link

Dr Barbel Ullrich

Mythologies of Landscape in Creative Practice

31 July 2020

Ullrich’s creative practice maps the complexities, layers and mysteries of nature, land and environment, rejecting pictorial conventions of landscapes in art history. She has critically explored the notion of ‘place’, where locality is not only observed but experienced through rhythms, emotion and intuition. By studying the representation of a specific area, her work reflects on the need for a spiritual shift in our attitude to the interconnectedness of life.

Recording Link

Tracy Sorensen

Posthuman Storytelling

24 July 2020

This week we are joined by Tracey Sorensen, novelist and PhD candidate from the Bathurst campus of the SCCI, who will speak on her research regarding Posthuman Storytelling.

As she describes this multi-layered project, "Ecological thinking brings a sense of agency to the more-than-human world. My research uses two creative practices - writing and crochet - to give voice to crucial but taken-for-granted entities: my own internal organs. My creative work, a novel with the working title 'The Pouch of Douglas', tells the story of cancer from the point of view of the spleen, pancreas, colon and other organs. My exegesis situates this research in posthuman theory that radically decentres the transcendent individual human subject."

Recording Link

Associate Professor Jennifer Munday

Creative Arts Practitioners and Researchers Exploring Ways to Make Us Think Differently

17 July 2020


Arts based research has many possibilities and can have an art form at various or different points in the spectrum of research. It could be the creation of an artwork itself; or the artwork might be the object of study; art might be collected as research data; or the process to exorcise aspects of the human condition. The Creative Practice Circle (CPC) is a group of geographically (and to a degree, academically) isolated creative arts practitioners and researchers who meet in a virtual space on a weekly or fortnightly basis to provide collegial support to each other as they wrestle with ways to turn their ideas into form.

The presentation will describe the establishment and growth in the group and demonstrate the value of sharing insights, pains and pollinations between research, writing and creativity. Members of the CPC work with poetry, crochet, collage, soil and water on canvas, textiles, pastels, radio and creative writing. The practices vary but the members discuss questions about how we might attempt to understand or interpret what is being said in “languages” we do not understand.

In bringing each of their research projects and products cooperatively together as a way forward to publication and exhibition, the Circle members have identified a collective theme for 2020 – “Listening in the Anthropocene.” The theme is a thread that will lead the group to create a tapestry of enquiry and dialogue presenting alternative views to the world around them.

Recording Link

Open Forum chaired by Dr Sam Bowker

SCCI Colloquium: Communications, Creative Industries and Coronavirus 

6 June 2020

To conclude the Research Seminars of Session 1 in 2020, we gathered to share a wide range of ideas, experiences, challenges and opportunities, inclusive of our students, partnerships, and industries, as we all navigate the new normal of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Above all, we noted diverse reflections on resilience, humility, humour, connected technologies and teaching practices, as well as the innovative versatility of theatre and music, and how the ongoing pandemic has led to variable impacts on higher-degree research and access to various learning resources.

Recording Link

Elizabeth Elwell-Cook

Heritage Collections and Community Engagement via Girl Guide Uniforms

29 May 2020

When gutters overflowed into archive storage at Girl Guides NSW & ACT in 2015, costume historian and design lecturer Elizabeth (Bess) Elwell-Cook didn’t realize her rescue efforts would lead to a five year team effort, a Master of Creative Practice from CSU in 2018, and a Graduate Certificate in Heritage Materials Conservation (University of Canberra) in 2019.

This seminar explores Bess’ journey engaged hundreds of Girl Guides globally to rediscover their history through heritage uniform design, and traveled to the other side of the globe to tell the tale of how a relatively small band of pioneering girls changed the uniformed face of women’s services in the First World War.

Recording Link

Daren Pope

The Romantic Landscape as Paradox

22 May 2020

Daren Pope's PhD research explores the continuing influence of the Romantic Landscape to regional contemporary arts in the context of the recent catastrophic bush fire season and increasing concern around climate change. This seminar uses examples from Australian Romantic artists Nicholas Chevalier and Eugene von Guérard and asks whether these idiosyncratic landscapes have relevance to landscape painting of the North East region of Victoria today.

Recording Link

Dr Thomas A. Middlemost

The First 28 Years of the Charles Sturt University Art Collection

15 May 2020

This week we are joined by Dr Thomas A. Middlemost, curator of the Charles Sturt University Art Collection. His seminar reviews the first twenty-eight years of the collection's development, and the policies, printmaking, and donors which have influenced it.

The Charles Sturt University Art Collection was established as a single entity on 6 May 1992; combining artwork, which had been collected, by all of the universities precursor institutions, teachers’ colleges, experimental farms, and colleges of advanced education. Artwork from the collection hangs in Albury, Bathurst and Wagga, as well as Sydney, Canberra at the center for Christianity and Culture, Port Macquarie, and Wangaratta.

Collection policies were written in 1996, and acquisition policies a year later. Acquisition policies for the collection focus on limited edition artists’ prints, because of their abundance within the collection. Exhibitions also have focused mainly on Australian printmaking. Artwork donations through the Commonwealth Governments’ Cultural Gifts Program have made it possible for the collection to grow substantially over the past twenty-eight years.

Recording Link

Tyhe Reading

The Impact of Visual Communication Design for Marine Environments

8 May 2020

This presentation features the early stages of Tyhe Reading's PhD research, which focuses on understanding how visual communication strategies can strengthen environmental visual campaigns, with the aim of supporting the influence of pro-environmental behaviour. The primary environmental focus is on marine environments, helping foster a more sustainable and healthy understanding of some of Australia's most vulnerable species and ecosystems.

Recording Link

Dr Willhemina Wahlin and Dr Cymbeline Buhler

Design Thinking for Civics Education

1 May 2020

Dr Wilhelmina Wahlin (Associate Head of School, SCCI) and Cymbeline Buhler (Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University) will present their recent research for Design Thinking and Civics Education. This model proposes a collaborative and creative pathway for young change-makers and was recently presented for the Advancing Cohesive Communities Conference at Western Sydney University.

Recording Link

Dr Dominique Sweeney

ARC and Other Grant Applications

24 April 2020

Dr Dominique Sweeney will begin this discussion by reviewing and reflecting on his applications for Australian Research Council Grants, drawing on his previous success and current ARC projects in progress. This seminar is intended as a round table discussion to discuss grant applications in Communication and the Creative Industries, including projects in response to current events and engaging regional Australian communities.

Recording Link

Dr Sam Bowker

Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art: The Peripheral Myth

17 April 2020

In this inaugural online event for the SCCI Research Seminars of 2020, Dr Sam Bowker will present an expansion of his paper from the College Art Association conference in Chicago (CAA February 2020) on 'Deconstructing the Myths of Islamic Art'. This begins with the implications of shifting teaching narratives towards contemporary art, critical regionalism and supporting grassroots engagement over the canonical approach to Islamic art history, which is typically centered on the Middle East in the Middle Ages.

This seminar includes the reflective contributions of Dr Peyvand Firouzeh of the University of Sydney (on the centre-periphery dynamic) and Ana Silkatcheva of Oxford University (on applications of the digital humanities), as well as commentaries on recent research upon the 'myths of Islamic art' as presented by other panelists. This collaborative project is now being developed into an edited book, and this recording includes international discussants from the Historians of Islamic Art Association.

Recording Link