The Project Option is available to cultural producers with an active and professionally recognized practice and/or academic qualifications in relevant disciplines (music, theatre, creative writing, visual arts etc.) who choose to create a cultural product (work of art, performance, film, play, text, etc.) or to become involved in community-based cultural work as a means of partially fulfilling the requirements for an MA or PhD. Projects may incorporate Research Creation, Community-based Research in action (CoBRA) or other participatory action research (PAR) methodologies. In some cases, these methodologies may be mixed. Students taking the project option are also required to provide an analytic-theoretical text related to the work, its conditions of production, and its implications for academic scholarship.
From conception, through qualifying exam and proposal defence, oral defence, and final thesis, students and supervisors are encouraged to think about ways to honour and include research creation methodologies. In consultation with the supervisory committee, artistic work may be integrated at all stages. Production components are not to be considered as over and above written components. The ratio between the production and the written component at all stages will be determined in consultation with the supervisory committee. Documentation and/or presentation of production should be taken into account at all stages.
Unlike Creative Arts PhD or MFA programs, Cultural Studies at Queen's does not provide studio space or production facilities. Limited support may be available through the departments of Film and Media, Fine Art and the Dan School of Drama and Music. Some funding for production elements may be available, view Dean's Award for Project and Portfolio PhD Research & Research Creation/Community-based Research for MA.
Research Creation Definition
While the Cultural Studies program recognizes that definitions of Research Creation methodologies vary, the description provided by SSHRC is a suitable point of reference.
Research Creation: An approach to research that combines creative and academic research practices, and supports the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation. The creation process is situated within the research activity and produces critically informed work in a variety of media (art forms). Research Creation cannot be limited to the interpretation or analysis of a creator’s work, conventional works of technological development, or work that focuses on the creation of curricula. The Research Creation process and the resulting artistic work are judged according to SSHRC’s established merit review criteria.
Fields that may involve Research Creation may include, but are not limited to: architecture, design, creative writing, visual arts (e.g., painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles), performing arts (e.g., dance, music, theatre), film, video, performance art, interdisciplinary arts, media and electronic arts, and new artistic practices.
(Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, accessed 2015)
In the Research Creation Project option, project work can be undertaken in a variety of ways. Here are some suggestions. This is not an exhaustive or prescriptive list. All project work requires the support and approval of the supervision team.
Students should work closely with supervisors to design project/written work that meets the expectations of a Cultural Studies M.A. or Ph.D. The Research Creation Project Option must meet academic expectations and the standards of disciplinary or artistic rigour in the sphere in which the project is expected to be exhibited, screened, curated, presented, published, etc.
Research Creation Project with Integrated Analysis Example
- In this example, the student's research creation activities are directed toward the production of a cohesive project or body of work that is to be the subject of an academic reflection in text form.
- The written academic reflection, or "integrated analysis", requires that the student actively reflects, theoretically and critically, on the project. The text will situate the work in its relevant disciplinary and cultural contexts. Students should work closely with supervisors to determine what is required for the final presentation or documentation of the artworks or projects. The feasibility of project, the timeline and logistics of final presentation should be addressed at the proposal stage. It is possible to present the process of development or conceptual design of a project as the Research Creation output.
Research Creation Project with Independent Analysis Example
- In this example, the student's research creation activities are directed toward the production of a cohesive project or body of work that is parallel to an independent academic reflection.
- The written academic reflection, or "independent analysis", requires that the student address the appropriate historical, theoretical, and disciplinary concerns as a parallel discourse. The document need not necessarily refer to the project directly. Students should work closely with supervisors to determine what is required for the final presentation or documentation of the artworks or projects. The feasibility of project, the timeline and logistics of final presentation should be addressed at the proposal stage. It is possible to present the process of development or conceptual design of a project as the Research Creation output.