Queen's Film and Media

Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies

Research-Creation Project Option

General Introduction

The Research-Creation Project Option is available to cultural producers with an active and professionally recognized practice and/or academic qualifications in relevant disciplines (film, video, gaming, curation, programming, etc.) who choose to create a cultural product (media work, curatorial or programming project) as a means of partially fulfilling the requirements for an MA or PhD. Students taking the Research-Creation project option are also required to provide an analytic-theoretical text where the creative project(s) and writing are considered as integrated attempt to address a question, promote different kind of knowledge/knowing, or a new perspective. Whereas in an MFA the art object(s) is the central contribution of the artist, the Research-Creation model is a suitable for an artist-scholar, one who envisions a multi-nodal, multi-method approach to address their primary concerns.

Research-Creation is considered by some a new interdisciplinary field, by others a method (or set of methods), and it is also referred to as a meta-framework from which to consider and criticize the traditional academic “regimes of truth.” Research-Creation is also a relatively new fundable category by the Canadian federal government (SSHRC).  In a purposeful combination of creative production and research, artist-researchers produce new research methods, and/or novel forms of knowledge generation and dissemination.  In the U.K. and Australia Research-Creation is often called by various titles: Artistic Research; Practice led Research, or Research led practice.

From conception, through qualifying exam and proposal defence, oral defence, and final thesis or MRP, 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.

The Screen Cultures and Curatorial Studies program does not provide on-going studio space, nor does it offer technical instruction. We offer mentorship and access to equipment and production studio space, and support the growth and development of artists, but we do not offer a suite of production courses at the graduate level.


Technical support will be available through the departments of Film and Media and The Agnes Etherington Arts Centre.

Research-Creation Definition

While the Screen Cultures and Curatorial 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 2019)

Recommended Readings:

Chapman, Owen; Sawchuk, Kim. 2012 Research-Creation: Intervention, analysis and "family resemblances" Canadian Journal of Communication;  Vol. 37, Iss. 1,  (2012): 5-26.

Hannula, M., Suoranta, J. & Vaden, T. (2005) Artistic Research: theories, methods and practices. Helsinki: Gotesborgs Universitet and Academy of Fine Arts

Horowitz R. (2014)  “Introduction: As if from nowhere… artists’ thoughts about research-creation” RACAR vol 39:1

Loveless, Natalie S. (2015). “Towards a Manifesto on Research-Creation”. Polemics: Short Statements on Research-Creation, RACAR XL, No. 1, pp. 52-54.

Loveless, Natalie S. (2019) How to Make Art at the End of the World: A Manifesto for Research-Creation. Duke University Press.

Loveless, Natalie S. ed. (2020) Knowing and Knots: Methodologies and Ecologies in Research-Creation, University of Alberta Press.

Lowry, Glen (2015). “Props to Bad Artists: On Research-Creation and a Cultural Politics of University-Based Art”, Polemics: Short Statements on Research-Creation, RACAR XL, No. 1, pp.42-45.

Manning, Erin (2008). “Creative Propositions for Thought in Motion’, How is Research-Creation?, Inflexions 1.1, McGill University: Montreal.

Manning, Erin (2016). “Ten Propositions for Research-Creation’, Collaboration in Performance Practice. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jep/3336451.0019.206?view=text;rgn=main

Massumi, Brian (2008). “The Thinking-Feeling of What Happens”, How is Research-Creation?, Inflexions 1.1, McGill University: Montreal.

McCormack, Derek, 2008, “Thinking Spaces for research-Creation” How is Research-Creation?, Inflexions 1.1, McGill University: Montreal.

Rodgers, Tara, 2012 How Art and Research Inform One Another, or Choose Your Own Adventure. Canadian Journal of Communication; 2012; 37, 1

Thain, Alana (2008). “Affective Commotion: Minding the Gap in Research-Creation”, How is Research-Creation?, Inflexions 1.1, McGill University: Montreal.

St-Hilaire, Emilie  (2018), “Who Should Care about Responsible Conduct in Research-Creation,” Revue d’art canadien / Canadian Art Review (RACAR) 43, no. 1 https://www.racar-racar.com/uploads/5/7/7/4/57749791/racar_43_1_2_sthilaire.pdf.

Smith, H., & Dean, R.T., eds. (2009) Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts. Edinburgh University Press