• Research projects

    1. Beyond the Stage: Interpreting history through performing arts practice

    Professor Mark Carroll is heading a team of scholars, including the JMCCP's Anna Goldsworthy, in a three year Linkage Project (co-funded by the Australian Research Council and industry partners) to investigate the impact of World War I on the performing arts in urban and regional South Australia. Beyond the Stage examines the ways in which performance can shape and challenge prevailing historical narratives in times of social upheaval. The archival research undertaken during the course of this project will generate a book and journal articles, regional library exhibitions, and performances by the project's partners, including The State Opera of South Australia, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

    The project will run from 2016 to 2019 and it situates South Australia at the forefront of research into the role of performance in the interpretation of material history. Its interdisciplinary model of collaborative practice will assist archival institutions and performing arts organisations combine their strengths in ways that are beneficial to both sectors. The research will also generate considerable public impact through high profile performances, touring exhibitions, and the interactive online presentation of historical resources.

    2. Taste and Community: The cultural origins of personal experience

    Professor Jennifer A. McMahon is Chief Investigator and Team Leader of an ARC Discovery Grant ($251,100) for 2015-2017. Entitled Taste and Community: the cultural origins of personal experience, the project brings together philosophers from America, Canada and Australia with visual artists from Australia to explore the processes through which artistic value and meaning are attributed to artworks and how imaginative constructs can motivate ethical or socially oriented behaviour. The research will be disseminated through an issue of the Australasian Philosophical Review and an anthology of papers (edited by McMahon), as well as a website featuring podcasts of workshop presentations, links to talks given in the Art Gallery of NSW, and links to artworks created by the Australian artists involved in the project. Both the philosophical writing and the artworks will reflect the exchanges and interaction between philosophy and art that take place during the project.

    McMahon has convened workshops in San Francisco and Adelaide (in conjunction with the JMCCCP) on “The Role of Images, Tropes and Metaphors in Shaping Experience and Guiding Actions” as part of this project. See our 2017 Calendar of Events for more information. For more information about this research project and associated events, visit:

    3. Other Worlds: Forms of World Literature

    J.M. Coetzee and Nicholas Jose (University of Adelaide), along with Anthony Uhlmann, Alexis Wright, Ben Etherington, and Gail Jones (Writing and Society Research Centre, University of Western Sydney) are leading an ARC Discovery Project called Other Worlds: Forms of World Literature. This project aims to develop an innovative approach to deepening our understanding of the concept of world literature and the capacities of literary form. It begins with the interests of four eminent Australian writers – Alexis Wright, Nicholas Jose, Gail Jones and J.M. Coetzee – and examines them critically. The premise is that creative writing is itself a way thinking, and that new possibilities arise from the exchange between literary criticism and literary practice. This will involve critical and creative dialogues between indigenous and non-indigenous Australia, Argentina, China, and England affording a unique opportunity to examine how Australian writing might meaningfully be considered in the terms of world literature.

    Cultural exchange is crucial to developing relationships between Australia and its partners. This project supports basic research that aims to foster the international competitiveness of Australian literary scholarship in addressing major theoretical questions around the role and value of literature. It will involve some of our best writers, staging collaborative international workshops, research and publications that will examine the idea of world literature and the capacities of literary form.

  • Research themes

    The J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice has three main research themes that it encourages members to respond to with critical or artistic projects:

    If you would like further information about these themes or have an project you would like to discuss, please click on the relevant links and email the JMCCCP member in charge of that particular research theme.

  • Research links