Introduction: Envisioning The Future Of Artistic Doctorates In Ireland

Online Seminar Series

Artistic Doctorates require distinct modes of thinking and making, alternative approaches to supervision and examination, and disparate processes for conceptualising research, bringing with it its own challenges in articulating research through a practice outlook. In this informal seminar, we will introduce Visioning the Future and begin raising some key questions around the pedagogies of Artistic Research doctorates. The session aims to bring together staff involved in Artistic Doctorates in Music, Theatre, Dance, and Film & Screen Media across Higher Education institutions in Ireland, allowing space for connections and discussions to emerge. 

This event took place on Tuesday 30 June 11am – 12pm.

video recording of the seminar


This is an introductory presentation from the Research Team at the School of Film, Music & Theatre, University College Cork. The session begins with an overview of the project by Professor Jools Gilson and Dr Inês Bento Coelho. Following this, Dr Barry Monahan (Head of Department, Film and Screen Media), Dr Tríona Ní Shíocháin (Head of Department, Music) and Dr Yvon Bonenfant (Head of Department, Theatre) raised key points on Artistic Research in relation to their disciplines before opening the space for questions from the audience.  

The challenge of language in Artistic Research is outlined first: Dr Barry Monahan discusses how the words thesis and dissertation apply clearly to traditional modes of research and do not sit well with notions of creativity and creative practice. This relates to concerns of how rigorous and robust the academic apparatus is when dealing with creative processes, and how might it be possible to justify and defend the rationale behind a creative piece as much as in the traditional academic context. 

Dr Tríona Ní Shíocháin suggests that the position of artistic doctorates within institutions creates a space of huge potentiality: Artistic Research has the ability to unsettle current narratives of what a piece – written or performed – might be. What space might Artistic Research create for otherwise hidden voices? How can the knowing of the body feed into the ways in which we conceptualise thought? These are some of the contexts where the potential of artistic doctorates resides. 

Dr Yvon Bonenfant outlines the paradoxical divide between understanding theatre as a source of knowledge, and the opposite notion that that which the body does cannot be analysed and understood as knowledge. Yvon laid out Theatre’s ability to navigate interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinary and hybridisation as what the discipline offers to the wider realm of Artistic Research. He quotes the American scholar Patricia Leavy, who suggests that Artistic Research through performance has the capacity to explore how meanings can be evoked, and the ability to weave existing complexities together, two relevant qualities in a society with a high rate of transformation and change. Yvon further discusses the European context, suggesting that one of the challenges of Artistic Research lies in how we might keep the sense of constant development of this emerging field alive, rather than fossilizing it, as it is the case in other methodological discourses. 

These key points and many others were followed by a lively discussion. You can watch the recording of the session above.

This series of seminars is part of the research project Visioning the Future: Artistic Doctorates in Ireland. Presentations and discussions will be video and audio recorded. This documentation will be available on the project website and may contribute to the development of Open Educational Resources. 

By participating in this seminar you are giving your approval for audio-visual recording of the sessions, consenting to participate in this research project (anonymously or by providing your name if asking a question), and agreeing to the possibility of quotation/publication of extracts of your participation. 

1 comment

  1. Very glad you are recording these sessions as my current time zone prevents me from joining at time of event.
    Thank you!
    Miriam P. PhD Arts Practice – Dance candidate
    University of Limerick, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

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