New goals for semester 2

Back this week and hard at it.  I spent my first day at ‘work’ at another workshop run by UTS, conducted by Nick Hopwood. Once again it was a fantastic, practical session that (I hope) will help me unlearn some of the bad academic habits I’ve developed.

The events over the past month, however, have persuaded me to reconsider my goals for this semester.  I thought I’d note them down before meeting with my supervisor tomorrow.

1. Interviews: feedback from the conference was that I may have too much data.  I could technically stop collecting data now and just write on the arts sector.  My gut feeling, however, if this won’t be as interesting as if I wrote on the creative industries more broadly.  I want to understand how different organisational structures and profit motives influence communities of practice and leadership development.  Do those in more ‘traditional’ organisationally structured sectors like advertising have an organisationally driven approach?  I almost want these people included to benchmark how communities of practice may be a unique feature available to the arts.

So with that in mind I am reducing the number of interviews, but not stopping.  I will have 33 soon, and I’ve planned to do 5 on the advertising sector in Melbourne, and maybe another 5 on computer animation in early 2016.  Thus I’m thinking I’ll do one more group, either publishing or gaming/app design (anyone know any emerging leaders who would be willing to participate from these sectors let me know.)  If all of these feature male primary subjects it will help me achieve a gender balance and bring my total number of interviews to around 48.

2.Delivery of the new course for UNSW is on track, though the experience of dealing with them this semester has been wretched and I am not unhappy this may be my last semester.

3. Writing a chapter, likely the contextual chapter, is a must.

4 & 5: Industry presentation and articles.  I’m less focussed on this than I was because of the feedback that I’m not academic enough.  I think I need to worry less about industry profile and more about academic profile. These may take a back seat unless a great opportunity/idea presents itself.


6. Conference paper at the 41st International Conference of Social Theory, Politics and the Arts (STP&A) in Adelaide in December. (Awful timing for me.)

Just need to see how this aligns to the Stage 2 requirements.

End of part 1 2015

Well it’s been an interesting first semester. I’m tying up loose end at the moment, getting ready to head off to AIMAC 2015 in Aix-en-Provence next week.  While my presentation is prepared I haven’t even started my notes, which is sort of a worry but not really as I never use notes anyhow.

But this trip signals the end of a pretty good 6 months.  As far as my goals are concerns, here is the output:

1. I published on The Conversation in May and ArtsHub this week.

2. I’ve now completed 32 interviews AND transcribed them all. (Phew)

3. I sent off my paper “Career development through communities of practice in the South Australian Theatre sector” to a journal a few weeks ago, but no response to date (deadline for submission was June 30.)

4. I’ll present next week at a conference (see above.)

5. I’ve developed the content, and had it approved, for the new Cultural and Creative Industries leadership course at UNSW Art & Design.

I’m pretty happy with that outcome.  It’s been a strange semester, a little solitary compared to last year. Not as much engagement with my cohort.  Though UTS researcher development has continued to be outstanding.

Next semester I hope to achieve the following:

1. Conduct another 20-25 interviews and transcribe them. (With a focus on profit-making creative areas and MEN.) Already scheduled a week in Melbourne for two groups in August.

2. Deliver potentially my last teaching semester at UNSW (more on that to follow.)  This will be a new experience as I have lectures and tutorials this semester as opposed to just seminars.  And I have to brief tutors, when we confirm them!

3. Start writing my actual thesis.  I was going to aim for another journal article, as I have an idea brewing, but I want to see what happens with this one yet as there will be at least revisions or at most a complete rewrite for a new journal.  May keep my idea for 2016 and concentrate on writing the contextual chapter of my thesis.

4. Another piece for The Conversation and Arts Hub.  ArtsHub is not challenging to publish in, so that’s not an issue, but the The Conversation carries a bit more weight. Will depend on issues in the sector.

5. I’d like to give one sort of professional talk this year, through an arts organisation or event.

If I achieve all of this I will feel 2015 has been academically/professionally successful.

The big news, however, is that we are moving back to Melbourne.  Our apartment is up for sale and goes to auction in September. With a 90 day settlement it means we will be resettling in Melbourne in late November/early December.  This is HUGE. We made the decision in January, but to actually go through with it….well it’s an adjustment.  I’ve lived in this apartment longer than any other place in my life (I moved around a lot.)  And to be technically ‘homeless’ while we try to find a rental in Melbourne (with a dog) is a bit scary. But the time is right, and I can continue my PhD journey from a new locale in 2016. (No need to change Universities as I am spending next year writing anyhow, and will fly up for researcher development.)  I may be giving up/losing the amazing teaching opportunity I have had at UNSW Art & Design, but they have suggested we turn the leadership course into an intensive, which would be brilliant for me.

So I’m taking a couple of weeks away as of now (sort of, next week is all conference, then I have a week of holiday in Hong Kong) before I get stuck back into the second half of the year in mid-July.

Start as you hope to continue

Welcome to 2015!

I was at my desk by 9am this morning, after a brisk 7km walk with the dog, ready to kick off the new year.  I’m excited to get back into PhD world after an exhilarating and exhausting end to 2014 with a trip to Chile and Argentina and then the annual Christmas pilgrimage around Australia visiting all the family.

Most things were wrapped up by the end of last year, though as yet I haven’t received my stage one feedback (on the written component.)  Given the way universities work I’m not expecting anything now until after Australia Day. Though one of my panel has retired, so I wonder if I will get anything at all from him.

I’ve been thinking about short, medium and long term goals for my academic and working life and it seems like a good time to outline some of them.

2015 Academic goals:

  1. To be published (or accepted for publication) in one academic journal
  2. To present at a conference, or PhD workshop as part of conference (AIMAC application currently outstanding)
  3. To successfully deliver new ‘Cultural and Creative Leadership’ course at UNSW Art & Design (Semester 2)
  4. To publish one piece in non-academic platform, such as The Conversation

This breaks down into some short term planning:

By the end of this week:

  • Get organised for the year: clean desk, order new equipment (mouse, printer cartridges, new iPad – all things that I need and have avoided doing.)
  • Update my interview schedule project plan for 2015
  • Begin transcribing my outstanding interviews – finish by end of the month
  • Get back into reading, and importantly, note taking.
  • Lay out the thematic areas I need to review this semester

By the end of this month:

  • Contact outstanding interviews from existing sets to schedule interviews
  • Determine next 20 interviews and contact primary subjects
  • Touch base with supervisor – meet and discuss project plan
  •  Map out plan for publication in 2015 – journals to approach, time frames
  • Semester 1 teaching course reviewed and gaps identified, course content finalised end February.

By end of this quarter:

  • 10 more interviews planned
  • Participate in another writing group/’shut up and write’
  • AIMAC PhD workshop presentation completed and submitted (contingent on acceptance) or alternate conference opportunity identified
  • Journal article concepts identified, discussed with supervisor and researched

By the end of this semester:

  • 30 additional interviews undertaken, transcribed.
  • 2 journal articles submitted for potential publication (timeframe contingent)
  • PhD workshop presentation presented (June 26/7 contingent on acceptance)
  • Successful delivery of ‘Cultural Policy’ course for UNSW Art & Design

I want to make a few changes to my way of working this year.  While I am satisfied with what I achieved in 2014, I think I need to lift my game somewhat and have, what I think are, ambitious goals for 2015.  In addition, I have received an 18 month scholarship. Why 18 months when I have 2 years to go I do not know, but it is a great relief to me.  Having this means I may (though I haven’t completely decided) choose to get a desk space at UTS and treat this more ‘job’ like.  Even if I don’t physically go to campus I plan of tightening up my schedule, no 9:45am yoga for example.  More 9am – 5pm desk time.

I’m excited as I love what I do, and I look forward to learning, sharing knowledge and discussing new ideas with my colleagues and community this year. And a bit of blog writing too…