Summer Research Scholarship Program 2018/2019

Applications close 31 August 2018.


Developing Cultural Tourism Networks for Indigenous Art Centres 
Project Duration: 10 weeks.
Project Description: This project examines how cultural narratives can help develop tourism networks in the context of existing Australian Indigenous art centres. Indigenous art’s capacity for storytelling is well documented (Biddle 1998) and in the words of one of Australia’s most prominent Indigenous artists, “Without the story, the painting is nothing” (Michael Nelson Jagamara). We argue that this relationship between art and storytelling offers a vital connectivity for Indigenous cultural tourism and that the more than 100 existing Indigenous art centres across Australia provide the scaffolding for highly marketable cultural tourism networks. Our project is a proposed ARC Linkage Grant that partners UQ and QUT researchers in art history, cultural tourism, Indigenous literature, and mobile technologies with IACA (Indigenous Art Centre Alliance) that is the peak body supporting Indigenous art centres across far north Queensland and the Torres Strait. Our objectives are to develop a pilot ArtDrive App that maps a cultural tourism loop to Indigenous art centres to the north and south of Cairns. We will document the cultural tourism product developed for this App and and examine how existing tourism policy and practices can better service the development of Indigenous art centres as cultural tourism networks.

Expected outcomes and deliverables: Students will be working with the Project Team on researching, editing and organising information and audiovisual data about Indigenous art and cultural narratives that will be used in ArtDrive App for a north Queensland art centre network. Some research in North Queensland is a possible aspect of this research and students may enrol in ARTT3200 Art Internships and Independent Study for 2 credit points towards an art history major or as part of a BA elective as a summer subject. 

Suitable for: Suitable for students who have completed subjects in Indigenous studies, preferably Indigenous art.

Primary Supervisor: A/Prof Sally Butler


Digital Visual Effects in Cinema, 1976 –

Project Duration: 10 weeks.

Project Description: Digital visual effects are central to the contemporary entertainment industry: films, TV, games. They support the visualisation of the story worlds, characters, and expressive action of our superhero, fantasy, and science fiction screen texts, as well as the persuasiveness of other kinds of films and TV in less visible ways. Moreover, the image manipulation software they have spawned is now readily available online and in our phones, and contributing to an emerging crisis in the status of the image. How did this come to be? This project examines the development of photorealistic digital images and digital effects in the cinema. The cinema is the arena in which the photorealistic and image manipulation capacities of digital imaging were first hothoused, narrativised, and spectacularised. This project traces the many strands – including people, technology, money, screen texts, cultural reception -- of this history from the mid-1970s onwards. The early part of the project is highly reliant on digital archive research, looking for relevant information in newspapers, magazines, and industry journals. 

Primary Supervisor: Dr Lisa Bode

    Data Retention legislation and its impact on the work of journalists.

    Project Duration: 10 weeks.

    Project Description: Early in 2015, the Australian government passed the Data Retention Amendment to the Telecommunications act. The legislation compels telecommunications companies to retain the metadata of every Australian, so that a host of government agencies can access it without a warrant. (The only exception is journalists – the government agreed to establish secret courts to hear applications for warrants to investigate journalists’ metadata, with a “public interest advocate” acting as proxies for the journalists.) At the time, media organizations warned that the legislation would seriously discourage sources within government from communicating with journalists because of the fear that they would be exposed. 

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: Students will have an opportunity to develop an in depth academic and practical knowledge of contemporary journalism; a chance to be part of a team shaping the future and journalism and democracy

    Suitable for: Suitable for students who have experience of research in media and/or journalism and/or politics; good time management skills, clean academic record, data analytical skills, writing and interviewing skills.

    Primary Supervisor: Prof Peter Greste

    Journalists in the line of fire: Challenges of conflict reporting in evolving and difficult environments  

    Project Duration: 10 weeks.

    Project Description: One of the most risky assignments that journalists undertake is the coverage of international, regional, and local conflicts. Many journalists have been killed while reporting conflicts either because they were caught in the line of fire or they were targeted by the fighters or because the fighting groups disregarded international rules of how to treat prisoners of war. A growing number of journalists are losing their lives in war zones for a number of reasons, including lack of training (e.g., increasing number of untrained freelance foreign correspondents), the changing nature of modern warfare, lack of understanding among militant groups about the role of journalists in reporting conflicts, general disregard by combatants of the Geneva Conventions that outline the rules of warfare, as well as the different rules of treatment of non-combatant civilians and armed soldiers.

    The growing number of journalists who lose their lives while covering conflicts has compelled news organisations to reconsider training and safety measures that journalists should undertake before, during, and after their assignment. 

    This project, essentially an in-depth literature review, serves as a pilot of a forthcoming ARC Discovery Project that will examine systematically and critically the challenges that journalists face in reporting conflicts in evolving but difficult environments. 

    The literature review will explore, identify, and critically analyse the following issues:

    • How social media have affected the rules of engagement (code of conduct) for journalists reporting on conflicts.
    • The role of social media as a professional tool for reporting conflicts or a narrow window through which journalists look at and report events across the world.
    • How journalists reporting on conflicts seek to understand the environments in which they operate, how they understand the language and culture of the combatants, how they develop their own operational security (i.e., security measures), etc. 
    • Reasons why freelance foreign correspondents/journalists expose themselves to greater danger in reporting conflict than more experienced journalists who work with established media.
    • Ethical and moral issues in reporting conflicts, including obligations that media organisations which hire freelance foreign correspondents have to ensure their safety when reporting on conflict.

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: The successful Research Assistant would have developed skills in literature review, as well as research management skills. The person will have an opportunity to co-author a journal article with me. 

    Suitable for: This project is open to students in Year 3 or Year 4 of undergraduate study who have the relevant research methods and literature review skills required to undertake the project.  

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Levi Obijiofor


    Culinary transmission: foreign chefs in Australia and Australian chefs abroad

    Project Duration: 10 weeks.

    Project Description: In 1956 Australia had to look to imported chefs and cooks to feed the thousands of athletes, support staff and tourists that visited Melbourne for the Olympic Games. Some stayed to work in the fledging restaurant industry and several were important in shaping the emerging fine dining scene.  As the restaurant industry grew in the 1970s and 1980 Australian-born chefs often looked to international experience and traditions as essential to the development of expert culinary knowledge. But as Australia’s restaurant industry ‘matured’ Australian chefs began to make their mark internationally. Gay Bilson, for example, was in demand in the 1980s as a guest chef at first-class hotels in Asia showcasing her version of Australian cuisine. Today the ‘Australian café’ is a hit in cities in the United States and Europe.

    This research aims to trace the development of international influences on Australia’s fine dining chefs and culture and the transmission by Australian chefs of understandings of Australian cuisine and food culture. 

    Expected outcomes and deliverables:

    • collection of data to be used for article/book project on dining out in Australia (outcome for scholar);
    • development of high-level research skills including archival, newspaper and online research (deliverable for student)

    Suitable for: students with the following attributes:

    • experience (or willingness to learn) using databases to undertake primary and secondary literature searches;
    • ability to organise data in a useable manner;
    • attention to detail

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Melissa Harper

    Pyjama Fandom: Watching Eurovision from Down Under

    Project Duration: 10 weeks.

    Project Description: Despite the apparent geographic barriers, Australia have been a notable participant in the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) from 2014, when Jessica Mauboy performed “Sea of Flags” as an interval act in Copenhagen. Since 2016, when Australia has been allowed to vote in the ESC as well as perform, the ‘live broadcast’ of the ESC has taken place on SBS from 5.00am — marking a departure from the previous delayed telecast, which had been in the ‘prime time’ slot from 7.30pm since the ESC’s debut on Australian TV in 1983. This has complicated notions of ESC fandom in Australia: instead of consuming the broadcast in the evening, accompanied by drinks and dance parties, fans now watch the broadcast bleary-eyed and pyjama-clad in the morning, more likely accompanied by caffeine. This research project continues my investigation into the liveness of the ESC, though considering how the live audience experience has changed in Australia with the shifting time of the broadcast.

    Expected outcomes and deliverables: This project forms part of an edited collection, which will be collated across the course of the Program. As a result, the scholar will receive skills not only in research and data collection, but also in editing, fact-checking and academic communication. The scholar will be introduced and welcomed to the network of Australian Eurovision scholars, and have the opportunity for their own work to be included in future collections and conferences on this theme. The scholar’s assistance will be credited in all published and presented materials. 

    Suitable for: The scholar should have a passing interest in Eurovision (or at the very least the capacity to listen to many pitchy power-ballads on repeat), and some exposure to writing about performance. The scholar may be studying Film and Television Studies, Cultural Studies, Music, or Drama — or some combination thereof.

    Primary Supervisor: Dr Chris Hay


    How to Apply?