The Future of Critical Arts-based Research: Creating Political Spaces for Resistance Politics

Susan Finley, Washington State University

This talk addresses the political and theoretical implications of critical arts-based inquiry. Critical arts-based research is a performative research methodology that is structured on the notion of possibility, the what might be, of a research tradition that is postcolonial, pluralistic, ethical, and transformative in positive ways. Exemplars of social and political resistance to post-09/11/01 neoliberalism and its propaganda will be used to demonstrate theoretical practices and research imaginaries made possible by arts-and-research political action. I will address some of the key questions for critical arts-based research: What is the future of arts-based research in a post-qualitative world? What are the implications for resistance politics in bioarts, biopoetics, and ecoaesthetics? What are the practices of imagination in performances of arts, research, and social justice?


‘I can see, but do I live?’: ‘Transforming Research’ as an Issue of Social Justice and Human Rights for Indigenous Peoples

Graham Hingangaroa Smith, University of Waikato

The term ‘transforming research’ is deliberately used ambiguously. Both meanings are intended. Given the persistent situation of high and disproportionate levels of social, economic and cultural underdevelopment debilitating most indigenous communities there is a need to be more vigilant about ensuring effective, transforming research. In this regard there is a need to challenge both the processes (how we research) as well as the outcomes (what changes?) as a result of our qualitative research approaches. In this paper I examine a number of issues that arise out of the Māori Education struggle in New Zealand that have potential to inform other indigenous jurisdictions seeking more equitable and socially just outcomes. Implicit in these arguments are ‘teachings’ for the development of qualitative research inquiry that more effectively confronts and engages with social justice and human rights concerns.