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30th March

Symposium on Lens-Based Research Training: New Directions

The 'Symposium on Lens-Based Research Practice Training: New Directions' is co-funded by the AVPhD Network (supported by the UK Art and Humanities Research Council) and the Faculty of Applied Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology. Co-organised by the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology and the Media Research Institute, University of Ulster.

The aim of the symposium is to facilitate critical exchange and comparative debate on lens-based research practice training for both research supervisors and postgraduates and to build cross-border partnerships with educational, media and research agencies, associated with the expanding field of practice-based research in film, photography and multimedia.

The symposium will examine how research is methodologically conducted through lens-based media practice. It will identify the merits of lens-based practice in social research and its contribution to the production of new knowledge across transdisciplinary fields of study.

The symposium is designed according to three core thematic presentations, with the aim of outlining key theoretical, historical and conceptual problematics, which are instantiated through a series of case studies across photography, film and multimedia. The thematics include:

 * the politics of representation and material cultures
 * the construction/exploration of archival formations
 * the epistemological challenge of representing embodied knowledge, memory and the senses

A guiding principle throughout the two days (to be explored/contested) is that practice-based research has the potential to engage critically and politically with public/private fieldsites; that theory is negotiated in and through its mediated entanglement with diverse publics and cultures.

The newly formed cross-border Consortium on Creative and Critical Practice (CCCP) will be launched on the Friday evening of the symposium at the Irish Film Institute, Dublin. Consortium Partners: Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology; Media Research Studies Institute, University of Ulster; Film and Imaging Studies, Queens University, Belfast; Huston School of Film & Digital Media, National University of Ireland, Galway.

The Consortium Aims:

To provide a forum for discussion of the appropriate methodologies that might inform the conduct of the PhD via creative practice in the lens and screen- based field;

1. To suggest models of good practice in this area for both students and supervisors;
2. To run training workshops aimed at both students and supervisors where research skills and supervisory competencies might be acquired;
4. To promote curricular exchange at the postgraduate level between institutions throughout the island, including research methods training for the creative disciplines;
5. To provide conference and exhibition opportunities for doctoral candidates to present their work and have it critiqued;
6. To encourage cross-border collaborative project work by PhD candidates and their supervisors;
7. To provide a web site with a bulletin board and an archiving section hosting examples of PhD practice both written and image based;
8. To seek to secure support, both within participating institutions and from external funding agencies for our work including:  the running of symposium and workshops, cross-border curricular exchange and collaborative project work, web site and publicity activity, and scholarship support for doctoral candidates in the field.

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