After you have gone: Un-disciplined knowledge and new value/s, one year on

Neil Haddon, Toby Juliff, Wendy Fountain, and Maria Kunda (UTAS)
2017 Conference

In 2017, The University of Tasmania introduced new core degree structures reflecting major curriculum renewal across art and music and their multiple sub-disciplines. In 2019, further new curricula in design and interdisciplinary creative arts will be rolled-out, expanding the core and widening study options for our diverse learners. As part of the University’s broader curriculum renewal agenda, these changes reflect a radical overhaul of a set of value propositions for the creative arts disciplines and a commitment to social engagement, sustainability, the ethics of practice, and enterprise skill development.


Following ACUADS 2016, in which colleagues reported on the curriculum design phase, this paper reports on aspects of the initial delivery of Critical Practices – the rollout of the first of the core unit sequence of the BFA (Hons). With an entirely new, co-taught structure drawn around praxis and blended learning, challenges and discoveries arose every week. We are learning from our development of a distributed teaching model that spans sites in the north and south of the state, digital platforms, and sub-disciplines. Our particular reference point here is the ‘Manifesto’ module in which teaching staff employed the manifesto form to encourage learners to establish and declare their own value propositions. As a critical and diagnostic form, the ‘Manifesto’ module sought to identify and build value from the ground up, through instilling highly responsive and reflexive learning practices.


Our reporting here offers some consideration of the role that ‘un-disciplinary’ thinking has played in the development of our new degree structures, and the contribution it makes to our core disciplinary expectations. We highlight some of our efforts to create porosity and osmotic potential in the context of the new institutionally-mandated degree structure we are working within, and its emergent value schema that we are hatching in this phase of curriculum renewal. Far from negating or even ameliorating the former disciplinary model, we aspired for our new units to create conditions for developing critical and reflexive thinking and practice and points of ideational interchange.

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About the author

Neil Haddon is a visual artist, originally from the UK, who has lived in Tasmania since 1996. He is currently lecturer in Fine Art at the School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania. Prior to this he lived in Barcelona, Spain from 1990 to 1996. His artwork is held in private and public collections internationally and by The National Gallery of Victoria, ArtBank Sydney, The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, and The Gold Coast Arts Centre (acquired from the Conrad Jupiter’s Art Award), the City of Whyalla Art Collection and Devonport Regional Gallery.


Dr Toby Juliff is an interdisciplinary artist and historian currently based in Tasmania. Formerly lecturer in Critical and Theoretical Studies and coordinator of the Honours program at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, Toby is currently working as a research associate at the University of Tasmania. Recent and upcoming publications include a chapter on affect and participatory art, jurisprudence and contemporary art, and catalogue essays for majoring touring exhibitions of Michelle Nikou and Katie Lee.


Dr Wendy Fountain has worked for over 20 years in design practice, design teaching and educational design, now specialising in creative practice higher education and social innovation. Her doctoral design research between 2011-2014 focused on integrating housing and food systems, drawing on resilience thinking, ecological design and practice theories. Wendy has held educational design roles in Australia, Sweden, New Zealand and the UK, and been based in Tasmania since 2008.


Dr Maria Kunda lectures in Art and Design Theory at the School of Creative Arts, University of Tasmania, and is a practicing writer and curator. Her research interests include expanded curatorial practice, surrealism and feminist theory. Her doctoral research was about surrealism and postcolonialism, and she has a studio background in printmaking.