The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > Taking arts into the digital era > Comments

Taking arts into the digital era : Comments

By Stuart Cunningham, published 28/6/2007

Queensland University of Technology has been under the pump on more than one front in recent weeks.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All
Professor Stuart Cunningham, who is director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation at QUT, has a debating position that matches his role at QUT. He is ‘on message’ with assumptions based on a flawed neo liberal ideology, lacking an appreciation of intrinsic as opposed to marketable values.

Stuart Cunningham correctly states, “nothing less than the reputation of the institution is at stake”. The authoritarian management style of our Vice Chancellor is damaging the reputation of QUT. The severe punishment of Drs. Hookham and MacLennan has reinforced this widely held public perception.

Stuart Cunningham should not be so surprised that people who work in the Humanities are unhappy with the convenient conflation of Humanities into the Creative Industries. Yet he seems surprised to discover that there is even a debate about this.

Stuart Cunningham says, “The proposal to close Humanities and Human Services has been portrayed as a worrying part of a trend toward further "marketisation" of higher education”. He may try explaining in clear English what else this closure, justified on “costs” could possibly be, when we examine the reasons given for this radical amputation.

Stuart Cunningham further explains, “The pure humanities must be part and parcel of any higher education system. (Note here the word “pure” smuggled in order to infer that the Humanities have no practical application). The values of independence of mind, critical thought and curiosity about the world, and the disciplines that teach them, must not be eroded by managerial fiat or postmodern relativism”. How could we disagree?

“QUT's philosophy is to embed pure disciplinary inputs into professional applications. The success of this approach in the Creative Industries Faculty is seen by the surge in demand when we first opened the faculty to new students in 2002 and it has remained high since”. (Note the use of military jargon “embed” and “surge).

Where is the critique on the poor management skills and neglect that may have contributed to the (possibly strategic) running down of the School of Humanities? No wonder some commentators say, “QUT is very good at marketing and spin”.
Posted by willy, Wednesday, 4 July 2007 1:28:56 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Stuart Cunningham writes that: "our research in applied humanities is nationally and internationally of the first order."

Please, Mr Cunningham, don't delude yourself. As a refugee of QUT's Creative Industries program (since turned Humanities graduate), I must argue that the structure and content of Creative Industries as offered at Kelvin Grove are anything other than world-class. Despite pursuing every literature class offered by QUT, I not once during the course of my studies came into contact with the works of Dostoevsky, Nabokov, Borges, Tolstoy, Beckett, Cervantes, Calvino, Proust, Pirandello, Cortazar, Pasolini, Sartre, Chesterton, Turgenev, Brecht, Mishima, Kureishi, Grass, Hesse, Goethe, Barthes, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

This is more than a mere oversight - the above are all integral to the foundation of contemporary literature and culture, and that graduates should remain ignorant of such fundamental pillars of the arts puts paid to the notion that the Creative Industries is providing anything more than a superficial understanding of culture to its graduates. In place of rigour and a thorough understanding of cultural processes and movements, I found overcrowded courses concerned almost entirely with the superficial, "semiotic" studies of advertising and magazines, and "analysis" of pulp fiction and popular culture.

This is by no means isolated to literature studies, either - I regularly encounter graduates of other disciplines who seem ignorant of both the history and basic conceptual frameworks of the fields in which they find themselves.

Say what you will about rigour in QUT's "pure" humanities, Mr Cunningham; but there's certainly no way an ethics graduate, for example, would remain oblivious to the works of Kant, Rawls or Aristotle
Posted by Kurt, Thursday, 5 July 2007 12:31:27 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy