DR James Oliver

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  • Honorary

Research expertise

  • Creative Practice as Research; Artistic Research (Social Practice, Public/Live Art and Performance, Improvisation)
  • Research Methodologies (Spatial Theory and Ethnographic Practices)
  • Social and Cultural Identity (Place and Space, Community and Belonging)
Dr. James Oliver is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Cultural Partnerships (CCP), Faculty of the VCA and MCM, The University of Melbourne. His roles include Graduate Research Coordinator at CCP, and at faculty level he co-leads the Art, Social and Spatial Practice research cluster. As a research artist, James is a frequent collaborator with artists and researchers across community-oriented, participatory and live, art making and creative practice. His background is ostensibly social anthropology, and his first forays into research developed from investigating his native culture in the Scottish Hebrides - the language, social and creative practices, and place-based belongings. This research perspective further developed an explicit art and community intersection, also informed by Performance Studies and Spatial Theory. His research interests range through: methodologies of practice-as-research; improvisation and identity; ethnography; performance and pedagogy; and social-spatial analysis. James lectures across a range of postgraduate subjects at CCP - 'Rethinking the Creative City' (Master of CCD course), 'Research Methodologies' (MFA). He also contributes to undergraduate breadth subjects including CCP's elective, 'The Creative City', and the University Breadth Subject (UBS) 'Going Places'. James supervises PhD students on practice-as-research projects, including with filmmakers, live and performance art, theatre, visual and contemporary artists and writers, in particular across intersections with the social and spatial. For up-to-date information on his practice, research and publications, see here: www.jamesoliverculture.com

Subject Areas

  • Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
  • Studies in the Creative Arts and Writing not elsewhere classified

Available for supervision


Contact Details

Phone Number: 90358284
email: joliver@unimelb.edu.au


SHUTTLE: mobile desert performance
Start: Monday, June 17th 2013 End: Saturday, July 6th 2013
Stories from HOME Exhibition
Start: Thursday, July 14th 2011 End: Wednesday, July 13th 2011
PETITION (beta common)


Research Book Chapters

KILFORD A, OLIVER J (2016), Walk on Fallow Lands. In DOUGLAS M (Eds.), Performing Mobilities (ISBN:9780646956930)
THOMAS D, VAUGHAN L, OLIVER J (2016), Take a Line for a Walk. In DOUGLAS M (Eds.), Performing Mobilities (ISBN:9780646956930)
OLIVER J (2016), The Maldives Exodus Caravan Show. , Art+Climate=Change
OLIVER J (2015), Aideachadh Peacaich Fìrinnichte / Confessions of a Justified Gael. , Shore to Shore/ Cladach ri Cladach
OLIVER J, PAPASTERGIADIS N, KOHN T, DUQUE M, IRVING A (2015), Para Ambulation. In PINK S, AKAMA Y, ET AL. (Eds.), Un/Certainty
BADHAM M, OLIVER J (2013), Stories from HOME: an art research intervention at Bell Bardia Estate. , Animation of Public Space through the Arts: Towards more sustainable communities, Almedina (ISBN:9789724053004)
OLIVER J (2011), The Funding Agenda: social relations and the politics of cultural production. In WALMSLEY B (Eds.), Key Issues in the Arts and Entertainment Industry, Goodfellow Publishers (ISBN:978-1-906884-20-8)
OLIVER J, WALMSLEY B (2011), Assessing the Value of the Arts. In WALMSLEY B (Eds.), Key Issues in the Arts and Entertainment Industry, Goodfellow Publishers (ISBN:978-1-906884-20-8)
OLIVER J (2010), The Predicament? Planning for Culture, Communities and Identities. In MUNRO G, MAC AN TAILLEIR I (Eds.), Gaelic Communities Today, Dunedin Academic Press (ISBN:9781903765593)
OLIVER J (2006), Where is Gaelic? Revitalisation, Language, Culture and Identity. In MCLEOD W (Eds.), Revitalising Gaelic in Scotland, Dunedin Academic Press (ISBN:9781903765593)

Journal Articles Refereed

BADHAM M, OLIVER J (2013), Re-Presenting the everyday: Situational Practice and Ethnographic Conceptualism, Laboratorium: przeglad ogolnopolski, Vol 5, Issue 2
OLIVER J (2011), Articulating 'Home' from 'Away': cultural identities, belonging and citizenship, Anthropology in Action: journal for applied anthropology in policy and practice, Vol 18, Issue 2 , DOI: 10.3167/aia.2011.180203
OLIVER J (2009), Creativity as Openness: improvising health and care situations, Health Care Analysis, Vol 17, Issue 4
OLIVER J (2009), Robin Jenkins and the Cone-Gatherers: identity, irony and ambiguity, Scottish Affairs
OLIVER J, MURAY P (2007), The Arts, Well-being and Society, Journal of Public Mental Health: the art, science and politics of creating a mentally healthy society, Vol 6, Issue 4
OLIVER J (2005), Scottish Gaelic Identities: contexts and contingencies, Scottish Affairs
OLIVER J (2001), Young People on Being British and European: Some Scottish Identities, Sheffield Online Papers in Social Research, Vol 1, Issue 3

Major Reports and Working Papers

GILMOUR J, MACDOWALL L, OLIVER J (2012), The Arts, Physicality and Connection: an evaluation of VicHealth's MOTION program, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne
STEAD V, OLIVER J (2010), Polyglot @ Furlong Park, Polyglot Theatre
MARLOW N, MURRAY P, OLIVER J (2006), ArtFull: national arts, mental health and wellbeing strategy
OLIVER J, MACDONALD E (2006), Potential Directions for Promoting the Health of Big Issue Vendors in Greater Glasgow: research report for NHS Health Scotland, University of Glasgow

Creative Published Works

OLIVER J, BADHAM M, WARR D, MANN R, MACDOWALL L (2011), Stories from Home: An art - research catalogue, University of Melbourne

Authored Books Other

OLIVER J, BADHAM M, WARR D, MANN R, MACDOWALL L (2011), Stories from Home: An art-research catalogue, McCaughey Centre (ISBN:978-0-7340-4428-0)

Full Written Papers Refereed

WALTON R, OLIVER J (2013), Transdisciplinary Form and Production: Reflections on Translation, Embodiment and Mobility (through Alma Mater, 2011), Interference as a Strategy for Art, published proceedings from the 2nd International Conference on Transdisciplinary Imaging at the Intersections of Art, Science and Culture, Transdisciplinary Imaging Conference 2012

Publications of Creative Research

CITTADINI B, HANN C, HILLARY F, SUMARTOJO S, OLIVER J (2016), Crossings (ISBN:9780646956930)
OLIVER J (2014), Being as Difficult... an invocation on live research and creative practice

Authored Research Books

OLIVER J (2017), Associations and Actions

Journal Articles Unrefereed

OLIVER J (2014), Yes or No? The moment for Scots when extremes of their being meet

Education and Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy PhD , University of Sheffield, 2003
  • Master of Research MRes , University of Strathclyde, 1998
  • Social Science BA (Hons) , Glasgow Caledonian University, 1996

Awards and honours

  • Post-doctoral Research Fellowship, fulfilled with The University of Edinburgh, Economic and Social Research Council, UK, 2003
  • Fully funded ESRC PhD Scholarship, fulfilled with The University of Sheffield, Economic and Social Research Council, UK, 1998
Dr Oliver has been awarded several research council and public sector grants in the UK and AU, on research on cultural identities and creative practices, including with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK), the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), NHS Health Scotland (UK) and VicHealth (AU).