Olivia Guntarik is a new media theorist and creative practice researcher.She coordinates the Approaches to Popular Culture contextual studies stream, teaching into the courses Pop Culture in Everyday Life and New Perspectives in Contemporary Pop Culture.
Olivia's research contributes to the fields of creative arts, cultural studies and Indigenous media. She has led interdisciplinary research teams bringing together writers, artists, designers and digital experts with geographers, sociologists, ethnographers and educators. Her research has obtained continuous grant funding from Creative Victoria, Department of Education and Training, and the Lowitja Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research. She has received numerous honours, including an Australian Society of Authors Emerging Writers Mentorship Award, and an Institute of Critical Social Inquiry Research Fellowship from the New School in New York city.
Olivia's writing has been published in the following forms: two edited books on Museums and Digital Activism (with V. Grieves), and a range of articles and creative outputs on fictocriticism in travel and migration narratives, place-based pedagogy, and Indigenous cultural revitalisation practices. Her current projects include:
- Place-mapping cultural and heritage sites through mobile app walking tours
- Current developments in augmented and virtual reality approaches
- The dialectical image, collecting and Walter Benjamin
- Indigenous creative practice research
- Digital archives and memorial sites, especially the restoration of lost/invisible and new histories and genealogies
Grants, awards and honours
- 2017 Research Fellow, Institute of Critical Social Inquiry, New School for Social Research, NYC
- 2017/18 Award recipient Creative Victoria, Virtual Artists in Schools program (with B. Byrne and P. Kelly)
- 2016/17 Award recipient Creative Victoria, Virtual Artists in Schools program (with C. van de Pol)
- 2016/17 Research grant, Lowitja Institute & the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) for the project, Koorramook Yakeeneeyt (Possum Dreaming): Cultural Revitalisation Practices, Health and Wellbeing in Aboriginal Communities (with V. Couzens)
- 2016 Teaching grant, RMIT, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching Investment Fund (LTIF) for the project, Learning on the Go: Mobile-Learning and Indigenous Pedagogy
- 2015 Teaching Fellowship, RMIT, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching for Sustainability (LTfS) for the project, Place Narrative: Strengthening Students' Environmental Literatures through Aboriginal Art Education
Olivia coordinates and teaches into the Approaches to Pop Culture (APC) contextual studies area in the School of Media and Communication. This includes a suite of seven courses comprising Pop Culture in Everyday Life, Popular Cinema, TV Cultures, Music in Pop Culture, Screening Politics and Economies, Exploring Asian Popular Culture, and New Perspectives in Contemporary Popular Culture. APC was designed to enhance students' abilities to research and engage with the varied and ever-changing world of pop culture, both contemporary and historical. These courses attract large student numbers with some group-based projects and opportunities to work across disciplines with students from multiple program areas.
Olivia welcomes project proposals from students interested in pursuing postgraduate study in areas relevant to her research. She supervises students undertaking both creative practice-based research, as well as traditional MAs and PhDs. She is an experienced examiner of doctoral and Masters level theses and practice-based projects for other universities.
As co-founder of the Indigenous Engagement Network at RMIT (with Y. Akama, L. Daley and P. West), Olivia has led diverse interdisciplinary teams on a range of industry-based projects. These projects bring together researchers, students and educators with experts from industry and community who share a commitment to building new methods and approaches for better relationships between university researchers and Indigenous communities.
Olivia's professional and industry career spans media, journalism and communications, local government and the emergency services, and includes experience as an advisor to the government and education sectors and creative industries. She has led numerous industry-driven research projects funded by government, and research and community organisations. Olivia is involved in research partnerships with Creative Victoria, the Department of Education and Training, City of Greater Bendigo, Lowitja Institute and the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages. She has also collaborated with Museum Victoria, Immigration Museum, Centre for Multicultural Youth, City of Melbourne, Koorie Heritage Trust, and the Victorian Immigrant & Refugee Women's Coalition.
Deeply passionate about teaching and sharing knowledge, Olivia's research has generated strong industry interest for her speaking engagements and workshops. She is a regular presenter for ACMI and its Education in Games Summit, and facilitates digital storytelling and digital media workshops with schools and community groups. She is a frequent speaker at conferences, on expert panels and in classrooms, and welcomes invitations to speak on a range of topics including:
- New digital technologies and place-based education
- Designing cultural walking tours using mobile apps
- Building participation in the arts
- Engaging users in digital strategy
- Digital curriculum applications
- Participatory curatorial strategies for museums, galleries and public art projects
Olivia specialises in creating augmented reality environments for site-specific work.
- Guntarik, O.,Daley, L. (2017). Indigenous creative practice research: between convention and creativity In: New Writing. The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 14, 409 - 422
- Couzens, V.,Guntarik, O. (2017). Ephemerality:Morality:Sovereignty In: Sovereignty Melbourne, Australia
- Ridgeway, B.,Guntarik, O. (2017). This sense of place/This living archive: Cocreative digitization and First Nations People's remembering In: Collections: A Journal for Museums and Archives Professionals, 13, 185 - 198
- Guntarik, O.,Berry, M.,Arnoldi, E. (2017). Spheres of influence and new technological trajectories In: Culture, Migration, and Health Communication in a Global Context, Routledge, New York, United States
- Guntarik, O.,Harwood, A. (2016). Place Narratives: Strengthening Students' Environmental Literacies Through Indigenous Art Education In: RMIT University (in partnership with Koorie Heritage Trust, the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages and Banmirra Arts) Australia, Melbourne
- Guntarik, O. (2016). Desire and difference: Complicating the search for "authenticity" in Aboriginal Australian art In: Inspiring Action: Museums and Social Change, MuseumsEtc, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
- Guntarik, O.,Harwood, A. (2016). Landscape and literacy on Aboriginal country In: Proceedings of the15th World Conference on Mobile and Contextual Learning (MLearn 2016), Sydney, Australia, 24-26 October 2016
- Guntarik, O. (2016). Cultural Ecologies In: RMIT University, Office of the Dean, Learning and Teaching Investment Fund Aukland, New Zealand
- Guntarik, O.,Trott, V. (2016). Changing media ecologies in Thailand: Women's online participation in the 2013/2014 Bangkok protests In: ASEAS: Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 9, 235 - 252
- Mackenzie, L.,Guntarik, O. (2015). Rites of passage: Experiences of transition for forced Hazara migrants and refugees in Australia In: Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture, 6, 59 - 80
- Koorramook Yakeeneeyt (Possum Healing): Cloaks, Cultural Traditions and Wellbeing in Aboriginal Communities. Funded by: Lowitja Institute CRC - Contract Research from (2016 to 2018)
- Voices from the Margins: First and Second Generation Narratives of Place and Belonging. Funded by: Malcolm Moore Industry Research Grant from (2012 to 2012)
- Festival places; Mapping the Social Dimensions of Cultural Festivals in Australia and Asia. Funded by: RMIT Emerging Researcher Grants from (2008 to 2009)
1 PhD Completions and 4 Masters by Research Completions8 PhD Current Supervisions