The Lab is home to a lively group of more than 60 PhD, Masters and Honours candidates in creative writing, design, media, literary studies and allied fields.
Alongside our creative project and thesis-based candidates, we have an invitation program for PhDs by creative practice through the PRS Australia (based in Melbourne) and the PRS Asia (based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam).
Examples of the research undertaken by current students:
Romy Ash is interested in the novel, and how writing practice manifests and changes over a writing life.
EJ Baird is developing a poetics whose themes, forms and techniques respond to the modelling of complex systems. Her focus is the figure of the ‘digital twin’ in medicine, and her research asks how poetry might illuminate the informational and relational processes of this virtual entity. EJ’s practice-based PhD extends her enduring interest in the science-poetry relation.
Mandy Beaumont is an award-winning fiction writer, and a creative writing researcher who is concerned with the reading and writing philosophically engaged fiction through both a creative and critical discourse with existential phenomenologist and feminist Simone de Beauvoir.
You saw a fox. Go on, just start again, just as you said before.
Yesterday I found a dead fox. My goodness it was strange and beautiful.
Clare’s practice-led research investigates writing with the nonhuman and includes a speculative novel and dissertation.
How is the worth of feminist creative practice measured? In this project Emilie Collyer is creating a range of poetic texts to trace the many tendrils of this query. Her approach is autoethnographic and affective, in that she is putting her own experience into conversation with other texts and writers to explore relationship, community and intersubjectivity. She hopes this poetic inquiry might unfold different ways to understand and articulate value.
Ruth is a mid-career PhD researcher interrogating women's interventions in the true crime genre, at the intersections of literary nonfiction, podcasting, and the digital realm. Her background in current affairs journalism, social and digital media impelled a curiosity in creative explorations of truth in nonfiction narratives. And a desire to learn what the contemporary landscape of female-created true crime storytelling tells us about women’s voices in popular culture.
Josefina Huq writes and researches place, home, memory, nostalgia, and other upsetting concepts. Her research attempts to justify this as a good thing. Her current PhD project uses a phenomenological method of life writing to create short stories exploring the concept of the home-place phenomena. This ‘lifeworld writing’ is an effort to play with and expand definitions of home through a study of the lifeworld: the everyday sensorial experiences which make up much of a life and its home-places.
Sophie Langley’s research explores how the expanded essay form, which includes non-textual elements such as sound and performance, might enact a conversation that contests normative assumptions about the boundaries of bodies and self. Focusing on the lived experience of an autoimmune condition known as Graves’ Disease, the research essays conversations between “the body-we-do” (Mol and Law 2004: 57), the body that is ’crafted’ through medical practice (Harris 2016), new materialist philosophy, and sociological understandings of the medical encounter.
Pooja is a writer, educator, performer and festival maker based in Singapore. Her practice and research, conducted through the PRS Asia Program, are interested in ways marginalised and minority bodies can reclaim agency when making work in spaces and places not catered and designed for them. Her methodologies involve text based strategies and placemaking with the aim of creating engaged and activated communities.
Psychoanalytic methods of working with unconscious material in the clinical setting might offer models for working with such material in a writing practice. Could states of mind that have been proposed by psychoanalytic thinkers as offering ways of noticing associations and generating unseen connections provide tools for the writer’s capacity to generate meaning in a narrative?
Jack Tan is a teacher, writer and musician. His PhD project stories his lived experience as a transcultural teacher in Singapore, Shanghai and Melbourne using autoethnography as method. In his research project, Jack composes prose poetry and reads in situ photographs to make sense of his transcultural teacher subjectivity in metropolitan educational spaces, aiming to find more connectible, intimate and poetic approaches to teaching and learning.
My research project is based on a Japanese textile process Sashiko of visible mending creating a Ceremony of Restoration to give meaning, healing, and mending for people with traumatic, chaotic and unresolved events in their lives.
Oliver Shaw is writing epistolary memoir. He is interested in memory and its relationship to the present.
Examples of the research undertaken by recent alumni:
Alvin Pang, a Singaporean poet, writer, editor and scholar with over two decades of international creative practice experience, has been published in more than twenty languages worldwide. In his 2020 PhD, conducted through the PRS Asia program, he explored the possibilities of literary practice conducted across multiple languages, genres, careers and communities.
Tresa’s practice-based study explores the ethics of writing other people’s stories in fiction. It focused on the creation of a novel manuscript, and examined stories written about refugees when the writer is from a different background to the characters. It argued that increased consultation with people from the backgrounds represented in the novel produces a different kind of manuscript to the one a writer might produce without this interaction.
My PhD research is an account of poetic experimentation; it describes an interrogation of feminist genealogies and feminist poetry within the constraint of an imagined ‘office’. The results became Moxie (Vagabond Press, 2020), a poetry collection displaying its own knowledge of historical precedents. I call this creative practice ‘Vintage Feminism’.
In order to maintain the highest levels of supervision for prospective students, the School of Media & Communication offers a set list of projects that build on our recognised research and supervision strengths.
Prospective students are invited to examine the lists below and to identify their preferred project. Applicants are required to discuss their selected project with the listed supervisor in the first instance, before following the application process outlined here.
For further information on the admissions process, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The School of Media & Communication enables postgraduate students to pursue their research and creative interests and extend their critical skills under the guidance of dedicated academic supervisors.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.