Research themes

Non/fictionLab researchers work across a range of disciplines and forms.

Below are our four current research priority themes, which align with the priorities of the Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Creative Practice: Ethics and Power

This theme looks at how dynamics of power play out across bodies, time, narratives and institutions. Its focus is on ethical relations and how these may form the basis for socially grounded creative practices.

Through practice-based and allied creative methods, it asks how stories come to matter: whose stories, what stories, how stories are shaped, framed and circulated. It invites critical engagement with theories of difference and relationality, including Indigenous, feminist, queer, critical race, decolonial theory and posthumanist theory. Equally, it is open to the bending of genres to explore transgressive and performative contours and cartographies. The theme invites and implicates diverse modes of creative practice, including the essayistic, poetic, performative and fictional.

Researchers:  Vicki Couzens, Ronnie Scott, Rebecca Hill, Michelle Aung Thin, Bonny Cassidy, Francesca Rendle-Short, David Carlin, Linda Daley, James Oliver, Julienne van Loon, Melody Ellis, Sreedhevi Iyer, Rose Michael, Zoe Dzunko.

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 5, 16

Non/fiction: Experimental Methods

How can creative methods including play, immersive practice, collaboration, observation and deep listening reshape, interpret and compose the material world? How might formal methodological experimentation in creative writing and media practices contribute to new ways of knowing, doing or understanding contemporary realities?

This theme encourages engagement with interdisciplinary ways of knowing, including play scholarship from ludology, psychology, literary studies or biology. By foregrounding playful and experimental research practices with poetry, fiction, nonfiction, digital literatures, sound, screen and performance writing, this research enables innovative investigations of pressing material, social, ecological and cultural issues, and offers new insight into innovative methods and applications of creative writing and/or literary studies. 

Researchers: Brigid Magner, Ronnie Scott, Jessica Wilkinson, Rose Michael, Peta Murray, Zoe Dzunko, David Carlin, Stayci Taylor, Lucinda Strahan, Ben Byrne, Kim Munro, Julienne van Loon, Melody Ellis

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 3, 11

Locating Stories: Sovereignties, Language and Belonging


This theme explores the possibilities of place, belonging, language and the transnational, including Indigenous language revitalisation and maintenance, through literary, screen and other creative works.

Questions include: how can creative writing, screen and sound, design, and allied literary and creative practices, be used explore the complex relationships between place and sovereignty? How do place-stories and mediations contribute to a shared sense of identity, and how might they work to recalibrate settler-Indigenous relations? How do creative works authored by Indigenous writers and media-makers articulate and perform sovereignty? And how can literary/screen/sound practice transform how geographic places are experienced and defined?

Researchers: Vicki Couzens, Brigid Magner, Rebecca Hill, Bonny Cassidy, Linda Daley, Toni Roberts, James Oliver, Sreedhevi Iyer, Francesca Rendle-Short, David Carlin, Michelle Aung Thin, Melody Ellis, Rose Michael

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 11, 15

Ecologies of Engagement

This theme looks at how writing and publishing can engage with other disciplines and knowledges to create new imaginings of histories, ecologies and futures.

It invites a range of approaches, deploying fiction, nonfiction, poetry and/or performance writing, along with hybrid forms such as the audio essay or poetic biography that complicate generic boundaries. It explores and interrogates how devices of speculation, imagination, poetry and fabulation can generate new perspectives and approaches to critical issues. These include questions of work and care, ecological and ethical futures, and the politics and poetics of fact and fiction as they relate to the way stories are told, policies devised, and worlds imagined.

Researchers:  Brigid Magner, Rose Michael, Ronnie Scott, Kim Munro, Sophie Cunningham, Jessica Wilkinson, Rebecca Hill, Bonny Cassidy, David Carlin, Stayci Taylor, Linda Daley, Francesca Rendle-Short, James Oliver, Melody Ellis

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 11, 13

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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 created by Louisa Bloomer