1st Edition

The Artist and Academia

Edited By Helen Phelan, Graham F. Welch Copyright 2021
    286 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 37 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Artist and Academia explores the relationship between artistic and academic ways of knowing. Historically, these have often been presented as opposites; the former characterized as passionate and intuitive and the latter portrayed as systematic and rigorous. Recent scholarship presents a more complex picture. Artistic knowledge demands high levels of skill and rigor, while academic research requires creativity and innovative thinking. This edited collection brings together leading artists and scholars (as well as artist-scholars) to offer a variety of philosophical, educational, experiential, reflexive and imaginative perspectives on the artist and academia. The contributions include in-depth, scholarly discussions on the nature of knowledge and creativity, as well as personal artistic statements from musicians, dancers, actors and writers. Additionally, it explores both the mediational and subversive spaces created by the meeting of artistic and academic traditions. While the book addresses global themes by global writers, its core case study is an educational experiment called the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick in Ireland. Established in 1994, it set out to reconfigure the place of the artist in the context of contemporary higher education. The material is clustered into three parts. Part One and Part Two explore the artist as mediator, educator and subversive in academia. Grounded in close-to-practice research, Part Three concludes the volume with a set of case studies from the Irish World Academy. Artistic and academic knowledge come together in this unique set of pieces to explore the development of more inclusive and imaginative pedagogical values.


    Essay 1: The Artist Turned Inside Out

    Helen Phelan

    Interlude 1: Outside In

    Óscar Mascareñas

    Part I: The Artist as Educator and Mediator in Academia

    Essay Two: ‘… to know the place for the first time …’: Exploring and Researching through the Arts

    Christopher Frayling

    Essay Three: A Gallery of Hanging Thoughts: Framed Questions, Open Answers. Dance-artists in Conversation about the Process of Creating and Performing their Own Work.

    Mary Nunan

    Interlude 2: Stories

    Joseph O’Connor

    Essay Four: Landscapes of the In-Between: Artists Mediating CulturesAnya Peterson Royce

    Interlude 3: An Island in the Middle of the Ocean

    Alan Doyle

    Interlude 4: The Land of Silence

    Laura Murphy

    Essay Five: The Artist-Teacher as Cultural Mediator

    Marie McCarthy

    Interlude 5: ‘Crossing the Threshold: a Music Teacher’s Journey into the Academy’

    Jean Downey

    Essay Six: Collaborative Knowledge Sharing for Mind and Body: Celebrating the Role of Arts in Health

    Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain, Tríona McCaffrey, Amanda M. Clifford, Joanne Shanahan, Olive Beecher, Hilary Moss.

    Part II: The Artist as Educator and Subversive in Academia

    Essay Seven: The Subversive Potential of Praxis and Political Emotions in Arts Academies

    David Elliott and Marissa Silverman

    Interlude 6: The Well-Spring Deep Inside

    Dana Delany

    Essay Eight: Protest, Subversion and Critical Citizenship: Reflections on an Irish Singer-Songwriter

    Aileen Dillane

    Interlude 7: A Cello Can Be Stronger than a Machine Gun

    Nigel Osborne

    Essay Nine: Contesting and Negotiating Hegemonic Discourses: Constructing and Developing a Masters Programme in Irish Traditional Dance Performance Within a University Context Catherine Foley

    Part III: Case study examples of the lived experienced of the Artist in Academia from the Irish World Academy

    Essay Ten: Cultural Redress and the Growth of Love: A Guided Autoethnography

    Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

    Interlude 8: Singing Out, Singing Up

    Kathleen Turner

    Interlude 9: The Academy as a Space of Musical Fosterage

    Tommy Hayes

    Interlude 10: Dancing as a Citizen of the World

    RAS Michael Courtney

    Interlude 11: The Academy as Transformation

    Colin Dunne


    Essay Eleven: Why the arts and artists are important


    Helen Phelan is Professor of Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, Ireland. She is an Irish Research Council recipient for her work on singing and migration. Her book, Singing the Rite to Belong: Music, Ritual and the New Irish, was published by Oxford University Press in 2017. She is co-founder of the female vocal ensemble Cantoral, specializing in Irish medieval chant; founder of the Singing and Social Inclusion research group; and IMBAS, a support network for artistic research in Ireland. Her most recent Health Research Institute funded project explores the use of arts-based methods in migrant health research.


    Graham F. Welch  has held the Established Chair of Music Education at UCL Institute of Education (formerly University of London) since 2001. He is a Past President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) (2008-2014) and elected Chair of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE). He holds Visiting Professorships at universities in the United Kingdom and overseas, and is a former member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Review College for Music (2007-2015).