Current research projects:

  • GRESSON Judges in New Zealand for book, On Family Ground by Nicholas Lyon Gresson
  • Jutland and Beyond (Stories my father told me) (for forthcoming book);
  • the politics of knowledge in aesthetic education (for forthcoming book);
  • my life and career – forthcoming book

Jutland and Beyond: Stories my father told me [The Battle of Jutland May 31 2016]. 

Battle of Jutland, 31 May 2016. My father, Hugh McDonald Botting, was in the Battle of Jutland in the Royal Navy as a 16 year old boy. His stories and accounts informed my childhood. For this research I visited Jutland and London in 2012; and have made several visits to the NZ Army Museum (Waiouru), and Navy Museum Devonport Auckland, and undertaken extensive research.

This research will for part of my book of my life and career.

Background research: In 2013, following two weeks studying at University of Aarhus Denmark, I wrote a reflective paper called, Jutland and Beyond.

2015 Cyberspace and Cyberbullying in Australia: An analysis of policy and legal responses, and recommendations for reform.  

This research follows an earlier project on cyberbullying and cyberstalking for the ANZELA 2012 conference in NZ; subsequently published in the conference proceedings:

E Grierson, ‘Cyberspace, cyberbullying, cyberstalking: New challenges in law and education’, in Alan Knowsley (ed) Proceedings of the 21st Annual ANZELA Conference 2012 – Woteva nxt! Legal and social challenges in education (Wellington, NZ 3-5 October 2012) 1-13.

The aim of this larger research project is threefold:

(1)  to undertake an analysis and evaluation of present policy and legal frameworks and responses to cyberstalking and cyberbullying in Australia; and with reference to approaches in New Zealand;

(2)  to determine the adequacy of present laws to regulate harmful behaviours in cyberspace;

(3)  to identify recommendations for legal reform.

Feminist Jurisprudence

This research adopts the perspective of feminist jurisprudence to consider popular critiques of feminism, such as those offered by American journalist, Maureen Dowd. The analysis shows there are many ‘feminisms’ informing feminist jurisprudence. It engages liberal, difference, radical and postmodern approaches to position key concerns of subordination and de-legitimation of women’s experience, voice and rights in and through law. The discussion addresses specific spheres of analysis such as the public/private divide and sex discrimination, and necessarily raises questions of ‘the subject’ in liberal and postmodern conditions. With application to selected legal cases and issues, the aim is to show that feminist approaches to law bear more weight than any popular media-driven critiques of feminism.

The research concludes that to say feminism has failed because a woman follows a media-driven stereotype of appearances is an impoverished argument. It does not take account of the insight, analyses and reformist actions of decades of feminist jurisprudence, and critiques of social politics and women’s rights in and through law.

From Colonies to TEQSA: Vortices and thermals of Commonwealth power

This research situates, through Constitutional law, the reach of Commonwealth powers into fields of State governance in Australia. Particular attention is given to the changing ambit of the corporations power with the 2011 enactment of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act (TEQSA). The Australian constitutional system was founded on the principle of federalism, a legal-political system whereby power is shared between Commonwealth and State governments. The passing of the TEQSA Act has established an Australia-wide, standards-based, regulatory framework for national consistency in higher education. This Act was passed under the authority of the constitutional corporations power.

Due attention is given to High Court of Australia determinations showing how the corporations power has reached further and further into State governance, including that of education, thus affecting public policy. By this legal narrative, I propose that the law is acting as a sword, while casting the favours of a regulatory shield, and potentially impinging on academic rights as corporate citizens. From colonies to TEQSA, 19th to 21st centuries, the federal balances have changed, and education is caught in the vortices and thermals of Commonwealth powers.

2013 Urban Laboratory Project. Art and City SafetyThis project researches selected urban sites in Melbourne CBD to forge relationships between city stakeholders and urban artists in the production of socially engaged works to mitigate crime. Funded by the City of Melbourne, City Safety group.

2010-11 The Trust Project. Co-researcher on this project aiming to reframe social experience in the urban context, winning the RMIT Design Research Institute Design Against Crime Challenge. The research investigated the social value of trust between individuals in public urban spaces by design interventions through art. Researched the proposition that the shared exercise of trust between individuals and cross-cultural communities can contribute to safer communities; and that encouraging individuals to interact through aesthetic participation with one another can develop trust between them and can therefore mitigate against anti-social behaviours manifesting as crime. In this sense it is a form of restorative social justice in the public sphere.

2008-10 Designing Sound for Health and Wellbeing. ARC Linkage Grant, funded for 3 years by Australia Research Council. RMIT Chief Investigator with Dr Keely Macarow, Dr Philip Samartzis; PhD Scholar David Brown; with External Partner, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Emergency Medicine Department, Principle Investigators Professor George Jelenik, Dr Craig Winter, Dr Tracey Weiland. Project ID # LP0882346

2009 Kaldor Public Art Project, Shipwrecked and Landlocked. Project co-ordinator and RMIT manager of major urban art project between RMIT University and external partner, John Kaldor Public Art Projects, held at RMIT Alumni Courtyard, with artist Martin Boyce, Scotland’s representative at 2009 Venice Biennale.

1996-2000 The Politics of Knowledge: A Poststructuralist Approach to Visual Arts Education in Tertiary Sites. This research was undertaken for my Doctor of Philosophy at The University of Auckland, Faculty of Education. It was supervised by Professor Michael Peters. The project investigated the politics of knowledge through the lineages and discursive relations of art and art history with particular attention to the working of power in and through discourses of education. The research was informed by theories and approaches of Nietzsche, Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard. This research is yet to be published in book form, although it is still on the agenda; the research has influenced a body of writing on poststructuralist approaches to knowledge particularly in and through the arts. 

1990 The Art and Life of Louise Henderson. This research was undertaken for my Master of Arts degree at The University of Auckland. It was supervised by Professor Michael Dunn and Dr Elizabeth Eastmond, Art History Department. The research brought together the life and work of Dame Louise Henderson (Sauze, b.1902) from her early years in Paris, to post-1925 New Zealand, her return to Paris in 1950 to work in the Studio Metzinger, her time in the Middle East in the 1960s, her decades of success in New Zealand and her contribution to, and influences on, an understanding of international modernism in New Zealand art and cultural milieu. This research is yet to be published in book form, although it is still on the agenda.