Revisiting Industrial Relations

Makeham, Paul B. (2006) Revisiting Industrial Relations. In Being There : before, During and After : The 2006 Conference of the Australasian Association of Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies, July 4-7, 2006, University of Sydney, Australia. (Unpublished)

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In 1999 I convened Industrial Relations, the annual ADSA Conference hosted by QUT in Brisbane. This event was promoted as ‘a conference exploring the links between theatre scholarship and professional theatre practice’. As well as academics, there was to be substantial representation by ‘industry professionals’, although interest from the latter category turned out to be modest. One day of the conference was designated a special ‘Links with Industry’ day, during which the Association launched its now defunct ADSAIL (ADSA Industry Links) initiative. Keynote speaker Wesley Enoch commented on ‘the very strong resistance in “the industry” to acknowledging any role of academics’. ‘What is the practical role of having them?’ he asked the ‘them’ gathered before him. In a letter declining our invitation to speak (he later changed his mind), David Williamson remarked that he always felt ‘uneasy at such conferences’: My view of my work is that I’ve successfully filled theatres for 30 years now, something dramatists are supposed to do. I suppose there’s part of me that hopes this will be celebrated. It often is, but rarely in academic drama departments …. Perhaps in fifty years time someone in academe will realise that I wasn’t just reinforcing the attitudes of the Anglo Celtic ruling class.

Several years on it seems timely to revisit Industrial Relations; to look again at the extent to which problems of intercultural communication between industry and academy are being addressed. And what are the implications of this for the ADSA History project, which seeks to investigate ADSA’s contribution to the development of theatre / performance studies in Australasia? What are the ‘external’ impacts of ADSA’s ongoing conference enterprise, and how might these be measured? Reflections from delegates on these and other questions will be warmly encouraged.

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ID Code: 31292
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Keywords: ADSA history, theatre, drama and performance studies, theatre industry and academy
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Paul Makeham
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2010 23:08
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:24

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