Courageous Research


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Jump… a sense any act of writing takes courage but what makes the contributions in this book courageous is that they challenge the established practice of the research process. The traditional thesis makes assumptions about how we represent knowledge. However, this traditional form of representation does not always fit the work of the creative and the interdisciplinary disciplines. Creative and interdisciplinary research students are at the forefront of creating a new genre which includes the exegesis and which pushes the heartfelt, subjective experience to be accepted as part of academic discourse. The real researcher does not arrive, argues Martin, until research is heartfelt and one cares so much that nothing but the truth of the situation will be tolerated. The researchers in this broad ranging collection are passionate about their topics of research. Their choices are both audacious and clearly ‘of the heart’ – the French word for heart is ‘coeur’ and the root of the word courage. Topics include an experience of life-threatening illness, a history of suicidality and release through spirituality, the practice of self-portraiture by women artists, an idiom for describing dance, the sounds of Australia Rules football, effects of space and subjectivity in saunas, engaging youth in activities to improve their own lives and that of their community and finally, ethical decision making in a large public health organisation.