Pragmatics of Art

A new essay series on the combination of artistic, practical and intellectual research

The Pragmatics of Art is a collaboration between Recent Work Press and the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR) at the University of Canberra. Its aim is to offer essays that work on key challenges within the creative field and the cultural sector, and represents a working laboratory for students, artists, and scholars interested in learning to integrate the arts and skills of artistic knowledges and design into other branches of practical and intellectual work in our society.

The Pragmatics of Art aims to model and disseminate the combination of practical and intellectual research that guides the work of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR), and to provide thoughtful contributions from a wide variety of sources to artistic and intellectual projects that both derive from and serve larger communities.

–from the Series Introduction by CCCR director, Distinguished Professor Jen Webb

Thinking about Art – at Art School by Pierre Bourdieu


In this first of the new Pragmatics of Art series,  French sociologist, the late Pierre Bourdieu, is captured in conversation with Art School students about the role of art, artistic consumption and production, the role of value and taste in art, and the role of the artist in contemporary configurations of culture.  It has been translated by renowned Bourdieu scholar, Michael Grenfell who provides an introduction contextualising Bourdieu’s thought and broad interests, particularly in matters of culture.

Practical Reasoning – How the experience of the humanities can help train doctors


In this essay Professor Ronald Schleifer makes the case that the humanities train us in systematic attention to experience – and in particular, attention to linguistic and narrative knowledge – and he shows how this kind of attention can change the fundamental quality and outcome of interactions in the domain of medicine. This essay is a cogent argument for the interdisciplinary value of the humanities.

Creativity in Context: How to make a poet


Through the concise analysis of interviews with 76 poets from around the world, Dr Monica Carroll and Distinguished Professor Jen Webb investigate the context of poetic excellence. Creativity in Context examines these poets’ formative moments, the role that key individuals and institutions play in their lives, and how they locate themselves within communities. The result is a fascinating picture of the rich context within which poetic creativity takes place.