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Career Summary

Biography

I was born in Wrexham, North Wales, and emmigrated to Australia in 1990 to study Painting at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney. I graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, Honours Class 1 in 1995. I began researching for my PhD in the School of Art History and Theory at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, I completed in three years and received a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in 2000.

I have lectured at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, The University of Western Sydney, The University of Sydney and the University of Hong Kong. I managed the NSW State Government's funding of museums, galleries and the Western Sydney Arts Strategy for three years, before returning to academia in 2008, as a lecturer in Art History at The University of Newcastle.

I currently live in Newcastle, Australia with my wife Loretta, a corporate trainer and coach, and two dogs and two cats. I play the piano and guitar, and fly light aircraft -- none of which I do particularly well.

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

2008 – present Lecturer Art History, School of Fine Art, Music and Drama, The University of Newcastle

2005 – 2008 Program Manager, Western Sydney Arts Strategy and Assistant Program Manager, Museums, Visual Arts and Crafts and Capital Infrastructure Arts NSW, NSW Government

2002 – 2005 Lecturer Museum Studies, School of English Art History, Film and Media Studies, The University of Sydney

2001 Lecturer Art History, School of Humanities, University of Western Sydney

1997 – 2000 Tutor/Lecturer (sessional) School of Art History & Theory, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales

1993 – 1995 Editorial Assistant, Art & Text, international art theory journal, University of New South Wales

1993 Editor, Honi Soit, The University of Sydney

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of New South Wales, 26/05/2000
  • Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts ) Honours, University of Sydney, 19/05/1995

Research

Research keywords

  • affect
  • art and war
  • museums

Research expertise

I have a strong track record of peer-reviewed research. In the last two years alone, I've published two journal articles, two book chapters and have a book scheduled for publication in 2014.

Since graduating with my PhD in 2000, my research has examined the ways in which interpretive practices in galleries and museums impact upon visitors' experiences, particularly by evoking memory and emotion. During my 2000s, my research particularly focused on the role of affect in the interpretation of the Holocaust, in art as well as with museum objects. This included research at Anne Frank House in the Netherlands, the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust Exhibition in the United Kingdom and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland.

One of my current research projects is titled ‘Teaching and Learning for the Net Generation’, focusing on socially disadvantaged students. It aims to:

a) Identify current forms of information technology and understand their impact on student learning;

b) Consider the ways technology impacts students’ approaches to knowledge, learning and assessment;

c) Consider the bearing of socio-economic factors in determining students’ access to technology and the extent to which this affects different approaches to knowledge, learning and assessment.

In 2012, I published peer-reviewed research in this area. The paper considers approaches to teaching within the ‘new conditions of knowledge’ that have arisen as a consequence of the internet and social media. One reviewer says “It provides an interesting case study of learning design change which will be of interest to the sector.” This is also the topic of my chapter in the 2013 book, Ecologies of Invention.

My contribution to Research Training in the University has been significant. Since I was appointed in 2008, I have been Principal Supervisor for five PhD completions and two Masters completions. I have supervised 10 honours students, including an honours student last year who achieved 96% and was awarded the Faculty Medal.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
190599Visual Arts And Crafts Not Elsewhere Classified100

Memberships

Body relevant to professional practice.

  • Member - College Art Association

Awards

National teaching citation

2011Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
Australian Learning and Teaching Council (Australia)
For inspiring and motivating first-year visual arts students through innovative teaching practices, redesigning course material and assessments and creating comprehensive online learning environments.

University teaching award

2009Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support
University of Newcastle (Australia)

University teaching citation

2010Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
University of Newcastle (Australia)
For inspiring and motivating first-year visual arts students through innovative teaching practices, redesigning course material and assessments and creating comprehensive online learning environments.

Administrative

Administrative expertise

I was the Program Convenor of the Bachelor of Fine Art 2-12-2013, and was responsible for the successful implementation of the BFA degree program at the University of Newcastle.

I have been the Fine Art representative on the School Teaching and Learning Committee from its inception until I went on SSP in 2011. I contribute to many of the activities hosted by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, which I believe performs a valuable role in the life of the University. I contribute regularly to the Centre for Teaching and Learning, such as sitting on the Selection Committee for the Vice Chancellor’s Awards, contributing to panel discussions, provided advice to colleagues at workshops leading up to the teaching award nominations and to advise new staff in the Teaching Toolkit Program. I’ve been a member of the School of Creative Arts Teaching and Learning Committee since it formed in 2009, and I am on the Knowledge Exchange Group – for NeW Space, a $95 million education precinct development by the University of Newcastle in the city centre of Newcastle.

The influence of my teaching practice extends far beyond the University. I’ve represented the University as a member of Avondale College’s 2010 External Advisory Committee, providing benchmarking between our two BFA programs. I have also sat on postgraduate confirmation panels and been an external undergraduate marker for Avondale. In 2009, Andy Collis, Senior Lecturer in art at Avondale College, audited my entire first year course in 2009 to benchmark their art history course. He then based Avondale’s art history course on my structure and approaches in the following academic year. I have also been an external undergraduate and Honours marker for the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), and College of Fine Arts UNSW. I frequently examine doctoral theses for Griffith University, USQ and other Australian universities.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • art history
  • art theory
  • museology

Teaching expertise

Student Feedback on Teaching (2011-2013; rated out of 5.00):

AART3010 Writing and Art Theory: 5.00 (2011), 5.00 (2012) and 4.84 (2013)

AART1110 Critical Studies 1: 4.80 (2012), 4.86 (2013)

AART1110 Critical Studies 2: 4.73 (2012), 5.00 (2013)

AART3050 The Arts in Health and Community: 4.71 (2012)

AART1220 Postmodernism and After: 5.00 (2011)

Student Feedback on Courses (2011-2013; rated out of 5.00):

AART1100 Critical Studies 1: 4.70 (up 0.51 from 2012) (University mean: 4.01)

AART1110 Critical Studies 2: 4.74 (up 0.44 from 2012) ?(University mean: 3.98)

AART1920 Visual Art Theory: 4.62 (up 1.87 from 2012) ?(University mean: 3.98)

AART3010 Writing and Art Theory: 5.00 (up 0.20 from 2012) ?(University mean: 3.98)

Teaching Awards:

  • ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2011)

For “inspiring and motivating first-year visual arts students through innovative teaching practices, redesigning course material and assessments and creating comprehensive online learning environments”.

  • Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (2010)
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Learning Support (2009)

Teaching Philosophy:

Fifteen years ago, I came to teaching with a love of knowledge and a passion for education, which still drives my teaching today. But the very nature of knowledge and education is changing, and passion alone is not enough to connect meaningfully with today’s students.

I believe that learning today is emphatically social and that excellent teaching must create conditions that connect students to each other, so that they learn through participating in constructing and sharing knowledge. This belief guides my entire teaching practice, from assessment and curriculum design to the classroom.

Learning is a social experience, because knowledge is synthesised in the connections between people.[i] My philosophy of teaching, then, is influenced by a ‘connectivist’ approach, which Terry Anderson says, “stress[es] the value of peer-to-peer interaction in investigating and developing multiple perspectives.”[ii] Networked technology has changed attitudes towards information and knowledge, so that, even in face-to-face teaching, education is being transformed into “social scholarship.”[iii] The key to student learning today is activating learning spaces as social spaces, whether virtual or real. I aim to create participatory conditions for students, to create opportunities for knowledge to collide and synthesise.[iv]

Two of my principle strategies in the classroom, aimed at motivating and provoking the engagement of students, are:

  • Dialogical Lectures; and
  • Tactical Ruptures

Dialogical Lectures

My lectures break the mould of a traditional lecture -- they're a dialogue, in which the students' input is central to the progression of the lecture's narrative. My lecture 'Revolution by Night: Surrealism and Psycholanalysis' (see the video at the top of this page or at http://youtu.be/I3opwG53GQs) is a typical example of one of my lectures

Tactical Ruptures

Tactical ruptures disrupt the expected flow of a lecture by creating a moment of tension for students. I published research on this in the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, in which I describe a tactical rupture as:

a calculated breakage in the expected flow of a narrative. Importantly, tactical ruptures are not necessarily moments of unpleasant disturbance... Indeed, in teaching, a moment of “crisis” in a narrative is often created by something astonishing, curious, or funny – the vital component in any tactical rupture is unexpected provocation. [v]

For example, my lecture 'Revolution by Night' lecture is a two-hour lecture and one of the challenges it so maintain the engagement of students for the duration of this period. Amongst other techniques, I include the tactical rupture of su

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2004Messham-Muir C, 'Dark Visitations: The Possibilities and Problems of Experience and Memory in Holocaust Museums', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 5 104-105 (2004) [C1]
2002Messham-Muir C, 'Here We Are! National Museums of Postcolonial Australasia in a Post-Nation-State World 45-64 (2002) [C1]
2002Messham-Muir C, 'Reconciling the Local and the Global in the Art of Adam Cullen 71-83 (2002) [C1]
2005Messham-Muir C, 'Affect, Interpretation and Technology', Open Museum Journal, 7 (2005) [C1]
2003Messham-Muir C, VIBGYOR: Victor Gordon''s art from 1977 to 2003, Broken Hill, NSW (2003) [J2]
2009Messham-Muir CD, 'Beneath the pavement', Back to the City: Strategies for Informal Urban Interventions: Collaboration Between Artists and Architects, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, Germany 120-123 (2009) [B1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2007Messham-Muir K, Beyond Region: Public Galleries in New South Wales, Arts NSW & Australia Council, Sydney, Australia (2007) [A3]

Chapter (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Messham-Muir CD, 'Melting into the texture of everyday life', Ecologies of Invention, Sydney University Press, Sydney 70-77 (2013) [B1]
2009Messham-Muir CD, 'Beneath the pavement', Back to the City: Strategies for Informal Urban Interventions: Collaboration Between Artists and Architects, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, Germany 120-123 (2009) [B1]

Journal article (16 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Messham-Muir CD, 'Two artists go to war ¿ Shaun Gladwell and Ben Quilty', The Conversation, - --- (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, 'Ben Quilty at the Saatchi Gallery ¿ things just got interesting', The Conversation, --- (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, 'Three questions not to ask about art ¿ and four to ask instead', The Conversation, --- (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, 'Jeff Koons ¿ a spectacle on the way to respectable', The Conversation, --- (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, 'Review: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen by Erik Jensen', The Conversation, --- (2014)
2012Messham-Muir CD, 'From tinkering to meddling: Notes on engaging first year art theory students', Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 9 Article 3 (2012) [C1]
2012Messham-Muir CD, 'History's actors in the theatre of war: Images, myths and the frame in the War on Terror', antiTHESIS, 22 143-155 (2012) [C1]
2012Messham-Muir CD, 'TOUCH: The Portraiture of Dan Marti', Art & Australia, 49 504 (2012) [C3]
2005Messham-Muir C, 'Affect, Interpretation and Technology', Open Museum Journal, 7 (2005) [C1]
2004Messham-Muir C, 'Dark Visitations: The Possibilities and Problems of Experience and Memory in Holocaust Museums', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art, 5 104-105 (2004) [C1]
2002Messham-Muir C, 'Reconciling the Local and the Global in the Art of Adam Cullen 71-83 (2002) [C1]
2002Messham-Muir C, 'Here We Are! National Museums of Postcolonial Australasia in a Post-Nation-State World 45-64 (2002) [C1]
2001Messham-Muir C, 'Practices of the City', Kerb: Journal of Landscape Architecture, 6-11 (2001) [C2]
1996Messham-Muir C, 'Victoria Lobregat (1996) [C1]
1996Messham-Muir C, 'Dale Frank: Social Realism (1996) [C1]
1994Messham-Muir C, 'Mishka Borowski at Pendulum 43-44 (1994) [C3]
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Review (7 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2005Messham-Muir C, 'South Pacific Museums', Museums Australia Magazine (2005) [D2]
2003Messham-Muir C, 'Tony Clark at Roslyn Oxley9', Eyeline (2003) [D2]
2001Messham-Muir C, 'David Griggs and Shaun Gladwell', Eyeline (2001) [D2]
2000Messham-Muir C, 'Franz Ehmann: Open Panorama & Soapbox', Globe online arts magazine (2000) [D2]
1994Messham-Muir C, 'Fresh Art', Eyeline (1994) [D2]
1994Messham-Muir C, 'Adam Cullen: Soft Material Facts', Eyeline (1994) [D2]
1994Messham-Muir C, 'Mishka Borowski', Art & Text (1994) [D2]
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Conference (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2009Messham-Muir CD, 'Ground to air: Military conflict and the work of Shaun Gladwell', AAANZ Conference 2009. Themes and Abstracts, Canberra, ACT (2009) [E3]
2009Messham-Muir CD, 'Archives, documents and affect', Museums Australia National Conference 2009, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]
2009Messham-Muir CD, 'Narrative, memory and empathy: The Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York', The 2nd ArtsHealth Conference Proceedings, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]

Creative Work (41 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Lucie Conoley, artist, Brixton, England, 4 October 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Charles Stuckey, art historian, New York, 4 October 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, Interview with John Tonkin, artist, Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia, 21 April 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Esther Teichmann, artist, Kennington, London, 21 September 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Louise Evans and Jonathan Edwards, Gresford, Wales, 28 September 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, Interview with David Ryan, artist, Las Vegas, United States, 2 April 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2014Messham-Muir CD, Experiencing Afghanistan, Samstag Museum, Adelaide, 11 April 2014, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2014)
2013Messham-Muir CD, Vanessa Schwartz and Charles Stuckey discuss Gustave Caillebotte's 'Paris Street Rainy Day', 1877, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Review of 2012, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Andy Devine, artist, Eleebana, Australia, 18 May 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Tim Bavington, artist, Las Vegas, 1 April 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Carl Andre, artist, New York, 8 April 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Ben Quilty on New Masculinities in Contemporary Art, 26 January 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Review: Australia, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, 25 September 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with William Anastasi, artist, New York, 3 October 2012, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Double Looking: Shaun Gladwell in Afghanistan, Canberra (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Shaun Gladwell, artist, Venice, Italy, 3 October 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Alasdair Groves, artist, Toowoomba, Australia, 11 May 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Carl Andre and Melissa Kretschmer, New York, 8 April 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Ben Quilty, artist, Robertson, Australia, 26 January 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Kori Newkirk, artist, Los Angeles, 4 April 2013, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with Douglas Fogle, curator, Los Angeles, United States, 24 September 2012, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, Interview with McLean Fahnestock, artist, Los Angeles, 5 April 2013, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2013Messham-Muir CD, What Was Modernism?, StudioCrasher (2013) [J3]
2012Messham-Muir CD, StudioCrasher. Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Claudia Parducci, Los Angeles, 24 September 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2012) [J2]
2012Messham-Muir CD, Studio Crasher. Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Dani Marti, artist, New York, 3 July 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2012) [J2]
2012Messham-Muir CD, Studio Crasher. Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Max Presneill, Los Angeles, 7 July 2012, Studio Crasher, Newcastle (2012) [J2]
2012Messham-Muir CD, Studio Crasher. Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Vanessa Schwartz, historian, Los Angeles, 28 September 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2012) [J2]
2012Messham-Muir CD, Studio Crasher. Kit Messham-Muir: Comment on Documenta 13, Berlin, 22 June 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2012) [J2]
2012Messham-Muir CD, Studio Crasher. Kit Messham-Muir: Interview with Dove Bradshaw, artist, New York, 1 July 2012, StudioCrasher, Newcastle (2012) [J2]
2008Messham-Muir CD, Equilibrium: Shaun Gladwell's Double Voyage, 2006', Catalogue essay, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne, VIC (2008) [J2]
2008Messham-Muir CD, Affect and the Archive, John Paynter Gallery, Newcastle (2008) [J2]
2008Messham-Muir CD, Forsythes Collectors Care Art Exhibition, Front Room Gallery, Newcastle (2008) [J2]
2008Messham-Muir C, Equilibrium: Shaun Gladwell''s Double Voyage (Catalogue Essay), Melbourne, Australia (2008) [J2]
2003Messham-Muir C, VIBGYOR: Victor Gordon''s art from 1977 to 2003, Broken Hill, NSW (2003) [J2]
2001Messham-Muir C, Sex Differential: Mothertrucker, Campbelltown, (2001) [J2]
2000Messham-Muir C, ''No Gold For Gargantua'', The Liminal Body, Sydney, Australia (2000) [J2]
2000Messham-Muir C, Practices of the City and Shaun Gladwell''s Kickflipping Flaneur, Sydney, Australia (2000) [J2]
1999Messham-Muir C, ''The Politics of Culture versus the politics of culture'', Sydney, (1999) [J2]
1995Messham-Muir C, ''Critical Dys-course'', Critical Spaces, Sydney, Australia (1995) [J2]
1993Messham-Muir C, Modus Operandi: Aesthetics and Practice'' (Catalogue Essay), Sydney, Australia (1993) [J2]
Show 38 more
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Grants and Funding

No funding.

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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions5
Total current UoN Masters EFTSL0.7
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL2.4

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20132017PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorConsidering the Baggage: The Perception and Phenomenology of Sculpture when Sited in a Specified Context
20132017PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorDominion Over all the Earth: Visualising the Tensions of Science and Sustainability in Contemporary Art Practice
20112013M Philosophy (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorIf Art is a Reflection of Life, Then in a Modern World, Has Not Art With a Modern Machine Aesthetic Have its' Place in Contemporary Arts Practice
20112015PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorThe Museum Qua The Evolution of a Knowledge Institution in an Era of Pervasively Networked Information Infrastructure
20092013PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorThe Human Touch? What is the Value of the Artist/Sitter Relationship to Contemporary Portrait Painting?

Past Supervision

YearProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
2013M Philosophy (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorBeyond the Pale: Australia: the Studio as Site where Notions of Irish National Identity are Translated into Contemporary Works of Art
2012M Philosophy (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorConnections to the Earth
2011PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorReconnection: An Exploration of Australian Landscape Beyond History and Myth
2011PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorImages of Asian Identity: Asian Women as a Vision of Technological Utopia
2011PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorPublic Works or Private Donations? The Impacts of Artistic and Economic Risk on the Working Practitioner
2010PhD (Fine Art)Principal SupervisorLandscape and Memory: An Archaic Narrative
2010PhD (Fine Art)Co-SupervisorA Punch in the Gut: Experiential Knowledge, Empathy, and Performance Art
2009M Fine Art [R]Principal SupervisorTerra Incognita: The Sublime, The Uncanny and Nostalgia in Painting the Landscape Australian
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Research Collaborations

The map is a representation of a researchers co-authorship with collaborators across the globe. The map displays the number of publications against a country, where there is at least one co-author based in that country. Data is sourced from the University of Newcastle research publication management system (NURO) and may not fully represent the authors complete body of work.

CountryCount of Publications
United Kingdom1
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Dr Christian Messham-Muir

Work Phone(02) 4921 8664
Email
PositionSenior Lecturer
Art History
School of Creative Arts
Faculty of Education and Arts
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaFine Art
Office
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/kit-messham-muir