Flinders University AusStage Prize

Purpose of the award
This award is designed to recognise research excellence that utilises AusStage in articles, books, and non-traditional digital outputs. In recognition of the twenty-year history of AusStage, Flinders University has agreed to sponsor this annual award for a period of five years from 2020-2024.

• The Award is open to all financial members of ADSA. In the case of collaborative research outputs articles, at least one author must be a member (in this case, the prize money is awarded to the member).
• The nominated work must have been published, or submitted in the case of postgraduate theses, in the year prior to the award (i.e. in 2020 for the 2021 award). 
• There cannot be more than one nomination for a scholar in a given year.
• The winner is announced at the ADSA conference.
• The value of the prize is $500; the winning submission will be displayed on the AusStage website
• Scholars who have previously won cannot win the prize again within the initial 5-year period of the prize.

Nominations are invited by authors, journal editors and interested scholars, specifying full reference for the work nominated and accompanied by a copy of the publication. In the case of non-traditional digital outputs, on-line access will be required. Each nomination must be accompanied by a short statement (no longer than 500 words) detailing how the author has utilised the AusStage database in their research. Please note: the use of AusStage must be explicit in the text with appropriate referencing and bibliographic information.

The judges for the prize in 2021 are Liz Larkin (Flinders University), Jonathan Bollen (UNSW Sydney), Bill Dunstone (Independent scholar), and Margaret Hamilton (University of Wollongong). 

Deadline: 1 October 2021. Written applications addressing the above criteria, and including copies of the nominated material, should be sent to Liz Larkin (liz.larkin@flinders.edu.au). 

AusStage is one of the largest and most extensive national dataset on live performance in the world. Flinders University has been the lead institution in its development and it is universally accessible: http://www.ausstage.edu.au. On all measures of research productivity – data aggregation, network accessibility, scholarly and creative output, social engagement and impact – AusStage’s record of collaborative research is outstanding. Funded by the ARC and university partners since 2000, the database, now holds information on 112,600+ events, 158,000+ artists, 16,900+ companies, 10,800+ venues, 18,500+ works and 68,000+ resources. In its twenty years of development, AusStage has forged partnerships with all the Australian universities teaching theatre and performance, the Australia Council, the Performing Arts Heritage Network of Museums Australia, and major theatre companies. The AusStage dataset is discoverable through Trove in partnership with the National Library of Australia. International partnerships include UK Association of Performing Arts Collections, and the Centre for Ibsen Studies, University of Oslo. The commitment of partners and stakeholders ensures its ongoing viability.

2020 Winner
Joint Winners:

Jonathan O’Brien, for “The Arts as a Networked Ecosystem: Visualising Relationships in Brisbane’s Performing Arts Sector”
O’Brien’s work for his MA thesis explores ways in which network visualisations can be a tool for arts companies to communicate with stakeholders and provide the basis for academic analysis of the performing arts sector. The research draws on interviews with industry professionals and data in AusStage focused on three Brisbane based performing arts companies. These sources along with other archival material are used to develop network visualisations that were then interrogated to reveal their effectiveness for communicating data to stakeholders and extending our understanding of how the industry is operating. The work demonstrates the potential uses of distant reading of the AusStage database. O’Brien examines the potential of network visualisations revealing that there needs to be further development in network visualisations before this methodology can contribute new industry knowledge.

Julie Holledge, Sarah Thomasson and Joanne Tompkins, for “Rethinking Interculturalism Using Digital Tools”
In this article Holledge, Thomasson and Tompkins investigate the potential for distant reading of the AusStage database to reassess previous work by Holledge and Tompkins in order to reveal deeper understandings of interculturalism in practice. The previous work Women’s Intercultural Performance utilised close readings of performance works in that combined two or more cultural traditions in the moment of performance. Drawing on the AusStage database they investigate the quantitative data to reveal the wider effects of product, nations of origin, contributors and funding in order to examine how these factors effect cultural transmission. The previous work is analysed within the wider context of time, space and global markets producing a different narrative of practice. The AusStage subset on festivals was particularly useful in this re-examination facilitating a richer view of the cultural diversity of productions and changes across time. The resulting big picture of practices makes clear the limited concept of global cultures on Australian stages and the lack of change over a twenty year period.