Welcome to Texas Tech Arts Practice Research!


TTU Arts Practice Research Conference and Concerts FREE to all!

All TTU-APR events are free and open to the public and to Tech students. Artists and audiences in all media, all career stages, all levels of interest, most definitely encouraged to attend and join in our conversations and celebrations!

On October 11-12 2019, the TTU Vernacular Music Center presents the Third Biennial Conference Arts Practice Research: Ways Forward. With support from the Texas Tech University School of Music, the J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts, the office of the Vice President for Research & Innovation, radio stations KTTZ and KTXT, Amusement Park Studios, and The Electric Guitar in American Culture conference, TTU-APR partners with the School of Music and the University Symphony Orchestra.


· Friday Oct 11, 7:30pm, Hemmle Recital Hall: Lubbock Guitarslingers

A gala concert featuring some of the South Plains’ baddest and best guitar-players, with an ace rhythm section, rocking it in Hemmle Recital Hall. This concert, guest-curated by the Vernacular Music Center’s Electric Guitar in American Culture sister conference, is free and open to the public, was a huge hit in its inaugural iteration in 2018, and will provide a rare opportunity—for the players, as well!—to hear some of the absolute best of the West, shredding on what is arguably THE most impactful instrument in 20th century popular music.

· Saturday Oct 12, 7:30pm, Hemmle Recital Hall: TTU University Orchestras (cond. Philip Mann)

Maestro Philip Mann of the TTU School of Music leads the University Symphony and the University String Orchestra in a program of 20th century works, featuring Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps. APR co-sponsors this event, which is free to conference participants, and features works by two 20th century modernists of the European concert stage, featuring one work (the Rite; 1913) which is commonly understood as the “Moment that concert music became ‘modern’.”

A unique research | practice round-table:

· Saturday Oct 12, 1:30pm, Senate Room (SUB): Ways Forward: A Round-Table on Reinventing Performance Spaces as Creative Wellness Contexts

Facilitated by Dr Sarai Brinker, a specialist in medical ethnomusicology, and Anne Wharton, the VMC’s Movement Director and Instructor for “Dance Practices for Musicians”, this round-table will provide opportunity for both discussion and participation around the question: “How do we reinvent teaching, learning, and presenting contexts as spaces which centralize and enhance creative-wellness practices”?

And, panels and presentations Saturday Oct 12, SUB Senate Room

CFP (March 2019)

Invitation to colleagues & students to submit proposals, for research performances or presentations!

CFP: TTU Arts Practice Research: “Ways Forward: Arts Practice Research in the Transnational 21st Century” (Lubbock TX USA Oct 2019)

SUMMARY: On October 11-13th, 2019, Texas Tech University’s Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts, the Roots Music Institute, and the TTU Vernacular Music Center present the Third Biennial Conference Arts Practice Research: “Ways Forward: Arts Practice Research in the Transnational 21st Century”. The conference will partner with the annual Vernacular Music Center Guitarslingers festival concert (Friday Oct 11 2019 Hemmle Recital Hall) and will feature distinguished guest speakers.

TRACK RECORD: Past iterations of TTUAPR, in 2015 and 2017, have included collaborations with: radio stations KTTZ and KTXT, the TTU School of Art, the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, the American Musicological Society – Southwest Chapter, the TTU Metals Symposium, the TTU Women’s Studies program, the First Friday Art Trail. Keynote speakers have included fabric/performance artist Nick Cave, visual artist Joyce Scott, and NPR senior theatre and film critic Bob Mondello. Premieres have included Plunder! and To Wipe All Tears from Our Tears, a collaboration with Texas State Dance. Additional and enrichment offerings have included dance workshops, scholarly papers, exhibits, talkback sessions between students and distinguished guests, cross-campus visits and guest lectures to classes and student organizations, and much more.

PRIORITY INITIATIVES: In the 2019 iteration, our particular interest is to centralize the experience of Fine Arts university students and involve students, faculty, and the wider community together in our conversations.

The conference, held on the campus of Texas Tech University, will bring together students and teachers, creators and scholars, campus and community, vernacular and cultivated genres, “traditional” and “modern” perspectives—and will investigate and fruitfully complicate the dynamics between all. We invite proposals for individual papers, themed paper sessions; individual presentations of works in process; round-table discussions; workshops in devised theater, free sound improvisation, contact partnering, dance, improvisational visual art. Students will participate at every stage and level, including planning, logistics, presentation, and assessment. Featured performances will include works “devised” through the process of arts practice via transdisciplinary collaboration.


In teaching the fine and performing arts, real-time and immersive learning engages students in “arts practice”—that is, in the processes, techniques, skills, data-sets, and critical perspectives whose combination in real time yields the art object or experience. Makers and learners can be engaged in both creating this object or experience, and then reporting, in a critical and analytical fashion, upon the considerations that went into its creation, thereby opening out the collaborative process for investigation and dialogue. Transdisciplinary and multi-modal in both philosophy and practice, this synthesis of creative activity and critical analysis, as “Arts Practice Research,” is a fast-growing topic within university curricula, both here in North America and abroad (a brief sampling of programs inaugurating the PhD in Arts Practice includes Tier-One universities in Ireland, England, Canada, Australia, and the USA).[1] Programs may differ in their language and definitions, but uniformly share a fundamental conviction that both the creation and the analysis of an arts object (physical or processual) can be constituent elements of the scholarly mission, uniting the creator and the critic as “practitioner.”[2]

Because the arts reach out to students, the community, the academy, the gallery, technology, other disciplines, the environment, history, social justice, entertainment, and transnational communities, in furthering art’s reach, we further the impact of its research practice. Arts practice is thus precisely the place in which Fine & Performing Arts faculty can unite research, teaching, and creative activity. Participants in the 2015 and 2017 iterations came from the disciplines of theater, dance, visual arts, music, and an array of humanities, from Arts Practice centers in Leeds, London, and Limerick, and from across the USA and Canada.

ABOUT THE TCVPA AND THE VERNACULAR MUSIC CENTER: Texas Tech University’s J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts has been a leader in arts practice research for four decades, since the foundation of the TCVPA’s interdisciplinary PhD in Fine Arts. In recent years, collaboration across TTU arts disciplines, particularly as sponsored by the Vernacular Music Center, has led to a series of flagship creative productions, including Dancing at the Crossroads: A Celebration of Anglo-Celtic and African-American Dance in the New World (2013, School of Theatre and Dance & School of Music); Twelfth Night or, What You Will (2013, School of Theatre and Dance & School of Music); The Elegant Savages Orchestra (2013, School of Theatre and Dance & Vernacular Music Center); Mother Courage (2013, School of Theatre and Dance & School of Music), original live/improvised orchestral score for the 1922 horror classic Nosferatu, (2017-18, School of Music, Flatland Film Festival, Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Texas Tech Museum, New Mexico Tech, San Juan College); the “folk oratorio” Plunder! Battling for Democracy in the New World (2018); and the site-sensitive immersive theater show YONDER (2020). The Steering Committee comprises leading artist/scholars from across the College, already actively involved in creative collaborations and Arts Practice Research.

The deadline is June 15 2019, with final selections and notifications to be made by July 15 2019.

Additional information, local arrangements, schedule, transportation options, and the final program will be posted at ; inquiries may be directed to steering Committee chair


Proposals and inquiries should be emailed (.pdf or .docx format only) to

Please read the guidelines carefully: proposals that do not conform will not be considered.

Proposals will be accepted according to the following categories:

(1) Individual proposals. Proposals should represent the presentation as fully as possible. A successful proposal typically articulates the main aspects of the argument or research findings clearly, positions the author’s contribution with respect to previous scholarship, and suggests the paper’s significance for the arts practice research community, in language that is accessible to scholars with a variety of specializations. Maximum length: 350 words.

(2) Proposals for poster sessions should follow the guidelines for submission of individual proposals, and include an explanation of the content and goals of the graphic presentation. Technical guidelines for posters will be distributed with acceptance information. Proposals will be evaluated anonymously and should contain no direct or indirect signal of authorship. Maximum length: 350 words.

(3) Proposals for themed formal sessions. An organizer representing several individuals may propose a Formal Session of three papers. For this proposal, organizers should prepare a rationale, explaining the importance of the topic and the proposed constituent papers, together with the names of the organizer, participants, respondent (if applicable), and a suggested chairperson. The organizer should also include a proposal for each paper, which conforms to the guidelines for individual proposals above. Formal Session proposals will be considered as a unit and accepted or rejected as a whole. The proposed session’s consistency and coherence is an important part of the evaluation process. Paper abstracts included in a formal session proposal will not be considered for separate individual presentation. Maximum length: 350 words for the rationale, and 350 words for each constituent proposal.

Length of presentations:

Thirty minutes are allotted for each individual proposal and constituent Formal Session proposal. The length of presentations is limited to twenty minutes in order to allow ample time for discussion.

Program Committee procedures:

The Program Committee will evaluate and discuss individual paper and poster proposals); each proposal will be reviewed by at least three members of the Program Committee. Their individual scores are collated and averaged, and the proposals ordered accordingly. Proposals ranked in the top half are then evaluated by the entire committee. Authors for all submissions that are chosen will be invited to revise their proposals for the Program and Abstracts, distributed at the meeting; the version read by the Program Committee may remain confidential.

Application restrictions:

No one may appear on the program more than twice. An individual may deliver a paper and appear one other time on the program, whether participating in an evening panel discussion or alternative-format session, functioning as a chair-organizer of a formal session, or serving as a respondent, but may not deliver a lecture-recital or workshop. Organizers of evening panel discussions or alternative-format sessions may not also present a formal paper, but participants may do so. Authors may not submit the same proposal to the APR and program committee. If an author submits different proposals to the APR and more than one is accepted, only one of the papers may be presented.

Submission procedure:

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. EST, 15 June 2019. Electronic proposal submission is encouraged. Please note that electronic proposal submission ceases precisely at the deadline. In order to avoid technical problems with submission of a proposal, it is strongly suggested that proposals be submitted at least twenty-four hours before the deadline. Due to the volume of proposals received, proposals received after the deadline cannot be considered. A FAQ on the proposal submission process is available at the web site, and those planning to submit proposals are encouraged to review the information posted there.

[1] Examples include the Universities of Limerick; Cork; Wollongong (Australia); London; Quebec; Southern California; the Orpheus Institute (Ghent), and other similar first-rank institutions.

[2] See Barbara Hawkins, “Transdisciplinary Approaches to Doctoral Arts Practice Research: Benefits and Challenges of Transdisciplinary Research,” The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review 7, 1-11. Available at (Accessed 5/9/2014) ; also Graeme Sullivan, Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in Visual Arts (New York: Sage, 2009).