April 24, 2007
Collaboration 2.0: Jean Burgess and Vernacular Creativity

The third presentation of the day on Saturday here at the Convergence Culture Consortium's Collaboration 2.0 was made by Jean Burgess, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre of Excellence for Creative Industry and Innovation (CII) at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Her presentation was entitled "Valuing Vernacular Creativity: Flickr as a Model of Best Practice?"

Following up on the earlier presentation by her colleague, Dr. John Banks, Burgess' research focused on her continuing cultural studies research into how people are using new technologies and the everyday creativity of those users.

Burgess has a background in cultural studies and media studies, as well as music, and her research focuses on these common creative practices by users in relation to technological change and how these processes are happening today and have happened historically as well. She often helps design media workshops for organizations and community groups to help facilitate these "co-creative" practices. For more information on her prior work, see Jean's curriculum vitae.

Her current research focuses on "a major case study of YouTube as a complex system that sits within the history of the emergence, mass popularisation and marketisation of new media technolgoies and literacies (from the printing press to the Kodak camera and the domestication of personal computing)," according to her research page.

Her blog, called creativity/machine, is available here.

In one of her posts last year, she describes her concept of vernacular creativity, as she was working on her doctoral thesis. She writes:

By vernacular creativity I mean a wide range of everyday creative practices (form scrapbooking to family photography to the storytelling that forms part of casual chat). The term 'vernacular' - as with language, where it means colloquial - signifies the ways in which everyday creativity is practiced outside the cultural value systems of either high culture (art) or commercial creative practice (television, say).

See more work she has done on vernacular creativity through her blog here.