James Oliver is a Hebridean Gàidheal and native of the Isle of Skye (an t-Eilean Sgitheanach). For him, this has produced a particular, life-long evolving and enquiry into practice-as-research ways of knowing—initially at the nexus of native language, culture, identity and emplacement. His research training began in social research, with a focus on everyday lived experiences, situations, practices, but his wider creative practice research interests engage anti-colonial practices, public pedagogies and the possibilities within creative and cultural ways of knowing. This is consistent with his native cultural position and practices of knowing.
As a transdisciplinary academic, educator, and writer, he has over 20-yrs of research, research training and teaching experience across a range of disciplines and sectors (art and design, social science and ethnography, arts development, community and wellbeing). This has nurtured a practice-as-research career beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, particularly at the intersections of cultural relations and Indigenous Practice Research. He recently published the book, Associations: creative practice and research (MUP, 2018).
James has held academic appointments at The University of Glasgow, The University of Edinburgh, The University of Melbourne and at Monash University. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor with Wominjeka Djeembana Indigenous Research lab. Beyond the Higher Education sector, James has worked as an arts development officer at the former Scottish Arts Council, and as a researcher, speechwriter and press officer at the Scottish Parliament.
James is an Associate Professor of Design, School of Design, RMIT University.
Selected details of his research is available at academia.edu.
© James Oliver