Postdoc Research at the University of Canberra, Australia (2015 Endeavour Research Fellowship)

I am both honored and excited that I have been selected to receive a 2015 Endeavour Research Fellowship (PDR – Postdoctoral research) to undertake my proposed programme at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR), Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Australia.

Project Title
Heritage communication with digital technologies for a harmonious multicultural society: A case of young Australians with the Slovenian and other former Yugoslav ancestry as a focus group of heritage users

Project Summary
The purpose of the programme is to examine the potential of 3D and other digital technologies for heritage communication in a wider museum context with an aim to evoke creative potential of teenagers and young adults, traditionally hard to reach heritage user groups. Thus, their better inclusion and social engagement towards a harmonious multicultural society will be achieved. Young Australians with the Slovenian and other former Yugoslav ancestry will be used as a focus group of heritage users.

6 months (16 March 2015 – 15 September 2015)

Professor Angelina Russo, the Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

Endeavour Research Fellowship is provided by the Australian Government Department of Education.

Project Description
The main purpose of the programme is to examine the potential of digital technologies such as 3D visualisations and web-based mobile applications, augmented reality, serious games, social media and 3D printing as well as Bring-Your-Own-Device philosophy for heritage communication inside the museum and beyond its walls – in physical, mixed and virtual environment.

To reach the audiences from geographically wide area web-based technologies are very useful tools, essential also for bringing new audiences. The significance of these tools is their ability to animate teenagers and young adults, considered as traditionally hard to reach heritage user groups, yet important for the future development of every community. Therefore the proposed programme is intended to achieve better inclusion and social engagement of youth by evoking their creative potential and expression through interactive experience of heritage content. It is intended that this engagement would be undertaken not only within the existing formal curriculum, but also as a part of their leisure activities.

Teenagers and young adults are a very specific museum target group who require constant animation by nature but today’s generations are specific in a fact of their being digital natives. Therefore it is essential that the museum speaks their digital language in order to reach them.

Furthermore, the programme is conceived towards the establishing of innovative approaches (digital heritage) to address multicultural and intergenerational issues. As heritage users, Australian citizens with Slovenian and other former Yugoslav ancestry will be observed, since as a Slovenian, I am personally interested in mentioned population. I also consider that strong connection, cultural and knowledge exchange between region of origin and diaspora ensure prosperity, economic growth and sustainable society for all mentioned sides.

At the beginning of the programme state-of-the-art of technology, digital heritage projects, contemporary museologic theory, interpretation trends and target group of museum users will be examined.

After obtained data analysis, in collaboration with a museum, heritage content from their collection will be selected. Digital content, addressed to youth will be developed and tested on third-plus generation of young Australians with the Slovenian and other former Yugoslav ancestry in order to examine how heritage should be communicated to achieve above mentioned goals and maintain their identity.

Formative and summative evaluation of the proposed application will be done. Expected results will be useful in planning further museum activities, applicable for different heritage content and diverse target groups.

Deliverables will be disseminated at conferences and published in scientific reviews as well as in general public media.

By exploring the possibilities of digital heritage to encourage citizens for active participation towards the creating the conditions for sustainable society, the proposed programme will contribute to the achievement of my personal goals. They are very much in common with my professional goals. However I would like to continue my academic and professional career in the field of digital humanities with an emphasis of cultural heritage communication and interpretation.

In order to achieve excellence the interdisciplinary proposed programme will link engineering sciences with humanities, as well as private sector (creative industries) with public institutions.

The project is focused on Digital Culinary Heritage of Slovenian Australians. It explore on which way digital technologies can aid younger generations of Slovenian Australians to preserve and communicate Slovenian culinary heritage in Australia – and by this (reuse of heritage) how their active participation and creative potential can be enhanced.

Contact details:
Kaja Antlej, PhD
Endeavour Visiting Fellow (Postdoctoral Researcher)
Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (CCCR)
Faculty of Arts and Design (20 C18)
University of Canberra
ACT 2601, Australia
Telephone: +61 (0) 6201 5710

Last updated: 20 April 2015          Endeavour Scholarships -web-banner no crest