HDR Confirmation: Marguerite Westacott - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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HDR Confirmation: Marguerite Westacott

We would like to invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Marguerite Westacott, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the School of Law and Society.

Thesis Title:

A practice-led, dialogical exploration of anticipatory aesthetics in the intersubjective space: implications for reflexive practice.


My career path has been typically non-linear, but the underlying common denominator is working with people in anticipatory aesthetic settings, suspended in relational, or intersubjective spaces. This common denominator in my interdisciplinary practice informs the purpose of my inquiry. The overarching, or macro intention of this research is to enable agency and voice, whilst emboldening opportunities for alternative ways of thinking about education. The micro intention of this research is to provide future informed resources for reflexive practice and give voice to the anticipatory aesthetic present in the intersubjective space.

This thesis offers two scholarly essays that run parallel to a body of aesthetic, reflective and reflexive work presented in a visual arts exhibition. To do this, futures thinking is drawn upon to move beyond current assumptions about educational best practice. The project draws on the critical futures tradition, outlined by futurists such as Richard Slaughter, Ivana Milojević, Marcus Bussey and Sohail Inayatullah; to explore implicit professional practice, using the futures senses of foresight, memory, voice, yearning and optimism (Bussey, 2016; Bussey, 2017) as compass.

The research methodology deploys a bricolage of strategic methods of inquiry that enable a dialogical exchange between diverse modes of knowing. It is a practice-led, anticipatory project that engages with the domain of futures education. It seeks to locate previously marginalised ways of knowing, in an interdisciplinary context, to offer powerful alternatives to dominant educational narratives and practices that challenge mainstream assumptions about educational process in a surveillance society. This research offers a resource for co-constructed curricula, that transcends the boundaries of disciplines and authentically embraces diverse ways of knowing and seeing.

Bussey, M. (2016) The hidden curriculum of futures studies: introducing the futures senses. World Futures Review, 8 (1), 39-45. DOI: 10.177/1946756715627433

Bussey, M. (2017). Anticipatory aesthetics: new identities and future senses. In J. Clamber & A. K. Giri (Ed.), The aesthetics of development. Art, culture and social transformation. (pp. 49-70). Palgrave Macmillan https://doi.org/ 10.1057/978-1-349-95248-9


Marguerite Westacott is an early-career academic and Associate Lecturer in the University of the Sunshine Coast’s School of Tertiary Access. Marguerite’s career in education encompasses a variety of educational sectors, in several roles: teacher, leadership, counsellor, art therapist, consultant, curriculum development and governance. Over a span of 25 years, much of her experience has been in alternative, wholistic education settings. Marguerite is passionate about innovative and future’s focussed pedagogical practice and curriculum design. She has also worked and continues to volunteer in the community sector. Marguerite holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts, a Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary), a Master of Educational Studies (Guidance and Counselling) and Master of Mental Health (Art Therapy).

We look forward to seeing you there!