Up Top: A sense of place for living and lost memories

Jennifer Munday, Emma Kearney

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This research project brings together two researchers to investigate a local historical site. The researchers come from complementary disciplines: theatre arts and history. Both have ways of approaching the emerging data that reflect those disciplinary backgrounds. Mayday Hills Hospital, the former Beechworth mental asylum, referred to as 'Up Top' by the locals, has been an iconic presence in the North East Victorian community for more than 140 years. One of the central aims of the project, titled Bedlam, is to investigate senses of place, along with the living memories of those who have in some way experienced the site. Both researchers wish to explore alternative theoretical approaches that might help them to look at the data in new and creative ways. One approach that lends itself to a multidimensional way of considering data is crystallization. This article will look at the possibilities and potential limitations of crystallization given the diverse aspects of this project. An example of one story that has emerged from the data will be examined as a demonstration of how crystallization might provide a way forward for future collaborative project analysis and creative works emerging from the project. Ultimately the researchers want to foreground the multidimensional aspects of each story in order to highlight nuance, question preconceptions about mental health, pay respect to the communities and individuals involved, and honour the dignity of those whose stories they are privileged to share.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFusion Journal
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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