Research Student Pre-Conference

Registered delegates for Crossroads in Cultural Studies 2016 who are current Masters or PhD students, or who are recent graduates of Masters and PhD programs, are invited to attend (at no additional cost) a day-long pre-conference on Tuesday 13 December.

The pre-conference is hosted by the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University's Parramatta campus. Sessions will engage delegates in current disciplinary debates around theory and method in cultural research and provide professional development content around topics such as publishing, networking and job seeking. Delegates will have the opportunity to engage with featured speakers from the main conference program and with leading researchers from the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney.

Transport from central Sydney to the Western Sydney University (Parramatta South Campus) will be provided.

The research student pre-conference is a carbon neutral event. The Institute for Culture and Society has offset its carbon emissions from this event through Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund (opens in a new window). The contribution will re-establish native trees in Australia on land that was cleared for agriculture. These projects capture greenhouse gas emissions, encourage natural ecosystems and biodiversity, whilst building a more resilient local environment to climate change. 

Pre-Conference Program and Workshop Registration

Participants are asked to register for the specific workshop sessions that they would like to attend.

In most cases, there will be a cap of 30 students per session, but in one of the more practical sessions there will be a cap of 25. The workshops are spread across three themes: around theory/methodology, career and publication.

The keynote address does not require registration.

Register now for the workshop sessions (opens in a new window)

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Abstracts and Bios: Keynote Presentation 

'Reflexive Writing', by Ghassan Hage

In this talk I want to condense some key issues that emerge in the process of writing and that I have encountered over many years as a writer and as a supervisor of PhD theses. I will share what has been my attempt to document these issues and to think them through, and then to re-channel this thinking a bit more rigorously into the reflexive moment of the process of writing that we all instinctively engage in. I will look at three dimensions of writing:

Writing evidence: How does one write about the acquisition and accumulation of data? How does one write about the different modes of relating to the world as a researcher and what are their ramifications on what one produces as accounts of reality?

Writing analysis: How does one write one's research experience? What does it mean to be rigorous when one deploys explaining, deducing, providing proof, exemplifying as writing strategies?

Writing Theory: How does one integrate theory in the process of writing? How to make theory speak to social and cultural realities and vice versa. What does critiquing means? How to think with a multiplicity of theories. How to develop one's own theories.

Ghassan Hage is Professor of Anthropology and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne. He has held many visiting professorships around the world including at Harvard, University of Copenhagen, University of Amsterdam, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, and the American University of Beirut. He works on the comparative anthropology of nationalism, racism and multiculturalism. His books include White Nation (2000), Against Paranoid Nationalism (2003), Waiting (2009), Alter-Politics (2015) and Is Racism an Ecological Threat? (forthcoming April 2017).

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Abstracts and Bios: Session 1 

'Critical Border Studies' by Brett Neilson, Martina Tazzioli and Malini Sur

Contrary to visions of a borderless world that circulated in the 1990s, current globalization has produced a proliferation of borders. The panel explores this proliferation with a focus on the workings of the 'world market', the movements and management of migration, and the relations between nation, race and gender. Our investigation follows three main axes. First, we consider how the 1proliferation of borders implies not only their expansion beyond and within the territorial limits of states but also an understanding of globalization as characterized by open borders for capital and goods and by the multiplication of barriers to the circulation of human bodies. Second, we ask how the European Union is reacting to the so-called 'refugee crisis' in the Mediterranean. This entails a focus on the EU politics of externalisation and the Mediterranean 'scene of rescue' characterized by the involvement of military forces, NGOs and private actors in saving migrants at sea. Third, we posit that border scholarship has strong resonance with studies that situate gendered identities as integral to interrogating nations and nationalisms. We suggest that attention to Asia's borders and borderlands as locations where the geopolitical and the social collide is productively situated in the rich intellectual legacy that has privileged women's experiences of violent partitions, wars, and territory-making.

Brett Neilson is Research Director at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. With Sandro Mezzadra, he is author of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (Duke University Press, 2013). With Ned Rossiter, he has coordinated the projects 'Transit Labour: Borders, Circuits, Regions' and 'Logistical Worlds: Infrastructure, Software, Labour'. 

Martina Tazzioli is Lecturer in Political Geography at Swansea University and Visiting lecturer in forced migration at City University of London. She is the author of Spaces of Governmentality: Autonomous Migration and the Arab Uprisings (2014), co-author with Glenda Garelli of Tunisia as a Revolutionized Space of Migration (2016), and co-editor of Foucault and the History of Our Present (2015). She is co-founder of the journal Materiali foucaultiani.

Malini Sur is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. She holds a PhD from the University of Amsterdam (2012). Prior to joining Western Sydney University, Malini has lectured in anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, held fellowships at the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto and the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and worked for the Social Science Research Council (New York).

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'The Engaged Researcher vs. The Robed Scholar: Thinking Through "Engaged Knowledges"' by Amanda Third

The scholarship on knowledge brokering has elaborated a variety of perspectives on the practice of knowledge, including the structures and institutional formations that shape the production of knowledge; what 'counts' as knowledge in the 'knowledge economy'; effective strategies for translating research into practice; and the cross-pollination of disciplinary knowledges. This workshop seeks to contribute to these debates by zeroing in on the role of the cultural studies researcher in emergent knowledge ecologies. Drawing upon an ethnographic approach, we will analyse the subjectivities inhabited at different moments by the cultural studies researcher in dynamic knowledge brokering settings. Mobilising de Certeau's theorisation of tactics and strategy, I argue that the most effective processes of knowledge brokering situate the academic researcher as a tactical agent who, rather than intervening in cross-sector dialogue to deliver 'objective' and 'definitive' insights to a semi- or non-expert audience, intervenes in dialogues with other 'expert citizens' to hold competing ideas in productive tension in ways that potentially open up new perspectives for scholarship, policy and practice. In doing so, we ask what it means for the identity of the cultural studies researcher to engage in a collaborative process of knowledge production that is grounded in a community of practice, and how this impacts the ways we might think about 'engaged knowledges'.

Amanda Third is Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and Program Leader in the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of young people's technology use. She has conducted several large projects with industry organisations (e.g. Google, UNICEF, Starlight Children's Foundation, Telstra Foundation, Foundation for Young Australians) focusing on young people's everyday use of online and networked technologies and the potential for new technologies to support young people's wellbeing. She is also Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Industry Linkage project entitled 'Young People, Technology and Wellbeing Research Facility' that examines cross-sector knowledge brokering practices. She is a founding member of the Australian-based Technology and Wellbeing Cross-Sector Roundtable; a member of the international Digitally Connected Network; an Expert Advisor to Global Kids Online; and recipient of the 2015 Western Sydney University Vice Chancellor's Award for Engagement. 

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'Journal Publishing' by Chris Healy and Panizza Allmark

Chris Healy: Current and future journal publishing in Cultural Studies

My part of the session will be broadly concerned with 'Cultural Studies and the Value of Publishing: Problems of Research, Publishing Practices and Publishing Profiles in the 21st Century'. I'll be drawing on my experience of publishing Cultural Studies Review; once a 'publisher-owned' journal and now an Open Access journal. In particular, I'll be exploring older, current and future worlds of academic publishing.

Panizza Allmark: How to get your work published in a journal

This part of the session will focus on strategies for successful journal publishing.  Based on over ten years as editor of Continuum, Associate Professor Panizza Allmark will provide an overview of the benefits and pitfalls of publishing an article in leading academic journals. We will consider where to begin? What makes a 'good' article?  What are editors' looking for? We will also look at techniques on getting your article positively noticed and achieving impact!

Chris Healy teaches Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. He has worked at the University of Technology, Sydney, and held visiting fellowships at the Humanities Research Centre, ANU and the Centre for Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz. His publications include, Forgetting Aborigines (2008) and Assembling Culture (co-edited with Tony Bennett, 2011). He coedited Cultural Studies Review with Stephen Muecke (2002—2006) and now co-edits the journal with Katrina Schlunke (2013—). He is completing a book called Travelling Television and beginning a research project with Therese Davis and Romaine Morton on indigenous film and television.

Panizza Allmark is the Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia. She has a PhD in Media Studies and is an Associate Professor in Media and Cultural Studies, where she also heads the Media, Culture and Society research group. Alongside this, Panizza is the chief editor of Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, published by Taylor and Francis. Panizza has published in the fields of visual culture, photography, gender, identity, transnationalism and urban space. As an artist, Panizza has had nine solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions. Her work has been exhibited in London, New York, Frankfurt, Shanghai and in Italy and Australia.

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'Studies of Affect, Sexuality and Networked Media' by Susanna Paasonen

True to title, the session focuses on the specific issues and stakes involved in studies of sexuality, affect and networked media in terms of doctoral studies, publishing efforts, ethical considerations, career advancement and research practices more generally. Participants are encouraged to bring questions and comments connected to these themes for discussion, be these methodological, ethical, theoretical, pragmatic or something else in character. Possible themes and topics include, but are not by any means limited to: the practicalities of applying and developing affect theory in empirical investigation; the ethical reverberations of studying sexual cultures online; methodological issues; or the politics involved in research on sexually explicit materials. The overall aim of the session is to learn from colleagues working on similar themes and topics, and to address the specificities involved in doing cultural studies on networked media, sexuality and affect. 

Susanna Paasonen is professor of Media Studies at University of Turku, Finland. With an interest in studies of popular culture, sexuality, affect and media theory, she is most recently the author of Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography (MITP 2011) as well as co-editor of Working with Affect in Feminist Readings: Disturbing Differences (Routledge 2010) and Networked Affect (MITP 2015). She is currently preparing a book on #NSFW for MITP with Kylie Jarrett and Ben Light.

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'Writing our Research' by Katrina Schlunke

This writing/research workshop assumes that the limits of certain kinds of writing and modes of language have already been reached. That it doesn't matter what your research topic is, you will still have to account for its appearance in this temporal context and so have to care for the effects of your writing now. In that sense, working with the writing of our research is a way of telling 'true stories' and is also a means of inspiring experiments to see what works now, in this context.

Participants are asked to come with a 300 word description of their thesis. In thinking about a 'description' of your thesis you may want to think about Bruno Latour's ideas of descriptions: 'They are actualistic, step by step and they do not look forward to find out what happened, but they also do not look backward to establish sufficient conditions'. And you may wish to consider the ways Heather Love has used 'description' as a way of countering 'interpretation' and pursuing the 'this descriptions' necessary to communicate complexity. Recognise that you are free to describe the argument, the materialized artifact, the method or any other aspect of your thesis. There is no 'right' description – try something out. All efforts are welcome. We will be working together in what I believe will be a helpful and inspiring way. Please bring paper and pens.

Dr Katrina Schlunke is an Associate Professor in Cultural Studies who is currently working on two connected projects. The first is concerned with the possibility of an 'experimental' history and the second is to do with possession, possessions and lost materialisms. She is an editor of Cultural Studies Review and her most recent publication was a chapter on cultural studies pedagogy titled; Lessons from the Site: Catastrophe and Cultural Studies. She is currently an Associate Researcher with Gender and Cultural Studies, Sydney University.

Abstracts and Bios: Session 2

'Environmental Humanities: Field-Making and the Politics of Citation' by Astrida Neimanis and Jennifer Mae Hamilton

This workshop looks at environmental humanities and where it comes from. Our particular interest will be in how decades of feminist, queer, and critical race scholarship have informed and transformed this fledgling field. The session will include discussion, provocation, and practical engagements in field-mapping activities that critically consider how new fields are built, what kinds of inquiries and innovations they enable, but also what their 'politics of citation' might foreclose. Participants will be introduced to a practice we call 'composting' as both a critical methodology for environmental humanities, but also an approach to academic community building. We will also look at how academic activist movements like Womantheory and The Citation Practices Challenge can intervene in academia-as-usual in potentially transformative ways – and how we can all be a part of this. This workshop will be of interest to students in environmental humanities as well as those who work in any interdisciplinary field and are curious or concerned about how feminist, queer and critical race research is incorporated, acknowledged – or overlooked – in the rise of new configurations of scholarly work.

Astrida Neimanis is a Lecturer in Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney and Associate Editor of the journal Environmental Humanities. She is also co-founder of the transnational MISTRA-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, based at Linkoping University (SE). She writes academic and artistic texts about bodies, water, weather and other environmental matters. Her book Bodies of Water: Posthuman Feminist Phenomenology is forthcoming in January 2017 (Bloomsbury).

Jennifer Mae Hamilton is a Postdoctoral Research Associate with The Seed Box: A MISTRA-FORMAS Environmental Humanities Collaboratory at Linköping University, Sweden and housed in the department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. She also teaches ecocriticism at New York University's Sydney campus. Prior to this appointment she was an adjunct fellow in Environmental Humanities at UNSW. She holds a PhD in English Literature from UNSW and her first book, based on her dissertation, This Contentious Storm: An Ecocritical and Performance History of King Lear is forthcoming in July 2017 as part of Bloomsbury Academic's Environmental Cultures series.

Together, Astrida and Jennifer co-convene the COMPOSTING Feminisms and Environmental Humanities Reading Group at the University of Sydney – which you are welcome to join!

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'Commoning as a Postcapitalist Politics: A Community Economies Research Approach' by Katherine Gibson and Stephen Healy

This workshop will introduce a research approach developed by J.K. Gibson-Graham and members of the Community Economies Collective that draws upon poststructuralist feminism, anti-essentialist Marxism, queer theory and more than human assemblage theory. The workshop will focus on the politics of commoning in the context of academic research. Participants are asked to come to the workshop having read two pieces of writing and bringing one piece of their own writing. 

Prior reading 

  • J.K. Gibson-Graham, 2006 A Postcapitalist Politics Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesota Press
    Introduction: A Politics of Possibility pp. xix-xxxvii
    Chapter 1: Affects and Emotions for a Postcapitalist Politics pp1-21
  • J.K. Gibson-Graham, J. Cameron and S. Healy 2016 "Commoning as a Post-capitalist Politics"  in A. Amin and P. Howell eds  Releasing the Commons  London and New York: Routledge Press pp.192-212.

Participants are asked to bring 5 copies of a one page (single space) piece of descriptive writing based on their own research project. Include the title of your thesis and 100 word summary of the thesis topic. The descriptive writing should give insight into how you are approaching your thesis topic. The workshop will involve:  discussion of thick description, weak theory and a reparative stance; small group analysis of research writing pieces; Discussion of the sociality of commoning practice in the research process, or in the object of your research. 

Katherine Gibson is a research professor at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia. She is an economic geographer with an international reputation for innovative research on economic transformation and over 30 years' experience of working with communities to build resilient economies. As J.K. Gibson-Graham her books include The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy (Oxford: UK and Cambridge USA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996) and A Postcapitalist Politics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006). Her most recent book is Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene, eds. K. Gibson, D. Bird Rose and R. Fincher (New York: Punctum Books, 2015).

Stephen Healy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Australia. His work focuses on the relationship between economy, subjectivity and the enactment of new econo-socialities exploring various topics: health care reform policy, the role of cooperatives in regional development, and the solidarity economy movement. His most current research project is focused on the role that cooperatives, social enterprises and ecologically oriented enterprise might play in reconfiguring manufacturing.  His most recent publications include Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide for Transforming Our Communities, co-authored with Jenny Cameron and J.K. Gibson-Graham (University of Minnesota Press, 2013). 

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'From Dissertation to Book: Academic Writing as Genre in a Time of Media Transformation' by Ken Wissoker

There are many differences between research presented in dissertation form and as a scholarly book.  Writing a book requires changes in form, style, content, and audience.  The talk will explore those differences and discuss how to think about writing first or subsequent scholarly books at a time of change in the academy and in publishing. The assumptions and practices of publishing also vary from country to country. The talk will be a helpful introduction to US university press ways of working, while also offering advice for anyone writing an academic book regardless of publisher.  There will be a presentation of roughly thirty minutes followed by time for questions.

Ken Wissoker is the Editorial Director of Duke University Press, acquiring books in anthropology, cultural studies and social theory; globalization and post-colonial theory; Asian, African, and American studies; music, film and television; race, gender and sexuality; science studies; and other areas in the humanities, social sciences, media, and the arts. He joined the Press as an Acquisitions Editor in 1991; became Editor-in-Chief in 1997; and was named Editorial Director in 2005. In addition to his duties at the Press, he serves as Director of Intellectual Publics at The Graduate Center, CUNY in New York City.

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'Careers Outside the Academy' by Anthea Taylor, Viv McGregor, Georgie McClean and Nathaniel Bavinton (convened by Grace Sharkey and Cecelia Cmiewleski)

This panel is focused on career possibilities that are outside of the academy. We will hear from a panel of four speakers who will outline their academic biographies in cultural studies or similar disciplines and will unpack how this background has helped them in careers outside of the university sector and how they came to their current professional lives. We will also hear how careers outside the academy can inform and contribute to future academic work. This panel will feature an extended Q&A so that the audience can ask the panel questions surrounding how their backgrounds influence their current work, how to cater your CV to a professional non-academic job and other questions to do with professional non-academic work.

Anthea Taylor is a Lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, and the author of Mediating Australian Feminism (2008), Single Women in Popular Culture: The Limits of Postfeminism (2012), and Celebrity and the Feminist Blockbuster: The Changing Face of Celebrity Feminism (2016). She completed her PhD while employed fulltime as a ministerial policy advisor in the New South Wales State Government and continued to work in policy until returning to the academy (as a University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellow) in 2009. Anthea will discuss the experience of (temporarily) leaving the academy, and how non-academic employment can be of benefit to an academic career.

Viv McGregor has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Art Theory (Hons) from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies, from University of Sydney (USYD). She has taught Women's Studies at UNSW and Gender and Cultural studies at USYD (with a focus on queer theory, sexuality studies, transgender studies, feminist theory). She now works as the Community Engagement Coordinator, Lesbian and Same Sex Attracted Women's Sexual Health Project, ACON (formerly the AIDS Council of NSW) and her work includes sexual health promotion, safe sex workshops, research and policy, community outreach - primarily running the online art project and safe sex resource Claude:  Viv takes photos and loves her dog.

Georgie McClean is a media/ arts professional with over 15 years' experience in public policy and programs. Most recently she has headed up Strategy and Communications at Screen Australia, and prior to that, was Manager of Policy and Research at the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). With a Doctorate of Cultural Research and strong practical knowledge of the screen and media industries, Georgie is particularly interested in translating between ideas, research and practice for the benefit of policy and audiences. She recently started her own consultancy: The Gist Strategy and Engagement. Georgie was born in Canada, raised in Indonesia and has lived in Argentina and Japan.

Nathaniel Bavinton is an urban sociologist, strategic planner and social researcher. He has spent over a decade conducting research and planning focused on interconnections between governance, urban planning and design, community, consumption and culture. His doctoral research focused on the night-time economy and was awarded Thesis of the Year in 2011 by the Australian New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies. Nathaniel moved from academia into local government to put ideas into practice. He has since added experience in social and cultural planning, project management, community engagement, and placemaking to complement a research background encompassing urban sociology, architecture, political economy, cultural research, and innovation studies. Nathaniel is the Smart City Coordinator at the City of Newcastle. He develops strategies and projects to take advantage of opportunities related to digital economy, connectivity and integrated analytics in the built environment. He works closely with the local innovation ecosystem and manages collaborative city strategy and citizen engagement activities. 

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'Jobs and Networking in the "Global Academy"' by Meaghan Morris

Just a few decades ago, young scholars were startled to find they might need to leave their home city to get a university job. Today, moving countries is increasingly an option or even a necessity for anyone who wants an academic career—and the jobs are rarely available in the locales that once attracted scholars from all over the world to the UK and the USA. The "global academy" is broadly speaking an English-language phenomenon, but how do you approach living as well as working in a foreign city and society where you may not speak the local language? Meanwhile, those who stay home may sooner or later be asked to show evidence of an "international" reputation—but how do you build one of those?

This seminar session will discuss the advantages, rewards and pitfalls involved in transnational academic work. I will give an informal presentation for about half an hour of some of the things I have learned from working over the years in Asia, Europe and the USA as well as Australia, and then invite people to ask questions or share their own experiences with the group.

Meaghan Morris is Professor of Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney. Before taking a position as inaugural Chair Professor of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong (1999-2012), she wrote a Master's degree in France, worked as a film critic in Australia, and lectured in the USA. In 2004-08 she was Chair of the Association for Cultural Studies (ACS) and then Chair of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (2012-2015). Her most recent book is Creativity and Academic Activism: Instituting Cultural Studies co-edited with Mette Hjort (Duke UP and Hong Kong UP). 

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Abstracts and Bios: Session 3

'Digital Research Reflexivity: Challenges, Opportunities and Identities' by Justine Humphry, Philippa Collin, Rachel Hendery and Teresa Swist

What makes a researcher a 'digital' researcher? This session will explore how researchers are mixing and assembling digital methods, social media analysis and traditional methods. The scope of online tools examined will focus upon the experiences of three early-career researchers (communicated via video-recordings):

  • Cecilia Hilder: Researching the Digital: The benefits of using tell and show methods (Twitonomy and Socioviz)
  • Jenna Condie: Social Media for Social Housing (manual content analysis and scraping tools)
  • Shanthi Robertson: Time-mapping: analysing and displaying complex narratives (Omeka 'Neatline').

Each of these short videos will be accompanied by a brief discussion. This will be a followed by an 'ideas race' activity where you will brainstorm and share how you might apply these tools to your own research; in particular, the variety of ways these can be utilised in relation to selection, collection, storage, analysis and making digital artefacts. Bringing your laptop computer to this session is essential to participate in a practical activity which will introduce you to text mining and social media analysis (led by Rachel Hendery, Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities). From this session, participants will have identified the possibilities and limitations of selected digital methods and the reflexivity required to apply these to their own social media research.

(Maximum 25 participants)

Justine Humphry is Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis (CSA) at Western Sydney University and Coordinator of the CSA capstone unit, Digital Cultures. She researches the discourses and practices of online and mobile media with a focus on digital inequalities, racisms/anti-racisms, networked publics, and new forms of work and digital labour. Justine has published her research in Sociologic: Analysing Everyday Life and Culture (Oxford University Press), Routledge Companion to Mobile Media, Journal of Information, Communication and Society, Journal of Media, Culture and Society, M/C Journal and the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy.

Philippa Collin is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. From 2011 - 2016 she was a Research Program Leader in the Young and Well CRC. Philippa's research is on youth participation, the socio-political dimensions of young people's technology use and its role in the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.

Rachel Hendery is the Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities at Western Sydney University. Rachel's background is in linguistics, specifically language contact and change in Australia and the Pacific. She has carried out linguistic fieldwork in Indonesia, East Timor, and the Cook Islands, and archival linguistic research in Australia and New Zealand. Rachel is especially interested in how new digital tools and techniques allow us to research language and culture in new ways, for example through mapping, modelling, simulating and visualizing data. She is currently a Chief Investigator on several externally-funded projects, including a small grant to research immersive visualization of linguistic data, which has resulted in a virtual reality exhibit that will be opening at the Canberra Museum in November, and an Australian Research Council Linkage project to digitize, analyse and repatriate culturally significant archival documents relating to early encounters between the Gunnai/Kurnai people of Victoria and colonial settlers.

Teresa Swist is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society researching the intersections between community, innovation, learning and technology. She is interested in exploring intergenerational knowledge practices, participatory design, place-making, transdisciplinarity and ethics. Key to her investigations are the power relations, socio-ecological implications and complexity of communication in the digital age.

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'From Surviving to Thriving: Practices of Resistance, Solidarity and Self-Care in the Academy' by Victoria Cann & Ruth Barcan

This interactive session explores the art of living well in the contemporary university. Drawing on critiques and concepts emanating from Victoria Cann's work with the #ResSisters Collective and Ruth Barcan's research on academic labour, it begins with a short presentation from each speaker outlining some of the predicaments associated with academic labour today (work intensification, casualisation and precarity, the rise of managerialism and corporatism) and the impact of these on physical and mental wellbeing. The presenters will share a range of tactics for resisting these pressures through the development of feminist-inspired practices of solidarity, care and self-care. In the spirit of creative solidarity, the workshop invites participants to discuss, share and compile examples of living and working well that they have seen in academic practice, with the aim of generating a collaborative document that is part manifesto, part testimony and part handbook.

Victoria Cann is a Lecturer in Humanities at the University of East Anglia (UK). The first in her family to attend university she is keen to challenge classism within higher education and through her work with the #ResSisters Collective she encourages resistances to the practices and expectations of the neoliberal academy. Her research is concerned with the processes of identity reproduction, and feminist politics more broadly. Victoria has published on the topic of gendered audiences, identity politics and the politics of representation. She teaches courses in Media and Cultural Politics and she undertakes a range of feminist engagement work in the community.

Ruth Barcan is an Associate Professor in the department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Her keen interest in teaching and learning and the academic profession is evident in her book Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices (Ashgate, 2013) and other scholarly work on academic labour. Other areas of research include embodiment in contemporary culture, with particular interests in nudity, nudism and complementary and alternative medicine. She is the author of Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (2004) and Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses (2011).

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'Dealing with Peer Review' by Gay Hawkins and Kane Race

Peer review is central to academic publishing, but the question of how to take criticism and deal with peer review is rarely explored in public (in fact, it's often painfully private). This session investigates how peer review functions within academic publishing, how it reveals and generates distinct disciplinary and valuing regimes, and how to survive it. Assessment from peers – often in the form of anonymous feedback – is used to determine whether a manuscript makes a valuable contribution to a scholarly field and meets its standards.  Sometimes it is a gift:  it helps you figure out what a piece of work is about and how it can be better.  Sometimes it is punishingly cruel and destructive.  The challenge is to figure out how best to respond to the vagaries of peer review, when to listen and learn and when to walk away.  Peer review tells us much about how different regimes of value operate across the humanities and social sciences, not to mention their heterogeneity.  In this session, Gay and Kane will draw on a range of concrete examples to generate discussion about how to navigate the process of peer review and these valuing regimes pragmatically and constructively.

Gay Hawkins is a Research Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. She researches in the areas of materiality, the intersections between political theory and science and technology studies (STS) and economic sociology.

Kane Race is Associate Professor in Gender and Cultural Studies at Sydney University. He works across the fields of queer theory, cultural studies, public health and criminology.

In 2015 Gay and Kane co-authored, with Emily Potter, Plastic Water: the social and material life of bottled water (MIT Press). This major collaborative research project involved an extensive amount of feedback amongst the three authors. We read and commented on each other's work with a fearless commitment to good thinking and writing and a fearless disregard for sensitive egos. In this project, feedback taught us a lot about intellectual cooperation and support and the pleasures of shared scholarship. Both Gay and Kane have extensive experience in peer reviewing in their roles on editorial boards, assessing theses and deciding whether manuscripts are ready for publishing. They are interested in reforming peer review in order to make it more generative and ethical. 

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'Cultural Studies and Asia' by Ien Ang and Audrey Yue

The last decade has seen the emergence of cultural studies in Asia. It has also seen 'Asia' become a prominent research object and subject in cultural studies. This session examines some key issues in the relationship between 'Cultural Studies' and 'Asia'. We explore the internationalisation of cultural studies, and the problems in bringing Anglophone cultural studies to Asia. We ask why, for example, are theories of race and ethnicity, which are central to the approach of the Birmingham School and Stuart Hall, difficult to translate to Asia, with its diversities of histories and contexts. We also critically trace the shift in the study of Asia from 'area' to 'theory' and 'method' by considering the confluence between cultural studies and Asian studies, and the development of new models of Asian cultural studies, such as the institutionalisation of inter-Asian cultural studies, and the Australian practice of Asian cultural studies.

Ien and Audrey will each speak for 10-15 minutes, after which there will be an open discussion with participants, who are invited to contribute their own perspectives on these issues.

Ien Ang is distinguished Professor of Cultural Studies at Western Sydney University, where she was Founding Director of the Institute for Culture and Society until the end of 2014. She is internationally recognised as a leader in Cultural Studies, with books including Watching Dallas (1985); Desperately Seeking the Audience (1991) and her classic On Not Speaking Chinese: Living Between Asia and the West (2001). She has also co-authored The SBS Story (2008) and The Art of Engagement: Culture, Collaboration, Innovation (coedited, 2011). She has recently completed an Australian Research Council project in collaboration with the City of Sydney, entitled 'Sydney's Chinatown in the Asian Century: From Ethnic Enclave to Global Hub', and chaired a national expert working group that produced the policy-focused report Smart Engagement with Asia: Leveraging Language, Research and Culture (2015).

Audrey Yue is Director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures and Associate Professor in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research covers the fields of Sinophone media cultures; cultural policy and development, and sexuality studies. Her recent publications include Transnational Australian Cinema: Ethics in the Asian Diasporas (co-authored with O. Khoo and B. Smaill, 2013) and Sinophone Cinemas (co-edited with O. Khoo 2014). She is Chief Investigator in three current Australian Research Council funded projects on multicultural arts governance (LP110100039); young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (LP150100291) and East Asian media flows in Australia (DP160100304).

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'Research Activism and Politics' by Kado Muir

Oral tradition as an intellectual realm is robust but also fragile. A lot is invested in memory; an educated person in an oral tradition is formally trained to expand the volume of data they can absorb and hold, remembering songs and stories many decades after being first instructed. In this paper I will discuss some of the methods of instruction of my oral tradition, some ways in which memory is embedded into the landscape and then bring that back to how much of my life's work has been to maintain, preserve and protect the body of knowledge in the face of modern resource extractive industries' pre-occupation with destroying my country for financial gain. The paper title, Research, Activism and Politics says it all. I have a skill set through these two intellectual traditions so I have put it to use in activism for my heritage and culture. Many times I am resigned to the politics but write my reports, engage my peers and create a record that will endure and speak to an audience who may one day be more enlightened and appreciative of the wealth we have in traditional knowledge systems.

Kado Muir is a second generation contact man, meaning his mother and her parents were traditional nomadic desert tribesmen, coming in contact with the settler frontier in the 1930's. Kado was born in Leonora and spent a substantial time of his childhood living a semi-nomadic life with his parents, this time in vehicles rather than foot. Kado's family are cultural intellectuals, he grew up bi-lingual and bi-literate, he understands the rigour of an oral intellectual tradition and the damage which can be done by uncontested western numeracy and literacy based education. Kado is an anthropologist and archaeologist specialising in Aboriginal culture and heritage. He works at a grass roots level in preserving languages, protecting Aboriginal heritage sites and celebrating his culture with those willing to listen, learn and become aware.

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Cover of Crossroads Research Student Pre-conference program featuring X shape with Sydney Harbour Bridge inside it.