The Institute for Culture and Society, incorporating the Young and Resilient Research Centre, has a cohort of researchers on staff and a team of Western Sydney University School-based members. Institute members work in a broad range of fields including cultural studies, sociology, media and communication studies, human geography, anthropology, history, museum studies, heritage studies, and urban studies.
The Institute is led by Director Professor Heather Horst supported by Research Director Professor Ned Rossiter, Engagement Director Associate Professor Liam Magee, and HDR Director Associate Professor Fiona Cameron.
Kay Anderson is a leading, internationally recognised scholar with award-winning books in the fields of cultural geography. Her research interests includes: race historiography and critiques of humanism in postcolonial perspective, and; Australia's contemporary urban cultural diversity in trans-Asian context.
Professor Ang is one of the leaders in cultural studies worldwide. Her researches focus on issues such as the formation of audiences and publics; the politics of identity and difference; migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism; contemporary cultural institutions; and urban cultures and the arts.
Valentina is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute. She conducts research on the application of communication for development in peacebuilding with a focus on realities affected by violent conflict.
Bennett's research interests span the social sciences and humanities, with significant contributions to the fields of literary theory, cultural studies, cultural sociology, and museum studies. His works include influential assessments of the relations between formalist and Marxist criticism and critical appraisals of Marxist aesthetic theory.
Dr Naama Blatman is a Research Theme Fellow at Urban Living & Futures. Her research applied collaborative, archival, and ethnographic methods with Indigenous communities to probe the histories, realities, and desired futures of settler colonial cities in Australia and Israel/Palestine.
Denis is an archaeologist whose research and writing promote new ways of thinking about the material legacy of transnational migration and the archaeological signatures of the Anthropocene.
Associate Professor Fiona Cameron is Principal Research Fellow, Contemporary Museologies and HDR Director at the Institute. Working at the intersection of social, ecological crises and digital transformation, Fiona researches contemporary global transformations in culture and society for positive change.
Dr Zelmarie Cantillon is a Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow (Cultural Policy and Planning). Her research focuses on the intersections between spatiality, cultural policy, heritage and tourism. Her most recent work considers the role heritage initiatives play in urban transformations, community renewal and city branding strategies.
Cecelia Cmielewski is a Research Fellow at the Institute and an arts industry leader with over twenty-five years’ experience in the cultural sector. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University (WSU) on the ARC funded The Collaborative Museum – Embedding Culture in the City (2021 -2025).
Professor Collin is a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute and Co-Director of the Young and Resilient Research Centre and the Intergener8 Living Lab. She researches the role of the digital in the social, cultural and political lives of young people, with a focus on health and wellbeing.
Louise's research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and on property rights, institutional design and democracy.
Michelle is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University. Based in Alice Springs, she has worked for over a decade with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Her research experience is largely on multi-site projects examining alcohol, traumatic brain injury, disability and drink driving.
Dr Eloise Florence is a Research Fellow and her research interests revolve around the intersections of memory and more-than-human matter and relate specifically to the navigation of place as entanglements of materiality and cultural memory.
Professor Katherine Gibson is Deputy Director of the Institute for Culture and Society. Katherine 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.
Dr Benjamin Hanckel is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. Benjamin is based at the Young and Resilient Research Centre. His work examines youth health and wellbeing, social inequalities in health, and social change.
Professor Gay Hawkins is recognised for research in three distinct areas: the relations between culture and governance, environmental humanities, and economic sociology, markets and materiality.
Professor Bob Hodge has many active research interests: in analytic and conceptual toolkits for social and cultural research, in major theoretical traditions in humanities and social sciences, in radical transdisciplinarity and engaged research; and in specific areas of study.
Professor Heather A, Horst is the Director of the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. A sociocultural anthropologist by training, she researches material culture and the mediation of social relations through digital media and technology.
Tsvetelina works on topics that interrogate the political significance of digital technology through the prism of Marxist studies, science and technology studies, and political science. Her research draws on analysis of specific cases such as the digitalisation of digital imaging diagnostics, the introduction of Aadhaar in India
Paul James is a social theorist researching on globalisation and its impact upon social relations, social change and the human condition, and sustainability with an emphasis on sustainable urbanisation. He has been an advisor to a number of agencies and governments.
Declan is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow and a sociologist of science and technology. His research spans climate change, energy policy and the life sciences including the ethical, legal and social dimensions. His current research focuses on the social dimensions of automation.
Dr Isaac Lyne is a Research Fellow at ICS. Isaacs's research has focused on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship, rural community development, rural livelihoods and resilience and his current research focuses on the impact of digital finance on farming.
Liam Magee is an Associate Professor at ICS. Liam's principal research interests focus on the application of social methods and information technology to the areas of urban development and sustainability.
Dr Emma Mitchell is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Urban Geographies of Care at the Institute. Her research focuses are: social support and security; housing security; lived diversity and multiculturalism; social policy and social inequality; urban life and social mix.
Professor Brett Neilson’s research and writing aim to provide alternative ways of conceiving globalisation, with particular emphasis upon its social and cultural dimensions.
Greg’s research is in the intersecting areas of youth, ethnicity and gender; everyday multiculturalism; migration and diaspora; Bourdieusian theory; cultural pedagogies and habit; and multicultural education.
David Rowe is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Research at ICS. David's research focus is Sociology of Culture; Cultural, Media, Sport and Leisure Studies.
Professor Tim Rowse is a former Professorial Fellow in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and is Emeritus Professor in the Institute for Culture and Society. Tim's research focus is Australian history - particularly the indigenous, colonial story; and twentieth century Australian history.
Dr Adam Sargent is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Culture and Society. Trained in cultural anthropology, his research focuses on capitalist development, labor, infrastructure, and social inequality. His current research explores how the emergence of algorithmic credit-scoring systems is reshaping credit and livelihoods in India.
Eric Sidoti is Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow and Adjunct Professor. His interest is in public policy driven by engaged research focusing on democracy, human rights and civil society with an emphasis on policy development in parliamentary democracy and democratic institutions.
Professor Deborah Stevenson is a sociologist with research interests in arts and cultural policy, cities and urban life, and the role of gender in shaping creative practice and cultural consumption.
Professor Third is also the Co-Director of the Young and Resilient Research Centre. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of young people's technology use; on children's rights in the digital age; the intergenerational dynamics; and vulnerable young people's technological engagements.
Dr Jessica K Weir is an Associate Professor at ICS. Jessica's research focuses on socio-ecological justice, knowledge practices, and public sector governance.
Dr Wodak is currently a Senior Research Fellow and a Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre for Excellence in Synthetic Biology; and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, UNSW. He works at the intersection of environmental humanities and science and technology studies.
Dr Alexandra Wong is a Research Fellow at ICS. Alexandra's research focuses on three areas of interests: creative cities and cultural policies, migration and multiculturalism, urban studies and sustainable development.