Researchers

The Institute for Culture and Society, incorporating the Young and Resilient Research Centre, has a cohort of full-time 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.

Abby Mellick Lopes is a lecturer within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Her engaged research focuses on the relationship between design and social arrangements to support the transition to more sustainable cultures and economies, intersecting with a broad range of disciplinary fields including cultural studies, sociology, geography and planning.
Photo of Dr Abby Mellick Lopes
Dr Alana Lentin is Associate Professor in Cultural and Social Analysis at Western Sydney University within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Alana works on the critical theorization of race, racism and antiracism.
Dr Alana Lentin with trees in the background.
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.
Portrait photo of Alexandra Wong
Associate Professor Amanda Third is Principal Research Fellow in Digital Social and Cultural Research in the Institute for Culture and Society. Her research focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of young people's technology use, with particular emphases on children's rights in the digital age, the intergenerational dynamics shaping technology practice, and vulnerable young people's technological engagements.
Profile photo of Amanda Third
Andrea Connor's work is interdisciplinary ranging across the academic fields of human and cultural geographies, political theory, critical heritage studies, theories of affect, material culture studies and urban studies and aims to bring into conversation modes of inquiry that are often kept apart.
Photo of Dr Andrea Connor
Associate Professor Ann Dadich, School of Business, is a registered psychologist, a full member of the Australian Psychological Society, and a Justice of the Peace in New South Wales. Ann's research focus is health service management, notably knowledge translation.
Dr Ann Dadich Profile Picture ICS
Anna Cristina Pertierra is a school based researcher within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Anna's research uses ethnography to examine everyday social practice, with a particular interest in media, consumption and material culture, and urban modernities. Regionally, her work focuses on Cuba, Mexico and the Philippines.
Profile photo of Dr Anna Cristina Pertierra
Ben Dibley is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society. His research interests have two strands.The first concerns questions of colonialism and museums; particularly in relation to the settler context and its legacy.The second, concerns questions of the human and the nonhuman in relation to the unfolding ecological crisis.
Dr Ben Dibley with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
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 Bob Hodge with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Dr Bonnie Pang is a Lecturer in Health and Physical Education in the School of Science and Health. She is recognised for her research in the (critical) socio-cultural aspects of Health/Physical Education (H/PE), and physical culture, specialising in Chinese youth experiences, diversity and critical pedagogy, and healthy and inclusive communities.
Head shot of Bonnie with a grey jacket and glasses
Brett M. Bennett within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts is an Associate Professor in Modern History at Western Sydney University. He is also a Senior Research Association at the University of Johannesburg and a former Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow (2011-2013). His research uses historical methods to investigate how the interaction of human actions and natural processes created contemporary ecosystems, scientific ideas, and conservation policies.
Dr Brett Bennett with trees in the background.
Professor Brett Neilson’s research and writing aim to provide alternative ways of conceiving globalisation, with particular emphasis upon its social and cultural dimensions.
Brett Neilson
Associate Professor David R. Cole, Centre for Educational Research, focuses on the inter-linked areas of globalisation, critical thinking, literacies, the philosophy of education, and the work of Gilles Deleuze.
David Rowe is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Research at ICS. David's research focus is Sociology of Culture; Cultural, Media, Sport and Leisure Studies.
Photo of Emeritus Professor David Rowe
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.
Profile photo of Professor Deborah Stevenson.
Associate Professor Denis Byrne is a Senior Research Fellow at ICS. Denis is currently researching the history of travel and migration in the Australia-Asia sphere, focusing on the material traces which attest to this history and comprise its heritage footprint.
Portrait photo of Dr Denis Byrne
Donald McNeill is Professor of Urban and Cultural Geography. His work is located at the intersection of human geography, economic sociology, spatial planning, and urban design and architecture, with a particular interest in the political and cultural economy of globalisation and cities.
Portrait photo of Professor Donald McNeill
Emma Power is a Senior Research Fellow at ICS. Emma’s programme of research is concerned with urban living and the politics of care. It envisions a world of more caring and just cities, asking how cities can better support human life and the practice of care through studies of housing systems and governance, urban planning and cultures of home.
Emma Power
Emma Waterton is Professor in the Geographies of Heritage within the School of Social Sciences and Psychology. She has an established reputation that arises from three sustained contributions to the field: conceptually-focused interventions that explore: the idea of ‘heritage as discourse’ and a re-theorisation of heritage in terms of emotion and affect; engaging with innovative and experimental research methods; and exploring the intersections between heritage and practices of social governance.
Dr Emma Waterton with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
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.
Eric Sidoti
Dr Fiona Cameron is a Senior Research Fellow. Fiona works across two broad fields: agency of the museum sector in public culture in the representation of 'hot' topics of societal significance and climate change; and digital technologies and heritage collections.
Dr Fiona Cameron with trees in the background.
Professor Gay Hawkins is a Researcher and Director of Engagement at ICS. Gay is recognised for research in three distinct areas: the relations between culture and governance, environmental humanities, and economic sociology, markets and materiality.
Profile photo of Professor Gay Hawkins
George Morgan is a school based member from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. George's research interests range from urban studies to Aboriginality and post-colonialism, to youth and precarious labour, to the politics of moral panics.
Dr George Morgan with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Professor Greg Noble research is in the ares of youth, ethnicity and gender; everyday multiculturalism; Bourdieusian theory; cultural pedagogies and habit; and the cultural analysis of education.
Associate Professor Greg Noble with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Dr Hart Cohen is Professor in Media Arts in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and a member of the Institute for Cultural and Society and the Digital Humanities Research Group at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Hart's research focus is Visual Communications, Indigenous Media and Digital Cultural Heritage.
Associate Professor Hart Cohen with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Dr Hayley Saul is a Senior Lecturer in Heritage within the School of Social Science and Psychology. Hayley is the Director of the Himalayan Exploration and Archaeological Research Team (H.E.A.R.T). Hayley's research interests are in cuisine; culinary heritage; Himalayan archaeology; Mountain archaeology; Inner Asian archaeology; Post-disaster heritage; Heritage and wellbeing.
Hayley Saul Image
Professor Ang's innovative interdisciplinary work deals broadly with patterns of cultural flow and exchange in our globalised world, focusing on issues such as: the formation of audiences and publics; the politics of identity and difference; migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism; issues of representation in contemporary cultural institutions; and urban cultures and the arts.
Profile photo of Professor Ien Ang
Professor James Arvanitakis researches in the transdisciplinary areas of globalisation, citizenship, young people, security and the cultural commons - incorporating issues around hope, trust, safety and intellect.
Dr James Arvanitakis with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Global Professorial Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at WSU. With long-term research interests in geographical political economy, labor studies, and critical studies of statecraft, Peck’s current research is focused on the historical geographies of neoliberalization and the political-economic transformation of South China.
Professor Jamie Peck
Dr Jessica K Weir is a Senior Research Fellow at ICS. Jessica's research focuses on socio-ecological justice, knowledge practices, and public sector governance.
Shoulder-up image of Jessica Weir in a white shirt and necklace
Dr Joanne Orlando, School of Education, researches in the areas of technology, education, children, and digital culture. Joanne takes an informed and positive position to consider: the potential of technology to enhance learning, shifting knowledge in the digital era, understanding digital family life, the impact of digital on childhood.
Joanne Orlando Profile Image ICS
Associate Professor Jorge Knijnik is Deputy Director of the Centre for Educational Research and member of the School of Education. Jorge researches positive youth development health and well being promotion programs; gender equity in sports and education; sport, globalisation and society; critical pedagogy; and sports, media and fandom.
Photo of Jorge Knijnik
Juan Francisco Salazar is an Associate Professor with the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and the Director of Research for the Institute of Culture and Society. He writes on media anthropology; visual/digital ethnographies; citizens' media; Indigenous media and communication rights in Chile and Latin America; documentary cinemas; environmental communication; climate change.
Studio photo of Juan Francisco Salazar against a dark brown background.
Karen Soldatic is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2016-2019) based within the School of Social Sciences and Psychology. Karen's research on global welfare regimes builds upon her 20 years' experience as an international, national and state based senior policy analyst and practitioner.
Profile photo of Dr Karen Soldatic
Associate Professor Kate Huppatz is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University and a School-based member of the Institute for Culture and Society. Her research explores the relations between gender, social class, occupations and mothering.
Photo of Dr Kate Huppatz
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.
Profile photo of Professor Katherine Gibson
Kiu-wai Chu is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture (ACIAC), Western Sydney University. His research focuses on contemporary cinema and art in China, and broader East and Southeast Asia; Ecocriticism and environmental humanities.
headshot of Kiu-Wai
Dr Kylie Budge is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society and is a School of Humanities and Communication Arts based member. Kylie researches the intersections between people and technology and society. She has an interest in how these connections manifest to produce new knowledge about communication and cultural practices.
People Image
Dr Liam Magee is a Senior Research Fellow 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.
Photo of Dr Liam Magee
Louise's research focuses on the social, ecological and economic sustainability of community-driven housing developments in Australia; on the uptake of housing innovation in practice and policy; on complex adaptive systems theory in urban contexts; and, on the interfaces between sustainability, property rights, institutional design and democracy.
Should-up portrait of Louise Crabtree wearing a black shirt
Malini Sur is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society and teaches anthropology at Western Sydney University. Her research addresses three lines of inquiry – agrarian borders, urban space and environment.
Profile photo of Dr Malini Sur
Manfred B. Steger is Professor of Global and Transnational Sociology at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and Global Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Culture & Society at Western Sydney University. Manfred's research focus is globalization; social and political theory; political sociology; and ideologies.
Photo of Manfred B. Steger
Megan Watkins is Professor in the School of Education and member and HDR Director of ICS. Her research interests lie in the cultural analysis of education and the formation of human subjectivities. In particular, her work engages with issues of pedagogy, embodiment, discipline and affect and the interrelation of these to human agency.
Photo of Megan Watkins
Ned Rossiter is an Institute Fellow based in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Ned is a media theorist noted for his research on network cultures, the politics of cultural labour, logistical media and data politics. Together with Brett Neilson and Tanya Notley, he is currently investigating data centres and the governance of labour and territory in Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Professor Ned Rossiter with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Paul James is a social theorist with three overlapping areas of research focus. The first is globalisation and its impact upon social relations, from national community to local community. The second is social change and the human condition, including the impact of modernisation on customary and traditional ways of being. The third is sustainability with an emphasis on sustainable urbanisation. These areas of focus are integrated through an approach to social theory called 'engaged theory', encompassing questions of social formation, social integration and ontological tension.
Portrait photo of Professor Paul James
Associate Professor Philippa Collin is a Principal Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University. She Co-Directs the WSU Young and Resilient Research Centre and the Intergener8 Living Lab. A social scientist, Philippa researches the role of the digital in the social, cultural and political lives of young people, with a focus on the implications for health and wellbeing.
Photo of Philippa Collin
Dr Rae Dufty-Jones, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, is an economic and social geographer who has expertise in the governance of mobility and its relationship to public policy (specifically housing, regional development and internal migration). Rae's research has investigated: Australian housing policy and mobility; peri-urban economic development; the restructuring of horticultural industries; rural youth migration; and ethnic discrimination in housing.
Rae Duffy-Jones
Dr Bushell, School of Social Science and Psychology, teaches, researches and supervises PhD students in tourism planning, community development, quality of life and the conservation of cultural and natural heritage. Her work focuses on the values underpinning quality of life, wellness and sustainable development.
Associate Professor Robyn Bushell with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Dr Shanthi Robertson is a Senior Research Fellow (ARC DECRA) at the Institute for Culture and Society. Her research interests are broadly around the social and cultural consequences of globalisation, with a specific focus on transnational migration, citizenship, multiculturalism and urban social change within the Asia-Pacific region.
Profile photo of Dr Shanthi Robertson
Dr Sheree Gregory is a Lecturer in Human Resources and Management in the School of Business, teaching Innovation and Professional Practice, and Managing People at Work. Her interdisciplinary research deals with changes in work, business, households and family life. Her focus is on the problem of inequality, and investigating the challenges faced by workers who are marginalised and disadvantaged, and those of wealthy family businesses, particularly how tensions are managed.
Profile photo of Dr Sheree Gregory
Stephen Healy is a Senior Research Fellow at ICS. His research has concentrated on the relationship between economy, subjectivity and the enactment of new econo-socialities exploring various topics: health care reform policy, cooperative and regional development, and the solidarity economy movement.
Photo of Dr Stephen Healy
Dr Tanya Notley is a school based member from the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Tanya's research and teaching is focused on communication, technology and social change. Tanya's current research projects are focused on: children and media literacy; young people and news media; the politics of digital media infrastructures; the digital mapping of emotions; technology, evidence and human rights advocacy; and communication and social impact.
Profile photo of Dr Tanya Notley
Teresa Swist is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society. She is part of the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre's Safe and Well Online project (researching social communications in the promotion of young people's safety and wellbeing).
Portrait of teresa swist should-up image
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.
Professor Tim Rowse with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Professor Bennett's research interests span a number of areas across the social sciences and humanities, with significant contributions to the fields of literary theory, cultural studies, cultural sociology, and museum studies. His work in literary studies includes influential assessments of the relations between formalist and Marxist criticism, and critical appraisals of Marxist aesthetic theory.
Photo of Tony Bennett
Dr Garrido is a lecturer within the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. He is a bassist, composer and producer who has worked with some of Australia’s top musicians and produces such as The Catholics, The Party Boys, Disco Montego, Peter Dawkins and David Hemming. Dr Garrido has produced two solo albums, Dejame Tocarte (Sony) and Loco (Festival/Mushroom).
Photo of Waldo Garrido ICS
Dr Xiang Ren is a researcher and experienced publisher, working on the digital and open transformation of publishing and knowledge systems. He joined ICS in 2017 and currently holds a position of Academic Course Advisor of Master of Chinese Cultural Relations and Research Fellow in the Australia-China Institute for Arts and Culture at Western Sydney University, where he researches and teaches on various aspects of Chinese media and culture.
Profile photo of Dr Xiang Ren.
Dr Youqing Fan, School of Business. Driven by the value of accountability, the key focus of his research is to address the inquiry that: how business and management can be done in a way that is accountable to the broader society and to nature?
Headshot of Youqing Fan wearing glasses and a smile