Institute-based Researchers

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 Professor Gay Hawkins, and HDR Director Associate Professor Denis Byrne.

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.
Photo of Distinguished Professor Ien Ang
Professor 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.
Photo of Tony Bennett
Associate Professor Denis Byrne is a Senior Research Fellow and the HDR Director at the Institute for Culture and Society. 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
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.
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.
Zelmarie Cantillon
Associate 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.
Photo of Philippa Collin
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.
Should-up portrait of Louise Crabtree wearing a black shirt
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 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
Benjamin is a Senior Research Fellow at ICS. His work examines youth health and wellbeing, social inequalities in health, and social change. Currently, he researches the design and use of digital technologies for health, and the ‘real world’ settings of public health interventions within the lived experiences of young people, including LGBTIQ+ youth.
Benjamin_Hanckel
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Portrait photo of Professor Paul James
Dr Sukhmani Khorana is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow. Her research focuses on diasporic film and culture, refugee media and empathy, and food in multicultural contexts. She has extensive experience in collaborating with community organisations and artists on projects benefiting diverse communities.
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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.
Photo of Dr Liam Magee
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
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.
Associate Professor Greg Noble with trees and the Female Orphan School in the background.
Jamie Peck is a Global Professorial Fellow at the Institute. His research interests are in geographical political economy, labour studies, and critical studies of statecraft. Peck’s current research is on the historical geographies of neo-liberalisation and the political-economic transformation of South China.
Professor Jamie Peck
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
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 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.
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
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
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.
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
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).
Photo of Teresa Swist
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.
Profile photo of Amanda Third
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 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.
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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