Professor Hart Cohen

Associate Professor Hart Cohen 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 at Western Sydney University, Australia. He is Associate Head of School responsible for Research and Postgraduate Studies. Dr Cohen is a member of the Institute for Culture and Society and supervises a number of MA (research), DCA and PhD students. He has published widely in the field of visual anthropology, communications and film studies.

Dr Cohen directed two Australian Research Council Projects related to the Strehlow Collection held at the Strehlow Research Centre in Alice Springs. The current project is an online database documentary related to TGH Strehlow's memoir, Journey to Horseshoe Bend. Two films have been made in relation to these projects: Mr. Strehlow's films (SBSi 2001) and Cantata journey (ABC TV 2006). He co-edited a special issue of Media International Australia on the theme of Digital Anthropology (MIA 116 August 2005).

Dr Cohen is co-author of Screen media arts: an introduction to concepts and practices for Oxford University Press (2009) and founding editor of the Global Media Journal (Australian Edition).

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BA (English), 1971, McGill University, Canada

MA (Research), 1979, McGill University, Canada

PhD, 1989, McGill University, Canada

Areas of Research/Teaching Expertise

  • Visual anthropology
  • History and theory of communication
  • Screen media arts

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Grants/Current Projects

ARC 2004-07: 'The Visual Mediation of A Complex Narrative: TGH Strehlow's Journey to Horseshoe Bend'.

2008: 'Cultural sustainability and digital storytelling (UWS Internal) with Juan Francisco Salazar'.

Awards and Recognition

2009: 20 year service award, University of Western Sydney.

2004: Royal Anthropological Institute Ethnographic Film Festival (Film Screened in Competition).

2005: VC Community Partnership Award For work executed with the Strehlow Research Centre and the Arrernte community at Ntaria/Hermannsburg.

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Selected Publications


Cohen, H 2017, The Strehlow archive: explorations in old and new media (opens in a new window), Routledge, London.

Cohen, H Salazar, J & Barkat, I 2008, Screen media arts: an introduction to concepts and practices (opens in a new window), Oxford University Press, Melbourne.

Edited Collections

Cohen, H 2014, Special Issue: media, politics, policy and the 2013 Australian Federal Election, Global Media Journal: Australian Edition, vol. 8, no. 2.

Book Chapters

Cohen, H 2016, ‘The Strehlow–Hermannsburg/Ntaria perplex: translation in a Lutheran-Aboriginal Community’ in J L Cox & A Possamai (eds.), Religion and Non-Religion Among Australian Aboriginal Peoples, Routledge, USA, pp. 109-127.

Cohen, H 2015, 'The mirror cracks: reviving the observational documentary in Lixin Fan's Last Train Home and Yung Chan's Up the Yangtze', in Q. Luo (ed.), Global Media Worlds and China, Communication University of China Press, China, pp. 7-18.

Cohen, H 2015, 'Film as cultural memory: the struggle for repatriation and restitution of cultural property in Central Australia', in A Reading & T Katriel (eds), Cultural memories of nonviolent struggles: powerful timesPalgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 91-110. 

Cohen, H 2014, 'Transmediated educational futures: case studies in the use of transmedia in educational contexts', in D Polson, AM Cook, JT Velikovsky & A Brackin (eds), Transmedia practice: a collective approach, Inter-Disciplinary Press, pp. 49-61.

Cohen, H 2013, 'Culture, nation and technology: immersive media and the Saudi Arabia pavilion', in T Winter (ed.), Shanghai Expo: an international forum on the future of cities, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 155-69.

Cawthorn, M & Cohen, H 2013, 'Digital archives and discoverability: innovating access to the Strehlow collection', in L Ormond-Parker, A Corn, C Fforde, K Obata & S O'Sullivan (eds), Information technology and indigenous communities, AIATSIS Research Publications, Canberra, pp. 185-96.

Cohen, H, Morley, R, Dallow, P & Kaufmann, L 2010, 'Database narratives: conceptualising digital heritage databases in remote aboriginal communities', in B Banissi, B Bertschi, D Counsell et al. (eds), Information Visualization, IEEE, London, pp. 422-27.

Cohen, H 2007, 'Early ethnographic film and documentary: points of contact', in B Englebrecht (ed.), Memories of the origins of ethnographic film, Peter Lang Verlagsgruppe, Frankfurt am Main, pp. 307-19.

Cohen, H 2006, 'Repertoire, landscape and memory: Schultz's and Williams's "Journey to Horsehsoe Bend" Cantata', in S Macarthur, B Crossman & R Morelos (eds), Intercultural music: creation and interpretation (opens in a new window), AMC, Sydney, pp. 116-23.

Cohen, H 2003, '"Moral Copyright": indigenous people and contemporary film', in L Gross, J Katz & J Ruby (eds), Image ethics in the digital age (opens in a new window), University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp. 313-25.

Cohen, H 2001, 'Subjectivities: media consumption and the dynamics of cultural/political change', in N Chitty (ed.), Mapping globalisation: international media and a crisis of identity (opens in a new window), South Bound Press, Kuala Lumpur, pp. 140-50.

Cohen, H 2001, 'The film works of TGH Strehlow: commodities of the sacred, in G Ratcliffe & G Turcotte (eds), Compromising postcolonialisms, Dangaroo, Sydney, pp. 129-39.

Cohen, H, 1997 'Brecht in Bangkok: an account of Dennis O'Rourke's "The Good Woman of Bangkok"' in C Berry, A Hamilton, L Jayamanne (eds), The filmmaker and the prostitute, Power Institute of Fine Arts, Sydney, pp. 67-79.

Journal Articles

Kerrigan, S, Leahy, G, & Cohen, H 2016, ‘Still a burning issue: measuring screen production research’, Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 79-96 DOI:10.1080/17503175.2016.1140257.

Cohen, H 2015, 'Research creation: a scholarship of creativity?', NMC Media-N, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 48-61.

Cohen, H & Morley, R 2015, 'The visual remediation of a complex narrative: reimagining the "small world" stories of Journey to Horseshoe Bend', Scholarly and Research Communication, vol. 6, no. 4.

Cohen, H 2012, 'From social media to social energy (evepyeia): the idea of the "social" in "social media"' (opens in a new window), Global Media Journal: Australia Edition, vol. 6, no. 1.

Cohen, H 2012, 'Database documentary: from authorship to authoring in remediated/remixed documentary', Culture Unbound, vol. 4, pp. 327-46.

Cohen, H 2010, 'Knowledge and a scholarship of creativity' (opens in a new window), IM Interactive Media, no. 5, pp. 1-8.

Cohen, H 2005, 'The visual mediation of a complex narrative: TGH Strehlow's "Journey to Horseshoe Bend"', Media International Australia, no. 116, pp. 36-51.

Cohen, H & Salazar, J 2005 'Introduction: prospects for a digital anthropology', Media International Australia, no. 116, pp. 5-9.

Cohen, H 2004, 'Trust me - I'm an editor', Metro, vol. 141, pp. 106-110.

Cohen, H 2000, 'McLuhan re-visited: the legacy of Marshall McLuhan', Media International Australia, no. 94.

Film works pertaining to the research proposal

2006 'Cantata journey', ABC TV, Director/Producer.

2001 'Mr.Strehlow's films', 52 Minutes, SBSi.

Awarded at the RAI Ethnographic Film Festival.

Editor: Australian-Canadian Studies, 1996-2002.

Cohen, H , 'Music, media text: indigenous media in Canada and Australia', Australian-Canadian Studies, vol. 14, no. 1&2.

Editor: Global Media Journal/Australian Edition 2007-present.

Online Publications

Cohen, H 2010, 'Journey to Horseshoe Bend', University of Western Sydney.

Radio Broadcast

Cohen, H 2005, 'A journey of healing toward reconciliation', ABC Radio National, 17 June.

Refereed Conference Papers

Cohen, H, Morley, R & Hayes, S 2008, 'Database biographies in TGH Strehlow's memoir "Journey to Horseshoe Bend"', National Library, Canberra.

Cohen, H 2008, 'Datadiversity and visual knowledge: exploring the emergent models for Indigenous databases in Australia' (opens in a new window), 8th international conference on diversity in organisations, communities and nations, University of Montreal, Montreal.

Cohen, H 2004, 'Visualising anthropology: ethnography, documentary and the films of TGH Strehlow', Strehlow conference, Strehlow Research Centre, Alice Springs, pp. 177-83.

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Film Projects


2006 "Cantata Journey", ABC TV, Director/Producer.

2001 "Mr Strehlow's Films" Role: Writer/Director, SBS/FFC.


2004 "Breath", Tess De Quincey Dance Company, Director/Producer.

2003 "No Cold Feet", Tess De Quincey Dance Company, Director/Producer.

2002 "Shiver", Tess De Quincey Dance Company, Director/Producer.

Community Video

2001 Youth Suicide Prevention, Blacktown, Producer.

1999 International Student Recruitment Video, Producer.

1998 Disabilities Employment Services, Producer.

Careers Market, Producer.

1996 "Math Education" Producer.

Auburn High School orientation Video. Producer.

Hospitality Excellence: Aboriginal Education. Producer.

1994 "Racism: Get Real!" Ethnic Affairs Commission Writer/Director.

"Best for our Babies" (Advocacy video on Breastfeeding in Cabramatta).

Editorial Boards and Editorships

Editor: Australian/Canadian Studies (1996-2003).

Co-editor Cinétracts 1977-82.

Founding Editor Global Media Journal/Australian Edition 2007-current.

Guest Editor: Media International Australia - 2000 Revisiting McLuhan, Media International Australia/Culture & Policy, Special McLuhan Supplement, No 94, February, pp.5-12

Cohen, H., & Salazar, J., eds., Introduction: Prospects for a Digital Anthropology, in Media International Australia, #116, August 2005, pp. 5-9

Board member: Continuum, Reviewer: Journal of International Communication, Cultural Studies Review. Summer Institute in Film and Television, UWS 1990-1994.

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