Social Suffering in the Neoliberal Age: Classificatory Logic and Systems of Governance


Social Suffering in the Neoliberal Age: Classificatory Logic and Systems of Governance”

Western Sydney University, Parramatta City Campus, Sydney, Australia, July 18-19th, 2019

Post Grad Workshop: Wednesday, 17 July 2019.


Chris Grover, University of Lancaster

Corrinne Sullivan, WSU

Jason De Santolo, UTS, Sydney

Paddy Gibson, UTS, Sydney

This symposium examines neoliberal systems of governance and its daily practices of managing, regulating and subordinating individuals, peoples and communities. While it is well established within the international and national research that neoliberal systems of population management target the poor, the marginalised and the stigmatised, there has been a comparatively smaller body of research examining its interlocking practices for those who occupy the fringes or margins of multiple disadvantage.  In Australia and other Anglophone countries, research is beginning to attend to people defined as homeless, disabled, and unemployed – and as often occupying more than one of these categories. Yet, to date, there has been little critical examination of the ways in which these ‘identity categories’ intersect, interplay, overlap; governed at distinct policy crossroads in the social security system (for example, some Indigenous Australians are simultaneously governed by disability, income management and the Community Development Programme). Increasingly, and precisely through such classificatory procedures themselves, such persons emerge as a sub-class within the general logic of neoliberal classification regimes.  This two-day symposium aims to bring together, for the first time in Australia, divergent research, scholarship and narratives that have been critically engaging in this area. The national symposium provides a unique opportunity to work across disciplinary and categorical boundaries, and examine research narratives in collaboration with community members. Papers exploring, as way of example, socio-legal categorisations, automation of welfare governance, technologies of policy design and delivery, conditionality and systems of penalisation, practices of resistance and subversion, are welcome.

Post Grad Workshop: Chris Grover will work with post grads to develop their papers in preparation for the symposium alongside exploring core issues in relation to their HDR project. Post grads are to prepare a short 15 min presentation surrounding core issues which will then be discussed in a supportive collegial environment.

*TASA PostGrads: Up to 3 travel reimbursements are available valued to a total of $400.00 per applicant. Please submit your request at time of submitting your HDR / symposium abstract.

Submission of abstracts

Please prepare your abstracts following these guidelines:

  • 250-500 words maximum
  • Please include four to six keywords
  • Times New Roman 12 point, single space
  • Submit abstracts by the deadline via email to

Key dates

Abstract submission deadline: Friday, 24 May 2019

Notifications: Monday, 10 June 2019

Email Abstracts: Karen Soldatic & Louise St Guillaume

Event Details

Post Grad Workshop

Date: 17 July 2019
Time: 10:00am-3:30pm
Location: Western Sydney University, Parramatta City Campus

Two-Day Symposium

Date: 18-19 July 2019
Time: 9:00am-5:00pm
Location: Western Sydney University, Parramatta City Campus

Getting to Parramatta City Campus

The Western Sydney University Parramatta City campus is located at 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta NSW 2150. The building is indicated by the number 1 on the Parramatta City map (PDF, 563KB).

The train ride from Sydney CBD to Parramatta is approximately 30 minutes, with frequent trains daily. Parramatta is one hour by ferry to Circular Quay and the Opera House.

Public transport: You can use the Transport NSW(opens in a new window) Trip Planner to plan your trip by train, ferry or bus. The most direct route from Sydney CBD is by train to Parramatta station. The train ride from Sydney CBD to Parramatta is approximately 30 minutes, with frequent trains daily. Parramatta is one hour by ferry to Circular Quay and the Opera House.

See the Transport NSW website for information on the Opal(opens in a new window) ticketing system.

Walk: The Parramatta City campus at 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta is less than a five minute walk from Parramatta train station.

Drive: Parking bays are not available at the building as the Parramatta City campus facilities are located in the heart of the Parramatta CBD with no available land to accommodate parking. View the Parramatta City map (PDF, 563KB)(opens in a new window) for parking options in this area.

Parramatta City Campus Accessibility

Building Accessibility

All lifts and floors are fitted with vision and hearing impairment accessibility requirements.

Wheelchair accessibility via lift from the Sydney Water building to access primary amphitheatre from Parramatta Station, or use Macquarie St entrance where building concierge on ground floor is able to assist with all navigation questions.

Breast Feeding and Parents Room

Located on Level 1 of Parramatta City Campus.

Gender Neutral & Disability Accessible Toilets

There are disability accessible toilets on every floor. Gendered Neutral Bathroom is located on Level 5. There are gendered neutral disability accessible bathrooms on the ground floor.