Research Projects - 2010

A Young People, Technology and Well-Being Research Facility

A young girl and man looking at their iPhones. (From Young and Well CRC). Researchers: Dr Amanda Third, Dr Philippa Collin, Jane Burns, Lucas Walsh, Rosalyn Black
Australian Research Council (opens in a new window)
Period: 2010-2013
Inspire website (opens in a new window)

Large numbers of initiatives now mobilise technology to support the well-being of young Australians. However, amongst communities undertaking this work, there is currently significant duplication and insufficient sharing research and best practice models. A Research Facility that consolidates existing research, and guides new research and initiatives will improve service delivery to young Australians by: reducing duplication between organizations working with young people; providing an accessible interface with research that can help address, the community's concerns about the role of technology in young people's lives, and inform future policy and programs; and model effective cross-sector knowledge brokering to Australian industry.

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National Water Fellowship (2010): Cross-Connections: Linking Urban Water Managers with Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Researchers

Researchers: Dr Zoë Sofoulis (Fellow), Dr Justine Humphry (Research Associate), Vibha Bhattarai Upadhyay (Research Assistant)
National Water Commission (opens in a new window)
National Water Commission Fellowship Program; workshop grant from Australian Academy of Humanities

This project investigated the Australian urban water sector's engagement with humanities, arts and social sciences [HASS] research as part of developing socially sustainable water management. Activities included developing a database and the Tributaries directory of social and cultural researchers on urban water, interviewing water managers and researchers, conducting two knowledge exchange workshops, and producing a final report for the National Water Commission's Waterlines series. The research found mismatched expectations on how HASS research can or should contribute to water management strategies; it identified the need for HASS researchers to make their work more 'translatable' into action, and suggested initiatives to help overcome the enormous disparities between research funding and infrastructure for sciences and engineering compared to social and cultural research on water.

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Picturing Antarctica: Emerging Agendas for Antarctic Cultural Research

A person walking in the distance across the snow. The sun glows in the background. Image by Pedro Niada (April 2011).Researcher: Dr Juan Francisco Salazar
Funding: UWS Research Grant Scheme
Period: 2010-2011

This research project looks at Antarctica as a 'cultural site' and investigates cultural perceptions and the social construction of Antarctica in the national imaginary of Australia and Chile. One of its main aims is to advance contemporary cultural understandings of Antarctica through an analysis of public perceptions and opinions.

The project is designed as an interdisciplinary, multi-method and multi-sited research and involves a series of specific and practice-based research projects:

  • An international survey of cultural values and perceptions in Australia and Chile.
  • A digital ethnography of Villa Las Estrellas, a township in Chilean Antarctic Territory which also includes the development of digital storytelling workshops at the local school.
  • A transmedia documentary film project that inquires about the future of Antarctica.
  • A science-arts collaborative project on Antarctic culture/nature data ecologies and cultural mapping.

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Private Neighbourhoods

Researcher: Professor Deborah Stevenson
Funding: University of Western Sydney
Period: 2010-2011

Shanghai Expo

Looking down on a crowd of people at the Shanghai Expo.Lead Researcher: Dr Tim Winter
Research Team: Professor Ien Ang, Associate Professor Hart Cohen, Scott East, Hilary Hongjin He, Rob Leggo, Sally Leggo, Cameron McAuliffe, Professor Brett Neilson, Willem Paling, Professor David Rowe, Louise Ryan, Dr Juan Francisco Salazar, Dr Tim Winter
Period: 2010

In 2010 the city of Shanghai hosted the largest, most spectacular and most expensive World's Fair ever. The Shanghai Expo attracted a staggering 73 million visitors, ensuring China and the host city remained in the global spotlight for the six-month duration of the event. Costing around 45 billion dollars and with its theme of Better City, Better Life, the Expo was held in a country experiencing a level of urban growth unparalleled in history. With more than half of the world's population now living in cities, many of which face uncertain futures, this mega event confronted the multitude of challenges now converging on the all-pervasive notion of 'sustainability'. To this end, 190 countries, more than 50 non-governmental organisations, and a variety of multi-national institutions involved in urban governance addressed such issues.

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The Role of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Transformation Societies

A black and white photo of a canon and barbed wire in a field.Researcher: Dr Tim Winter
Funding: Australian Research Council (opens in a new window), Discovery Project
Period: 2010-2013
Project webpage: The Role of Cultural Heritage in Conflict Transformation Societies

Since the Cold War, there have been a rising number of conflicts around the world. War and conflict almost always involve destruction and devastation on a human and social scale. With much attention focused on the political and economic aspects of reconstruction, the cultural damage can often be neglected. Moreover, given that it is not only politics that impact how a society rebuilds itself, this research brings into focus the often neglected cultural challenges and the role of cultural heritage in the rebuilding process....Read more.

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