12th Annual Interventions and Intersections Conference

The health, safety and wellbeing of our community is our priority, and we are continually updated and guided by government and health authority advice. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all on-campus and face-to-face events have been cancelled.

Emerge 2020 will be held via an online platform in November. While adhering to social distancing guidelines, this also allows us to connect with a with a wider audience that includes interstate participants. As it is increasingly likely that conferences will be held in an online environment even in a post-COVID world, this is an opportunity to gain experience in delivering a dynamic online presentation and engaging with fellow attendees in this space. Please register your interest to receive updates as they become available.

Thursday 12 - Friday 13 November 2020

Online conference

EMERGE is the 2020 Interventions and Intersections 12th annual higher degree research conference hosted by the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at Western Sydney University.

EMERGE is a chance for HCA students to bring their work into the light at this 2-day event. EMERGE is a chance to showcase your research, test out ideas and share your creativity. Writers, poets, musicians and designers are all welcome.

Keynote Speakers

Boe Rambaldini

Boe Rambaldini is a proud first nations, Bundjalung man from the north coast of NSW. Boe’s connection to his country is through his mother, a proud Bundjalung woman with strong bonds to her country through her mother. Boe has worked in a range of positions in local, state and federal governments, and in the private and non-government organisations sector for over 40 years. The majority of these positions have been in Aboriginal affairs.

Boe is the Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney. He is passionate about improving health outcomes for his people in a holistic manner, and assisting non-Aboriginal Australia to understand the historical impact that has contributed to the poor health of Aboriginal people in NSW.

He is concerned about the misunderstanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and the racism that he and other Aboriginal people are subject to on a regular basis. Boe knows and understands the importance of establishing productive working relationships built on mutual trust and respect; however, to move forward we need to acknowledge and address the historical impact to find solutions in the future.

Boe Rambaldini profile picture

Hajer Al-awsi

Hajer is an emerging writer, performer and arts worker.

From short stories to essays to plays, her work flirts with themes of womanhood particularly within Arab diaspora identity formation. She is currently interrogating and experimenting with feminine and masculine archetypal traditions, within folklore, fairy-tale and fable style storytelling.

Hajer was a writer and actress for ABC series Halal Gurls, playing the role of Fatty.

She has had her writing published and featured in Conatus News, in an installation for Parramatta Lanes Festival, an audio installation for Unspoken Words Writers Festival, at Seventh Gallery and Queerstories.

She has featured as a speaker at Mudgee Readers Festival, Studio Stories and at Sahra Salon –an arts salon she runs and curates.

Hajer is also a member of the Finishing School Collective in Parramatta.

Most recently, Hajer formed an online space called the Iraqi Diaspora Creatives Network for Iraqi artists across the world, emerging and beyond to share their work and engage with each other.


Call for Papers

The Call for Papers has now closed.

About the Conference

Emerge – the theme for this year’s HDR I&I conference and an invitation to come out from behind your desk, to take the stage, to cultivate new ideas, to test the waters, and to meet, laugh and connect.

We invite all WSU student researchers in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts to participate in this year’s conference. We welcome students enrolled in the PhD, DCA, MRes, and MA to present critical or creative work in the form of scholarly papers, creative writing or multi-modal composition. The conference is your opportunity to introduce your research or creative work to your peers and is an ideal first conference at which you can get the hang of presenting before an audience.

Dean’s Scholars and undergraduates considering a research pathway are especially encouraged to attend the conference and/or take up the opportunity to present a short paper of developing ideas. Undergraduate students even have the option for mentoring by academic staff in the lead-up to the conference!

Conference Theme

This year's theme is EMERGE.

  • What discoveries are emerging from your research?
  • How are you emerging as a researcher or writer?
  • How are you contributing to emerging understandings or practices in your chosen field?

Other ways to think about this year's theme:

  • Going public/being a public voice
  • Bring something to light
  • Breakthrough/breakout
  • Coming out
  • Nurturing and growth
  • Debuts and first times
  • Gifts born of difficulty
  • Innovative research methodologies and theoretical perspectives
  • New takes on old ideas
  • Emerging from behind walls of the academy
  • Communicating with the public
  • Arriving on the scene (as researchers, writers, thinkers, creatives)
  • Up-and-coming voices

Does my paper have to fit the conference theme? No! We want to hear your ideas and get to know what you're working on.


Submit a proposal by Friday, 18 September 2020 to emerge2020@westernsydney.edu.au.

You can propose:

  • A 20-minute individual postgraduate paper (a scholarly paper or a combination of creative reading/performance and critical commentary on your work). Individual papers are followed by a 10 minutes for audience questions and discussion.
  • A 15-minute individual paper (for Dean’s Scholars and undergraduates). (There is no Q&A scheduled for Dean's Scholars papers unless requested by the presenter: please let the organising committee know if you would like a Q&A for your session.)
  • A 5-minute lightning talk
  • A poster or multi-modal presentation

Information for Presenters

Abstract and bio

Any final revisions to your abstract or bio should be submitted to the committee via email by Friday, 16 October 2020. Please note, no changes will be possible after this time.


To reduce technological difficulties, the committee has decided all presenters' slideshows will be hosted by the chair of the virtual session. Please send your final slides as a PowerPoint file to emerge2020@westernsydney.edu.au by 4pm on Monday, 9 November 2020. After this, no changes to slides will be possible.

It is the presenter’s responsibility to ensure the file is downloadable and meets the following requirements.

The file name should include your name and student ID number. Example: 12345678_Jane_Smith

Files should be sent as a PowerPoint Presentation.

To convert a Keynote Presentation on Mac to a PowerPoint Presentation:

  1. Open the Keynote Presentation
  2. Choose File > Export To > Select PowerPoint
  3. Select ‘PowerPoint’ in the window that appears. Click on 'Advanced Options'. Ensure the format selected is .pptx
  4. Click 'Next'
  5. Enter a name for your file and select a folder to save it to
  6. Click 'Export'
  7. You may want to open your new PowerPoint file to ensure the formatting is correct.


Please ensure you register your attendance for the conference.

Interested in attending?

Please register your interest below and we'll be in contact as more details become available.

Contact Us

For further enquiries, please email emerge2020@westernsydney.edu.au