2011 Changing Facts: Changing minds; changing worlds
The Twelfth Humanities Graduate Research Conference
20 – 21 October 2011
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” This is a quote attributed to the British economist John Maynard Keynes who certainly did claim, in the First Annual Report of the Arts Council 1945 – 1946, that “the day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems – the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behaviour and religion”.
We in the Humanities may certainly hope that this day is not far off – though given the growing profile of religion over the last decade perhaps we should be careful what we wish for. Nevertheless it is the attributed quote that provides a conference theme for a faculty as diverse as ours.
Critical approaches in many Humanities disciplines can question the very existence of facts. Changing facts, in the form of changing worlds, are the object of study of history and of many social sciences. Several disciplines in the built environment area are actually working to change worlds while practitioners in such areas as sustainability and human rights seek to change worlds by changing minds.
Changing Facts: Changing Minds; Changing Worlds was published by Black Swan Press in 2012.
University of New South Wales
Where Is Art (Can Experiential Media Engage Children with Sensory Processing Disorders)?
I don’t approach my own practice through the singular lens of art. So if I am not to define myself as an artist, how do I frame my methodology? Throughout the creative discourse of my work, I require the participation, feedback, engagement and aesthetic choice of others, which results in a blurring of the boundaries between author and audience. My own process explores emerging technologies and the role that interaction with these technologies has in creating psychophysiological experiences, but the question remains: should the resulting aesthetics of this practice ever be called art?
It is a question long asked of programmed creative expression; when designing interactive or experiential devices, artistic forms are often generated, but is this a true reflection of the author’s intent, or simply a bi-product of imaginative exploration of technology that we feel needs to be classified? Or is it instead the end user who invokes the aesthetics of the device through her own participation, decisions and bias that becomes the creator of a temporary digital object or experience? These questions can be discussed by observing the lifespan of an experiential work; the meeting places negotiated between author, object and audience when aesthetic agency potentially becomes the creation of art.
Presented alongside an observational case study in which I create interactive therapeutic devices for a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, I will question my own role in this process: whether I am the sole author of these devices; and ultimately who is responsible for aesthetic decisions within my work. The case study accompanying this paper will look at the merging worlds of art and technology, art as therapy, the role of the creator and the facilitation and impact of ephemeral art.
Music and Song as a Narrative Element in Retelling Inanna and the Huluppu Tree
Bartleet and Ellis (2009) lament the under representation of music as an autoethnographic research method and outcome, observing that it is more often the subject than the result of research. This is, they argue, despite the many ways in which music making and autoethnography share goals. Both seek to move and engage an audience emotionally and intellectually, and to bring present the subjectivity of the researcher/composer. Music can also draw together diverse streams of knowledge in new ways. Thus, in autoethnography, as in practice-led research, creating the music becomes a method of inquiry, while the music created becomes a piece of research in its own right. In Restoring Inanna, my autoethnographic practice-led doctoral research project, I seek to retell some of the five thousand year old stories of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. By devising a series of one woman performances in which original songs are key narrative elements, I explore the ways in which the stories “speak” to contemporary audiences. In this presentation I will perform and ‘unpack’ a song from a retelling of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree earlier this year. In doing so I will demonstrate how music and song can be integral elements of the narrative process.
Postcard Rack and Couch – An Invitation to Explore Postcards as a Metaphor for Remembered Places
This installation invites conference participants to explore the fragmentary memories of places through selecting, writing, sending, and receiving postcards. The work consists of a series of couches, postcard racks, artist’s postcards, pens, post-boxes, and explanatory texts. I invite participants to select postcards from the rack, to keep as many as they choose, and to write and post any that remind them of places from their past or present. On the second day of the conference I will redistribute postcards so that each receives a postcard from someone else.
The focus of this installation is the processes of collecting and inhabiting fragments of distant places through memory and imagination. Borrowing the approach of creative practice led enquiry the anticipated outcome of this work is a further research paper, a write-up which reflects on the process of making the work and its public reception. Of particular interest is the efficacy of translation and engagement with the objects and metaphor. The outcomes will guide further production and enquiry of my doctoral thesis into the role of fragmentary knowledge of distant places within the everyday experience of Perth.
Sue Fenty Studham
Edith Cowan University
Alternative Approaches to Stage Management in Bali
The first state of the art ‘mega-theatre’ opened in Bali in 2010 with the production of a large-scale epic show. This paper explores approaches to stage management in the context of this intercultural production. Can an altered style of traditional theatre bring a transformation in the method in which a production is stage managed? In this instance, local stage managers were employed and trained both on the job and through an intensive one-month program. The production, a Balinese legend with a cast of more than 150 Balinese artists and a menagerie of animals was designed and directed by an international team. At the same time, the production’s staging techniques draw on technologies of western influence. As a teacher of the craft as well as a practitioner, I would like to discuss the notion of synthesizing techniques to best suit a production. Can there be a combining of stage management approaches that respects both cultures’ interpretations of the role of the stage manager? This case study will examine the evolution of a stage manager in Bali.
Re-visioned Spaces: (Un)covering the Feminine in Australian Social Realism
Cinematically, social realism has remained the key mode of expression in presenting oppositional viewpoints to mainstream film and the dominant status quo. Often aligned with revolutionary rather than reformist rhetoric, social realism’s overarching intent remains to give voice to those on the margins of society, and to enact social change through such cognizance. This is no less true of Australia’s own locally nuanced social realist films.
Early Australian social realism was largely preoccupied with the working/underclass and disaffected male character and diegesis. Representation of female characters, issues and themes within these films were often presented as secondary, restricted within the gendered domestic spaces of the suburban and the home. With the advent of distinct formal and diegetic evolutions in contemporary Australian social realist filmmaking over the past decade, there can be identified a small, yet significant, cycle of films that are presenting a re-visioning of those domestic spaces and the feminine within. This literal re-visioning gives new range and voice to a feminine once stifled by traditional domestic ideology inherent in early Australian social realist film, and provides variance from which the marginal feminine voice can too be heard through social realism – the cinematic conduit of change.
The Larrikin Carnivalesque: Exploring Traditions of Subversion and Grotesque in Australian Comedy
In his 2007 lecture to The Sydney Institute, Tony Moore described The Chaser, The Glasshouse and the Barry McKenzie films as larrikin carnivalesque. Here the word “larrikin” signals a crude and cheeky Australian rejection of authority, while “carnivalesque” implies an added element of excess, theatrics and the grotesque. While Moore uses Bakhtin’s notion of the carnival to explore Australian bohemianism and the aesthetics of Barry McKenzie, the term “larrikin carnivalesque” has yet to be expanded in great depth. From the early days of television with Graham Kennedy to the recent work of Chris Lilley in Angry Boys, the larrikin carnivalesque has a long tradition in Australian humour. This paper takes the larrikin carnivalesque and expands its definition within Bakhtinian theory, providing a framework that explores the aesthetic and rhetorical underpinnings of the particularly grotesque, crude and anti-authoritarian larrikin style of Australian comedy.
University of South Australia
Wipe Your Boots at the Door: the Global Soul Returning Home
When someone leaves home then comes back again, what shifts—the person or the place? Wipe Your Boots at the Door is a photographic prose-poem that explores the tragicomic issues facing the traveller who, after a physical and spiritual absence, returns to a designated place of belonging in a world where home is “nowhere and everywhere” (Iyer 1988 24). For a person between literal and figurative locations, returning means confronting a multitude of changes—to how one defines home and roots, to one’s identity, to what exactly drives one away and/or brings one back. According to Ha Jin, going home “involves arrival more than return” but also involves making sense of the individual’s role in the context of such change (2008 84). Drawing on art, literature and pop culture (Brett 1997; Hage 2008; Walker 1984; Rogers 1999), as well as the author’s own experiences of coming (from Australia) and going (to anywhere but here), Wipe Your Boots at the Door inserts “a break into the fixed norms” of traditional narratives and emphasises the heterogeneity of representation (Minh-ha 1992 138; Mitchell 1987). By encouraging deconstructive ways of reading text and images, the piece explores change as both subject and praxis.
Performative Spaces: New ways of looking at the Interior
A performative shift is occurring in the way interior space is understood affecting not only space itself, but also notions of body, culture and the experience and performance of everyday life thus challenging preconceived notions of the condition of interiors and our sense of interiority. This preconceived condition, ‘generally conceived of as one of frames and enclosure – a container condition which is static, defined by boundary conditions and a pre-existing void to be filled’, is being contested by notions of process, performance, and temporality.
A cross-fertilisation of ideas is occurring between usually disparate fields of interior architecture, performance, theatre, drama, design, scenography and spatial design. This seeding of ideas in disparate fields is offering new theories and new ways of looking at the everyday. In the following paper I explore how performance and ritual theories are shifting the way the domestic interior is understood, through Arnold Van Gennep’s rite of passage theory, Victor Turner’s theory of liminality, and Erving Goffman’s theatrical metaphor. Through these theories I seek to shift preconceived ideas of interiors as static, to interiors that are encountered and experienced through ritual processes, sequences and performative events, thus exploring notions of event, bodily movement, fleeting, ephemeral temporal acts of occupation, and transformative performances through thresholds, transitory and liminal spaces. Through an interrogation of the ‘liminal’ I explore notions of the body as being and becoming, and through Heideggerian concepts I explore how bodily states are constantly changing and in flux. The domestic interior is no longer perceived as an assemblage of rooms but rather space is an event where the performative “flow” of rituals is in process.
The outcome is a re-shifting and re-positioning of the domestic interior by understanding space, and the potential for people to connect to space, through the performance of rituals. This paper proposes that domestic interior spaces are performative spaces, sites for dramaturgical experiences that go beyond traditional notions of the ‘theatrical as entertainment’ and intersect with the bodily, the experiential and the transformational.
University of Auckland
(D)evolving? The Nature of Nature in Alberta’s North
New Zealand has its edenic wilderness (100% Pure), Australia its rugged outback, Canada its immense diversity. Nature features prominently in the collective identity, if not the tourism mottos, of most nations. Our imperative to manage and preserve natural spaces has intensified in recent decades. However, our desire to safeguard Nature is in constant competition with our demand for resources. Exploitation of natural resources is a process that occurs largely beyond the scope of most urban dwellers. Logging takes places in a forest somewhere, bottom-trawling happens out in the ocean somewhere, and open-pit mines are dug in the desert somewhere. Geographically remote, these industries go about their business in the back-country of the social imaginary. The face of Nature is, nevertheless, transformed by our insatiable appetite for its resources. But what happens once industry has exhausted the profitability of a once-natural space? If plant life sprouts and animals return, does that space become Nature again? Does it matter if post-industrial Nature does not resemble pre-industrial Nature? Would we recognize the difference? My paper explores our complex relationship with Nature—not “Nature in the familiar sense of that which precedes development,” but Nature reclaimed.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall: How Self-reflective Practice can Contribute to the Architectural Design Process
Current architectural practice has contributed to our changing world. To mitigate and adapt to these changes the architectural profession must in turn change their approach to design, and to reconsider their responsibilities. Despite recent technological advances in architectural design there is little evidence of the change in attitude amongst architecture students and practitioners toward embracing sustainable design.
This paper will discuss an investigation into the opportunity to promote change towards environmental architecture and lifestyle through a transformative learning experience. Architectural students undertaking their final semester of the Bachelor program at Curtin University will be asked to reflect upon everyday activities, personal attitudes, and design approach and process through a number of critical reflective exercises. These reflections will be used to determine a method of qualitative interpretation of changes in lifestyle, behaviour and approach to sustainable design, as a means of developing a model of transformative learning. This study builds on previous investigations into models of architectural education that have determined that in order for the learning experience to be transformative, there must be opportunities for self-awareness of learning and change. It is a part of a larger research project investigating the role of architectural education in long term sustainable behaviour.
University of Wollongong
Changing Australian Attitudes Towards Sunday and Easter – The Law and Television Examined
Economics and religion interact. How they interact, and how our worlds and minds change as a result is subject to movement. These shifts are evident in the history of legislation and television broadcasts. Changes can be seen in the legal system such as those relating to religiously influenced laws on social and commercial restrictions on Sundays in Australia during the twentieth century. Viewing Easter television programming over time reveals a decline in religious programming. Both the law and television give insight into what people think about a topic – in this case religion. By documenting how the law has changed, it is possible to infer how attitudes have changed on such cultural markers as the Sabbath; documenting special television broadcasting at certain times of the year makes it possible to infer how society views sacredness. These documentations show shifts in the assumptions and perceptions of a people, as they are a material record of the changing immaterial mind or consciousness of society. At various moments, economic or financial imperatives have influenced these histories. The interaction between economics and religion is important in explaining the changed minds and worlds of Australia in the twentieth century.
Bich H. N. Nguyen
New Varieties Of English: A Failure of the Education System or a Manifestation of New Socio-Cultural Contexts?
The diverse forms and functions of world Englishes on the different continents have triggered substantial research which is investigating the evolving socio-cultural characteristics of the English language. However, in that context of world Englishes, there are people who believe that the emergence of multiple Englishes inevitably leads to non-communication and miscommunication. Some writers regard the localised varieties of English as a manifestation of slipshod, incorrect English usage – as the consequences of a failed local education system. In an effort to change that point of view, this paper argues for the validity of indigenised Englishes. The paper will demonstrate that the authority to determine what is accepted as Standard English no longer resides with ‘native’ speakers, especially within the context of globalisation and the complex sociolinguistic realities of multilingual societies. This paper will also call for a pluricentric acceptance of world Englishes by highlighting some of the features of the communication done in English within the Vietnamese business community to illustrate that a localised variety evolves linguistically and pragmatically to meet new functional demands in the new cultural and situational contexts. The paper will conclude that indigenised Englishes cannot be considered a collection of mistakes, as their emergence is a consequence of contact between languages and cultures.
University of Ballarat
The Production of the Gendered Subject through Disciplinary Techniques: A Preface to Transgression
Poststructuralist thought has displaced the primacy of the subject in order to examine the complex relations of power through which, it is argued, the subject is produced. Michel Foucault re-defines ‘power’ as a relational and equivocal device that both traverses and produces subjectivity. Foucault’s conception of ‘disciplinary power’ functions through an omnipresent surveillance of bodies that produces subjects in accordance with social norms. In order to examine the impact of such social norms upon the production of gendered subjects, this paper will conduct a queer examination of disciplinary power through the utilisation of Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity. This paper will establish that although the subject is produced through disciplinary techniques of power, there is reciprocity between the subject and their enactment of gender norms. The subject actualises gender norms through their embodiment and performative signification which subsequently helps these norms to proliferate. Thus, acts of transgression are available to the gendered subject through the ‘breaking down’ of existing norms, in order to make way for a changing acceptance of other intelligible modes of subjectivity that lie outside of constraining social norms.
Edith Cowan University
He’s a Changed Man…
An increasing number of health professionals, academics and social commentators are sending the same message – Australian men are in crisis. A message supported by rises in alcoholism, depression, suicide and crime amongst men in Australia. It is clear – something needs to change. Through the analysis of Australian theatre and its male characters over the years, it is possible to track changes in masculinity and issues concerned with male identity. The bushman characters of the 1800s, the breakdown of rural masculinities in 1950s plays, Williamson’s bullies of the 70s, the gay characters of the 90s and the alcoholic characters of the twenty-tens demonstrate issues associated with being a man throughout the post-colonial history of Australia. How do these characters demonstrate issues of masculinity, culminating in the purported crisis of today? Theatre is not only useful to chart past changes in masculine identity, but may also be used to change current concepts of masculinity, encourage different – ethnic, indigenous and non-heterosexual – images of masculinity to be more widely accepted and persuade society to stop viewing alcoholism, depression and crime as issues in themselves, but as symptoms of a greater concern: a crisis of masculinity based in issues associated with male identity.
National University of Singapore
The Changing Other and Self: Footbinding, China, and the West, 1300-1900
Footbinding, as a unique characteristic of China and its people, had always served as the perpetual symbol of otherness in Western narration of the Chinese Other. From the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone in the fourteenth century to missionaries, diplomats, and travelers in the twentieth century, Westerners who had been to China never failed to notice and account on this practice. However, the meaning of footbinding changed dramatically from 1300 to 1900. It was originally viewed as a symbol of beauty, respect, and civility. However, it became a mark of ugliness, cruelty, and backwardness in Westerners’ eyes in the 1900s. With an analysis of Western discourse on footbinding, this paper is going to argue that footbinding served as an allegory of China in Westerners’ mind. Western interpretations of footbinding fluctuated with Western images of China, which changed from being the civilized and admirable Other to be the barbaric and despised one. However, essentially, the changing Western interpretations of footbinding were a reflection of the shifting power relation between the West and China, and echoed with the needs of the rising West in the discovery of the world and the representation of the West itself.
Pamela Anderson: Adapting to Change and Changing the World, One Tweet at a Time
Hollywood has made a global impact on consumption and advertising since its existence in the early 20th century, but in the past 5 years, the Internet has transformed celebrity culture to a new realm. The aim of this paper is to examine the significant role that Web 2.0 has played in changing the celebrity industry and advertising industry. This paper will be based on online data collection from social networking sites and a case study of Pamela Anderson, focusing on her endorsement contracts and her online interaction with fans. From this it will be established that Web 2.0 has transformed celebrity-fan interaction, as well as, the consumer-advertiser communication, affecting the global market and proving that change in mass media is inevitable as are the changes that result from it. Thus, it will be concluded that for celebrities to stay current and maintain their global status they must adapt to the changes in their industry.
Shifting Cultures and Motivations: Transforming Identity Through Modifying Interior Worlds
Attending to the fabric of the house through maintenance or modification, and accommodating the shifting desires and requirements of family is a life-long commitment to home making that many people make when buying property. Several generations may witness the life span of the same family home, accommodating them through changing eras and changing economies. These domestic buildings age and morph and intertwine with the changing lives of the inhabitants, the successive fashions in home décor and increasing pressures to remain efficient and functional, such as accommodating new technologies.
There are many reasons for altering the fabric of the home, varying from the personal satisfaction of do-it-yourself (DIY) as a ‘serious leisure’ activity in its own right to a perception centred on constant renewal to increase real estate value. Some homeowners make improvements in the belief that making a physical change in the home will overcome a personal sense of inertia; hoping that by improving their immediate surroundings, the quality of their ‘internal’ (psychological, emotional and physiological) lives will also improve. This paper will draw on a current doctoral research study to explore aspects of personal and social motivation underlying the changes we make to our homes, and our lives.
Landscape and Aporia: paradox and uncertainty in Australian Art
Through the changing faces of Australian art historical discourse at least one thing has remained constant- that the Australian relationship to overseas influence and to landscape is problematic, and is played out in cultural production. The interrogation of this in critical writing and creative production, particularly in the 80’s and 90’s, began to conceive of an Australian tradition which is the site of paradox and uncertainty.
In the conceptual work of artist Ian Burn this prevalence of self-reflection in Australian art achieved a visual expression. In an oral presentation I will examine the work of Ian Burn through an analysis of Keith Broadfoot’s 1999 article ‘Landscape as Blank: Australian Art after the Monochrome’. This essay’s use of aporia to examine paradox and uncertainty in Australian landscape art and its international influences suggests that critical writing as well as creative production has yet to solve this problematic relationship. But has the revision of this uncertainty become a paradigm which restricts the potential for art and critical production to determine a stable position from which to evolve and change.
University of New South Wales
How do we live with composure and self awareness in an age where lives transmitted through technological devices take precedence over our embodied presence? Compos(ur)eexplores how mobile devices can become bells of mindfulness, empowering people to make the present moment the object of their attention. Mindfulness meditation, among many things, strengthens a person’s ability to be aware of the ontology of the present moment. Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and poet, speaks about how mindfulness can be incorporated into objects of our daily lives.
“While we are driving, we think only about arriving. Therefore every time we see a red light, we are not very happy. The red light is a kind of enemy that prevents us from attaining our goal. But we can also see the red light as a bell of mindfulness, reminding us to return to the present moment.”
Compos(ur)e is a mobile phone application that enables a social network of people to create technological bells of mindfulness for one another. This interconnection is materialised as a network of installations and kinetic sculptural spaces that represent these interactions.
Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes
Broadening the Epistemic Horizon for African Voices to Emerge
Africa has a great potential to contribute to the world of minds. So far, this potential has been ignored and Africans contribution to the academic world constrained due to the uneven relationship between the West and Africa. Framed by an epistemology that restricts the emergence of non-western knowledge, the academic world had little space for African voices. However, as the world comes to face various social and environmental menaces, this epistemic hegemony is being challenged with the development of theories that allow supressed views to surface. Africa, despite its problems, has a lot to contribute to the global call for new ideas. Lessons of strength and human values could be drawn from what has enabled the people to endure, resist and survive the very long and brutal sufferings perpetuated against them by self-serving and patrimonial systems. My presentation seeks to draw critical insights into possible ways of making sense of the African legacy as part of the legacy of our world. I will present specific examples from the cultural legacy of the continent to suggest that a changing world requires a broader epistemic horizon that accommodates Africa’s worldviews.
Stephanie Bizjak is one of two Graduate Research Culture Officers in the faculty of Humanities at Curtin University. She has a degree in Food Science and Technology and in 2010 completed her Graduate Diploma of Education with Distinction. When not working at Curtin, Stephanie works as a high school teacher at Kelmscott Senior High School where she teaches home economics. Stephanie has also worked as a research assistant on multiple projects at Curtin University in the areas of Education, Environmental Sustainability, Sport and Recreation, and Climate Change.
Julie Lunn is the other Graduate Research Culture Officer in the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University. She is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Sciences at Curtin where she is working on her doctoral thesis, The Changing Meanings of Anzac Day in Western Australia Since 1915 which is due for completion in 2014. Julie has worked as an historical researcher on a number of commissioned histories, Municipal Heritage Inventories and Conservation Plans, and was research assistant from 2008 – 2010 for the Curtin and ARC Linkage project ‘Remembering the Wars: The community meanings of war memorials in Western Australia’.
Dr Sue Summers is Managing Editor of Black Swan Press at Curtin University. She is a skilled researcher, editor, educator, curator, administrator, and enjoys exploring and developing the creative aspects of photography, writing, publication and web design. Prior to her academic career, Sue worked extensively as a professional journalist, producer and interviewer in Australia and the UK.
Keyvan Allahyari is a PhD Candidate, and the research assistant at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. His thesis focuses on the novels of the Australian author, Peter Carey. He is interested in re-examining the fiction of Carey as a writer concerned with issues of history, authorship, and authenticity in light of his psycho-geographical self-positioning, both inside and outside of Australia. He contends that Carey’s literary imagination, as presented in his post-2000 writings, can be seen as a product of his continuing desire to explore Australian identity while maintaining his position as a New York-based literary celebrity. His research on colonial representations of Australia in novelistic and journalistic writings of Charles Dickens has been published in peer-reviewed journals. He has also presented his research at several conferences, including Perth (2011) and Wellington (2012).
Chandana Kulasuriya is a Civil Engineer, who is presently reading for his PhD at the Curtin University. In addition to Civil Engineering, he is very much interested in fine arts, philosophy, sociology, and related subjects. His interdisciplinary interests led him to do a research on ‘Aesthetics of Structures’ for his Master’s Degree earlier. Now, for his Doctoral research he investigates multiple aspects of sustainability relating to structures.
Lesley Crowe-Delaney holds a BA (hons) and Grad Dip Ed and has finalised her PhD from the Curtin University of Technology, Western Australia. She has held scholarships to pursue research on tourism in Japan at Hyogo University (formerly Himeji Institute of Technology), Australian National University, research in fishery experimental stations and minority communities at the Australian National Library and was a member and spokesperson of the drafting committee for the mission statement of the World Student Tourism Summit Beppu, 2005. She is an experienced educator and has worked as a teacher consultant for the Centre of Excellence in LOTE in the SW Barwon District of Victoria. She has authored, edited and reviewed journal articles and her research interests include: women’s roles in tourism and fishery communities in regional Japan and Australia, the Heike descendants in Northern Hyogo Prefecture, coastal tourism and the risks of development in hazardous coastal environments. She is currently employed with Monash University and is an Asia Literacy Ambassador for the ‘Asia Education Foundation’ project.
Karen Ann Donnachie (b. 1970) is an artist and photographer. From 1990 through 2010 she was based in Milan, Italy where, alongside her studio practice, she founded and curated the award winning experimental art periodical This is a Magazine (2002) and later the imprint Atomic ActivityBooks (2008), from which a number of monographic artists’ books and compendia of internet art have been published, all distributed by Idea Books, Amsterdam. Karen ann’s artistic activity overlaps fields as diverse as photography, video, performance, algorithmic and Internet art. Her work has won international awards and critical recognition, and is featured in a number of publications, including Lauren Parkers Interplay (2004) on Internet art. Karen ann has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Argentina, Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the USA, and she is regularly invited to speak and conduct workshops in institutions such as the Liechtenstein Hochschule, UIAV Venice, Italy, the LCC, London, and ARCO art fair, Madrid. Currently, Karen ann is a PhD by Research candidate at Curtin University, Western Australia under an Australian Postgraduate Award and Curtin Research Scholarship. Her research explores the networked self-portrait and the role it plays in the negotiation of contemporary digital identity.
Teresa Izzard is a Doctoral Candidate in Performance Studies, a Certified Movement Analyst and theatre practitioner. Her practice-led research investigates how Somatic philosophy and processes can enhance and extend a contemporary theatre directing praxis. Her creative production was an original adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ which she co-adapted (with Silvia Lehmann), produced and directed. It was performed at The Blue Room Theatre and toured to the Denmark Civic Centre in 2011 receiving both popular and critical acclaim. She teaches movement for actors and professional practice within Curtin’s Performance Studies department and has studied, taught and presented nationally and internationally – most recently at the Moving On Center for Somatic Research in the US. Her article ‘Sculpting Performance’ was published in the Journal of Laban Movement Studies in 2009 (Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies, New York). She is currently in the final stages of writing her exegesis.
Thomas J. Kehoe was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. He completed a BA in history and philosophy with 1st class honours at the University of Melbourne in 2009. He then proceeded to complete a MA in history at the University of Sydney in 2010, and is now a doctoral student in history at the University of Melbourne. His thesis concerns the management of social disorder and criminality and their relationship to nation-building. It particularly focuses on Germany and Iraq.
Silvia Lozeva completed her PhD at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute, Australia and she holds an M.Phil in Gender Studies, Sofia University and B.A. in Economics, Bulgaria. Silvia’s interests include international migration, social sustainability and environmental engagement. Silvia has also participated in a nation-wide project of Desert Knowledge investigating the social effects of mining development in Australia. She has a copious international experience across governmental, non-governmental and academic sectors. Silvia’s additional interests also include radio-producing (Silver Medal Mark Time Award for best science fiction audio novel). Currently she is a lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
Josip Matesic is a doctoral candidate in the School of History and Politics at the University of Wollongong. His thesis examines changes in Australian attitudes to religion in the twentieth century. He is examining religious attitudes as expressed in the public sphere through such arenas as the law relating to burial practices and the Sabbath, field research at Rookwood Necropolis in Sydney, and television programming during Easter. He majored in history and philosophy in his Bachelor of Arts (Dean’s Scholars) undergraduate degree with distinctions in both majors. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in history in 2010. In 2012, Josip was the President of the Wollongong University Postgraduate Association. He is also a regular book reviewer for the university student magazine, Tertangala.
Bich Nguyen has been teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) for ten years in Vietnam and Australia. She was a TESOL lecturer at the University of Education, Ho Chi Minh City for four years and is now working in the Australian Adult Migrant English Program. She holds a BA in TESOL (awarded by the University of Education, Vietnam), an MA in TESOL (awarded by the University of Canberra), and is now a PhD candidate in education at Curtin University. Her research interests include English language teaching methodology, World Englishes and Systemic Functional Linguistics.
Petra Skeffington is a sessional academic at the University of Western Australia and Murdoch University, and is a PhD Candidate within the School of Psychology and Speech Pathology at Curtin University. Petra’s research and teaching interests include trauma, PTSD, resilience, positive psychology and professional practice. Petra completed a Masters thesis at Murdoch University with a focus on exploring trauma through creative therapies; her PhD thesis is about developing resilience to trauma in high risk profession and builds on Petra’s experience as a psychologist treating combat and personal trauma. Petra has presented parts of her research at local at National conferences and is working on several articles for peer reviewed publications.
Soma Mandal-Datta is a PhD Candidate at the School of Built Environment whose Doctoral thesis focuses on influence of built environment on learning abilities of children and their sense of well-being specifically those with learning problems. She has recently completed her fieldwork in various primary schools across Perth and currently working on her dissertation. She has presented her research papers in national as well as international conferences. An experienced interior designer, she is at present also working as a sessional tutor and freelance visual-artist.
Diane Spencer-Scarr is doing doctoral research through Curtin University into the causes and consequences of digital network engagement. This research explores the relationship between personality, decision making and engagement with digital networked technology at both the individual and societal level. The urgency to understand why people engage differently increases exponentially as digital networked technology becomes ubiquitously embedded and a divide emerges between those who gain from their engagement and those who are undermined by it. From an artistic and educational background Diane switched to IT as a partner in a consulting business and became actively involved in various aspects of information technology. Activities include implementing information technology projects, developing enterprise application integration solutions (EAI) and liaising between clients and programmers providing IT solutions. Since 1999 Diane’s cyber entrepreneurial activities have lead to the launch of a number of online businesses. Diane has been an editor for The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society.
Cassandra Sturm is a visual artist and PhD Candidate in the Department of Art, Curtin University. Her practice-led Doctoral thesis examines how a personal creative practice can critically examine the idea of regional context through an analysis of the representation of place and time in visual abstraction. Her research interests centre on Western Australian landscape, native flora and contemporary painting. Cassandra has artworks in private collections and in the Curtin University Art Collection at the John Curtin Gallery.
Claire Trevenen is a PhD Candidate in the School of Media, Culture, and Creative Arts at Curtin University. Her PhD explores cultural anxieties around gendered subjectivity at the beginning of the twenty-first century through examinations of cinematic depictions of the girl. She occasionally works at Edith Cowan University as a sessional tutor and has been employed as a research assistant at both Curtin University and Griffith University. Claire is currently working on a conference paper, “50 Shades of Literalising a New Paternalism” for CSAA 2012, writing an article for peer reviewed publication on The Twilight Saga, as well as researching and writing her dissertation, “Between the Binary: Girls on Film in Postmodernity”.
Angela Wilson is a PhD candidate at Curtin University, researching in the field of International Relations, following on from postgraduate studies in this area. Her doctoral thesis is titled “Human trafficking in the Australian Sex Industry: An International Relations Perspective.” Angela is interested in the way this problem is handled by a number of different agencies. She is a regular participant in the Strategic Flashlight Seminars and the Annual National Security and Strategy Workshops conducted by Curtin University’s International Relations Department. Angela taught secondary school for a number of years and is currently a tutor for one of the Humanities undergraduate courses.
Li Xu is a PhD candidate from Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute in natural resources management. His doctoral research focuses on the assessment on sustainability of freshwater lakes in China. His research interests include systematic assessment, resilience analysis for social-ecological systems, optimization management and policy design for sustainability. He has published several articles in conference proceedings and journals. Also, he, as a volunteer, helped to organise the 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (MODSIM), Perth 2011.