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Research projects

Supporting and cultivating collaborative research
Our previously funded research projects

Fellowship research projects

Our inaugural fellowships were awarded to researchers whose work will produce theoretical and practical outcomes.

Human being to human body: Identity, memory and humanity in the display of and interaction with human bodies 

Dr Fiona Gill

Fiona’s work examines treatment of the dead in post-genocidal or conflict societies. Her focus is on tensions between the activities of forensic science and the social, cultural, political and religious sensibilities of the impacted communities. The aim is to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which social and scientific approaches to human rights and the dead might be married to provide better outcomes for post-genocidal societies.

Mapping and measuring Australian visual cultures across YouTube 

Dr Jonathon Hutchinson

Jonathon's project seeks to analyse the behaviour of YouTube influencers, including their publishing strategies and the way audiences interact with their content. The aim is to provide valuable insights for non-commercial institutions that wish to engage large audiences across YouTube, as well as to provide information for better policy design for social media communication for the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Jonathon hopes to produce a digital media method tool that enables researchers to explore YouTube for public issues.

Social media analysis of Islamic State online propaganda in Australia 

Dr Aim Sinpeng

Aim’s work will measure and analyse how the process of online radicalisation of violent extremist groups, particularly Islamic State, occurs on social media within the Australian context. This will lead to better-informed decisions regarding counter-terrorism and cybersecurity policy, and a greater understanding of radicalisation within the Australian context.

Worker trust management and delegation of decision-making authority 

Associate Professor Andrew Wait

Andrew’s research will investigate the determinants of worker trust in management and the possible link between worker trust and delegation of decision making. The project will improve our understanding of relationships and how they affect productivity within companies.


These are one-day exploratory research retreats investigating a problem of real-world and theoretical significance, held in an intensive, discussion-based setting. 

How sustainable is the next internet?

Discussing the emergence of the ‘next internet’, which refers to three interconnected systems: cloud computing; big data analytics; and the internet of things. We will explore its sustainability by elaborating on ideas, arguments, evidence and studies that will lead to potential plans for landmark research.

Lead academic: Dr Benedetta Brevini

Visiting researchers: Associate Professor Gavin J.D. Smith, ANU and Professor Frank Pasquale, University of Maryland

Trauma-aware practices for children in out-of-home care 

Maintaining children’s connections with their birth relatives can promote understanding of one’s life story and identity development. However, children may experience significant distress when contact visits do not go well. Parents of children who are in care often have their own complex trauma and frequently experience mental health issues and substance abuse disorders that can affect their ability to connect with their children. This multi-disciplinary and international working group will consider how trauma awareness can be applied to children’s experiences of contact in out-of-home care, identifying specifications for research.

Lead academic: Associate Professor Amy Conley Wright

Visiting researcher: Dr Mandi MacDonald, Queens University Belfast

Boys: Towards an Affirmative Feminist Boys Studies 

Most research on boys and boyhood is focused on risk-reduction, representing boys as problems at school, on the streets, or in relationships, with an ambivalent (if not oppositional) relation to feminism. At the same time, anti-feminist public discourse highlighting the experiences of boys and young men is used to justify violence as well as call for the reversal of social changes that have expanded opportunities available to girls. This “huddle” will assess possible future directions for a collaborative research group working towards an affirmative feminist boys studies.

Lead academic: Professor Catherine Driscoll

Visiting researcher: Professor Anoop Nayak, University of Newcastle, UK

Populist Politics and the Origins of Euroscepticism

The results of the Brexit referendum, followed by national elections in France and Italy, have triggered an avalanche of commentary on the causes of populist opposition to the European Union, with most observers pointing to recent waves of immigration following EU expansion and economic disparities resulting from recent austerity measures. This huddle informs these ongoing attempts to decipher this surge in ‘anti-Europe’ sentiment by generating an interdisciplinary conversation on the deeper ideological origins of Euroscepticism that accounts for transnational influences as well as variations across local contexts.

Lead academic: Dr Marco Duranti

Visiting researcher: Professor Wolfram Kaiser, University of Portsmouth

Grace Under Pressure: The Power of Creative Arts in Health

This research huddle supports the need for cultural change in health workforce training and health workplaces by (i) identifying key aesthetic and ethical contributions to this agenda in a selection of exemplary projects by contemporary visual and performing artists; (ii) defining an interdisciplinary research program that will better articulate the contribution of arts-based approaches to cultural change in health training and workplaces; (iii) understanding the factors that would enable the integration of innovative arts + health initiatives within the training of health professionals at the University of Sydney.

Lead academic: Dr Paul Dwyer

Visiting researcher: Vic McEwan, Contemporary Artist

Linguistics and aphasia: Is Processability Theory relevant?

Following a stroke, adults experience not only aphasia but also agrammatism, a morpho-syntactic disorder affecting their ability to speak. This Huddle will explore whether Processability Theory (Pienemann 1998, 2005, 2015), a theory of second language development, can be applied to agrammatism.  Professor Gisela Håkansson will lead discussion with academics and HDR students from Speech Pathology, the Brain and Mind Centre, Linguistics and Writing Studies on issues such as: What similarities exist between predications regarding agrammatism and processability?  What methodological differences exist in these fields and how can they be overcome?  

Lead academic: Dr Bronwen Dyson

Visiting researcher: Professor Gisela Håkansson, Lund University

AFTER COAL: Remaking Germany’s Ruhr Valley

This huddle sharpens the scope and approach for an ethnographic, collaborative inquiry into the transformation of Europe’s former coal and steel industries hub, Germany’s Ruhr Valley, into a garden landscape. Nature restoration, climate change, right wing extremism and a vanishing working class remix traditional processes of culture making. Heritage, green spaces, memory and the future itself emerge as cultural capital. The workshop scrutinizes the soundness of this key question for an ARC Discovery Project or other high-level funding scheme: What competing temporalities shape the transition from extractive industries to culture?

Lead academic: Dr Ute Eickelkamp

Visiting researcher: Prof. Dr. Stefan Berger, Ruhr University

Re-storying homelessness through the Arts: Can creative, arts-based interventions transform the way we frame homelessness?

At the heart of this huddle is how performing arts practitioners, arts educators and researchers can work together constructively to address the growing problem of homelessness.The research possibilities will include a consideration of how we can think about documenting the long term impact of arts programs in reframing such entrenched and ever-increasing social disadvantage.

Lead academic: Professor Emerita Robyn Ewing

Presenters: Professor Peter O’Connor, University of Auckland and, Margot Politisand and Jodie Wainwright, Milk Crate Theatre

Working across difference and inequity in social work and policy studies

Bringing together critical social work and policy studies researchers to develop concrete and creative ways of working across differences such as race, gender, age, class, ability, culture, ethnicity and sexuality in the fields of social work and social policy.

Lead academics:  Associate Professor Susan Goodwin and Professor Donna Baines 

Visiting researchers: Dr Bindi Bennett, University of the Sunshine Coast and Dr Selma Macfarlane, Deakin University

Social and political impact of translation

Raising awareness among social and political actors of the need to strengthen social cohesion and intercommunal communication by enhancing understanding of the ways translators mediate between cultures and create bridges for peaceful and productive coexistence among communities. 

Lead academic: Professor Vrasidas Karalis

Visiting researcher: Professor Rita Wilson, Monash University 

Dark money

Hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston in a Sydney Ideas keynote on the encroaching corporate influence over government in all its manifestations: political donations; lobbying; multinational tax avoidance; government secrecy and surveillance; "revolving doors" between industry and government; and the "outsourcing" of government to the private sector. 

Lead academic: Professor John Keane

Visiting researcher: David Cay Johnston

Trauma-informed Response to Intervention in Education

While the goal of individual discipline systems (for example, health, education, welfare) is to improve outcomes for youth exposed to traumatic events, each system is likely to approach trauma differently, with providers having varying levels of knowledge, skills, and capacities to assess for, and respond to, traumatic events. This disparate response process can result in youth and families receiving an increased possibility of secondary traumatisation. The goal of this huddle is to seek clarity toward in the development of a comprehensive, cross- disciplinary trauma-informed  response to intervention framework for use by key stakeholders in the educational community. 

Lead academic: Dr Cathy Little

Visiting researcher: Professor Judy Atkinson, We Al-li Pty Ltd

Language as a tool for empowering Indigenous communities

Understanding whether language and linguistics play a role in empowering Indigenous communities. This huddle will identify and invite activists and academics, including members of Indigenous communities, to collaborate on this project to collect and analyse the evidence. 

Lead academics: Associate Professor Ahmar Mahboob and Professor Jakelin Troy

Visiting researcher: Associate Professor Shirley Dita, De La Salle University

The surveillance huddle

Bringing together scholars from diverse fields including politics, media, sociology, art history and literature to examine the impact of surveillance in cultural, political and social realms in terms of contemporary life and possible futures, to better understand and assess surveillance's reach, to envisage potential developments and to uncover aspects that deserve resistance.

Lead academic: Professor Peter Marks

Visiting researcher: Associate Professor Gavin J.D. Smith, ANU

Everyday militarisms

Exploring how military mentalities, structures and imperatives permeate our everyday lives. From gaming culture to drone surveillance, personal healthcare and climate change, we will explore how militarisation has seeped into almost every aspect of our environment. Our objective is to chart how military events, technologies and discourses are entangled in everyday environmental, social, and cultural worlds, both making and unmaking them. 

Lead academics: Dr Astrida Neimans and Associate Professor Tess Lea

Visiting researcher: Professor Caren Kaplan, University of California, Davis

Critical reasons for teaching empathy

Theatrical tradition has an established history of exploring the human condition, human relationships, and what it means to be human. The “Huddle” discussion is an opportunity for us to test ideas with practitioners and to discuss and investigate how theatrical traditions can explicitly inform the way we teach empathy to pre-service teachers – and whether or not teaching empathy is even possible.

Lead academic: Dr Alison Grove O'Grady

Visiting researcher: Hannie Rayson, Playwright

UNEP: Designing Ecologically Just Institutions

UNEP, like other international institutions, lacks valence in a nationalising world. The project seeks to reimagine the United Nations Environment Program to be a cosmopolitan and ecologically just institution. UNEP is the flagship international organisation that aims to be a global catalyst, advocate, educator, and facilitator on environmental problems. Using cosmopolitan and ecological justice theories, the huddle will identify how UNEP can incorporate new ways of thinking and acting. Given the cumulative and catastrophic effects of climate change, reimaging global governance is an imperative.

Lead academic: Professor Susan Park

Invited researcher: Professor Maria Ivanova, University of Massachusetts Boston

Youth Research: Ethics, Engagement and Equity

What are the concerns, experiences and knowledges of young people, and how might these genuinely be embedded in new research? Despite the move towards participant-led research, there remains a lack of legitimate consultation and power-sharing with young people in this process. If young people were at the helm of research, what course would it chart? What questions might they ask, and how might they find answers? This huddle will explore innovative and creative ways of partnering and supporting youth-led, agentic research initiatives that inform and transform ethics, methodologies and outcomes.

Lead academic: Dr Victoria Rawlings

Community-led research methodologies: learning and knowledge building?

This Huddle will bring together researchers working on or towards community-led research with people living in the margins of our society, both in Australia and beyond. These communities include colonised First Nation peoples, people with disability, people experience housing exclusion and stigma. The Huddle will map current activity within FASS informed by community-led research in diverse communities. We will bring community partners and academics together to explore why, where, when and how these methodologies are best used. The Huddle will allow us to listen, learn and critically evaluate knowledge building through ‘community-led’ research.

Lead academic: Associate Professor Margot Rawsthorne and Dr Catherine Burgess

AI for data-informed educational decision making

This huddle brings together leading researchers on human and machine learning to discuss the opportunities and challenges that new computational  methods provide for creating new forms of knowledge, knowing and learning.  The objective is to create a program for interdisciplinary research. 

Professor Peter Reimann

Visiting researcher: Professor Nancy Law, The University of Hong Kong

A conceptual framework for the interdisciplinary exploration of Tibetan Buddhism

Connecting international experts and enabling interdisciplinary exchange between Buddhist studies and cognitive neuroscience. The huddle aims to develop a conceptual framework for exploring Tibetan visual meditations.

Lead academic: Dr Jim Rheingans

Visiting researchers: Associate Professor Maria Kozhevnikov, National University of Singapore and Dr Peter Malinowski, Liverpool John Moores University 

A view of one's own; enacting children’s rights

Respect for the views of children is one of the four core principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). For children with disability this right was conditional until the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) that expanded it based on the principle of universality. This huddle brings together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to propose a human rights conceptualisation of this rights that encompasses all children. Developing such an approach requires critical examination of policy and practice, and of research tools and processes.

Lead academic: Associate Professor Ilektra Spandagou

Visiting researcher: Dr Bronagh Byrne, Queen's University Belfast

The tedium is the message

This research huddle examines boredom’s dynamics such as its nature, manifestations and implications for institutional practices, and asks: 

Is there a specifically 21st-century boredom, and how might this relate to the now-ubiquitous presence of technologies and the electronic mediation of selfhood?

Is boredom an intrinsically negative experience to be eliminated? Or, does it signal the desire for something different and better, and so should be worked with and through?

Lead academics: Dr Debra Talbot and Dr Millicent Churcher

Visiting researcher: Professor Michael Gardiner, The University of Western Ontario

Revisiting the Education, Nationalism and Nation-State Nexus

The notions of the nation-state and nationalism are key concepts and units of analysis since the beginnings of comparative and international education as a field of study. The development of national education systems is closely connected to the process of state building and nationalism. This huddle workshop aims to re-examine the extent to which nationalism, the nation-state and education enjoys a close reciprocal relationship. It also re-assesses the relevance and efficacy of the nation-state as a unit of analysis and comparison in the field of comparative education.

Lead academic: Dr Yeow Tong Chia

Visiting researcher: Professor Ruth Hayhoe, University of Toronto

Queer Pragmatism: Conceiving a Queer Counter-Census

The Australian marriage-equality plebiscite brought into focus the ongoing role of statistical data-gathering in determining outcomes in matters of concern to the LGBTQI community. Yet official data-gathering is often indifferent to the particularities of queer intimacies. In consultation with the queer community, we will devise a counter-census that brings to public visibility forms of intimate life that fall outside those lifecourses deemed normative in contemporary Australia and deliver it in step with the next Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census of Housing and Population Census in 2021. [87]

Lead academic: Associate Professor Lee Wallace

Ultimate peer reviews

Our Ultimate Peer Reviews identify researchers who have completed a draft of a major research output with the potential to become a landmark work. The researcher then defends their thesis in which an invited scholar acts as their interlocutor and critical ‘opponent’.

Homeland activists without a home

Dr Susan Banki’s research examines the phenomenon of precarious homeland activists; that is, people trying to reform a repressive regime from outside that country, and who themselves are precarious – without the security they need to engage in activism. 

Interlocutor: Nicholas Van Hear, University of Oxford 

Treacherous play

When we play games, we are expected to be honest. Deception and betrayal are largely treated as off limits in multiplayer games. Dr Marcus Carter examines games in which treachery, deception and duplicity are encouraged and even demanded.

Interlocutor: Professor Mia Consalvo, Concordia University

Samuel Beckett and the Ends of Education

Samuel Beckett and the Ends of Education is the first book devoted to education in Samuel Beckett’s writing. It argues that his heightened perception of how mechanisms of pedagogical transfer shape a writer’s thinking and practice became the driver of his self-reflexive multilingual intertextuality and self-translation, and generated narratives of mastership and tutelage, torture and subjugation, knowing and unknowing. Dr Anthony Cordingley reveals neglected influences from the French literary tradition and position Beckett’s writing with respect to contemporary debates in the philosophy of education and studies of the child in modernism.

Interlocutor: Professor Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania 

Project Q: The Question of Quantum

Project Q: The Question of Quantum, the first documentary film on the race for quantum supremacy in computing, communication and artificial intelligence. Produced, written and directed by Professor James Der Derian, with the support of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and in association with Conceptavision Creative Media.

Interlocutors: Johan Grimonprez (artist and filmmaker), Susan MacKinnon (producer and founder of the Documentary Australia Foundation), and Julia Overton (poducer and marketplace consultant for documentary)

Book Manuscript workshop: Birth of the state – The place of the body in crafting modern politics

Associate Professor Charlotte Epstein’s manuscript (under contract with Oxford University Press) traces the place of the body in the making of modern politics since the 17th century. In the book, she will show how the body was used to craft various forms of ‘naturalisations’ upon which the contemporary state rests; for example, the idea that security is ‘natural’, and that the state’s role is to provide it at all costs. This critical work serves to unsettle the taken-for-granted assumptions of contemporary politics by tracking where these assumptions originate and how the body served to lock them in.

Interlocutor: Professor R.B.J. (Rob) Walker, University of Victoria, Canada

Epstein, C. (2020). Birth of the State: The Place of the Body in Crafting Modern Politics [forthcoming]. Oxford University Press.

Masters of wonder: Kantu techniques of recognition and renewal

Recently, mutual recognition has been identified as an evolved characteristic that distinguishes humans from other primates, while philosophers have defined justice in terms of recognition. “Masters of Wonder” reveals Kantu analytics of this core compulsion while crystalising lessons from the ethnographic method, understood as itself an art of mutual recognition. Dr Holly High examines how this critically exposes the liberal bias of much familiar thinking on recognition, opening space for rethinking this core concept.

Interlocutor: Associate Professor Pierre Petit, Université libre de Bruxelles

A Victorian History of Modern Censorship

A popular story about the 1960s and 1970s holds that this was when Britain shook off the vestiges of an oppressive Victorian moralism. Yet the struggle to reform the obscenity laws was also a struggle that pitted the precepts of Victorian liberalism against supposedly Victorian morals. Professor Chris Hilliard's book shows how readers, editors, lawyers, police, and politicians grappled with questions of freedom, authority and order as a famously deferential society became increasingly pluralist.

Interlocutor: Professor Adrienne Stone, Melbourne Law School

Humbling power: The future of democracy

Humbling Power is a substantial, book-length research project that presents fresh perspectives on the global fate of democracy. Engaging a broad range of challenging themes, from rising social inequality and market failures to the unfinished communications revolution and the spread of cross-border chains of unaccountable power, the project reassesses the future of democratic politics. It also reinvigorates the democratic imagination by showing that in matters of democracy, many creative and destructive real-world things are happening that are not just unexpected, but much stranger than we can presently think.

Interlocutor: Professor Nadia Urbinati, Columbia University

Keane, J. (2018). Power and Humility: The Future of Monitory Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reading nation in translation

Dr Fiona Lee’s project examines the changing formations of race in Malaysia from 1948 to the present through analysing literary and cultural texts. In capturing the shifts in racial forms and national ideologies, these works engage in acts of translation insofar as they make unfamiliar, multilingual contexts legible to multiple audiences at home and abroad. Dr Lee will consider how representations of race and nation translate – or don't – across different contexts, under what conditions, and to what ends.

Interlocutor: Professor Shu-mei Shih, UCLA

Promises and lies: Wiradjuri experiences of Australian modernity

Cutting through swathes of myth-making by nation-builders, anthropologists and historians, this book spans two centuries of the Wiradjuri people's trauma, humour, hope and achievement as their country became the pastoral and agricultural heartland of NSW. Relegated to historical oblivion, social values and moral authority nevertheless sustained a distinctive Wiradjuri lifestyle over time. Dr Gaynor Macdonald explores this remarkable history and how it presents a fresh perspective on failed government policies, examining why current policy is more destructive for Wiradjuri people than even the violence of the frontier.

Interlocutor: Professor Sylvie Poirier, Université Laval

Romantic Empiricism: Philosophy, Art and Nature 

The manuscript traces an under-studied philosophical movement that emerged in the late eighteenth century, which Dr Dalia Nassar has dubbed “romantic empiricism.” Dalia argues that the romantic empiricists developed a distinctive methodology, which draws on the arts and aesthetic judgment, in order to expand and deepen our understanding of nature and our place within it. Showing that this methodology either directly or indirectly resulted in the establishment of three fields of enquiry—biology, geography and anthropology—and suggest that this historical moment offers important insights for future interdisciplinary research.

Interlocutor: Professor Sebastian Gardner, UCL

Dumped Desire: What Water Remembers and Forgets

The planet’s waters are wounded, often through human intervention. Through case explorations of chemical weapons dumped at sea; a postindustrial wetland in Canada; and extraction-related groundwater disturbance in Australia, Dr Astrida Neimanis's book considers human desires and water’s role in harbouring and dissolving our wants. How might a consideration of what these waters remember, and what they forget, help us reimagine how to live with damaged waters? How might drawing on feminist, queer and decolonial frames of desire, affect, time, trauma, memory, and erotics inaugurate different modes of kinship, care, and repair?

Interlocutor: Professor Macarena Gomez-Barris, Pratt Institute

Stylistic Virtue and Victorian Fiction 

Dr Matthew Sussman's book Stylistic Virtue and Victorian Fiction is a wide-ranging examination of the theory and practice of style in the novel, literary criticism, and ethics, in preparation for final review by Harvard University Press.   

Interlocutor: Professor Helen Small, Oxford University

All marriage is gay marriage

After achieving marriage equality, all marriage is gay marriage, at least for the popular purpose of renegotiating a general attachment to the form. Instead of promoting an inclusive model of marriage that accommodates heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, Associate Professor Lee Wallace considers the ways in which marriage has always been a gay proposition. To help make this argument she starts with divorce, as all great marriages do. 

Interlocutor: Professor Robyn Wiegman, Duke University

Wallace, L. (2020). Reattachment theory : queer cinema of remarriage. Durham: Duke University Press.


A five-day retreat held off-campus in an intensive, discussion-based setting. 

Multilingual Australia: Past and present

This retreat seeks to uncover and explore largely untapped archival sources in their original languages and in so doing transform academic research into Australia’s past, as well as provide insight into how this past has contributed to the nation's diverse cultural and linguistic present. Multilingual approaches to these materials have the potential for impact beyond academia, with opportunities for collaboration with a range of cultural and community organisations to develop and deliver exhibitions, public programs, literary, film and cultural festivals that will bring the riches of these archives to a broad and diverse public.

Lead academics: Dr Avril Alba and Dr Sonia Wilson

Visiting researcher: Professor Ghil‘ad Zuckermann, The University of Adelaide

Theorising Theatre and Performing Arts for Health

Lead academics: Dr Paul Dwyer

Visiting researcher: Dr Clive Parkinson, Manchester Metropolitan University

Money and the City: Urban Property Inflation, Wealth Inequalities, and the Role of Public Policy

Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this projects examines how urban property inflation is contributing to new forms of inequality – and what can be done about this problem.

Lead academics: Professor Martijn Konings 

Visiting researchers: Rachel Weber, University of Illinois at Chicago, Brett Christopher, Uppsala University, Joshua Ryan-Collins, University College, London, Susan Smith, Cambridge University, Alan Walks, University of Toronto, and Saskia Sassen, Columbia University

(What do we) WANT?: Feminist, queer, anticolonial environmental humanities

From the desirous pull of the fossil-fuelled life to activist claims for an alternative polis, the question of “want” is a vital yet underexamined dimension of environmental crisis. This research retreat (with local academics and international scholars Stacy Alaimo, Kathryn Yusoff, Stephanie LeMenager and Eva Hayward) will debate and document the insights of feminist, queer and anticolonial perspectives on desiring bodies and the demand for change in the context of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.

Lead academics: Dr Astrida Neimans and Dr Jennifer Mae Hamilton

Visiting researchers: Professor Stacy Alaimo, University of Texas at Arlington, Professor Chris J. Cuomo, University of Georgia and Dr Anne Galloway, Victoria University of Wellington

Organising the 21st century city

In a growing number of cities, people are challenging their frustration with existing citizen engagement processes into creating urban alliances and/or citizen platforms that bring together diverse civil society actors to articulate and pursue common interests. This three-year project, funded by the Henry Halloran Trust/Incubator, will bring together the first internationally comparative study of these initiatives and will explore development of two books at our retreat.

Lead academics: Professor Simon Tormey, Dr Amanda Tattersall and Associate Professor Kurt Iveson.

Visiting researchers: Professor Eric S. Sheppard, UCLA, Professor Helga Leitner, UCLA and Associate Professor Mark Davidson, Clark University

Pop-up research labs

A three-week intensive program of research on a problem of real-world and theoretical significance.

Media Coverage of Military Sexual Violence in Canada, Australia and the US

This lab will bring a team of international experts and researchers together to analyse and visualize the rates and media coverage of military sexual violence (MSV) in Canada, Australia and the US in what will become the first-ever international comparative analysis of MSV. The research addresses two core problems: an absence of comparative longitudinal data on MSV; and, the lack of a comparative analyses of media coverage of MSV. In short, this lab will treat military sexual violence as an international problem and enhance our understanding of how this problem is addressed and made sense of in media coverage. Although information about MSV largely reaches the public through the media, little is known about the way that this issue is framed, how gendered stereotypes might shape coverage, and how this might shape public perception and policy solutions.

Lead academic: Professor Megan Mackenzie

Visiting Fellow: Associate Professor Sampert, University of Winnipeg and Director and Editor-in-chief of 

Anastasia: Communicating heat and climate vulnerability through performance

Climate change will bring longer and more intense heatwaves, and yet our infrastructure, governance and public knowledge are often inadequate to address the threat. Experience with climate change science illustrates that the public is not convinced by science alone, and alternative ways of communicating are necessary. We will examine how academic knowledge about climate change and heatwaves can be translated to the public through performance. Using a truly transdisciplinary approach we will bring together scientists, social scientists, artists and performers to mobilise climate knowledge.

Lead academics: Professor David Schlosberg and Dr Alana Mann

Visiting Researchers: Professor David Roesner, LMU Munich and Associate Professor Kari Norgaard, University of Oregon

Critical research into death in contested circumstances

Bringing together key scholars of death investigation from around the world to deliver practical outcomes and theoretical innovation following deaths in contested circumstances. This pop-up research lab will explore how we might learn from sudden-death investigation across multiple sites and contexts so as to collectivise thinking through fatality and its effects and align multidisciplinary and cross-jurisdictional knowledge. Crucially, the lab will contribute to building new ways of socially, legally, politically and theoretically understanding critical death events and their aftermath.

Lead academic: Associate Professor Rebecca Scott Bray

Visiting Fellow: Professor Phil Scraton, Queen's University Belfast

Brave New Law: Legal Personhood in the New Biosciences

The new biosciences and their attendant technologies are radically challenging the nature and structure of legal personhood. In this pop-up research lab we will explore the complex issues that are emerging in the intersection of law and biology and displaying highly composite problems that puzzle existing legal concepts and regimes. It is paramount to social and legal theory to get a grip on these problems and to start conceptualising new approaches and innovative methods.

Lead academic: Dr Sonja Van Wichelen

Visiting Fellow: Professor Thomas Lemke, Goethe University Frankfurt


Each Global Symposium addresses a problem of global importance and involves participants from the University of Sydney global partner universities.

Multispecies Justice

Justice has traditionally been the preserve of humans, but the grave harms inflicted on animals and the environment demand that we ask, ‘what would justice across the human-more-than-human world entail?’ Establishing multispecies justice will require reimagining justice in a sufficiently capacious way to accommodate the breadth of the multispecies world.

Lead academic: Professor Dany Celermajer

Gender, (In)security, and Temporalities of Violence

Conventional Western accounts of war suggest it is bracketed by a beginning and an end. Gendered experiences of violence and (in)security, however, manifest across formal periods of peace, war, and the so-called post-war era. This symposium explores how to better understand complex temporalities of war by attending to gendered forms of (in)security. The symposium proceeds from the premise that understanding whether the effects of war are, or can be, contained is of significant global importance. Exploring the temporal assumptions that frame conventional Western accounts of war permits consideration of gendered (in)securities that might be ignored, over-looked, or under-researched as a result of previously being considered ‘outside’ of war’s temporal limits.

Lead academics: Professor Megan Mackenzie and Professor Laura J. Shepherd

Visting researchers: Assistant Professor Yolande Bouka (Queen's University), Assistant Professor Shweta Singh (South Asian University), Associate Professor Swati Parashar (University of Gothenburg), Professor Annick Wibben (Swedish Defence University), Roxani Krystalli (Feinstein International Center)

Environmental Disasters and Just Governance

Environmental disasters have immeasurable consequences for communities and ecosystems. Does conceptualising an event as a disaster influence responses to large-scale environmental and social events? How does the concept shape how to govern large scale harm? And are there just ways to govern disasters that address immediate and long term harms?

Lead academic: Professor Susan Park

Projects with multidisciplinary initiatives

We are actively involved with colleagues from the University’s multidisciplinary initiatives including current projects funded with Sydney Nano and the Marie Bashir Institute.