College of Arts
Lutfiye’s areas of research interest include social identity, community making and belonging among racialised and ethnicised identities. These sit within the context of Australian multicultural social relations, informed by current and historical global relations of power. A major focus of her research explores the complexity and the diverse ways in which identity among Muslim women, migrant and second generation Australians are negotiated at the intersections of gender, culture, religion and race. This research draws on Third World and postmodern feminist theories.
Alison’s current research projects are focused on the use of community-based arts as a catalyst for community and civic engagement among young people from underrepresented groups. Alison’s research also focuses on young peoples’ experiences of oppression and violence and on developing strategies to promote liberation. Alison is interested in blending creative research methodologies and documentary techniques to develop young people’s sense of social justice and capacity for action.
Tom’s published research into rhetoric and poetic style focuses on analyses of political communication. It includes his 2012 book ‘Stay on Message: Poetry and Truthfulness in Public Speech.’ It also includes research into non-Indigenous attitudes towards Aboriginal reconciliation in Australia and Canada, and an ongoing program of research into poetry teaching in Australian schools.
Phillip’s research interests centre on the Cold War, specifically, the impact of the early Cold War on the politics and culture of Australia, Great Britain and the United States. He is also interested in the behaviour and motivation of the individual – whether communist, spy or apostate – within these Cold War societies.
Karina’s research focuses on postcolonial literature and theatre with a particular focus on the Caribbean and Canada. She is both a literary studies and gender studies scholar whose research analyses issues such as low-paid work, sexuality, globalisation, women’s histories as they are represented in literature and other cultural production. She is also interested in migration and diasporic communities, particularly the Caribbean and African diasporas.
Gavin trained as a clinical psychologist at Rhodes University, South Africa, and went on to lecture and supervise trainee psychologists at University of Natal (Durban) and University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg). He immigrated to Australia in 2010 and is currently coordinator of the Clinical Psychology Masters Program at VU. Gavin’s teaching and research interests converge on the process of adult individual psychotherapy, particularly the unconscious influences on the psychotherapy relationship. He practices part-time as a psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapist and clinical supervisor.
Charlotte Fabiansson researches on young people’s everyday life in the local and global society, their identity and community belonging, ethnicity and social inequality, and young people’s attitudes to risk taking behaviour and gambling. Other research interests are changing social institutions, socio-environmental threats and fear of change. Coordinating first year sociology in 2012.
Nicole Oke’s research focuses broadly on globalisation and transnationalism. She is concerned with the reformulation of the relationship between the global North and South in these processes, and on questions of global equity and solidarity. More specifically, Nicole’s current research focuses on migration, especially temporary migration in Australia, examining this as an aspect of Australia’s relationships with Asia and the Pacific.
My research interests are in histories of violence, gender, religion and memory with a particular focus on the Irish both in medieval and early modern Ireland and in the modern Irish diaspora. In analysing violence in Ireland I am interested not in the more usual narrative of wars and rebellions, but in how gender has informed the use of violence and how violent events have been recorded and remembered. Violence is thus defined, not narrowly just in terms of politics or religion, as has been traditional in Irish historiography, but broadly, in such a way as to capture the experience of women and men in as wide a range of everyday circumstances as possible. Violence is studied using gender as the principal analytical tool in order to understand how violence shaped and was shaped by changing understandings of femininity and masculinity.Flowing from my researches into gender, violence and belief in Ireland, I am involved in developing a project on the changing ideas about the racial and social status of the Irish – both catholic and protestant – in nineteenth and early twentieth century Australia. This project will analyse how the Irish – as a racialised group at the margins of whiteness, yet ultimately located as white – fit into Australian racialised hierarchies.
Dr. Cynthia MacKenzie
Cynthia is an Adjunct fellow at Victoria University. Cynthia’s studies have been within the discipline of political science – she holds a BA-honours (Calgary), MA (York), and PhD (Latrobe), with a specialization in the area of international development and international human rights. She has worked extensively in Latin America and South Asia, and nationally on Canadian public policy concerning youth engagement and foreign policy. Her recent research has been on refugee-background settlement and she was the principle investigator in two reports released through the Footscray Community Legal Centre, and Plan Australia. She is interested in issues of identity and belonging related to settlement and multiculturalism, particularly for refugee background youth; youth approaches to peace and peace-building, particularly in Sri Lanka and diaspora communities within Australia; and in questions regarding inner-peace, and the relationship between internal and external journeys of peace-building (including pilgrimage). Cynthia is the best-selling co-author of “Canada’s Young Activists: A Generation Stands Up for Change”.
Christopher teaches in areas of community, cultural and liberation psychology and qualitative research methods. His research is in the area of sense of community, social identity, immigration, and intergroup relations. A major focus of his research is on understanding non-dominant group responses to oppression, including racism. He has investigated the adaptation of different immigrant communities to Australia as well as the responses of Indigenous Australians to dominant group settings and stories. His focus is on understanding the multiple and often concealed resources and structures groups develop to help protect valued cultural identities and to resist oppression and promote liberation. Christopher continues to work with the Community Arts Network Western Australia exploring how community arts can be utilised in community capacity building. He is also a lead researcher on the international Apartheid Archive Project based in South Africa.
My main research interests are in the broad areas of socio-cultural inclusion, conflict resolution, peacebuilding. I am interested in how individuals, groups and societies give meanings to conflict, violence and peace and respond to these issues. My research mainly draws on the social constructivism and critical research paradigms. I am interested in investigating how the politics of knowledge and power contributed to the issues related to social marginalization and social injustice. I inquire the nature of reality and the nature of knowing reality from the perspective of the culturally and linguistically diverse communities. By documenting and amplifying the voices of the less dominant groups, I hope my research would contribute to some policy improvement. Some of my earlier works have focused on the social construction of dispute, mediation and dispute resolution from those of less dominant groups.
Dr Chris McConville has worked widely in the areas of popular culture studies, politics of memory and environment and heritage planning. Dr McConville’s current research activities are in the area of landscape and the politics of sustainability. This broad interest includes a project on landscape issues, alternative energy and river catchments in the Central Goldfields area of Central Victoria. With colleagues at Monash University Dr McConville is currently developing a broad research project on regional environmental, memory and equity issues, focussed on the ‘Volcanic Plains ‘of Western Victoria and drawing on comparative examples in New Zealand and North America.
• Migration, development and Africa
• Diasporas, trade, development and Africa
• Transnational migration, linguistic and cultural diversity and citizen participation
• Urbanisation and poverty in the Global South
• Communication and international development
• Knowledge skills and international development
• Literacies and international development
• Education and international development
• Social entrepreneurship and international development
• Community engagement
• Wellbeing and international development
Catherine Manathunga’s current research projects explore the role of history, geography, identity and cultural knowledge systems in the doctoral education of Indigenous, migrant, refugee and international students. She also researches the history of universities in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand and is collaborating with colleagues on the use of visual, textual and sound exhibitions in representing contemporary and historical academic work. She is also involved in a recent collaboration on VU Women’s Heritage.
Adrian Fisher is an Associate Professor in Community Psychology. He has expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methods, with a strong focus on community involvement and community change. His work is applied psychology, often with a policy focus. Adrian has published extensively in areas of psychological sense of community and community development. He has held grants in health promotion, sense of community and social support. More recently, he has been researching people’s perceptions of water quality and alternative sources of drinking water.
My research is situated broadly in the field of contemporary social theory and often experiments with multidisciplinary approaches. It is informed by an interest in feminism, social movements and the politics of memory and forgetting. This was reflected in my book Anti-Disciplinary Protest: Sixties Radicalism and Postmodernism(Cambridge University Press: 1998) and continues to shape my current work. Recently, my research has included an exploration of maternalism, the application of values associated with the maternal (nurture and care) to the society as a whole. I am concerned with the way cultural memories of second-wave feminism and current social policy intersect to overlook the maternalism of the past and to limit future possibilities. I am also interested in the ideological dimensions of neoliberalism, in particular the displaced understandings of self, gender, dependency, citizenship and community that have accompanied neoliberal restructuring. Much of my work discusses the harsh penalties these changes have imposed on those least advantaged, especially children, the frail elderly, women in the workforce and at home, mothers, women in domestic labour and childcare and newly arrived migrants and refugees.
David McCallum researches on the history of human sciences and their relation to the conduct of governing. He teaches sociology of law and convenes the BA Criminal Justice Studies and Legal Studies courses. David is currently researching a book on Indigenous and non-Indigenous interactions with welfare and justice systems in Australia.
Mark is a social anthropologist with broad interests in cultural history and the history of ideas. His research with Tibetan communities is predominantly focused on interpreting transformations in contemporary visual culture, particularly in the north-eastern region of Amdo. Mark’s cultural-historical research is text-based and concerned largely with gender, sexuality and social space in late-imperial China. Common to these interests is the role of the aesthetic in the (New Historicist) question of how ideas define and redefine communities and circulate in and between them. His anthropological and historical approaches combine in a new area of inquiry called “epitheatre”, forms of social life and literature that emerge as extensions or effects of performance spaces.