President’s Address

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President’s Address 2020

As the 2020 academic year draws to a close, members of the CSAA community look back together on a year beset by unusual difficulties. Most obviously, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted teaching, research, event planning and travel across the sector. These disruptions have been compounded by changes to government higher education policy designed to aggressively curtail teaching and research in the humanities and creative arts. The CSAA Executive is aware that many members have lost their jobs during 2020, and that many universities have proposed staff restructuring that will continue into 2021.

We have sought to respond to these events in a number of key ways. These have been focused on continuing with core CSAA business where possible. For instance, while the 2020 CSAA annual conference has been rolled over to 2021, the 2020 PreFix day will go ahead on December 4. The CSAA Executive has also been kept busy writing a number of submissions to government agencies in response to proposed changes to higher education policy, while seeking to support members research in cultural studies through the provision of small grants.

The most significant item on the 2020 calendar for the CSAA Executive has been undertaking a major review and update of the CSAA constitution, organisational structure, record keeping and financial systems. The AGM documents this year include the revised “CSAA Rules” document. Please do review and register your response to these documents, so that the CSAA can continue its good work in the decades to come.

In light of the above, the CSAA Executive is currently reviewing its membership fees for 2021, with an announcement scheduled to be made in early 2020. Although we understand that many members of the CSAA community renew their memberships as part of their annual conference registration, we urge you to renew your membership for 2021. Members’ fees play a crucial role in enabling essential CSAA activities. These include supporting the Prefix day, which is offered free for our postgrads, ECRs, and colleagues in precarious employment or working outside the academy. Members’ fees also support Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, which provides a highly-ranked and regarded venue for work in cultural studies. Continuum serves an invaluable role in providing an Australian cultural studies journal, in a context often dominated by US and UK-centric publications. Finally, members’ fees are used to support the CSAA small grants scheme, which enables members to hold small events and undertake research projects.

This support will be more important than ever in 2021. On behalf of the CSAA Executive, we look forward to seeing many of you possibly face-to-face as well as virtually, in the year to come.

Elizabeth Stephens, President, Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

President’s address 2019

Dear CSAA members and colleagues,

On behalf of the new Executive Committee, as incoming President of the CSAA I would like to extend our warmest thanks to outgoing members of the team, who have overseen the continued growth of the Association through a series of challenging transitions: Kelly McWilliam (USQ), who has completed her term as President; and Jess Carniel (USQ), who has similarly completed her term as Secretary. Please join me in welcoming new members of the Executive Rob Cover (UWA), elected to the position of Secretary, and Michael Richardson (UNSW), elected to the position of Memberships Officer. Holly Randell-Moon (CSU) continues as Treasurer, and Jay Daniel Thompson (Melbourne) as Website and Social Media Editor.

The complete list of Executive members and State Representatives can be found here:

As we look forward to the start of the academic year, many of us are all too aware of the challenges we are likely to face as scholars, practitioners and activists in the year ahead, and concerned by the intensifying sense of crisis produced by the institutional, political, cultural and environmental transformations currently taking place.

In such times, the work of Cultural Studies scholars is more urgently needed than ever. As teachers and researchers in Cultural Studies, your work has a vital role to play in its contribution to public debate and critical thinking about the difficult issues that currently face us. Cultural Studies as a field is well placed to help us think through the various problems and questions with which we are centrally concerned, with its history of collaborative research, multidisciplinary methodologies, and commitment to popular or everyday cultural practices as serious objects of study.

Now in its 27thyear, the CSAA has long welcomed a broad range of scholars working at the cross-disciplinary and cutting edges of scholarship, including those in queer, gender and sexuality studies; Indigenous, race and postcolonial studies; film, television and media studies; critical disability studies; new materialism; affect theory; internet studies; critical theory; environmental humanities; medical humanities, and many more.

The purpose of the CSAA is to support and promote the work of its members across this varied field. It does this through the CSAA forum, which allows members of the CSAA community to share notices and updates (you can send emails to the forum here:, the CSAA blog (, and the CSAA website (

You can also keep updated by following us on Twitter (@CSAAustralasia) and/or joining our Facebook group (

The CSAA runs a range of occasional schemes, such as the mentorship scheme, the CSAA Small Grants scheme, and the Continuum essay award for excellence in cultural studies scholarship by an eligible postgraduate student.

You can join the Association by clicking the ‘Join CSAA’ tab above, or by attending the Association’s annual conference, which includes membership dues in its registration fees.

In 2019, the CSAA Executive will be working to refresh its organizational structure, capacities, and mission. We will be seeking input of our members and base as we move forward with this. I look forward to working with you over the year to come, and to hearing from you how the CSAA can best support the important work undertaken by its members.

Elizabeth Stephens, President, Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

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