Become Continuum’s Books Review Editor

Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies is seeking expressions of interest for a Books Review Editor.

Ideally you will be an early career academic with a passion to keep abreast of new books and voices in Media and Cultural Studies.  You will be responsible for seeking reviewers, timely submissions, and the editorial management of review articles on Scholar One (4-6 reviews per year).  It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage with a network of scholars in the field, whilst also being part of the Continuum editorial team.  The term is for 3 years.

Please send an expression of interest, highlighting your interest in commissioning, selecting and editing of reviews for Continuum (approx 350 words and include a cv.) to Professor Panizza Allmark – – by 29th February 2024.

We look forward to welcoming you to the team!

EOI: CSAA 2024 Conference Hosting

Dear CSAA members,

Following fantastic conferences at University of Queensland in 2019, Edith Cowan University and RMIT University in 2022, and looking forward to the 2023 conference at University of South Australia, we are seeking expressions of interest to host the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA) conference in 2024.

Hosting the CSAA conference is an opportunity to help shape the agenda for cultural studies research and raise the profile of your department and its researchers. It also provides HDRs and ECRs with the chance to help organise a major academic event and build their research networks. Organising a big conference is no small task but the reward from selecting keynotes, themes, plenaries, and designing the PreFix postgrad day is a huge contribution to cultural studies in Australasia. 

Historically, CSAA has aimed to shift the conference from coast to coast, to Aotearoa New Zealand, and to include metropolitan and regional hosts. This has always created place-responsive events that are varied in their event themes. We hope to support this model in the coming years. However, as we continue to navigate the post-lockdown years, we are also open to hosts from cities where CSAA has been recently held. 

The CSAA executive committee will support the conference while allowing the host organising committee full autonomy, and provides an initial start-up fund for both the conference and for the postgraduate PreFix event.  

If you are interested in more information about hosting CSAA 2024, please reach out to one of us in the Executive Committee for more information about the support the CSAA offers hosts. 

Best wishes,

The CSAA Executive Committee

CSAA Travel Bursaries for Postgraduates and Sessionals

We are delighted to announce that the CSAA will be awarding small bursaries to help support the travel costs of Postgraduate and sessional CSAA members to attend the 2023 CSAA Conference, “Culture in Practice” (5-8 December at University of South Australia).

At this stage, we anticipate awarding four $500 bursaries, but this may change depending on the number of applications received.

The Conference is the premiere CSAA event each year and offers Postgraduate and sessional members in particular a terrific opportunity to engage with, and contribute to up-to-date debates in the field as well as build networks among their local, national, and international peers.

Note registration includes CSAA membership, if an applicant has registered they are a CSAA member.

To be eligible for a CSAA Travel Bursary, you must:

  • be presenting a paper at the 2023 CSAA Conference (abstract accepted);
  • attend for the duration of the conference;
  • have paid your conference registration.

To apply:

  • forward your paper acceptance and proof of paid registration;
  • include a short (1-2 paragraph) statement that includes your enrolled institution and your city of departure, alongside a very brief indication of how the $500 will assist you.

All CSAA postgraduate and sessional members are encouraged to apply, particularly those travelling greater distances and for whom travel costs will be higher. Applications will be assessed by a panel chaired by CSAA Treasurer, Dr Holly Randell-Moon, and comprised of CSAA Executive members.

Applications close midnight on Friday November 10th. Entries and questions can be directed to

Presenting the 31st CSAA annual conference – ‘Culture in Practice’

Creative People, Products and Places Research Centre (CP3),  

University of South Australia (City West Campus), Tarntanya/Adelaide 

December 6-8, 2023  

Pre-Fix, December 5 

Now more than ever ‘culture’ is a contested site of exclusion and possibility. The present realities of climate crisis, increasing inequality, multiplying communities of hate, in addition to growing geo-political insecurity demand cultural as well as political, social, and economic responses. This year’s CSAA annual conference seeks to explore how we can create an open and inclusive cultural space for collaboration in a country like Australia where sovereignty of the First Nations peoples has never been ceded. How do we de-colonise culture? How do we re-create it?  

Cultural studies aims for inclusivity. During this face-to-face gathering, we are keen to explore how cultural studies and allied disciplinary fields might examine the potential of culture in practice to shed new light on local and global problems. How can we create an open and inclusive cultural space when First Nations scholars remain few in a ‘white’ academy, where precarity and job insecurity remain endemic, where the lingua franca remains English and where discourses and practices continue to push to the margins cultural ideas, practices and ontologies that challenge various forms of normativity? We invite you to re-imagine with us how cultural studies concepts and activities can work pragmatically, that is, tailored to the contours of these issues. 

We welcome First Nations scholars and scholars from diverse and subaltern groups, as well as HDR and ECR participation. 

While the conference will be configured largely around a traditional presentation format, we welcome the chance to explore the possibility of including other formats (including but not limited to the presentation of NTROs) with potential conference contributors.  

We therefore invite papers that address the following concerns, as well as general presentations: 

– Culture in/as Practice 

– Culture in/as Action/Activism 

– Cultural Policy 

– Cultural Studies and Practice-based Research 

– Everyday Cultures 

– Mediated Practices, Representation and Screened Words 

– Material Cultures and Practices 

– Intersectionality and Culture in Practice 

– Culture in the Community 

– Cultural Practice in Place 

– Cultural Safety 

– Culture as Power 

– Ecologies of Practices 

– Interacting/Learning/Knowing Through Cultural Engagement 

– Community-Engaged Cultural Studies 

– Cultural Research Methods 

– You doing your cultural studies, whatever that may be ……. 

Organising committee 

Susan Luckman 

Prudence Black 

Lia Bryant 

Rupa Ghosh 

Kasia Jaworski 

Brydie Kosmina 

Stephen Muecke 

Jess Pacella 

Stuart Richards 

Rosie Roberts 

Jon Stratton 


Conference Website:  

2023 Annual Paul Priday Lecture: Dreams of Flight: The Lives of Chinese Women in the West

Chau Chak Wing Museum | 5pm, 17 March, 2023

In this lecture Fran Martin will draw on a 5-year ethnographic study of the social and subjective experiences of fifty young women from China through the years of their university study in Australia.* 
Although around 60% of outgoing students from China are female, the gendered dimensions of China’s educational diaspora have to date been little discussed. My study was interested in how educational mobility affects post-90s middle-class women’s negotiations of the contradictory gendered life scripts and self-understandings available to them today.

One of the study’s premises was the observation of a tension in contemporary Chinese public culture between, on the one hand, a neoliberal-style discourse of self-reliant, self-entrepreneurial professional subjecthood that has strong attractive power for well-resourced, middle-class, urban singleton daughters; and, on the other hand, a neotraditionalist discourse of women’s inherently family-centred “nature” and their biological destiny to marry and have a child(ren) by age thirty.

Some of the key findings draw on fieldwork and interviews to explore the type of subjectivity that was ultimately produced through participants’ experiences of transnational educational mobility. The research reveals an overseas-graduate subjectivity marked by decreasing identification with the neotraditionalist model of femininity, and correspondingly increased identification with mobile enterprising selfhood.

 *These findings were recently published in Dreams of Flight: The Lives of Chinese Women Students in the West (Duke U.P. 2022).

Drinks and Canapes will follow the lecture. About the speaker:
Fran Martin is a Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne and a former Australian Research Council Future Fellow. She is a leading scholar of her generation in feminist inter-Asian cultural studies, focusing on sexuality, intimacy, gender, mobility television, film, literature, Internet culture and other forms of cultural production in the contemporary transnational Chinese cultural sphere. Her talk draws on a deep ethnographic study she conducted about women from China living in Australia to attend university.

About the Paul Priday Annual Lecture in Gender and Cultural Studies
Dr Paul Priday was a role model in his work as an “ad man” embodying the opposite of what Madmen represented. As advertising colleagues said, he was a gentleman as well as a stellar creative across many of the top advertising agencies. Like many in the 1960s and 70s, he worked his way up in the industry without having attended university. Lecturing in the Business School and giving guest lectures to a Gender and Cultural Studies class on Consuming Cultures inspired him to go to school. He quickly did a BA Hons at the University of New England, and then joined GCS for his PhD. Elspeth was lucky enough to supervise Paul’s brilliant multi-sited ethnographic research in three multinational ad agencies – in Sydney, Delhi, and Shanghai. His objective was to find out why women rarely featured in the heady ranks of the creatives – a “manspace” par excellence. He graduated with his doctorate in 2016 shortly before his premature death. With this series we honour his research and most especially his work within the Department to harness what he called “the rocket science” of gender studies for debates beyond the university. Paul’s spirit continues to add to our research culture of intellectual generosity and openness.

Book launch: Horror film and Otherness

Professor Adam Lowenstein (University of Pittsburgh)

March 7th at 6pm at UNSW (Robert Webster Building Room 327)

What do horror films reveal about social difference in the everyday world? Criticism of the genre often relies on a dichotomy between monstrosity and normality, in which unearthly creatures and deranged killers are metaphors for society’s fear of the “others” that threaten the “normal.” The monstrous other might represent women, Jews, or Blacks, as well as Indigenous, queer, poor, elderly, or disabled people. The horror film’s depiction of such minorities can be sympathetic to their exclusion or complicit in their oppression, but ultimately, these images are understood to stand in for the others that the majority dreads and marginalizes.

Adam Lowenstein offers a new account of horror and why it matters for understanding social otherness. He argues that horror films reveal how the category of the other is not fixed. Instead, the genre captures ongoing metamorphoses across “normal” self and “monstrous” other. This “transformative otherness” confronts viewers with the other’s experience—and challenges us to recognize that we are all vulnerable to becoming or being seen as the other. Instead of settling into comforting certainties regarding monstrosity and normality, horror exposes the ongoing struggle to acknowledge self and other as fundamentally intertwined.

Horror Film and Otherness features new interpretations of landmark films by directors including Tobe Hooper, George A. Romero, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, Stephanie Rothman, Jennifer Kent, Marina de Van, and Jordan Peele. Through close analysis of their engagement with different forms of otherness, this book provides new perspectives on horror’s significance for culture, politics, and art.

Adam Lowenstein is a professor of English and film studies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Shocking Representation: Historical Trauma, National Cinema, and the Modern Horror Film (2005) andDreaming of Cinema: Spectatorship, Surrealism, and the Age of Digital Media (2015), both published by Columbia University Press. Lowenstein serves on the board of directors for the George A. Romero Foundation.

Professor Lowenstein will give a presentation about the book, which will be followed by a Q&A. There will be a reception after the Q&A.

The event is co-hosted by the Sydney Screen Studies Network (SSSN) and the Screen Studies Association of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (SSAAANZ).

Prof Lowenstein will give a presentation about the book, which will be followed by a Q&A & reception.

Please register here:

Announcing two new CSAA Executive Committee members

The Cultural Studies Association of Australasia is excited to announce two new Executive Committee members.

Replacing Jay Daniel Thompson as Website and Social Media Officer is Andrew Hutcheon (Edith Cowan University, Western Australia).  

Replacing Elizabeth Stephens as President of the CSAA is Rebecca Olive (RMIT University, Melbourne).  

Rebecca and Andrew will join current Exec members Holly Randell-Moon (Treasurer), Michael Richardson (Members’ officer), Panizza Allmark (ex-officio, Editor, Continuum) and Rob Cover (Secretary) on the committee.  

Congratulations to the new members of the CSAA team, and an enormous thank you to our outgoing president and social media officer for all their valuable work keeping CSAA thriving, particularly during recent complex years. 

We are looking forward to CSAA’s continued success in its 31st year in 2023.  

Elizabeth Stephens: Celebrating 30 Years of the CSAA: Reflections of a Departing President

In 1992, the year the CSAA was officially inaugurated as an association, Paul Keating was Prime Minister of Australia, the Mabo Case had finally overturned the legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ in this country, and, in the former colleges of advanced education and institutes of technology that had just been renamed as universities under the Dawkins Act, new-minted Departments of Cultural Studies were graduating their first cohorts of students.

I was one of those students, in the Department of Communication and Cultural Studies at Curtin University. This was during the years that Graeme Turner, Noel King, John Hartley, Jon Stratton, amongst others, were passing through its Brutalist corridors. Around the same time, at nearby Murdoch University, Ien Ang, Niall Lucy, Tom O’Regan, John Frow, and others were also introducing some of the first Cultural Studies courses in the country. It was an exciting time.

That it was possible to study popular culture, or the practices of everyday life, or the entanglements of power/knowledge, as subjects of a university course was a revelation to teenaged me. Like many of my student peers at Curtin, I was a first-generation university student and largely disinterested in, as well as unfamiliar with, the sort of texts and cultural forms on which more traditional humanities courses then focused. Discovering Cultural Studies made my own cultural experiences and positionality comprehensible in new ways, legitimising texts and subjects that had previously seemed outside serious scholarly consideration.

Over the past thirty years, the CSAA has not merely survived but flourished—no mean feat in Australia given that at least twenty of these years have been under a conservative government, one increasingly hostile to politically engaged teaching and research. The institutional and academic success of Cultural Studies as a field of research in this region is truly testimony to the commitment of the CSAA’s community of scholars.

This success is especially remarkably given that Cultural Studies has always been a rather scruffy and undisciplined sort of academic discipline. While this has often posed challenges to its institutional footing, it has also been a source of strength, and a key to its endurance. The CSAA has long acted as an incubator for new and emergent fields of research, many of which have since become established as important fields of research in their own right: the environmental humanities, affect studies, critical race study, queer theory, disability studies and more have all had important sites of emergence and engagement within the CSAA community. It is important that the CSAA continue to welcome and foster new fields of research as these emerge in the future, even as it retains a growing sense of its own history and methodological specificity.

To have had the opportunity to serve as President of the CSAA over the past four years, and to complete my tenure as the association celebrates its 30th anniversary, has been an honour and a real joy. It goes without saying that the last few years have been enormously difficulty and disruptive for the university sector as a whole. I thank both the CSAA Executive and National Committees for their dedication and service during this period: Rob Cover, Holly Randell-Moon, Jay Daniel Thompson, Michael Richardson; and Anita Brady, Karin Sellberg, Daniel Marshall, Katrina Jaworski, Dennis Bruining, Lola Montgomery, Jude Elund, Megan Rose, Elham Golpushnezhad and Brydie Kosmina.

I hand over leadership of this community to our incoming President knowing that the CSAA, and its future, are in good shape. This is evident in the fact the CSAA has enjoyed no less than two national CSAA conferences this year. The first of these was held in Perth at Edith Cowan University in June, having been originally scheduled as the 2020 annual conference. Many thanks to the organization team of Panizza Allmark, Thor Kerr, James Hall, Jessica Taylor and Laura Glitsos for their perseverance in putting on this fantastic conference.

The second will be held at RMIT University from 1-3 December – next week! This coincides with the CHASS consortium of humanities association conferences and marks the official 30th anniversary of the CSAA. All thanks to Rob Cover, Jay Daniel Thompson, Anna Hickey-Moody and Mark Gibson for their hard work on this conference, and for the many celebratory panels and events they have planned.

This series of blog posts celebrating the CSAA, which will conclude at the end of this year, has provided a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the history of the CSAA and its role in teaching and research in this region. I thank (in order) Mark Gibson, Greg Noble, Rebecca Olive, Lisa Slater, Sukhmani Khorana, Lola Montgomery, and Baden Offord for their earlier contributions to this series. Thanks as well to the CSAA’s Social Media and Website Editor, Jay Daniel Thompson, for his hard work on this series.

All the posts can all be found and enjoyed here on the CSAA website:

Elizabeth Stephens is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland and the outgoing President of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia.

Baden Offord: Meeting at the Crossroads

My free dive into cultural studies began in the borderlands of my PhD research that focussed on LGBT human rights, queer theory and Southeast Asia in the mid-to-late 1990s. Having re-located from Eora to Bundjalung Country and finding an academic home at Southern Cross University in Lismore in 1994, I was fortunate to be at the foundation of a School for Humanities, Media and Cultural Studies in 1999.

What emerged was a moment that brought together an incredible constellation of friends, scholars and thinkers: Wanning Sun, Gerard Goggin, Helen Wilson, Ros Mills, Fiona Martin, Justine Lloyd and later on Rob Garbutt, Kim Satchell, Dallas Baker, Rebecca Olive, Erika Kerruish and Soenke Biermann, among others. These wonderful folk were the kind of touchstones you needed in an academy where passion could flower with scholarship and critical enquiry.

Handed the task of establishing a cultural studies program, I set about understanding how cultural studies would work in a regional context. It was exciting, challenging and daunting! My free dive was not without its moments of confusion, anxiety and pathos, as well as moments of sharp clarity, seriousness and fun. At that time, the energies to activate a cultural studies presence in a rural and regional university were, fortunately unencumbered by the limits and expectations sometimes imposed on and by metropolitan and sandstone universities (like the University of Sydney, where I had studied Indian History, Indonesian and Sanskrit.) in which tradition might trump exploration and experiment.

Something about being in Lismore, at the junction of colonial, agricultural, alternative, Indigenous, media, environmental, counter-cultural, activist and protest-based regional experience and belonging/unbelonging, resonated strongly with the Birmingham roots of the cultural studies project, at least it seemed to us. Emboldened by Nick Couldry’s definition of cultural studies as “an expanding space for sustained, rigorous and self-reflexive empirical research into the massive power-laden complexity of contemporary culture,” we set about framing our approach to cultural studies pedagogy through identity, space and place.

At the heart of this was learning about the best of cultural studies traditions, concepts, methods, and attempting to forge a distinctive way to understand and express the deep structural features of social and cultural life (particularly through the lens of race, gender, sexuality, class, dis/ability), as they shape and mark our lived experience.

As I write this reflection post the catastrophic flooding of the Northern Rivers region earlier this year, I’m reminded of the precarious nature of our academic lives, of how our cultural studies scholarship too can be extinguished by the neo-liberal and managerial oriented university.

I wrote up the entire cultural studies unit, ‘Unruly Subjects: Citizenship’ (which later became a core unit in several humanities degrees) over three days in a motel room in Lismore, surrounded by the thoughts of Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, Ziauddin Sardar, Ruth Lister and Elspeth Probyn. Sadly, I’ve heard the motel was destroyed by those recent floods. The unit, too, has finally been pulled from the SCU curriculum after 21 years. I suspect the activist thrust of the unit proved too much for management.

But what emerged at Southern Cross University was a cultural studies curriculum and critical pedagogy that offered imaginaries and paths to, and practices, of, hope – where hope is a verb (to use Bjork’s approach) associated with radical transformation. The passion was to develop a cultural studies education that enabled ‘affective voices’, agency and mutual respect drawn directly from the relevance of everyday life and issues of social justice.

Importantly, along the way I was indebted to the CSAA and the ACS as associations of cultural studies folk where the pedagogy of our curriculum and the investigations in our research could be tested and given critical and creative oversight.

I was lucky to attend, present and co-present at many of the annual conferences and events with my PhD students and colleagues over 20 years. With my colleagues, undergrad and postgrad students at SCU we even managed to host the 2010 CSAA conference ‘A Scholarly Affair’, held in the Byron Bay Community Centre. I vividly remember salient talks by postcolonial Indian theorist Vinay Lal, environmental humanities scholar Deborah Bird-Rose, Goorie author of Bundjalung and European heritage, Melissa Lucashenko, and sociologist Raewyn Connell. The conference extrapolated from Toni Morrison’s insight that ‘racism is a scholarly affair.’

The rich, generative and often wild energies of these gatherings can’t be overstated when they work at their best. The generosity of academics and scholars was generally amazing. Even when I felt an outsider (as a queer, non-drinking, Maori academic from a regional uni in sandals), the scope of the CSAA was just open enough to create and sustain interstitial and intersectional relations.

I am immensely grateful to have been a part of this activist and intellectual community. For example, it gave me the strength to move beyond having a ‘mouth full of blood’ to having the intellectual and creative verve to engage with my own lived experience about suicide through a decolonising frame. It strikes me as a moment of poignant reflection that during my PhD research I presented on a panel alongside Rob Cover in the catalysing queer conference ‘Activate/Reactivate’ at Sydney Uni, I believe held in 1997-1998. Through the years, he and I have met at many cultural studies crossroads. His work in critical suicide studies has radically contributed to cultural studies scholarship. So, it’s noteworthy that he’s now part of the CSAA conference team organising the 30th anniversary. He is just one example of how powerful these crossroads are!

Baden Offord is Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights at Curtin University and is of Māori Pākehā heritage. His research in cultural studies has contributed to innovations in understanding human rights, cultural citizenship, critical pedagogy, and issues of social justice. Among his recent publications are: (co-edited with Fleay, Hartley, Woldeyes and Chan) Activating Cultural and Social Change: Pedagogies of Human Rights, (Routledge, 2022) and the essay ‘Becoming human: lived experience, suicide and the complexities of being’, ( In 2021 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) ‘For distinguished service to tertiary education in the field of human rights, social justice, and cultural diversity.’

Into the Archives: An RMIT Culture Salon Celebrating the AFIRC Research Fellowship

Date and time – Wed., 12/10/2022, 6:00 pm AEDT
Location – The Capitol 113 Swanston Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

For over 10 years, the AFI Research Collection Research Fellowship has supported scholars to delve into the wealth of the archive.

To celebrate the announcement of the recipient of the 2022 Research Fellowship, past fellows James Findlay (2021) and Jessica Balanzategui (2020) present their research, share the gems of Australian film & TV history they’ve uncovered within the archive, and screen a classic that asks the enigmatic question: Have you ever, ever felt like this?

Jessica will discuss key highlights from her AFIRC Fellowship, “Changing Children’s Television Genres in Australia and Changing Paradigms of Quality Child-Appropriate Television.” The project examines how the cultural and industrial landscape around children’s television transformed between 1960-2000, focusing on landmark shifts that impacted children’s genres and public perceptions of their “quality”. These developments include the introduction of the “C” (for children) rating in 1979 after five years of heated negotiations between government, policy, and industry, and the introduction of the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in 1982 and of children’s television standards in 1984.  Jessica will outline some of the policy and industry advocacy that drove these shifts, and trace how shifting expectations around children’s television in Australia played out in news media commentary. This presentation will illuminate some surprising controversies and public debates as children’s television developed into a robust and internationally renowned sector of the Australian screen industry.

James will be discussing his AFIRC Fellowship project, Framing the frontier: Australian settler colonialism on television after 1970, which examines television’s representation of Australian frontier history over the past 50 years. As a mythic arena of pioneering, invasion, celebration and violence, the frontier on screen evokes historical experiences deeply intertwined with changing ideas of race, gender, and the legitimacy of the colonial project. This research is highlighting how television drama and documentary has ascribed meaning to the processes and outcomes of settler colonialism for audiences as well as TV’s role in shaping and reshaping attitudes concerning the most urgent and contentious Australian histories.

A discussion and Q&A with host Stephen Gaunson will follow the presentations.
Free admission – book here