UWA Logo What's On at UWA
   UWA HomeProspective Students  | Current Students  | Staff  | Alumni  | Visitors  | About  |     Search UWA    for      

What's On at UWA

* Login to add events... *
Today's date is Friday, December 04, 2020
School of Social Sciences
 August 2019
Tuesday 27
1:00 - EVENT - Conducting a comprehensive literature search (Humanities and Social Sciences focus) Website | More Information
Ensure that your literature searching is effective, efficient and thorough. Learn how to:

Develop a search strategy; identify relevant, scholarly information sources and; use tools and techniques to track the literature related to your research. This session has a Humanities and Social Sciences focus.

10:00 - SEMINAR - Should we say sorry? An examination of the treatment of people of Chinese cultural heritage in Western Australia between 1820s and 1970s. More Information
People of Chinese cultural heritage has been part of the history of Western Australia since the proclamation of the Swan River Colony. They in the past were subjected to certain policies, which were legal but arguably unjust in light of contemporary societal attitude towards equality and fairness. Such policies included the poll tax (also known as the “head tax”), tonnage restrictions, exclusion from goldfields, and the dictation test. The project intends to study the period from the beginning of British settlement to the time around the abolition of the White Australia Policy. Through a cross-disciplinary approach, the project intends to examine in detail, these policies and their impact on people of Chinese cultural heritage in Western Australia during that period.

People of Chinese cultural heritage were subjected to similar policies in other countries and other Australian states around the same time. In recent decades, many of these jurisdictions including New Zealand and Victoria have issued apologies for their past policies concerning their people of Chinese cultural heritage.

During the preliminary research of this project, it is apparent that there are ample literature on the people of Chinese cultural heritage and their experiences during the 1800s and 1900s in Western Australia. There are also an abundance of literature related to the apologies which have been made in the past. However, there is little evidence of any discussion on whether the policies of the governments of Western Australia towards its people of Chinese cultural heritage should be debated. From an academic point of view, it is of significance to address that.

It is worth noting that if there is ever going to be any public debate about this, such debate should be up to all West Australians and West Australians alone.

This project aims to, through a comparative approach, combine the studies of the history concerning the people of Chinese cultural heritage in Western Australia, the apologies delivered to people of Chinese cultural heritage in other jurisdictions for similar policies, and the apologies made to other groups of Australians to analyse whether an apology should or should not be made for its policies towards its people of Chinese cultural heritage in the past. It should always be remembered that this project is about examining whether or not a state apology is appropriate, not about finding ways to justify an apology.

13:00 - WORKSHOP - Anthropology and Sociology Research Workshop More Information
Interested Postgraduate Students and Early Career Researchers whose research engages with themes of migration, home, identity and belonging are invited to attend a special research workshop with Professor Paolo Boccagni. Participants will give brief presentations summarising their research on these themes for discussion with Professor Boccagni and their academic peers.

About the Presenter

Paolo Boccagni is an associate professor in Sociology at the University of Trento, Italy. His main areas of expertise are international migration, transnationalism, social welfare, care, diversity and home. His current research is on homemaking and home-feeling processes, as a critical question for the everyday negotiation of boundaries between native and foreign-born populations. As the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Starting Grant project HOMInG and of MIUR (Ministero dell’Istruzione, dell’Università e della Ricerca) HOASI (Home and Asylum Seekers in Italy), Paolo is leading a team of seven postdoctoral researcher fellows, doing multi-sited fieldwork on the experience of home among migrants and refugees in nine different countries. Based on these large-scale collaborative projects, Paolo is elaborating on “homing” as a lifelong set of processes through which individuals and groups try to make themselves at home. In recent years he has also done fieldwork on the ways of framing and approaching immigrant and refugee clients among social workers; on the lived experience and the sense of home of international students; on the built environment, material cultures and thresholds of domesticity in refugee reception initiatives. Paolo has published in over 30 international peer-reviewed journals in migration studies, diversity, housing, social policy and research methods. Recent publications include Migration and the Search for Home. Mapping Domestic Space in Migrants’ Everyday Lives (Palgrave, 2017) and the articles “Aspirations and the subjective future of migration” (Comparative Migration Studies, 2017), “At home in home care: Contents and boundaries of the ‘domestic’ among immigrant live-in workers in Italy” (Housing Studies, 2018), “Ambivalence and the social processes of immigrant inclusion” (with P. Kivisto,International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 2019).

Please RSVP online via www.ias.uwa.edu.au/masterclass/boccagni
Wednesday 28
8:30 - CONFERENCE - WA Migration and Mobilities Update : ‘Belonging in Western Australia: Addressing Migrant and Refugee Inclusion’ Website | More Information
This year the Update tackles the important question of belonging, with the theme ‘Belonging in Western Australia: Addressing Migrant and Refugee Inclusion’. Each year around 200,000 people move permanently to Australia, and many more come temporarily for work or education – how are we, as a community, meeting their needs and ensuring they feel they ‘belong’ in Australia? Our program brings together policy makers, not-for-profits, communities and academics to explore questions such as: What does belonging look like? What are migrants’ and ethnic minorities’ experiences of inclusion and exclusion? How can services support belonging? To what extent is Australia’s migration system inclusive? How can we create inclusive spaces for migrants? What are the roles of schools, local councils, the media, and service organisations in generating belonging? Keynote Prof Paolo Boccagni (University of Trento), will speak on “Migrant Home-making: Insights from Europe”, and a range of representatives from community, government and academia will discuss experiences of belonging and unbelonging, and programs designed to promote inclusion, including arts, sports, media, local government and education based interventions.
Friday 30
11:00 - SEMINAR - The transmission of the intangible cultural heritage of porcelain production in mid to late 20th Century China (1950 - 2000) More Information
Traditional forms of craftsmanship and craft production are types of intangible cultural heritage (ICH), and their survival has been challenged by urbanisation, industrialisation, and globalisation. This urgency motivates my doctoral research on heritage craft production in China, with the aim of balancing the sustainable development of profit-driven modern craft industries with the long-term conservation of the significant ICH. During my fieldwork in Jingdezhen which is the Porcelain Capital of China, a large number of interviewed porcelain craftsmen spoke highly of stateowned porcelain factories (SPFs) that operated from the mid to late 20th Century which was the period of centrally planned economy (CPE) in China. Based on grounded theory analysis of in-depth interviews with 14 former factory workers, the study concludes that the CPE in China has profoundly promoted the transmission of porcelain craftsmanship in Jingdezhen in breadth and depth. This study is thus an interrogation of whether experience can be drawn from SPFs for better ICH preservation contemporarily.

14:30 - SEMINAR - Anthropology and Sociology Seminar Series : Marginality and the X Factor: Assessing the Applicability of the Zomia Hypothesis in the Context of Archipelagic Southeast Asia More Information
This paper begins with a critique of the marginality concept proposed by von Braun and Gatzweiler in Marginality: Addressing the Nexus of Poverty, Exclusion and Ecology due to its neglect of dimensions of local agency. It then proceeds to consider Scott’s rethinking of peripheral societies in Southeast Asia, as enunciated in The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2009), which does emphasise local agency. However, in its terrestrialist agrarian bias and its overriding concern with evasion of the state in its construction of Zomia, it obscures a fuller understanding of the interplay of agency and constraint. The presentation re-evaluates aspects of Scott’s framework with regard to the very different dynamic of downstream states in outer Indonesia, emphasising the importance of market demand from outside those states (the’ X Factor’). It highlights the ways in which upriver smallholders are able to maintain an autonomous sphere of subsistence production while also engaging in commodity production, drawing on Dove’s analysis in The Banana Tree at the Gate: A History of Marginal Peoples and Global Markets in Borneo (2012). It then examines how the Zomia hypothesis must be further modified when considering the relation of mobile maritime communities to the marine-oriented states of archipelagic Southeast Asia, such as the Sulu Sultanate. The paper then presents an analysis of more recent trends in the analysis of mobile maritime communities in this region, focusing upon the Orang Laut and Bajau (Bajau Laut/Bajo/Sama Dilaut), who continue to occupy interstitial positions, particularly in the border areas of the interfaces of Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. This section draws on my own field work among various Bajau communities in Sabah and the Orang Seletar of the Johor-Singapore interface. It concludes by emphasising the necessity to consider how global forces continue to affect the interaction of contemporary nation-states with their marginal communities.

Greg Acciaioli teaches in Anthropology and Sociology and Asian Studies at The University of Western Australia. His research for the last decade has concentrated upon contestations regarding national parks in Indonesia and Malaysia. He also works on such topics as the Indonesian Indigenous people’s movement and farmer innovations in agriculture under new regulatory systems in Indonesia. This seminar draws on his research among stateless Bajau Laut in Sabah, east Malaysia, and the Seletar, an Orang Laut population found in Singapore and Johor, peninsular Malaysia.

 September 2019
Tuesday 03
13:00 - SEMINAR - Communication breakdown in the governance of vaccine acceptance: the road to mandatory vaccination in Italy More Information
Italy’s extension of mandatory vaccination in 2017 was a response to a public health crisis many years in the making. Vaccination rates had been in steady decline for half a decade, culminating in a measles epidemic. With existing studies demonstrating the role of vaccine hesitancy, this study sought to understand policy decisions made within the Italian public health bureaucracy between 2012 and 2017 to try and stem the vaccine confidence problem. Semistructured interviews with five key informants inside or close to government were qualitatively analysed using a theoretically informed schema to make sense of governance failures in realms of knowledge (epistemology) and action (the work of governing). Italian public health officials lacked crucial knowledge regarding the population, including how it was getting its vaccine information and what strategies might work to address hesitancy. Limited financial resources also constrained their capacity in a context of austerity. A credibility gap for government ensued, which officials sought to plug by constructing Italians as in need of firm instruction by mandatory vaccination. Mandatory vaccination can be understood as a form of control that ‘modulates’ people’s access to institutions – in this case the pre-school system. The alternative mode of governance is ‘discipline’, which uses institutions to educate, communicate and instil social norms. During the study period, Italy’s vaccination governance employed a disciplinary approach, but ineffectively. The resort to mandates in 2017 can be understood as a failure of this disciplinary approach, triggered by a series of unfortunate events that were thwarted by governance capacity gaps. The explicit control of mandates are improving Italy’s vaccination coverage rates, but the important work of discipline should not be left neglected. Effective and ethical governance to future-proof vaccine acceptance requires that the unfinished work of discipline be resumed and maintained.

14:15 - SEMINAR - Media and Communication Seminar Series 2019 : ‘At the Movies: Film Reviewing, Screenwriting and the Shaping of Screen Culture’ More Information
At the Movies was a movie reviewing program that ran on the ABC between 2004 and 2014. Prior to that it was known as The Movie Show on SBS. Its presenters Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton co-hosted the programs for a total of 28 years. This presentation reports on research into At the Movies, based primarily around a content analysis of the broadcast transcripts of the program, which are an unusual kind of script, and rarely analysed. The presentation will discuss some of the challenges of analyzing these documents in Nvivo. The session will also explore the problem of drawing links between research into film reviewing, screenwriting, and screen culture, drawing on Bourdieu’s work to link these fields. This presentation represents a Sabbatical report of work done in semester 1 2019. All welcome
Friday 06
11:00 - SEMINAR - Can first language use improve foreign language performance? More Information

This talk will bring together findings from two studies at Curtin University on the impact of allowing learners to plan for a communicative task in their first language (L1) as opposed to their foreign language (L2). The relative benefits will be discussed in terms of fluency and idea units used in an oral problem-solving task. Seventy-two Japanese university EFL learners were randomly assigned to one of two planning conditions. Dyads in each group were given 10 minutes to plan the content of a problem-solving task in the respective languages before individually performing a timed 2.5-minute oral problem-solving task in English. Data took the form of transcribed planning discussions and transcribed task performances. Task performances were coded for fluency based on Levelt’s (1989, 1999) model of speech processing, whereas all data were coded for idea units based on Hoey’s (1983, 2001) problem-solution discourse structure (situation, problem, response, evaluation). As expected, L1 planners spoke less fluently than L2 planners, monitoring their language output more in terms of number of replacements and reformulations. Also as expected, L1 planners generated more ideas connected with all four dimensions of problem-solving discourse. Contrary to expectations, however, the advantages of L1 planning in terms of task content did not transfer to L2 use. L1 and L2 planners’ were highly comparable in terms of ideas units used on the subsequent L2 task, and L2 planners were advantaged in some respects. Implications for future research and pedagogy aimed at facilitating transfer from L1 to L2 performance will be discussed.


Hoey, M. (1983). On the Surface of Discourse. London: George, Allen and Unwin.

Hoey, M. (2001). Textual Interaction: An Introduction to Written Discourse Analysis. London: Routledge.

Levelt, W. (1989). Speaking from intention to articulation. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Levelt, W. (1999). Producing the language: A blueprint of the speaker. In C. Brown and P. Hagoort (Eds.), The neurocognition of language (pp. 83-122). New York: Oxford Press.

Short bio

Craig Lambert is Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics in the School of Education at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. His specialization is in task-based language teaching (TBLT), and his research has focused on learner needs, materials design, motivation, fluency and syntactic development.

Various countries, including Indonesia, have developed environmental education (EE) to create environmentally responsible citizens in response to the growing challenges of environmental degradation and destruction caused by humanity. While there are many individuals who show irresponsible behaviour toward the environment, there are also individuals who are engaged in pro-environmental behaviour (PEB). Some of them may be the pioneers, the first ‘green’ individuals, who face opposition from their neighbours, especially if their pro-environmental action is considered to transgress the norms of the community. I used the term positive environmental deviants (PED) to describe such people. Learning from them may help to revealing the factors influencing their engagement in responsible environmental behaviour. Therefore, this study will explore the possibilities for using the Positive Environmental Deviance approach to improve EE in Indonesia. I will also use the Significant Life Experiences (SLE) concept to delve into the life history of the positive deviants to find what experiences influenced them to take up PEB. SLE is a retrospective exploration of the life of people who demonstrate environmental activism. I will carry out my study in several sites where I can find cases of PED. A qualitative approach, using interviews and participant observation, will be employed.

Resti Meilani is a PhD student in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Australia.

14:30 - SEMINAR - Anthropology and Sociology Seminar Series : The Cultural Invisibility of Autonomic Stress: Navigating a Life With Fibromyalgia More Information
Fibromyalgia is a neurosensory condition characterised by widespread pain, stiffness and non-restorative sleep. Individuals often also experience cognitive difficulties commonly termed fibro-fog, and altered sensory and visceral states associated with a chronically activated autonomic stress response. However, these sensory and visceral experiences are poorly understood in the Western biomedical model. Alongside similar and often related conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, multiple chemical sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia is frequently listed under the category of MUS – ‘medically unexplained symptoms’. From its earlier incarnations under the names neurasthenia, fibrositis and psychogenic rheumatism, it has remained a controversial condition in relation to whether it should be viewed as an organic illness of body or an inorganic illness of mind. This fundamental schism in Western biomedicine has greatly limited insight into the cultural and neurophysiological processes that underlie the development of fibromyalgia. Trauma, stress, accidents and viral illnesses are all common precursors, and research is increasingly elucidating epigenetic factors whereby environmental triggers alter gene expression, leading to the onset of post-traumatic pain and autonomic dysregulation. In this paper I share some of the experiences of my research participants in navigating the challenges of living with fibromyalgia and the frequent invisibility of their lifeworlds to others. I consider what has gone wrong in medical perceptions of the condition, and how peoples' sensory and visceral symptoms offer clues that may also be channels for healing. How might redundant dichotomies be replaced by more helpful approaches and, more broadly, how might there be a re-synchronisation of culture and homeostasis that engenders human well-being?

Sally Robertson is a PhD student in Anthropology and Sociology at The University of Western Australia. Her research interests include the relationship between culture and physiology, cross-cultural insights into different approaches to health and illness, neuroanthropological insights into sensory experience and human adaptation, interspecies connectivity, and creative approaches to healing trauma and restoring well-being
Saturday 07
9:30 - TALK - Social Impact of Social Media : The Hong Kong identity is changing with the help of social media. Website | More Information
Join researcher Dr Catherine Archer, and dig deep into the social impact of social media. Social media has only been part of our lives for little more than 15 years and yet it has irrevocably changed and challenged some of society’s major institutions regarded in the past as “untouchable”. “Social media allows citizens to be the source of ideas, plans and initiatives in an easier way than ever before” says Eileen Guo of Impassion Media. Social movements are now adept at garnering support through hashtags, live-streaming, likes and engagement, to name just a few tactics. Our growing love of social media is not just changing the way we communicate – it’s changing the way we are governed, and the way we live in society. This seminar, presented by social media researcher Dr Catherine Archer, will unpick the approaches of activists and advocates on social media, using case studies and a hands-on approach that digs deep into the social impact of social media.
Tuesday 10
13:00 - SEMINAR - Political Science and International Relations Seminar Series 2019 : A Tale of Two Continents: How America is Looking to Australia on Electoral Reform More Information
Electoral reform is a hot issue in the United States, particularly since the election of President Donald Trump. This presentation will examine how US reformers are seeking to introduce distinctively Australian institutions such as compulsory voting, preferential ballots and independent electoral boundaries as a means of combating polarization and improving legitimacy in American politics. It will focus in particular on the recent adoption of preferential voting in Maine’s 2018 mid-term Congressional elections, the first time ‘our’ system has been used for national elections in US history.

Ben is a Professor in the School of Social Sciences at UWA, working on research and engagement in a range of policy and international issues across the Indo-Pacific. He was formerly Dean of the Sir Walter Murdoch School at Murdoch University, and prior to that head of the Policy and Governance Program and Director of the Centre for Democratic Institutions at the Australian National University (ANU), and has also worked with the Australian government, the United Nations and other international organisations, and held visiting appointments at Harvard, Oxford, and Johns Hopkins universities. As a political scientist, he has authored or edited seven books and over 100 scholarly papers, and received financial support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the United States Institute of Peace, the East-West Centre, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Australian Research Council.

Thursday 12
15:00 - SEMINAR - CMSS Seminar : Identity politics in India: the case of Gujarat riots More Information
Muslims in India have lived alongside Hindus peacefully for many centuries. Yet in the contemporary period some politicians have orchestrated division for political ends, for example, during the Godhra-Gujarat riots in India in 2002 in which there were many Muslim casualties. Critics allege that the ruling party in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and its leader Chief Minister Narendra Modi (now the Prime Minister of India) were responsible for the Godhra-Gujarat riots.

Within the framework of identity politics in India, where religion seems to dominate the social, economic and political spheres, this paper examines how the 2002 Gujarat riots impacted on Muslims in Gujarat. This paper is based on interviews with Muslims (aged 15 years and over) that I conducted in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in 2012. I will examine Muslims’ experiences during the riots and in the aftermath of the riots. I conclude that, in the era of identity politics when Muslims form a disadvantaged minority, national and international policy makers should promulgate policies that would improve social cohesion and intercommunal understanding in India in general, and Gujarat in particular.

Biography Nahid Afrose Kabir, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of English and Humanities, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA, and holds Adjunct Professor positions at Edith Cowan University, Perth and at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia. Nahid Kabir is the author of Muslims in Australia: Immigration, Race Relations and Cultural History (Routledge 2005); Young British Muslims: Identity, Culture, Politics and the Media (Edinburgh University Press 2012); Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity (Edinburgh University Press 2014); and Muslim Americans: Debating the Notions of American and Un- American (Routledge 2017). In addition, she has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.

RSVP: [email protected]

15:00 - SEMINAR - CMSS Seminar : Identity Politics in India: the case of Gujarat riots More Information
Muslims in India have lived alongside Hindus peacefully for many centuries. Yet in the contemporary period some politicians have orchestrated division for political ends, for example, during the Godhra-Gujarat riots in India in 2002 in which there were many Muslim casualties. Critics allege that the ruling party in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and its leader Chief Minister Narendra Modi (now the Prime Minister of India) were responsible for the Godhra-Gujarat riots.

Within the framework of identity politics in India, where religion seems to dominate the social, economic and political spheres, this paper examines how the 2002 Gujarat riots impacted on Muslims in Gujarat. This paper is based on interviews with Muslims (aged 15 years and over) that I conducted in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in 2012. I will examine Muslims’ experiences during the riots and in the aftermath of the riots. I conclude that, in the era of identity politics when Muslims form a disadvantaged minority, national and international policy makers should promulgate policies that would improve social cohesion and intercommunal understanding in India in general, and Gujarat in particular.

Biography Nahid Afrose Kabir, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of English and Humanities, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA, and holds Adjunct Professor positions at Edith Cowan University, Perth and at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia.

Nahid Kabir is the author of Muslims in Australia: Immigration, Race Relations and Cultural History (Routledge 2005); Young British Muslims: Identity, Culture, Politics and the Media (Edinburgh University Press 2012); Young American Muslims: Dynamics of Identity (Edinburgh University Press 2014); and Muslim Americans: Debating the Notions of American and Un-American (Routledge 2017). In addition, she has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.

ENTRY: Free, but please RSVP to [email protected]

18:00 - SEMINAR - Using the Land-Ocean Transition to Understand Past Coastal Landscapes : A public lecture by Mark Bateman, Director Sheffield Luminescence Dating Laboratory, University of Sheffield and Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow More Information
Coastal dunes can contain lengthy, but complex, records of long-term environmental, climatic and sea-level fluctuations particularly where the dune sand has become lithified into aeolianite or calcarenite. Both Australia and South Africa have fairly widespread occurrence of on-shore coastal aeolianites. Aeolianites can form shore-parallel barrier reaching up to 200 m above modern sea level and up to a few km inland.

This talk will focus on Professor Bateman’s research on the South African aeolianites which occur in association with world renown Middle Stone Age archaeological sites. The aeolianites provided the caves and at times dune sand inundated or blocked caves aiding archaeological preservation. But why did our early ancestors choose to live in dunefields? What was the environment and coastline like then and how has it changed through time? This talk will show how integrating off-shore and on-shore topography with an extensive luminescence dating programme allows for a better understanding of the evolution of coastlines through time. The sediments themselves can also be used to gives hints of the humans, animals and plants occupying past dunes.

We now know the preserved terrestrial dunes have been constructed over at least the last two glacial-interglacial cycles (back to ~270,000 years) with multiple phases of deposition during sea-level high-stands. Tectonic stability of the region allowed shorelines to reoccupy similar positions on multiple occasions with sediment deflated from beaches building large stacked dunes. Local variation in the off-shore topography controlled when and where these stacked dunes formed. As global sea-levels rose during non-glacial times so pre-existing dunes were eroded and recycled into new on-shore dunes. As global sea-levels fell during glacial times so dune construction moved out onto what is currently the off-shore platform. Thus whilst the preserved on-shore dune and archaeological record looks fragmented this reflects the big changes in coastline position which have occurred in the past. When sea-levels were high, people occupied caves in the aeolianite and utilised both marine resources and the diverse flora and fauna found on the shifting dunes. When sea-levels were lower they followed the coast-line and dunefields onto the newly exposed coastal plain.

Mark Bateman was appointed at the University of Sheffield in 1995 as a post-doctoral researcher to set up and run the Sheffield Luminescence Laboratory and in 1998 was appointed as a lecturer. He was promoted to senior lecturer in 2004, reader in 2007 and became a Professor in 2011. He is a world-leading expert on research on sediments as an archive for better understanding past depositional processes and environmental changes. In particular, he has applied and developed luminescence dating as a tool for understanding the ages of sediments but also post-depositional disturbance they may have undergone since burial. His work has spanned from understanding coastal dunes, coastline changes and Middle Stone Age archaeology in South Africa to dating the retreat sequence of the Last British and Irish Icesheet. He has also undertaken research in Arctic Canada on cold-climate aeolian systems and periglacial sediments. He has over 180 research publications including in Nature and recently published the Handbook of Luminescence Dating (2019, Whittles Publishing).
Friday 13
11:00 - SEMINAR - Asian Studies Seminar Series 2019 : Unsafety and Unions in Singapore’s State-led Industrialization, 1965-1994 More Information
This paper looks at Singapore’s rapid industrialisation between 1965 and 1994 with a particular emphasis on the rising number of industrial accidents and how this was dealt with by the Singapore State. Its looks at the shipbuilding and repair industry as one of the most dangerous workplaces in Singapore and questions the effectiveness of the states largely top down approach in efforts to curb the number of accidents and deaths. It suggests that the lack of a truly independent union movement (along with other factors) in Singapore hampered efforts to curb the number of injuries and fatalities in the sector. Bio Stephen Dobbs is associate professor in the School of Social Sciences at UWA.

14:30 - SEMINAR - Anthropology and Sociology Seminar Series : Concrete Development: Distraction and Destruction in the eastern Himalaya More Information
India’s frontier state of Sikkim is a ‘sensitive space’ (Dunn and Cons 2014) sharing borders with Bhutan, China and Nepal. As distinctions between urban and rural dissolve across the Himalaya, attention to concrete narrates the transformation of these landscapes and the assemblages that hold them together. In Sikkim, tourism is a key development strategy that is built around mountain landscapes, organic agriculture and concrete structures. Religious theme parks, Hindu temple complexes, gigantic statues of Lord Buddha and other religious figures are crucial components of this concrete landscape. The success of these attractions has led to public demands for more concrete. Concrete is now imbued with hopes of transforming villages and towns into popular and economically prosperous tourist destinations. On the other hand, large-scale hydropower projects which also promise economic development for the state and its citizens are being built across the river Teesta and its tributaries in Sikkim. Concrete, therefore has become the focal point of the state’s development initiatives; the tangible representation of hope and prosperity for citizens whilst simultaneously being used for resource extraction by private hydropower companies. Based on ethnographic research in Sikkim, the paper focuses firstly on the development narrative and visions of modernity which is based on the construction of concrete structures; concrete foregrounds the ways aspirations are materialised in the built environment of a ‘remote’, yet geopolitically significant territory. Secondly, the paper offers a critical reading of the ways landscape is imagined, reproduced and politicised through this development narrative of environmental destruction and cultural distractions ; and thirdly the paper discusses how concrete heralds the collusion of the state and private finance leading to the social and spatial transformation of Sikkim, producing a loyal border state out of a recently independent polity.

Dr Mona Chettri is UWA Australia-India Institute New Generation Network Scholar. She is the author of Constructing Democracy: Ethnicity and Democracy in the eastern Himalaya (Amsterdam University Press, 2017). Her current research focuses on resource frontiers, urbanisation, gender and development in the eastern Himalaya, India.
Friday 20
In 2018, 63 students sat the Chinese Second Language WACE exam. Although Chinese had more candidates than other languages such as Indonesian, there has been a steady downward trend in students attempting the WACE over the last two years. The low retention rate is of concern to teachers of Chinese, with only 5% of each cohort of students who start to study Chinese continuing to year 12. Previous initiatives to increase the rate of students studying Chinese to year 12 level have failed to make any real progress to the situation. In order to understand what motivates students to study a language this study investigates the future language self of high school learners of Chinese following Dörnyei's L2 motivational self system framework to better understand how students envision themselves as speakers of a foreign language. Students in years 7-8 in WA were surveyed using Q methodology, a qualitative method, to individuate typologies of future language self. Results can be used to devise potentially motivating classroom activities based on future self vision.

The Indonesian Diaspora across the Celebes Sea: Citizenship, Negotiation and Identity

This research focuses on the dynamics of the Indonesian diaspora whose members have been living for generations in the southern Philippines. While previously considered as stateless, these people have been officially recognised as (new) Indonesian citizens since December 2017. This study’s importance stems from this being the first time that the Indonesian government granted citizenship to a subpopulation in its diaspora. Research will take place in Davao City, General Santos City and Balut Island in the Philippines as the main locations of the Indonesian diaspora. This study is a qualitative research project that uses in-depth interviews, participant observation, and focus group discussions (FGDs) for data collection, in addition to desktop research.

Amorisa Wiratri is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Sociology.

Being international? –an ethnographic study of Chinese international students’ academic and social experiences in an Australian university

With the increasing number of international students seeking education abroad, student mobility has become one of the key drives toward internationalization in higher education. Accounting for one-third of total international students in Australia universities, Chinese international students play a crucial role in the economy of Australia and the financial sustainability of Australian universities. Therefore, this study will benefit universities seeking to maximize students’ experiences and governing bodies on developing policies towards international students. So far, universities are offering programs and opportunities for student support. However, the gap between international students’ needs and institutional provisions can be significant. This project intends to better understand experiences of international students and different ways international students seek support and improve self-efficacy in a foreign environment. This research will centre on the lived experiences of Chinese international students in The University of Western Australia (UWA), using qualitative research methods, including participant observation, interviews, focus group discussions, video recording, and research diary, as well as thematic analysis. I also want to question integration theory which tends to dominate popular accounts of international student life as it is viewed by universities as the most ideal and valuable model after 1970s when “pluralism” paid more attention to “ethnic maintenance” instead of “assimilation”. Mingxin Qu is a PhD student in the Anthropology and Sociology Discipline. Her research interests include student mobility, education and new media.

Following Inclusion: A study of dyslexia, schools and policy enactment

Through the lens of inclusive education, this project will examine the educational experiences of dyslexic students and their families, asking questions about the levels of inclusion and exclusion they face. In Australia, inclusive education policies (IEP) mandate that mainstream schools must support the diverse needs of all students. Although extensive research has been carried out on inclusive education, no previous Australian study has investigated dyslexic students and their parents’ experiences in light of the emergence of IEP. The study will address the following set of questions:

1) How do dyslexic students experience their education, and what do the participants’ experiences reveal about A) How IEP are enacted in schools B) The potential of IEP to enhance the inclusion of dyslexics?

2) How have inclusive education policies developed in Australia?

In this project, I will follow a select group of up to 18 students diagnosed as dyslexic and their parents/guardians through the course of the 2020 school year. Postulating that students with a Higher Education Family Tradition (HEFT) are more likely to seek and gain support in accommodating their disability, the study aims at equal distribution of HEFT and non-HEFT students. I will also consider differences between metropolitan and rural students by recruiting up to 6 students from families living outside of Greater Perth. This study design will allow me to document and analyse the experiences of a variety of students in different school settings. Through this process, I will develop a clear sense of how certain schools across the state are responding to student needs. This project aims to contribute significantly to the small body of qualitative research on dyslexia by presenting an in-depth analysis of how dyslexics and their families, in different school contexts and from different educational backgrounds, experience and respond to the promise and the enactment of inclusive education policies.

Thom Nevill is a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Sociology.

Alternative formats: Default | XML

Top of Page
© 2001-2010  The University of Western Australia
Questions? Mail [email protected]