Research

  • Research interests

    I am a human geographer, with research interests that are strongly interdisciplinary. The broader context of my work is in understanding how interactions between people and place contribute to notions of community and identity, and hence the concepts and processes of belonging or alienation. My research examines the role culture plays in shaping our lives at different spatial levels, from the global to more everyday and local processes operating within and between individuals, communities and societies. Through the lens of the arts, and more specifically that of sound, music and performance, I explore how our private and public selves are articulated and/or challenged in public spaces and events.

    Current research adopts a cultural geographic approach to examine the role emotions and affect play in processes of place-making – including social cohesion, wellbeing, inclusion and alienation. This approach enables our emotional and affective responses to be conceptualized not as belonging to the individual, following conventional approaches in psychology, but, instead, the outcome of ongoing, negotiated and spatially situated process that are simultaneously biological, cultural and social.

    Future research builds on these conceptual and methodological approaches, applying these ideas to explore the cultural politics of emotion in a broader context of sustainability, resilience and rural Australia.

    My other research interests include Australian studies more broadly, with particular interests in cultural diversity and race relations, tourism, place-making, and contemporary cultural theory.  

  • Current and recently completed research projects 1. Challenges to the Great Australian Dream: Negotiating Liveability at Melbourne’s Peri-Urban Fringe  ARC Discovery (under consideration) Unprecedented population growth on the urban fringe of Australian cities requires urgent cross-disciplinary investigation to reduce an emerging socio-economic divide between the city and the new outer suburbs. Some 16% of the Australia’s metropolitan population ... Read more
  • I supervise students working on a wide range of topics particularly in the following areas: place and community-making processes  social sustainability in rural and regional areas  the role of cultural practices in creating identities for places and communities the significance of bodily, affective and emotional processes in creating a sense of social connectedness Postgraduate supervision HDR completions Dr Jana-Axinja Paschen Setting out ... Read more