This article in the Thesis Eleven journal of critical theory and historical sociology was written in collaboration with Dr Susan Leong and Dr Shaphan Cox. The article focuses on urban space and heritage. Our aim was to understand how ordinary streets in Perth respond to urban change and how much these urban streets represent Western Australia’s heritage. The intention is to eschew the dominant branding of WA as Australia’s mining state and shift the spotlight so that in addition to the economic and material, light is also shed on the socio-cultural in the everyday and the vernacular. This project uses Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis approach to explore a contrapuntal reading of heritage that disrupts the deserving, dominant and fixed histories of High Road in Willetton and High Street in Fremantle. Amid the tides of migration, commerce, and cultures, heritage facades on High Street Fremantle appear singular and fixed, whereas multiple cultures have been extracted for sale on High Road. Superficially High Road seems diverse but the overarching impulse across both sites is commerce—‘Business as usual’ reigns.
This is not my paper, but AAPI's January-March 2016 Research Review provides an excellent overview of what my colleagues and I have been up to lately, including the ultimate form of public engagement with me being pre-selected by the Greens to contest the 2016 federal election. While waiting for the review to download, check out its front-page image of the AAPI contingent at the 'Go Between, In Between: Borders of Belonging' conference at the University of Barcelona.
This paper, published in Somatechnics by University of Edinburgh Press, addresses the prevalence of state violence directed at Aboriginal people. It examines how violence has been reproduced in recent years in the space of Western Australia through mutually-reinforcing relations of financial interest, and how the function of private capital accumulation – in state violence against sovereign Aboriginal people – has remained hidden in white sight. This paper argues that state violence is legitimised through a discourse of Aboriginal protection. After outlining how this discourse and violence have operated in Western Australia, the paper provides a substantive narrative challenging the routine reproduction of state violence against Aboriginal bodies through a close reading of public and media texts. These texts relate to state violence against a blockade preventing land-clearing machines from entering Aboriginal country in mid 2011; state violence against the Nyoongar Tent Embassy in early 2012; and, the government's announcement in May 2011 that it would amend the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Through this analysis, lines are drawn between media, machines and might for the purpose of enabling white sight to see private capital accumulation functioning within the reproduction of state violence against Aboriginal people.
Andrew Perrin’s American Democracy: From Tocqueville to Town Halls to Twitter and Ingrid Volkmer’s The Global Public Sphere: Public Communication in the Age of Reflective Interdependence, both published by Polity Press in 2014, offer interesting and varying perspectives on democracy, public spheres, civic identity and media identities. Perrin demystifies the internal practices and institutions of American democracy, offering an optimistic view of the system in the face of voter disenchantment in the twenty-first century. By comparison, Volkmer’s work is less interested in re-engaging citizens at a local level than the dynamics of transnational publics. Both books have a shared goal of furthering understandings around the writing of Habermas on public opinion as a sphere of political influence. Between them, this goal is reached in the contrast of their respective examinations into how publics form around changing technologies and practices that enable people to imagine themselves connected in some way.
Click here to access this essay published in Continuum.
The conversation asked me to write this article on the last lecture of Benedict Anderson, which I was fortunate to witness at University of Indonesia. Sadly, Ben died two days after his lecture titled Anarkisme dan Nationalisme.
This paper, published in Continuum, is directed at furthering understandings of the function of space, time and sensory experience in environmental discourse. Limited copies of this theoretical paper, 'Negotiating green space between ecological threats and beloved objects' are available for download.