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Recent Events

Cultural Studies Association of Australia (CSAA) national conference

Everyday Transformations: The Twenty-First Century Quotidian

Fremantle, December 2004.

Conference Convenor

Dr Mark Gibson
School of Media, Communication and Culture
Division of Arts
Murdoch University 6150
Western Australia
Phone: 61-8-9360 2951

The routine, the ordinary, the apparently unremarkable, the overlooked. 'Everyday life' has been a foundational concern of cultural studies, from ethnographies of street corners and shopping centres to writing on television and popular magazines. It has been important to the political aspirations of the field, marking a respect for the lived experiences of the working class 'lad', the suburban housewife, the reader of romance fiction or watcher of soap opera. And it has been a major point of intersection for its major intellectual tributaries - from British cultural studies to feminism, European surrealism, situationism, psychoanalysis, ethnomethodology and the sociology of the Chicago School.

But everyday life has been transformed in important ways since the emergence of cultural studies, as have the contexts in which it is framed. The concern of the mid twentieth century with the conformity and repetition of modern life has been joined, if not replaced, by alarm at the disruptive effects of rapid change, increasing speed, new technologies, economic restructuring and globalisation. The political inspirations for addressing the everyday have been challenged by vocationalism in higher education, by demands for more specific institutional engagement and by the conservative colonisation of the 'ordinary' and 'mainstream'.

What 'everyday' phenomena should cultural studies be addressing at the beginning of the twenty-first century? What resources can it call on in doing so? How can available theories and archives of the everyday be articulated to the present?

Possible sessions/themes:

  • New technologies
  • Speed and time
  • Suburbia
  • Everyday sexualities
  • The apocalyptic and everyday life
  • Collections and archives
  • Food
  • Popular media
  • Magazine journalism
  • Cultural geographies
  • Talkback radio
  • Sport
  • Music
  • Shopping
  • Tourism
  • Civility and manners
  • Documentary
  • Television
  • Sustainability
  • Homes and gardens
  • Creativity
  • Risk and stress
  • Dance
  • Globalisation

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    Pubtalk is a relaxed and informal seminar series held in the Fremantle Hotel, corner of Cliff and High Streets, every Thursday night during university semesters. The intention is to bring the wider community and academic researchers in the humanities together in a trans-disciplinary and informal atmosphere.

    We are calling for papers for Pubtalk 2004 and we'd love to hear from you!

    This year seminars will begin in the first week of March. In first semester we would like to extend a special invitation to postgraduate students from all WA universities to present their work. You are invited to relax, socialise, and seek friendly feedback about current projects and ideas. We welcome both individual and group presentations, and ask that papers be between 20 and 45 minutes in length.

    To offer a paper for presentation, please send a 100-200 word abstract to

    Felicity Newman


    Ingrid Richardson


    PubTalk Website (opens in new browser window)


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    Out of the Ordinary: Contemporary Practices of Australian Everyday Life.

    One-day seminar on Friday, April 23, 2004.

    This seminar will examine the increasing popularity of practices which used to be considered 'alternative' or 'un-Australian' and consider how and why people are incorporating them into their everyday lives. Possible examples of such practices would include (but are not limited to): tai chi, Buddhism, Slow Food, anti-careerism, reiki, downshifting, feng shui, yoga.... etc.

    In exploring this theme, the seminar will also critically interrogate the notion of the everyday as the site of the mundane, mindless or banal.

    If you have a proposal for a 20-minute paper, please contact

    Dr Wendy Parkins
    Women's Studies Programme Chair
    School of Media, Communication and Culture
    Murdoch University
    Murdoch 6150
    Western Australia
    Phone: 9360 7469


    Michael McAvan (Murdoch) “Consuming Spirituality: Late Capitalism, Enchantment and Fantasy Fiction.”

    Nancy Ault (Murdoch) “Cadbury Top Deck, Marble or Dairy Milk with Crunchie Pieces: Paradigms in the Postmodern Search for Wellness and Meaning.”

    Rod Giblett (ECU) “Illness Narrative to Health Recovery Story: An Ethnographic Study of Taoist Tai Chi and the Taoist Tai Chi Society.”

    Mark Gibson (Murdoch) “Bloke Yoga.”

    Wendy Parkins (Murdoch) “Celebrity Knitting and the Temporalities of Everyday Life.”

    Julia Horncastle (Murdoch) “Getting Familiar: Sexual Advances from the Everyday World of Kink Culture.”

    Jane Mulcock (UWA) “What belongs in Urban Gardens? Reflections on Initial Interviews with Perth Residents who Love Native Plants and Animals.”

    Geoff Craig (Murdoch) “Un-ordinary Politics: The Life Politics of Slow Living.”


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    Fridge Magnets and Street Curfews: Security and Everyday Life

    One Day seminar held on 21 November, 2003

    For information contact:
    Dr Mark Gibson
    School of Media, Communication and Culture
    Division of Arts
    Murdoch University 6150
    Western Australia
    Phone: 61-8-9360 2951

    The last few years have seen an intensification of issues around security in everyday life. From the Howard government’s fridge magnets - ‘Be Alert, Not Alarmed’ - to the cancellation of holidays in Bali and daily media coverage of suspected Al Qaida activities, it is impossible to escape the field of heightened security concerns. It might be argued, too, that the new focus on terrorism is affecting positions on apparently unrelated issues such as the presence of young people on the streets of Northbridge at night.

    How are security concerns being registered at the level of everyday life? Who or what is being ‘secured’? What can we learn from past cultural negotiations around security? What trade-offs are being developed between security and privacy, security and personal freedoms? What does it mean to live in society organised in response to 'risk'?


    Terence Lee and Christine Giles (Media, Communication and Culture, Murdoch University and Centre for Research on Women, Curtin University), "Global Media, Mass Communication and 911"

    Muralee Chandra (Chief, Alert! Public Relations, Singapore), "Personal Experiences from the Sites of Spiralling Disasters"

    Mick Broderick and Mark Gibson (Media, Communication and Culture, Murdoch), "Death Merchants: Consumer Logics of 'Collecting' September 11"

    Wendy Parkins (Media, Communication and Culture, Murdoch), “Subjectivity in Risky Times”

    Danielle Gallegos (Social and Community Research, Murdoch) “Eating Scared”

    Kara-Jane Lombard (President, Youth Advisory Council of WA) “The Northbridge Street Curfew”

    Grant Stone (Library) "Jessica Lynch: a Fridge Magnet--the story of both sides"

    Maria Degabriele (Media, Communication and Culture, Murdoch University) “Northbridge Curfew: Gaps Between Media Reports and Policy”


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