School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    'Helps me feel more like myself': navigating bodies, emotions and identity in Australian queer salons
    McCann, H (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-06-30)
    While hair and beauty salons are often thought of as spaces that reproduce normative ideals of gender and sexuality, the past decade has seen an increase in salons catering specifically to LGBTQ+ clientele. More broadly, research has shown that far from only treating ‘surface’ concerns, salons in general are sites of intensified affect, making them a unique space of entangled body, emotional, and identity work. This article draws on interviews with salon workers from 2017 and client responses to a survey about salons during COVID-19 from 2020, conducted in Australia. This article gives particular focus to salons catering to the LGBTQ+ community (‘queer salons’), as well as data from salon clients that identify as LGBTQ+. Drawing on this dataset this article offers insight into how queer salons challenge our expectations of what hair and beauty salons can do for queer precarity in terms of physical, emotional and identity vulnerability and trouble ideas of the salon as a space which merely reinforces normative ideals of beauty. Furthermore, this article considers how salons might provide a sense of safety and belonging for some LGBTQ+ people, especially within the context of a pandemic.
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    (Re)imagining ambivalent Australia: the curriculum as a tool of nation
    Bacalja, A ; Bliss, L ; Bulfer, M (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-07-17)
    This paper explores how Australian literature mandated for study in the Victorian senior English curriculum creates opportunities for problematizing central myths about Australia. We engage with Homi Bhabha’s notion of ambivalence to demonstrate how representations of colonization, rurality and migration reflect discursive formations of Australia. We consider how each discourse serves a pedagogic function, essentializing a set of myths about Australia: as having redeemed the violence done to Indigenous Australians in the colonial period, as embodying a white, rural masculine ideal, and as a welcoming nation open to migrants. Here, we show the points of orientation these texts provide, in their rearticulations of “the scraps … of daily life”, and further consider how the texts can problematize nationalist narratives.
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    Young children's haptic media habitus
    Nansen, B ; Green, L ; Holloway, D ; Stevenson, K ; Leaver, T ; Haddon, L (Routledge - Taylor & Francis, 2020-10-28)
    Young children’s engagement with digital media centres on their embodied relations, shaped with and through the interfaces, materiality, and mobility of tablets and smartphones. This chapter draws on ethnographic observation of young children’s mobile media practices in family homes to explore the embodied dimensions of digital media interfaces, while engaging with user interface and mobile app developer literature, and phenomenologically informed cultural theory. It reveals the emergence of a ‘haptic habitus’: the cultivation of embodied dispositions for touchscreen conduct and competence. Configured by both cultural and commercial operations, this habitus involves context, user interface studies, and the design of gestural input.
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    Senses and Sensors of Sleep: Technology Mediation and Disconnection in Sleep Architectures
    Nansen, B ; Jansson, A (Oxford University Press, 2021)
    This chapter analyzes sleep technology products designed to mediate and modulate patterns of sleep. Products analyzed include sleep-tracking applications and wearable devices for customizing personal phases of sleep architecture, and “smart” bedroom systems that use sensors and Internet connectivity to monitor and automate sensory environments to optimize the architectural spaces of sleep. Drawing on theories of digital disconnection, this chapter highlights how historical and theoretical notions of sleep as a site of subjective, social, and technological disconnection are reworked by contemporary media technologies. The now ubiquitous use of smartphones in bed reflects ongoing demands for digital participation and productivity. Yet such arrangements are unevenly distributed, with disconnective sleep technologies operating as a form of privilege and distinction for those who have the resources to reshape the architectures of personal sleep rhythms and spaces.
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    Automating Digital Afterlives
    Fordyce, R ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Kohn, T ; Gibbs, M ; Jansson, A ; Adams, PC (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-26)
    The question of how the dead “live on” by maintaining a presence and connecting to the living within social networks has garnered the attention of users, entrepreneurs, platforms, and researchers alike. In this chapter we investigate the increasingly ambiguous terrain of posthumous connection and disconnection by focusing on a diverse set of practices implemented by users and offered by commercial services to plan for and manage social media communication, connection, and presence after life. Drawing on theories of self-presentation (Goffman) and technological forms of life (Lash), we argue that moderated and automated performances of posthumous digital presence cannot be understood as a continuation of personal identity or self-presentation. Rather, as forms of mediated human (after)life, posthumous social media presence materializes ambiguities of connection/disconnection and self/identity.
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    Visual tactility: 'Oddly satisfying' videos, sensory genres and ambiguities in children's YouTube
    Nansen, B ; Balanzategui, J (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2022-05-27)
    This article contributes to research on children’s YouTube, online video genres and media consumption practices by focusing on genres that take shape at the intersection of digital media content and embodied sensation and in particular ‘oddly satisfying’ (OS) videos. This type of content has become popular on YouTube, where examples of satisfying and OS content include the manipulation or movement of a range of colourful or tactile materials such as slime, kinetic sand or icing a cake. To document the evolution and key characteristics of this genre, we analyse YouTube videos using content analysis methods. Our findings show the characteristics of this sensory genre can be understood through the concept of visual tactility, which highlights the synaesthetic feel of watching these videos. Further, we identify and examine how OS videos demonstrate ambiguities in children’s YouTube content, audiences and regulation by overlapping with other sensory genres and more adult content, such as ASMR. This analysis thus situates this sensory genre in relation to the developing study of children’s YouTube entertainment industries and media regulation.
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    Light Art and the Aesthetics of Urban Appropriation
    McQuire, S ; Andrews, J ; LaWare, M (Peter Lang Incorporated, International Academic Publishers, 2022-05-31)
    This book brings together a host of academics who seek to expand the notion of a "communicative city" by looking at the role that art and public culture play in the rapidly expanding global landscape.
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    Vincent Buckley, Colonialism and the Problem of Irish-Australian Identity
    McDonald, R (UNIV QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIAN LITERARY STUDIES, 2021-09-19)
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    Cloudy Thoughts: Cognition and Affect in Troilus and Criseyde
    Trigg, S ; Jahner, J ; Nelson, I (Lehigh University Press, 2022)
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    Edgar Wind and Giovanni Bellini’s ‘Feast of the Gods’: An Iconographic ‘Enfant Terrible’
    Anderson, J (Bernardino Branca, 2022-05-25)
    Since its creation, Giovanni Bellini’s late masterpiece The Feast of the Gods, has never been an easy painting to understand. When Edgar Wind published his monograph in 1948, it received an uneven critical reception. Wind’s interpretation of the painting will be re-evaluated in relation to past and present scholarship, with insights from Wind’s papers at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, as well as other archives. Inevitably as an editor of two volumes of his writings it is partly autobiographical.