School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications

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    Porcelain and Sculptural Aesthetics: The Evidence of the Zwettl Table Centrepiece
    Martin, M (The French Porcelain Society, 2020)
    On 17 April 1768 a grand celebration was held at the abbey of Zwettl in Lower Austria to celebrate the fiftieth jubilee of Abbot Rayner Kollmann’s (1699-1776) profession as a Cistercian religious. As part of the festivities, a number of impressive gifts were made by the abbey’s brethren to their abbot. Famously, the Kapellmeister of the Esterhazy princes, Joseph Haydn (1732-1809), was retained to write an Applausus musicus (or Singgedicht) for performance at the event, Jubilaeum virtutis palatium. This genre of celebratory cantata, similar to opera seria but without the staged action, was particularly associated with monastic institutions in eighteenth-century Austria. Haydn was unable to attend the abbey to supervise the performance of the cantata, so his contribution to Abbot Kollmann’s jubilee celebration was accompanied by a letter from the composer detailing performance instructions for the work, a document of enormous value to modern musicologists that has ensured the lasting reputation of the composition.1 Among the other gifts was a formal portrait of Abbot Kollmann by Joseph Hauzinger (1728-86), still to be seen today in the private apartments of the convent’s abbot.2
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    COVID-19 Contact Tracing and the Operationalisation of Somatechnics
    Yang Wang, W (Edinburgh University Press, 2022-08)
    This article draws on the paradigm of media operationalism to understand the somatechnical construction of bodies during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the concept of somatechnics, one’s experience with the social world is articulated through the available technologies and techniques required to and developed from using these technologies ( Sullivan and Murray 2016 ). By drawing on the case of the Service Victoria app, the digital COVID-19 contact tracing system launched by the Victoria State government in Australia, I focus on the transformative meaning of technologies and somatechnics and how subjectivity is being redefined through the lens of technological utilisation. I suggest that all human-related forms of relations (human-to-human and human-to-machine) have become secondary and give way to the synchronic data-to-data relation of the app. In the regime of operational media, the body is not just a historical and cultural construction but a techno-transactional object that supports the optimisation of automated-decision making. The recent operational-turn in media studies provides a useful pathway to rethink the changing meaning of body and the human/technologies entanglement.
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    ‘Helps me feel more like myself’: navigating bodies, emotions and identity in Australian queer salons
    McCann, H (Routledge, 2022)
    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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    Representing Australian Indigenous Voices: Text Selection in the Senior English Curriculum
    Bacalja, A ; Bliss, L (Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE), 2019-01-01)
    This paper reports findings from a study investigating trends in character, historical setting, authorship and themes across Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) text selection lists between 2010 and 2019. We address the fictionalisation and imagining of Australian history through narratives about Indigeneity and settler-colonisation. While we will describe positive trends that have emerged over time, by and large this study agrees with Leane’s (2016) and Langton’s (1993) assertions regarding the transmission of knowledge and representation of Indigeneity and Australian history in the classroom; namely, there is an under-representation of Indigenous authors, poets, playwrights, film directors, and complex, non-stereotypical charactertypes and an over-representation of non-Indigenous authors representing themes and stories of Indigeneity, reconciliation and colonisation.
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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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    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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    As We Are: A Call Across The Islands
    Leane, J (University of Western Sydney, 2021-11-29)
    It is not difficult to read how the Australian publishing industry, a cog in the wheel of the colonial nation state, curates a picture of First Nations’ life through the literary fiction that it wants to sell. Settlers have become familiar with stories of our lament that we are either physically disconnected and removed from our ancestral lands or that we still live on our ancestral Countries but cannot own or care for them as in precolonial times. Either way we are in deficit. And these stories allow settler readers to offer condolences, to make claims to understanding our pain and loss, all the while knowing that such stories also reinforce the comfort zone of ‘settler ownership and control’. These tropes of settler expectation are artifice.
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    City museums in the age of datafication: could museums be meaningful sites of data practice in smart cities?
    Grincheva, N (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2022-01-19)
    The article documents connections and synergies between city museums’ visions and programming as well as emerging smart city issues and dilemmas in a fast-paced urban environment marked with the processes of increasing digitalization and datafication. The research employs policy/document analysis and semi-structured interviews with smart city government representatives and museum professionals to investigating both smart city policy frameworks as well as city museum's data-driven installations and activities in New York, London and Singapore. A comparative program analysis of the Singapore City Gallery, Museum of the City of New York and Museum of London identifies such sites of data practices as Data storytelling, interpretation and eco-curation. Discussing these sites as dedicated spaces of smart citizen engagement, the article reveals that city museums can either empower their visitors to consider their roles as active city co-makers or see them as passive recipients of the smart city transformations.
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    Beyond the scorecard diplomacy: From soft power rankings to critical inductive geography
    Grincheva, N (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2022-02-11)
    The article interrogates if data visualization, despite its inherited subjectivity, can be used not only as a tool for data representation but also as a research platform to facilitate an iterative exploratory process to identify new themes, raise new questions, and generate new knowledge. It addresses this task by pursuing a twofold research goal. On the one hand, it confirms previous findings that have documented the political power of data visualization specifically in the field of scorecard diplomacy. It critically discusses Portland Soft Power 30 Index that measures soft power of selected countries on the annual basis to reveal how the scorecard diplomacy works through the ranking dashboard. On the other hand, the article reflects on the experience of designing a geo-visualization system that, by contrast, intended to overcome shortcomings of data visualization’s politics to build a platform for an inductive academic research. It discusses a new deep mapping framework of soft power visualization that intended to address several critical problems of Portland’s measurements and shares research insights from the project “Deep Mapping: Creating a Dynamic Web Application Museum Soft Power Map.”