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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    (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: Digital Mediation and Disconnection in Sleep Architectures
    Nansen, B ; Mannell, K ; O’Neill, C ; Jansson, A (Oxford University Press, 2021-01-01)

    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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    Response to Natalie Harkin: A Labor of Love
    Leane, J ; Hall, M ; Disney, D (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021)
    This response to Narungga poet Natalie Harkin’s epistle echoes questions posed by Cherokee academic Daniel Heath Justice: “How do we honor those mysteries that both connect and distinguish us? How do we respect the silences and recognize when and where to tread lightly, if to tread at all?” While settler students misconceptualize trauma and deficit as the only forms of subjecthood available to Aboriginal peoples, this chapter asserts a range of activist modes by which we may overcome what Toni Morrison terms “national amnesia.” Reflecting on the selfless engagements of Wiradjuri activist, poet, and author Aunty Kerry Reed-Gilbert, we see an exemplar who refused the State’s desire to have Australians forget colonial histories of injustice that determine contemporary life. As she knew, something lingers in Australia; our work remains in articulating this unfinished business.
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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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    Museums as Actors of City Diplomacy: From “Hard” Assets to “Soft” Power
    Grincheva, N ; Fitzpatrick, K ; Byrne, C (Springer International Publishing, 2020)
    Historically, museums have earned their dedicated role as important agents of cultural diplomacy. In the age of increasing urbanization, museums have become important center of urban soft power and actors of city diplomacy. This chapter argues that museums are vital actors of city diplomacy, because of a high cultural and economic value of their “hard” or tangible resources and “soft” power of their social activities that engage global audiences and facilitate international cultural relations. This chapter discusses this framework of museum diplomacy resources and outputs in two main sections. The first section focuses on “hard” assets of museums such as collections and facilities. It explains why and how the cultural infrastructure offered by museums play an important role in city diplomacy, especially in place making and city branding. The second section explores soft power generated by museums through their social activities and programming that help activate cultural resources and transform them into diplomatic outputs.
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    Is there a Place for a Crowdsourcing in Multilateral Diplomacy? Searching for a New Museum Definition
    Grincheva, N ; Bjola, C ; Zaiotti, R (Routledge, 2020-10-29)
    This chapter explores the practice of crowdsourcing in global governance as a tool of multilateral diplomacy to interrogate its exact role and place in the decision-making processes. It investigates the case of the online cultural diplomacy of the International Commission of Museums (ICOM), focusing on the 2019 crowdsourcing campaign delivered by the ICOM’s Standing Committee for Museum Definition, which aimed to collect public contributions to re-define the museum agency in the 21st century. The chapter draws on media discourse analysis of the public debates concerning the new definition and applies content analysis of the 268 definitions submitted by the public to the ICOM’s official online platform. It also features interview insights from the MDPP Committee Chair. Based on key findings, the chapter argues that in the context of ICOM, multilateralism 2.0 remains a desirable vision rather than a reality.