School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1623
Minimum spanning tree analysis of the human connectome
One of the challenges of brain network analysis is to directly compare network organization between subjects, irrespective of the number or strength of connections. In this study, we used minimum spanning tree (MST; a unique, acyclic subnetwork with a fixed number of connections) analysis to characterize the human brain network to create an empirical reference network. Such a reference network could be used as a null model of connections that form the backbone structure of the human brain. We analyzed the MST in three diffusion-weighted imaging datasets of healthy adults. The MST of the group mean connectivity matrix was used as the empirical null-model. The MST of individual subjects matched this reference MST for a mean 58%-88% of connections, depending on the analysis pipeline. Hub nodes in the MST matched with previously reported locations of hub regions, including the so-called rich club nodes (a subset of high-degree, highly interconnected nodes). Although most brain network studies have focused primarily on cortical connections, cortical-subcortical connections were consistently present in the MST across subjects. Brain network efficiency was higher when these connections were included in the analysis, suggesting that these tracts may be utilized as the major neural communication routes. Finally, we confirmed that MST characteristics index the effects of brain aging. We conclude that the MST provides an elegant and straightforward approach to analyze structural brain networks, and to test network topological features of individual subjects in comparison to empirical null models.
What counts? Inclusion and diversity in the senior English curriculum
(Springer Verlag, 2020-03-14)
This paper reports findings from a research project investigating text lists in the Senior Victorian English curriculum between 2010 and 2019. Policy documents emphasise the need for the English curriculum to foster values of inclusivity and diversity of culture and for texts that reflect these values in constructive and affirmative senses. In order to test the extent to which text lists associated with subject English address these ambitions, a content analysis of three hundred and sixty texts was conducted, guided by the question: to what extent do the VCE English text lists between 2010 and 2019 meet policy objectives? Focusing on findings related to text type, story setting, sex/sexuality and Indigenous themes, we found that while some goals of policy documents were met, the lists show significant shortfalls in meeting objectives for Asia-literacy, literature by Indigenous Australians and diversity in text type, especially in the marked lack of digital and non-traditional texts.
Is there anything "toxic" about femininity? The rigid femininities that keep us locked in
(Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2020-07-05)
In recent years there has been rising popular discourse around ‘toxic masculinity’, and the problems of a hegemonic gender structure that facilitates male violence and misogyny. In the public debate over whether toxic masculinity is fact or fiction, ‘toxic femininity’ is often raised by men’s rights activists and others as an anti-feminist retort, to suggest that women can be ‘toxic’ too. This paper provides a sketch of how the term has been used so far, in tandem with an overview of the limitations of the more extensively discussed idea of ‘toxic masculinity’. This paper suggests that rather than deploying ‘toxic femininity’, it is more useful to consider what might be ‘toxic’ about some approaches to femininity. Drawing on existing theories of femininity, including emphasised, hegemonic, normative, patriarchal femininity, pariah femininities, and femmephobia, this paper offers the notion of ‘rigid femininities’ to explain the structures that keep us locked into a ‘toxic’ gender system. This paper utilises the term toxic femininity as a jumping-off point for theorising femininity broadly. In theorising femininity, this paper offers a conceptualisation of the ‘toxic’ attachments that reinforce the gendered power structure/essentialized gender.
Splitting from Halley: Doing Justice to Race, Unwantedness, and Testimony in Campus Sexual Assault
(UNIV CHICAGO PRESS, 2020-09-01)
This article takes the documentary film The Hunting Ground, and the controversy it provoked, as a starting point for interrogating approaches to the representation and regulation of sexual assault on campus. We focus on the work of critical legal theorist Janet Halley, who has been a leading and contentious figure in advocating against the film and for a reconsideration of how Title IX is implemented on university campuses. In 2015, nineteen Harvard law professors, for whom Halley was the spokesperson, issued a press release objecting to the Hunting Ground for misrepresenting the case of one of their students.
‘The Free-Flying Natural Woman Boobs of Yore’? the Body Beyond Representation in Feminist Accounts of Objectification
(Sage Publications, 2020-11-01)
This article takes up references to breasts as a key case study to examine white Western feminist debate around embodiment and objectification. Tracking shifting understandings of ‘the gaze’ in these accounts, we find that objectification is often rendered singular, ahistorical and, increasingly, individually internalised. The history of these approaches to objectification helps to explain why during the early 2000s, theorisations of feminist politics-lost were often rhetorically located alongside discussions of surgically modified breasts as a symbol of a new era of ‘fake’ feminism. In contrast, the 2010s saw several feminist movements premised on exposure of flesh and claims to individual recuperation of bodily autonomy. This article contends that both of these perspectives rely on a notion, built over successive eras of white Western feminist thought, that political work can and ought to be done through the body as a site of representational politics. This article subsequently offers a brief insight into how we might queer our approach to breasts to better account for the messiness of experiences of the flesh, considering the personal as political, while not investing in the body as the site where politics must be enacted.
Mobilising African music: how mobile telecommunications and technology firms are transforming African music sectors
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2020-04-02)
This paper explores the role of mobile telecommunication and technology firms (MTTs) in the distribution of recorded music in Ghana and Kenya. These countries both have vibrant music markets with weak formal distribution networks. Limited enforcement of copyright regimes and weak market regulation created new entrepreneurial business models. While ‘big tech’ dominates this space elsewhere, in African contexts the main players are mobile service providers (e.g. MTN, Vodafone, Tigo) and digital content firms (e.g. Liberty Afrika, MTech, Cellulant). These transnational players cater to fast-growing consumer markets that do not have easy access to major music distribution platforms such as iTunes and Spotify (which tend to provide very limited access to ‘local’ content, in any case). Despite their particular and increasingly significant roles, very little empirical attention has been paid to the activities of mobile telecommunication and technology firms (MTTs) in music sectors. This paper takes stock of why and how MTTs have entered into the business of recorded music distribution in Ghana and Kenya, and assesses the ramifications of their entry for the music sectors in these and other African countries as part of broader global shifts in the production, distribution and marketing of recorded music.
Australian Poetry Journal: 'Departures' (one poem)
(Australian Poetry Ltd, 2020-11-01)
Lovers must leave each other at dawn. Dawn comes as a call back to a world of suffering, or daily chores, of being other-than a lover. Night might bring love but it brings dawn after it, and with it reminders of our common end in death.
Not Not. A Note on the Figures of Power in Giorgio Agamben
(Università degli Studi di Trieste, 2020-12-13)
When one starts to read the work of Giorgio Agamben, one cannot not be struck by his erudition, his eye for previously overlooked or under-interpreted details in the philosophical, political, artistic and legal archives, not to mention his commitment to rethinking those received traditions according to new means. Yet what is also very striking is Agamben’s unceasing attention to the apparition and construction of what I will term figures of power. At the beginning of Means Without End, Agamben asks himself “Is today a life of power available?”. If Agamben’s word here is ‘life’, it is just as critical to understand that such a term is not to be taken in its biological acceptation; on the contrary, what he means by ‘life’ must be something other than a scientific category. I will make a number of suggestions as to why the word ‘figure’ has some pertinence in this context, and why it leads, on the one hand, to a new analysis of operations of negation, and, on the other, to a paradoxical kind of non- or extra-ontological act of impotentiality.
Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry: two prose poems, 'When Death Comes' and 'Dog on the Road'
(Melbourne University Press, 2020-09-01)
Two prose poems in the first major historical -overview anthology of prose poetry featuring Australian poets
HORYZONS trial: protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a moderated online social therapy to maintain treatment effects from first-episode psychosis services
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2019-06-01)
INTRODUCTION: Specialised early intervention services have demonstrated improved outcomes in first-episode psychosis (FEP); however, clinical gains may not be sustained after patients are transferred to regular care. Moreover, many patients with FEP remain socially isolated with poor functional outcomes. To address this, our multidisciplinary team has developed a moderated online social media therapy (HORYZONS) designed to enhance social functioning and maintain clinical gains from specialist FEP services. HORYZONS merges: (1) peer-to-peer social networking; (2) tailored therapeutic interventions; (3) expert and peer-moderation; and (4) new models of psychological therapy (strengths and mindfulness-based interventions) targeting social functioning. The aim of this trial is to determine whether following 2 years of specialised support and 18-month online social media-based intervention (HORYZONS) is superior to 18 months of regular care. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study is a single-blind randomised controlled trial. The treatment conditions include HORYZONS plus treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone. We recruited 170 young people with FEP, aged 16-27 years, in clinical remission and nearing discharge from Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre, Melbourne. The study includes four assessment time points, namely, baseline, 6-month, 12-month and 18-month follow-up. The study is due for completion in July 2018 and included a 40-month recruitment period and an 18-month treatment phase. The primary outcome is social functioning at 18 months. Secondary outcome measures include rate of hospital admissions, cost-effectiveness, vocational status, depression, social support, loneliness, self-esteem, self-efficacy, anxiety, psychological well-being, satisfaction with life, quality of life, positive and negative psychotic symptoms and substance use. Social functioning will be also assessed in real time through our Smartphone Ecological Momentary Assessment tool. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Melbourne Health Human Research Ethics Committee (2013.146) provided ethics approval for this study. Findings will be made available through scientific journals and forums and to the public via social media and the Orygen website. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ACTRN12614000009617; Pre-results.