2018 PhD Writing Up Fellowship Recipients Announced
University of Tasmania graduate scholars Ruby Grant, Michael Guerzoni, Hanne Nielsen and Phillipa McCormack are this year’s Institute for the Study of Social Change Writing Up Fellowship recipients.
Each year the Institute offers a limited number of fellowships for recent University of Tasmania PhD graduates to assist them in publishing from their research. Successful applicants are awarded a once-off bursary payment to work intensively for two to three months to produce publications related to their doctoral research.
This year’s recipients were selected from an impressive field of applicants by an academic committee led by Professor Elaine Stratford. They will each receive $3500.
Ruby Grant’s thesis, titled The Queer Sexual Citizen: Bisexual and Queer Women’s Sexual Health in Tasmania, is a qualitative study exploring understandings and experiences of gender, sexuality and health in 15 lesbian, bisexual and queer (LBQ) women living in Tasmania. Drawing on participants’ healthcare experiences and interviews with a small sample of GPs, Ruby identified a need for improved LGBTI-awareness in Tasmanian medical settings. Her research provides recommendations for medical education and LGBTI-inclusive clinical practice. She will use her Institute grant to write a peer-reviewed journal article and a scholarly book proposal.
Michael Guerzoni’s PhD project involves the examination of the clerical culture and practice towards child protection within the Anglican Diocese of Tasmania, comparing each to what criminological literature recommends as ‘safe culture’ and ‘best protective practice’. He provides recommendations on implementing change to organisational culture and child protection training, tailored to the socio-religious context of the church. His research seeks to encourage parish-wide involvement in the protection of children. With the help of the Institute grant, Mike hopes to write a book proposal and provide public lectures within churches and theological educational institutions to encourage the reformulation of child protection training and procedure.
Hanne Nielsen’s research deals with perceptions of Antarctica and representations of the continent in popular culture. Antarctica is the ultimate example of a place that has been used both as a cultural symbol for and empirical measure of change on a global scale, with its unstable ice shelves and threatened species making it a central focus of climate change discourse. Hanne plans to use her Institute grant to work on three outputs relating to representations of Antarctica in popular culture. The major focus is a book proposal, including sample chapters, based on her PhD thesis.
Phillipa McCormack’s thesis title is Australia’s legal frameworks for biodiversity conservation: facilitating adaptation in a rapidly changing world. Her PhD assessed the capacity of Australia’s conservation laws and policies to facilitate biodiversity adaptation as the climate changes. Her research findings demonstrate the need for both legal and policy reform. They also reveal a need for closer alignment between scientific scholarship, legal and policy instruments, and public expectations about conservation in a rapidly changing world. Phillipa plans to write a refereed chapter in an edited book on ecological restoration, which is already at an advanced stage and a refereed article in a high-quality scholarly journal.
For more details about the annual fellowships, visit our website.
Last year’s Writing Up Fellowship recipients were Oskaras (Oscar) Vorobjovas-Pinta, Robyn Moore, Greg Lehman, Kerryn Brent, Jennifer Ayton and Robin Krabbe.
Oscar, Robyn and Greg presented their work at a Social Sciences seminar on April 13.
More: Hear from three of our 2017 Writing Up Fellowship recipients on June 8 at 3pm. Jennifer Ayton on Understanding Cessation of Exclusive Breastfeeding, Kerryn Brent on Key Challenges relating to Geoengineering to Offset Climate Change and Robin Krabbe on Sustainability Education, Community Governance and Sustainability Governance.
Dr Oskaras (Oscar) Vorobjovas-Pinta, a Lecturer in Management in the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics at the University of Tasmania, whose thesis was on Gay neo-tribes: Exploration of travel behaviour and space. Oscar’s research investigated whether gay travellers experience a sense of connectedness to other gay travellers, certain spaces, and specific activities in relation to their sexual identities. The Institute grant helped Oscar produce three publications.
Dr Robyn Moore’s research into racial discourse in Australia from 1950 to 2010, examines discursive change in Australia from 1950-2010 through the lens of critical whiteness studies. Using textbooks as records of dominant narratives, she evaluated representations of Europeans and Aborigines in Australian history narratives over this period of substantial social change. She showed that overt discourses of White exceptionalism and Aboriginal deficiency are only present in the earliest decades of the sample – the White Australia era. However, these discourses persist in later decades in ‘polite’ forms, maintaining the racial status quo while enabling Europeans to be positioned favourably.
Dr Greg Lehman’s research focused on representations of Tasmanian Aborigines in colonial art. In what was perhaps the ultimate disregard of Tasmanian Aboriginal people in the process of British colonisation, early depictions of Van Diemen’s Land almost completely excised Aboriginal presence from the landscape, presaging a campaign of extermination and exile by picturing an empty land decades before administrative measures were taken to physically remove the First Tasmanians from their country.
Dr Kerryn Brent, a lecturer in the Faculty of Law, studied the governance challenges arising from geoengineering. Geoengineering is deliberate human intervention in the global climate system to offset climate change. Until recently, geoengineering was a taboo topic in international climate change law and policy. This was due to concern that geoengineering might detract from mitigation efforts and be symptomatic of an over-reliance on technology. However, due to the continued growth of global greenhouse gas emissions over recent decades and the limited ambition of emission reduction commitments, geoengineering has begun to play an increasingly prominent role in international climate change policy. Geoengineering proposals present significant risk of environment harm at regional and global levels, and therefore give rise to international governance challenges in their own right.
Dr Jennifer Ayton, a lecturer Public Health in the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania, undertook a mixed method study aimed at understanding the reasons why some women cease exclusive breastfeeding early. Her thesis investigated the prevalence of early cessation of exclusive breastfeeding in Australia, with early cessation defined as the point when an infant fed exclusively on breast milk is first fed infant formula or other foods/fluids before the first 6 months of age. The thesis identified key factors associated with low rates of exclusive breastfeeding, and explored both how Tasmanian mothers experience breastfeeding and the cessation of exclusive breastfeeding. A mixed method was employed and Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice was used to unpack how mothers perceived themselves, and the use of their lactating maternal bodies during breastfeeding in landscape where breastfeeding is often used as barometer for good mothering. As well as publications, Jennifer’s work resulted in a public exhibition, titled Broken Bodies, featuring art works generated from the findings of her PhD thesis.
Dr Robin Krabbe’s thesis title was Fostering norms for sustainability: comparing two community socioeconomic initiatives. The thesis firstly identified community governance as a vital requirement for social, economic and environmental sustainability. Secondly, food and exchange were identified as two fundamental activities by which we survive and thrive, and hence they are vital sources of action for change. Robin’s work since completing the thesis has built on this work by looking at sustainability education, community governance and sustainability governance more broadly. It is responding to the existential crisis due to climate change and reduced levels of agency, that is, danger on the one hand but also a huge opportunity for positive change on the other hand.