Tuesday, 21 December 2010

CSAA 2010

A couple of weeks ago I was in Byron Bay at the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia (CSAA) conference - 'A Scholarly Affair'. It was generally quite an enjoyable experience. The highlight for me was a plenary talk from Dr Katrina Schlunke who did an amazing job. I laughed, I cried. I tried to recall the specifics of her talk over dinner with some colleagues last week, but I failed miserably except to say something along the lines of "well there was this louse metaphor, and an observation that single beds are quite queer... and then she was fighting Engineers!" The resounding take home message was not to forget why we (people in cultural studies) do the things we do, and to go back to those motivations when we feel like giving it up or jumping ship. So, I'll leave it at that, because any further recollection wouldn't do it justice. Hopefully I can track down some reliable record of the talk

(Prof. Raewyn Connell - another wonderful talk)
Some other stand-out conference moments include a paper from Jenny Kennedy (Swinburne) who presented some really interesting and polished thinking, titled: 'Exploring social interactions in networked spaces'. I also enjoyed a paper from Daniel Marshall (Deakin) titled 'Life during wartime: sexuality, recruitment and reality television' where he explored the integration of Australian naval recruitment processes in the 'So You Think You Can Dance' television series. Penny Robinson (Sydney) also had some interesting things to say about how young Australian women engage with contemporary understandings of feminism mediated by popular culture in her paper '"I googled for feminism": creating a postfeminist methodology for cultural research'.

I missed a whole bunch of papers I would've liked to have seen, but you get that with concurrent sessions. It was also great to spend some time with many of my colleagues and friends from Griffith who were able to attend the conference given that it was just down the road.

I presented my paper titled 'Youth, identity and integrity on social network sites' which was a fairly casual kind of presentation where I discussed some of my findings more generally. I focussed on deploying my own data to resist Zuckerberg's singular model of identity and his insistence that privacy is dead. Good discussion, good suggestions. I was also delighted to contribute part of my argument from this paper to a special issue of a journal - the topic for another post!

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