Getting to know…Elizabeth Burns Coleman

Communications and Media Studies lecturer Dr Elizabeth Burns Coleman is currently working on two inter-related projects about incivility. One concerns regulation of the internet, and the other involves empirical research, mapping the use of space by migrants in Fitzroy.

Elizabeth Burns ColemanName: Elizabeth Burns Coleman

Title: Dr

Faculty/Division: Arts

Dept: Media Film and Journalism

Campus: Caulfield

 

How long have you worked at Monash?
Eight years now. My first position was as a postdoctoral position between the Philosophy program and Communication and Media Studies program.

 

Where did you work prior to starting at the University?
I was at Wollongong University, La Trobe University and Australian National University for brief periods between 2001 and 2007. In this time, I taught aesthetics, legal theory, ethics, and political philosophy. Prior to that I had a stint in the public service (in publications and public relations), and worked in the arts as coordinator of an arts magazine, organising festivals, painting murals, and as an artist’s model. I had a puppet show I took around the Northern Territory country shows one year. In my ancient history I was a cook on a mustering camp in the Central Desert, grape picker, deckhand on a barramundi fishing boat….

 

What do you like best about your role?
It’s fascinating. I get to read, write and lecture on topics that interest me, and that are important in terms of social justice.

 

Why did you choose your current career path?
I loved tutoring.

 

First job?
That’s prehistory. It was Woolworths, and I was what was known as a ‘check-out chick’.

 

Worst job?
That’s hard to say. There are down sides to all jobs.

 

What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve?
I have two inter-related projects about incivility. One concerns regulation of the internet, and the other involves empirical research, mapping the use of space by migrants in Fitzroy, and how it is related to semiotic ecologies and discourse.

I am also writing an encyclopedia entry on the anthropology of aesthetics. I’d like to build from this a typology connecting social aesthetics, folk art, popular culture and fine art.

 

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
My garden. It’s my ongoing ‘art’ project.

 

What is your favourite place to eat and why?
At the moment it’s Mario’s in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. The staff are always welcoming, and I bump into my neighbours there. I like the sense of community and history.

 

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t pull yourself down.

 

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I cook a great curry.