Ruddock launches Youth and Media book in Serbia

Monash University’s senior lecturer in communications & media Studies, Dr Andy Ruddock, recently launched the Serbian version of his book, Youth and Media.

Dr Ruddock, who is based at Monash’s Caulfield campus, gave public lectures at the Serbian universities of Novi Sad and Nis to mark the release of the book’s Serbian version.

Dr Ruddock delivered a lecture on the theme, youth and media. Read more here.

Dr Andy Ruddock.
Dr Andy Ruddock.

Dr Ruddock also spoke at the headquarters of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Novi Pazar, and was keynote speaker at a forum on Youth and Digital Media in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.

His book, Youth and Media, addresses key issues in politics, technology, celebrity, advertising, gender and globalization.

Video of Dr Andy Ruddock on youth and media

Clio Publishing Company founder and editor-in-chief, Zoran Hamovic, said the relationship between youth and media was one the most important topics in the contemporary world.

“Media education of young people represents unique and significant challenge for us,” Mr Hamovic said.

“The book Youth and Media is the latest among many that we have published in the book collection called multimedia.

Dr Andy Ruddock delivers a keynote on youth and media issues in Serbia.

“It is the unique book collection in the south-eastern Europe that gathers foreign and domestic authors in the field of media theory, history and criticism and aims to improve the level of media literacy in Serbia, as well as in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia.”

Mr Hamovic said during the last 20 years, his company’s mission had been to improve the knowledge of media experts, students, teachers and professors, as well as that of journalists and other media professionals.

“The visits of different authors, lectures, debates, seminars, conferences and round tables have all been part of this mission,” Mr Hamovic said.

“Professor Andy Ruddock and his book Youth and Media have offered global media research experience to our readers. College students in Novi Sad and Niš, as well as highschool students in Novi Pazar, have all accepted his lectures with great interest.

Dr Andy Ruddock is interviewed on Serbian television about youth and media issues.

“In Belgrade, his opening lecture at the conference Media in Serbia in the Digital Age caused exceptional reactions of Serbian media experts community.

“Besides the invitation to cooperate with the magazine of the Faculty of Political Science, he was also offered to cooperate with other media colleges and experts, which was one of the subjects of our conversation with the Australian Ambassador, her Excellency Julia Feeney.”

Mr Hamovic said all participants of these events found great benefit in Dr Ruddock’s visit, including the employees in Clio Publishing Company, professors and students who attended his lectures, journalists who interviewed him and our partners from the Ministry of Culture and Information and OSCE Mission in Serbia.

Dr Andy Ruddock answers questions during a media forum in Belgrade, Serbia.

According to Sage Publishing,  Dr Ruddock offers a “fascinating introduction to how media define the identities and social imaginations of young people”.

“The result is a systematic guide to how the notion of media influence ‘works’ when daily life compels young people to act out their relationships through media content and technologies,” Sage Publishing writes.

Question and answer interview of Dr Andy Ruddock in Serbia

Youth and Media features helpful chapter guides, summaries and lively case studies drawn from a truly global context.

“Youth and Media is an engaging and accessible introduction to how the media shape our lives,” Sage Publishing writes.

Dr Andy Ruddock presented ideas on the power of the media. Read more here.

The book’s audience includes students of media studies, communication studies and sociology.

Media’s influence on society: Dr Andy Ruddock



Monash University launches innovative media lab

The Monash Media Lab’s news room for journalism students.

A state-of-the-art media lab will be officially launched at Monash University’s Caulfield campus on April 7.

Waleed Aly, well-known journalist and Monash University academic, will launch the lab, which is part of the Faculty of Arts’ School of Media, Film and Journalism.

The Monash Media Lab will provide a unique environment that will transform the way students learn, giving them the skills to navigate a new, high-tech world of media

Waleed Aly.
The Project’s presenter Waleed Aly.

Waleed’s opening talk will highlight what can be achieved when ideas and media professionalism come together.

The lunchtime launch will be followed by a mini film festival in the Media Lab’s theatrette and an evening panel chaired by the ABC’s Virginia Trioli.

The evening panel, featuring industry professionals and former students, will focus on the rapidly changing media environment and what it means for future careers.

The session will explore the role of technology and media literacy in educating students with the skills they need to be industry ready when they graduate.

The Monash Media Lab’s newsroom and conference room.

Many scholars working in the School of Media, Film and Journalism are journalists and film-makers with significant industry experience.

As part of the launch, a mini film festival will highlight recent works by Dr Romaine Moreton and Associate Professor Tony Moore.

Dr Moreton’s critically acclaimed short films The Farm (2009) and The Oysterman (2013) will be shown as well as Assoc Prof Moore’s feature length documentary Death or Liberty.

The documentary is based on the book co-written by Moore and was broadcast in Ireland in 2015 and on ABC television in early 2016.

Click here for picture gallery of the Monash Media Lab

The media lab features equipment and facilities that will transform the way journalism, film and media are taught and learnt. The facilities include:

• Two radio/sound production studios with an adjacent control-room/audio production and teaching suite;

• An open-plan newsroom;

• Broadcast TV and video production studio announcer/guest desk for six people with mobile tripod mounted cameras, overhead lighting grid and full sound and vision cabling and graphics screen;

• A control room/vision mixing production and teaching suite; and

• Two laboratories, each with 24 student computer terminals, e-lecterns, interactive screens and optical fibre cabling for synchronous and asynchronous blended teaching and learning activities.

The media lab will also provide the means to demonstrate and develop MFJ’s industry engagement and research impact in the community through radio, TV, and online current affairs journalism, documentaries and short films.

For more information contact Assoc Professor Mia Lindgren or Monash Media & Communications + 61 3 9903 4840 or

Newsroom Panorama
Students are enjoying state-of-the-art facilities in the new Monash Media Lab.


New book explores popular music & cultural policy

What is the proper role of government in shaping how we produce, consume and regulate music?

Three researchers from Australia, New Zealand and Scotland have explored the different roles of the state in national and global music markets.

Shane-Homan-bookAssociate Professor Shane Homan (Monash University), Professor Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow) and Dr Jen Cattermole (University of Otago) interviewed over 70 key industry and policy figures in each nation for Popular music industries and the state: policy notes, part of the new Routledge series in Popular Music studies.

“Popular music remains at the forefront of key issues confronting the cultural industries, such as globalisation, and changes to intellectual property policies and industrial promotional strategies,” said Associate Professor Homan.

“We were interested in the different local contexts facing each nation, and also how relatively small music trading nations construct policies to compete with larger music trading blocs in the US and Europe”.

The book offers insight into how different sectors and arms of government are dealing with intellectual property law, and the legal, political and cultural consequences for industry sectors and nations.

Popular music industries and the state also examines the increasing importance of urban policies and the rise of the ‘music city’ as a branding tool for national and global consumption.

For Associate Professor Shane Homan, the current ‘lockout law’ debates in Sydney reinforce the role of music in wider night-time economies. “We looked at Melbourne, Wellington and Glasgow as three different case studies in which popular music has led the charge to reinvigorate local cultural industries, especially through live music”, he said. “Tensions still remain between city governments wanting to sell a ‘vibrant’ night-time music economy, and what that really means for city soundscapes”.

Book Launch

A book launch will be held on Tuesday, 22 March at 7.30 pm at the Tote hotel, Collingwood. Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean, owners of Bakehouse Studios and organisers of the Save Live Australian Music rally in 2010, will launch the book. The band Small Town Romance and a pub BBQ will also be part of the launch activities.

Find out more:


Australian television premiere of Death or Liberty

Documentary drama Death or Liberty will have its Australian television premier this month on ABC TV.

The documentary is based on Monash University academic Associate Professor Tony Moore’s book of the same name.

Between 1793 and 1867 the British Government banished its radicals, dissenters and rebels to harsh prison colonies at the very edge of the known world: Australia.

Death or Liberty_flyer.FINAL_Page_1The British Government thought that distance would silence these rabble-rousers, but instead they left an inspiring legacy.

Republicanism, trade unionism, responsible government, universal suffrage and free speech… all arrived on Australian shores shackled in chains.

The Death or Liberty documentary brings to life a forgotten history of these convict rebels, and features celebrated musicians, England’s Billy Bragg, Australia’s Mick Thomas and Tex Perkins (narrator) and Ireland’s Lisa O’Neill, as well as historians and experts headed up by authors Thomas Keneally and Monash’s Associate Professor Moore.

This is a seriously stylish film. The landscapes are stunning, the historical commentaries lively and well informed, and the music superb.

Author and Associate Professor Frank Bongiorno, ANU.


As the Republican debate is re-ignited in Australia, Death or Liberty promises to play an important role in the debate, a film that helps people understand that the rights we take for granted today were won for us by brave men and women … many of them transported because they stood up for what they believed in.

“For a republic to compete with the tradition and majesty of the British monarchy, it must first engage our imaginations, harnessing culture and history to an alternative dream of Australia — one that appeals to the heart as well as the head, the land as well as the law, past heroes as well as the future,” said Dr Moore (Independent Australia, 2011).

Associate Professor Moore’s book, Death or Liberty: rebels and radicals Transported to Australia 1788-1868, is being re-released by Allen and Unwin/Murdoch Books to coincide with the documentary.

Death or Liberty will be broadcast on January 14th at 9.30 pm, ABC1.

Find out more

Associate Professor Tony Moore
More about the Death or Liberty documentary
Study at Monash: Master of Communication and Media Studies


Australian television premiere of ‘Death or Liberty’

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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.


Tay and Turner launch Television Histories in Asia

Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner, Dr Jinna Tay, Monash Dean of Arts Professor Rae Frances and Associate Professor Fran Martin celebrate the launch of Television Histories in Asia.

Monash University lecturer in Communication and Media Studies, Dr Jinna Tay,  launched her co-edited book, Television Histories in Asia,  at Monash’s Caulfield campus on September 17.

Dr Tay, who edited the book with Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner,  researches Asian media and cultures, history, national identities, and comparative Asian media studies.

Television Histories in Asia presents an analysis of television histories across India, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Malaysia and Bhutan.

Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner.

Dr Tay said it was a ” lovely intimate book launch” and was appreciative of the presence and support of Media Comms colleagues from Melbourne University, Swinburne and RMIT.

“It was also fantastic that Prof Graeme Turner came down from University of Queensland to be here for the launch,” Dr Tay said.

9780415855365“Associate Professor Fran Martin gave a fantastic analysis of the book, and she cited how she think its a very important collection as it achieves many different aspect of goals.”

Dr Tay said she hoped the book would be read by scholars of media histories, Asian studies and of course, set in Media Studies and television courses.

“It’s really important to understand that by looking through the particular TV histories of each nation, we can understand its political, cultural and social motivations and formations – and that each of it is different,” she said.

“What television does in each nation can’t be generalised but we hope that for students of media, they can see how television studies can be done via so many different methodologies and paradigms.”



Getting to know … John Tebbutt

Dr John Tebbutt is passionate about teaching and researching, and been lecturing in Communications and Media Studies at Monash for the 18 months.

Getting to know…john

Name: John Tebbutt

Title: Dr.

Faculty/Division: Arts

Dept: Media, Film and Journalism

Campus: Caulfield


How long have you worked at Monash? 18 months.


Where did you work prior to starting at the University? La Trobe Univerity/Swinburne University.


What do you like best about your role? Students and libraries.


Why did you choose your current career path? To teach and research.


First job? Roof tiler.


Worst job? Roof tiler.


What research/projects are you currently working on and what does it involve? History of Radio National; interviews, archival research, writing.


What is your favourite place in the world and why? Granada, mountain view from main street and the Alahambra.


What is your favourite place to eat and why? Harts hotel, steak…


What is the best piece of advice you have received? Take it to the top, baby.


Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know? I’m shy.


Virginia TV shootings: murder as a media event

By Dr Andy Ruddock

The macabre live murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward in Virginia are a chilling watershed. Whatever the shooter’s motivations, the idea that journalists are targets for infamy seekers is now an idea in our culture.

Reports that the alleged shooter, Vester Flanagan, praised other rampage murderers connect this new outrage to an all-too-familiar theme. Here’s another example of gun crime as a media event. Murder as a script that murderers can easily act out for the world.

Dr Andy Ruddock’s commentary on ABC TV

At first blush, we might wonder what such screened outrages do to evil, alienated and vulnerable people. Fair enough. But what about journalists and their profession?

That Parker and Ward’s colleagues were forced to instantaneously cover the slaughter of their own friends was a cruel exemplar of a more mundane truth: in the digital age, news is a live performance. WDBJ7 TV anchors were mercilessly obliged to balance trauma and professionalism; staying calm while grieving friends, and perhaps wondering why local news had become mediatised terror.

Unfortunately, there are many reasons to think that this unimaginable situation reflects global realities in news production.

Beyond the shock of the ghastly crime, the talk among journalists is about the upping of an ethical ante in a profession already facing unprecedented pressures. Sky News UK discussed the ethics and pragmatics of dealing with the footage of the crime. Different organisations have said “cut” in different places. The Daily Star, for example, showed images that Sky eschewed.

Since these images were already circulating social media, the question “whither ethics?”, in a Twitter age, has been raised.

Today, there’s a terrible feeling that gates have been left open and horses have bolted over fields. If someone wants to create panic with a gun and a smartphone, they can. If journalists want to protect the public from disturbing images, they can’t. This is precisely why professional journalism is every bit as important as it has ever been.

So let’s appreciate that profession. Parker’s death poignantly illustrates one of the most significant findings of comparative journalism research – that journalism is a dangerous job, and those dangers often have a gender dimension.

Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, job opportunities for local journalists abounded, largely because the role was too dangerous for those who had other options. Between 2003 and 2009, 139 journalists were killed in the Iraqi conflict, of whom 117 were Iraqis.

Things were especially grim for women: attracted to journalism by high pay and high unemployment, they were threatened by the “double dip” risks of being Iraqi and female.

Naturally there’s a world of difference between reporting on Fallujah and telling a local news story about tourism. Except, in both cases, the stories are told by people who have to negotiate a complex maze of technical skills and professional attributes in competitive markets where, in the end, the difference between good and bad depends on the skill of the person on the spot.

Seen this way, the dilemma the WDBJ7 news team faced was a savagely amplified version of the “problem” that journalists always face in stories that matter. Common sense dictates objectivity as the bottom line of good journalism. But evidence contrarily identifies subjectivity as the cornerstone of reporting excellence. A study of Pulitzer Prize-winning writers revealed the ability to infuse stories with personality and emotion as a common trait.

We want our news to come from people who care about things, and know how to show it.

In a way, these “live” murders aren’t an aberration, in terms of the news processes. Forty years ago, media academics were keen to discover how journalism worked behind the scenes. Today, it happens on our screens; news teams struggle to edit and make sense of events as they happen, and stay cool as social media users break whatever story they want to break. Threats to journalistic integrity are legion.

Which is why good journalists matter so much. When you let us all tell our own stories, we screw things up. Critics say we live in a “post-truth” culture. Stories matter more than truth, and technology ensures that everybody’s got one. And can tell it. Everything gets reduced to screen images, so when we see the image of a murderer captured on a fallen camera, we think about The Blair Witch Project, not the death of a person.

Inevitably the days that follow will be filled with stories about copycat fears and gun culture. In this, let’s not forget the effects on journalists and the difficulties they face in protecting a job that isn’t just another kind of storytelling.

This commentary first appeared on The Conversation


Australian music exports under the microscope

Associate Professor Shane Homan.
Associate Professor Shane Homan.

Monash University’s Associate Professor Shane Homan will work with Professors Richard Vella and Stephen Chen at Newcastle University to examine the economic and cultural value of Australian music exports.

The four-year ARC Linkage grant of $226,000 will allow the project team to examine the effectiveness of Australia’s primary export scheme, Sounds Australia, compared with similar schemes in Canada, Scandinavia and Europe.

The team will look at strategies for improving the audibility and visibility of Australian music in globalised networks of digital production and consumption.

“Australia is currently experiencing its most successful music export success in its popular music history,” Associate Professor Homan said, who teaches media and cultural studies.

“Acts as diverse as Tame Impala, Sia, Gotye and Courtney Barnett have found willing concert and broadcasting audiences in key international markets. So it’s a good time to properly investigate the role of the state in promotional discourses and strategies.”

Associate Professor Homan said: “We will look at the flows of cultural and economic capital, and the increasingly sophisticated ways in which nations showcase particular genres and artists.”

“Apart from economic modelling of the costs and benefits of investment, we will also adopt particular artists as case studies and follow them through the export scheme process,” he said.

“At a macro level, it’s a good opportunity to compare different strategies and types of cultural nationalism associated with other countries.”

The research team includes the Executive Producer of Sounds Australia, Millie Millgate, with financial and in-kind support from the Australia Council and Australia’s primary copyright body, APRA, the Australasian Performing Right Association.


Bohemian Melbourne exhibition wins award

Bohemian Melbourne exhibition entrance. Photo: Patrick Rodriguez

Bohemian Melbourne exhibition entrance. Photo: Patrick Rodriguez

The Bohemian Melbourne exhibition, held during the 2014-2015 summer season at the State Library Victoria, recently received a Highly Commended honour at the Museum Australia (Victoria) Awards.

The 2015 Victorian Museum Awards were held on Thursday 6 August in the Clemenger auditorium at the National Gallery of Victoria to celebrate the achievements of the museum and gallery sector. 

The exhibition relied on the help of Monash’s Dr Tony Moore as a specialist adviser. Dr Moore’s book Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians Since 1860 helped inspire the exhibioin itself.

Bohemian Melbourne showcased Melbourne’s many subversive artists, poets, performers and musicians, including Marcus Clarke, the Lindsays, Barry Humphries, Vali Myers and Nick Cave.

The exhibition showcased paintings, photographs, costumes and film, as well as a range of public events including panel talks, a cabaret performance, a film festival called ‘Screening Bohemia’ and a series of Bohemian Melbourne walking tours.

Find out more:


Melbourne Dura’s tales of ‘intrigue and wonder’

DuraMonash University senior lecturer Dr Tony Moore has contributed to the first issue of the Melbourne Dura, a unique print magazine  that presents historical “Melbourne tales of intrigue and wonder”.

Dr Moore wrote about Melbourne bohemian writer Marcus Clarke, who is well known for his novel For the Term of His Natural Life

Dr Moore received an Honorary Creative Fellowship award from the State Library Victoria in 2012 to research and script a television documentary, Marcus Clarke: An Unnatural Life, which is currently in development.

The eccentric author and journalist Clarke also featured in Dr Moore’s monograph Dancing with Empty Pockets, and in the recent Bohemian Melbourne exhibition at the State Library, for which he was specialist advisor.

The Melbourne Dura has earned critical praise from Melbourne journalists.

The Saturday Age writer Richard Cornish described the Melbourne Dura as “one of the most irreverent, distinctive magazines in the nation”.

“The Dura combines scathing social criticism with long-form storytelling and truly creative and engaging advertising,” Mr Cornish wrote.

Melbourne novellist Marcus Clarke in 1866. Picture: Wikipedia - State Library of Victoria.
Melbourne novellist Marcus Clarke in 1866. Picture: Wikipedia – State Library of Victoria.

It’s as if The Monthly had been taken over by hoodlums who then focus on history, culture and society.”

Melbourne Dura editor in chief and design, Harry Rekas, said the Dura was a reincarnation of the “magazine” in the traditional sense using Melbourne’s history as a focus – creating a visual and literary extravaganza that can only be experienced in print.

“Produced in large format (A3) black & white the magazine also includes contemporary themes, long-form storytelling, nostalgia, satire, current commentary, socio- political cartoons and photography,” Mr Rekas said.

“First published in rural Victoria (Mildura) 2013, it is now Melbourne based.

“The main aim of the magazine is to re-present history in an arresting and exiting way- leading the reader back through the maze of time to the beginnings of old Melbourne.”

The Melbourne Dura will be formally launched in Melbourne soon.


On Happiness and Aussie larrikins

Dr Tony Moore.
Dr Tony Moore.

An essay on Australian comedic subversion by Monash academic Dr Tony Moore is one of selected chapters of a new book, On Happiness.

Dr Moore, senior lecturer in Communications and Media Studies with the School of Media, Film and Journalism, is one of the featured authors in the book, which will be launched 23 June in Sydney.

The book is a collection of sixteen essays looking at the ‘common sense’ understanding of happiness in the West and examining the strategies devised to obtain it.

Dr Moore’s chapter looks at an Australian style of comedic subversion which he refers to as the ‘larrikin carnivalesque’.

“You could see the ‘larrikin carnivalesque’ as a form of cultural disruption where rabble rousing lefties meet a style of libertarianism that can also be associated with right leaning contrarians,” Dr Moore said.

“It has a long pedigree in the arts, stretching from groups of bohemian writers, journalists and cartoonists gathered around the early Bulletin in the late nineteenth century, to Kath and Kim, The Chaser, Pizza and prankster John Safran in this century.”

The chapter comes out of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project, Fringe to Famous, led by Dr Moore and Associate Professor Mark Gibson, also of the School of Media, Film and Journalism, which explores cultural innovation in Australia from the 1980s to the present. As well as comedy, it also delves into music, film, design and digital gaming.

Dr Moore said the essay presents a style of happiness that is subversive, raucous, and “derived from transgressive art and ‘art of the self’”.

“My contribution to this book is to critique the idea of happiness as quiescence, contentment, acceptance of social norms and conformity to the status quo. In contrast I look at happiness as liberation, as comedic disruption to conformity that destabilises complacent authority, producing new ways of seeing and being,” Dr Moore said.

Dr Tony Moore joined the Communications and Media Studies Program in February 2009 and was Director of the National Centre for Australian Studies from 2010 to 2013, following careers in book publishing and as a program maker at ABC Television.

Dr Moore completed his doctorate in Australian cultural history at the University of Sydney, and writes regularly on communications, history and politics in the press and scholarly publications.

The launch of On Happiness: New ideas for the Twenty-First Century will be held Tuesday 23 June, 6pm at Dymocks, 424 George St, Sydney 2000. More information is available on the event Facebook page.

The book also launches at the Melbourne Writers Festival 26 August, 5.30-6.30pm.

On Happiness is published by UWA Publishing.


Dani wins Herb Thomas Memorial Trust award

daniDani Rothwell has won the Herb Thomas Memorial Trust award as the most outstanding journalism student in the Bachelor of Professional Communication degree at Monash University.

Dani, who was presented with her award at a function in Pakenham on May 5, has been awarded with prize money to help pursue her career within the industry.

Dr Paul Atkinson represented Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism at the awards night.

“Members of the interview panel lauded Dani’s involvement with local community groups and her commitment to highlighting the challenges faced by young people in the region,” Dr Atkinson said.

“The award is managed by the Berwick, Pakenham and Narre Warren Rotary clubs and is presented in honour of Herb Thomas, a respected journalist and newspaper proprietor of the Pakenham Gazette.”


Dani said she believed the ability to create lasting change within a community relied on being able to effectively communicate.

“Like many others, I share the desire to create change and leave the world a better place,” she said.

“As clichéd as it is, over my years of community involvement, I have found a key difference between people who achieve their desire and those who do not.”

Dani said change started with identifying a problem and creating a great solution.

“For me, the problem within my local community was that young people were killing themselves. Young people were left alone, and had nowhere to turn,” she said.

“I understand that these are generalisations and that many other factors were at play, but the bottom-line is that young people were dying unnecessarily.

“As a passionate believer in the power of young people as change agents, this left me heartbroken. After a period of grief and negativity, I embraced this as an identified problem that needed a long lasting solution. This is when I realised the power of investigative communication.”

Dani, who is president of the Monash Union of Berwick Students,  hopes to be a national political reporter in the future.


Reading group: Aesthetics, Media & Cultural studies

School of Media, Film and Journalism academics Elizabeth Coleman, Justin O’Connor, and Paul Atkinson have established a new reading group – Aesthetics, Media and Cultural studies.

Description of the Field

Cultural and Media Studies in Australia and the UK emerged as much from older literary and artistic disciplines as from sociology, communications and other social sciences.

Juno Ludovisi.
Juno Ludovisi.

Indeed, much of the power of CMS came out of its conceptual critique of aesthetic theory and its historical and methodological critique of art as social practice (cf. Paul Willis in the reading list).

Rather than disappearing, in the last thirty years aesthetics and art history/ theory have undergone some radical transformations.

Many of older works in art and aesthetics have been revisited as pertinent to the contemporary cultural and media scene (Dewey, Read, Marcuse, Adorno) and many new approaches, coming out of post-structuralist (Lyotard, Deleuze, Rancière) and contemporary sociological thought (Habermas, Bourdieu, Luhmann), have suggested a possible rapprochement between aesthetics and cultural and media studies.

In many respects “art” and “cultural and media studies” have remained two distinct, though highly proximate worlds.

In addition, the current crisis in cultural policy – where the value of culture has been radically undermined by the discourse and technologies of economic innovation and efficiency – has also required a return to aesthetic history and theory.

In order to explore these issues, the Communications and Media Studies section of MFJ will be hosting four seminars, which will be based around one or two set readings.

Participants are welcome to suggest supplementary readings, however the discussion will be conducted under the assumption that the core texts have been read. Participation is open to all.

Reading List

The readings can be accessed online through the library website.

First Session

Wednesday, April 15, 12pm – 1pm, T2.26/7,  Caulfield Campus

rules-art-pierre-bourdieu-paperback-cover-artIn this seminar we will be reading sections of Jacques Rancière’s latest book Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art and Pierre Bourdieu’s The Rules of Art.

In addition we will be looking at Tony Bennett’s trenchant critique of Rancière in “Guided Freedom: Aesthetics, Tutelage and the Interpretation of Art” in Making Culture, Changing Society. London Routledge.

Second Session

Wednesday, April 29, 12pm – 1pm, T2.26/7, Caulfield Campus

In this seminar we will read through the opening chapter of John Dewey’s Art as Experience, “The Live Creature” pp. 1-19, where he discusses the importance of quotidian experience in the generation and evaluation of art.

In doing so, he critiques those aesthetic approaches that place art within museums for the purpose of disinterested aesthetic contemplation.

Susanne Langer.
Susanne Langer.

We will also read through chapter three “The Symbol of Feeling” pp. 24-41 of Susanne Langer’s Feeling and Form, in which she critiques Dewey and proposes her own definition of art as “significant form.”

Third Session

Wednesday 20th May 12pm – 1pm, T2.26/7, Caulfield Campus

Cultural studies and cultural economy approaches to the study of arts practices frequently rely on institutional theories of art and art worlds, such as those associated with Howard Becker and Pierre Bourdieu.

One weakness of institutional theories is that they cannot account for the value of art as a practice, or distinguish between aesthetic value and other values of arts.

artful_species (1)In the “The nature of art” (from his book The Artful Species), Stephen Davies critiques some of the arguments for the institutional theory, and in “Dissanayake’s evolutionary aesthetic” he critiques an alternative, evolutionary account of art and its value.

In “What Philosophers say the arts do,” Hans van Maanen explores the different kinds of value ascribed to art in order to articulate a framework for thinking about value in empirical studies of art practices and institutions.

Fourth Session

Readings and date to be announced.


Bohemian Melbourne celebrates city’s history with film festival and lecture series

This summer, the State Library Victoria has showcased Melbourne’s vibrant bohemian history with an exhibition on Melburnian characters and their contribution to the city’s art, music and literary scene.

As part of this series, SLV, with the help of academic adviser and Monash scholar Dr Tony Moore, are hosting a film festival and a series of public lectures to accompany the exhibition.

Screening Bohemians

A two day film festival, Screening Bohemians, will be held at the Village Roadshow Theatrette (at the State Library) on the 6th and 7th of February.

The festival will showcase Melbourne’s bohemian film culture and feature screenings of films, documentaries and shorts, curated with the help of academic adviser Dr. Tony Moore, who, as author of Dancing with Empty Pockets: Australia’s Bohemians, and a documentary maker himself, will participate in a panel discussion and introduce some of the films.

Highlights include: Ruth Cullen’s portrait of Vali Myers, The Painted Lady; Tim Burstall’s Stork; Richard Lowenstein’s Dog’s in Space and We’re Living on Dog Food; Ken Cameron’s Monkey Grip, Sue Davis and Tony Stephen’s Punkline; Head On, Anna Kokkinos’ film of Christos Tsiolkas’ novel Loaded; Darius Devas This City Speaks to Me series of shorts about young Melbourne artists; and Barry Humphries’ Comfort Station, a rare 1966 personal journey through Melbourne together with Edna Everage’s once banned performance of ‘True British Spunk’ on TDT, a spoof on the follies of empire.

Bookings are essential and available on the State Library Vic website.

Bohemian Like You? Panel Discussion

Mick Conway, Elizabeth Gilliam, 1989, State Library of Victoria
Mick Conway, Elizabeth Gilliam, 1989, State Library of Victoria

What does it mean to be bohemian today? Join Dr Tony Moore, Jane Clifton and Noel Tovey, with char Richard Watts, for a discussion on Melbourne’s bohemian past as well as its future – what it means to be ‘bohemian’ in today’s world.

Date: 5th February

Time: 6:00-7:15 pm

Where: Village Roadshow Theatrette

Bookings are essential and available on the State Library Vic Website.

Bohemian Melbourne, a celebration of counter-culture

Alongside the exhibition, which will be open until February 22nd, Bohemian Melbourne will also include a cabaret, pop-up performances, walking tours and curator tours of the exhibition. A full listing of events are available on the State Library Victoria website.

Find out more:


Our Staff

Associate Professor Mark Gibson Head of Program
Dr Dan Black Honours Coordinator (Section and School)
Dr Elizabeth Burns Coleman
Associate Professor Kevin Foster Deputy Head of School – Finance and Planning
Dr Xin Gu
Associate Professor Gil-Soo Han Undergraduate Program Coordinator
Dr David Holmes
Associate Professor Shane Homan
Associate Professor Brett Hutchins Australian Research Council Future Fellow
Dr Tony Moore Coordinator – Master of Communications and Media
Professor Justin O’Connor Co-Director, Research Unit of Media Studies (RUMS); Coordinator, Master of Cultural Economy
Dr Andy Ruddock Film, Media and Communications Postgraduate Program Director
Dr Jinna Tay Co-Director, RUMS
Dr John Tebbutt


Master of Communications and Media Studies

Further your understanding of communications and media systems both locally and globally, and focus on the challenges posed by the emergence of digital media, globalisation and increasing levels of cross-cultural exchange.


Master of Cultural Economy

Develop your expertise in the independent arts and creative/cultural industries and working in cultural policy, governance and community development.