Abstracts

CCG's multidisciplinary public seminar series runs from March to November at the Melbourne City Centre campus, the Melbourne Campus at Burwood and the Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds

March

Citizenship and Globalisation seminars in March:

On the Trail of Taslima

12:00pm, Thursday 6 March On the Trail of Taslima

Location details

Deakin University Burwood Campus

Room B2.20 | Map

Download the seminar flyer (PDF, 229.9 KB)

This discussion explores the domestic and international responses to dissident Bangladeshi writer-in-exile, Taslima Nasreen. Following a newspaper interview the author gave in neighbouring India, violent demonstrations broke out in 1994 and she was accused of blasphemy. This led to an international campaign by human rights organisations such as: Amnesty International, International PEN and Reporters San Frontiers to 'Save Taslima'. Labelled 'the female Salman Rushdie', which eventually proved her undoing, Nasreen escaped to the West where she became an overnight celebrity, a much-lauded feminist and free speech icon adopted by European freedom of expression organisations and USA feminists. Her Western supporters never asked why Bangladeshi feminists, secularists and human rights activists never 'adopted' her. Nasreen's brand of feminism and Indian backing alienated her from what should have been her domestic support base. Eventually Nasreen toppled from her literary pedestal in the West, a victim of everyone's expectations, political manoeuvring and her own sense of entitlement. Nasreen writes in Bengali, her mother tongue, and wants to live permanently in West Bengal, India. This presents difficulties for the government as her presence leads to violent demonstrations by Muslim extremists. She is also famous for her acrimonious fallings out with her male mentors in Bangladesh, Western Europe and now in India. Hirsi Ali, another critic of Islam, has in some respects relegated Nasreen to the sidelines.

Hanifa Deen

Hanifa Deen is an award-winning author who writes narrative non-fiction and lives in Melbourne. Her books include: Caravanserai: A Journey Among Australian Muslims, for which she won a NSW Premier's Literary Award; Broken Bangles, short listed for a WA Premier's Award, The Jihad Seminar (UWA Press) short listed for the Australian Human Rights Commission, Literature Non-Fiction Award; Ali Abdul vs. The King,(UWA Publishers, 2011). Her latest book On the Trail of Taslima was released in June 2013.

Deen has also served as a Hearing Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission of Australia, and also on the Board of Directors, Special Broadcasting Services (SBS). She was the Director of Community Education at the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission as well as the Deputy Director at the Multicultural Affairs Commission WA.

Currently she is Chair of the Institute of Cultural Diversity and is also the Editor of Sultana's Dream, an online magazine written and produced by Australian Muslim women which she founded in 2011.

The Falls of Baghdad in 1258 and 2003: A Study in Sunni-Shi'i Clashing Memories

11:00am, Tuesday 18 March The Falls of Baghdad in 1258 and 2003:
A Study in Sunni-Shi'i Clashing Memories

Location details

Deakin University Burwood Campus

Room HE2.016 | Map


Download the seminar flyer
(PDF, 1.4 MB)

This work examines current sectarian polarization trends in Iraq through the spectrum of sectarian history and more particularly communal memories in Iraq. Through a comparison of the fall of Baghdad of 1258 with the recent fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003, I analyze the creation and persistence of sectarian polemics across time periods, arguing that sectarian memories amongst the Sunni and Shi'i communities in Iraq revolve around key traumatic moments, defined as turning points in the history of the communities. The falls of Baghdad in 1258 and 2003 are such critical moments: both led to the emergence of a sense of Sunni victimhood due to the growing power of Shi'ism after each event, which led to the creation of historical myths blaming the Shi'a community for the two falls of Baghdad.

Since the fall of Baghdad in 2003, polarized discourses have been growing: the event has been described by many Sunnì„ intellectuals, clerics, politicians, but also Iraqis more generally, as a repetition of the Shi'i betrayal of 1258, in which the Shi'a are believed to have brought in the invader. If Nuri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of Iraq, has been called "the new Ibn al-'Alqami," a new polemical term has been forged to describe the Shi'i community at large: the 'alaqima, used throughout social media and in the press, establishing a link between past and present, and reinforcing the polarization of Sunni and Shi'i historical memories.

Nassima Neggaz

A Fulbright Fellow from France, Nassima holds an MA in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris, an MA in Arab Studies from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Georgetown University. Her work is at the junction between Political Science, Islamic History, and Arabic language. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Singapore, where she is working on turning her PhD dissertation into a book, entitled: "The Falls of Baghdad in 1258 and 2003: A Study in Sunni-Shi'i Clashing Memories." The work explores the polemics, both modern and historical, about the role of the Shi'a in the falls of Baghdad during the Mongol invasion of Baghdad (1258) and the US-led invasion of Iraq (2003). She previously taught courses in Arabic and Sociology at Georgetown University in Washington DC, the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Doha, Qatar, as well as the American University in Washington DC. 

Sectarianism and Regime Policies

4:00pm, Wednesday 19 March Sectarianism and Regime Policies:
Sunni-Shia Conflict in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrai

 

Location details

Deakin University Melbourne City Centre
Level 3, 550 Bourke Street Melbourne

Download the seminar flyer (PDF, 242.7 KB)

Religious and ethnic sectarianism in the past three years has become the scourge of several Arab countries, especially the Gulf Arab states. Although before the Arab upheavals of 2011 communities experienced low-level sectarian conflicts, regimes for the most part managed those conflicts through a myriad of control and co-optation policies. Nonetheless, Shia communities, especially in Gulf countries and in pre-2003 Iraq, suffered varying degrees of discrimination educationally, economically, politically, religiously, and socially. In response to popular demands for political reform and democracy beginning in 2011, authoritarian regimes in Syria, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia have pursued a bloody sectarian policy to divide their populations between Sunnis and Shia. Sunni regimes have accused their Shia communities of conspiring with Iran to undermine the Sunni regimes. This divide-and-rule sectarian policy in the long run is not expected to save authoritarian rule, which many Arabs believe has run its course.

Emile Nakhleh

Dr Nakhleh is a retired Senior Intelligence Service Officer, a Research Professor at UNM, a National Intelligence Council/IC Associate, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Since retiring from the US Government in 2006, he has been consulting with different US government entities and departments on national security issues, particularly Islamic radicalization, terrorism, and the Arab states of the Middle East. He has published frequently on the "Arab Spring" in the Financial Times and the Inter Press News Service.

April

12:00pm, Thursday 17 April

Contested Publics:
Social Media Conflict as Generative Acts of Provocation & Citizenship

Location details

C2.05, Burwood Campus

Download the seminar flyer (PDF, 641.6 KB)

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While social media tools enable new kinds of creativity, cultural expression and forms of public, civic and political participation, we often hear more about the harms that arise from instances of trolling and 'aberrant' online participation, including racist provocation and hate speech. In media and communications research these complex issues have been framed in a number of ways, usually focussing on new tools for civic engagement, political participation and digital inclusion. Government policy however has been steadily shifting toward potential regulation of social media 'misuse' in relation to appropriate forms of 'digital citizenship'. It is in this evolving context that we consider several instances of cultural or nationalistic provocation and conflict in which social media platforms (YouTube and Facebook in particular) have been central to the social dynamic that has unfolded. We examine two contrasting sites that feed into this dynamic: the celebratory uploading of 'flashmob haka' videos recorded in New Zealand and Australia, and the recording and uploading of racist rants and associated bystander actions on public transport in Australia. In this paper, we will contend that whilst racism remains an issue in uses of social media platforms such as YouTube, this focus often overshadows their productive potential, including their capacity to support agonistic publics from which productive expressions of cultural citizenship and solidarity might emerge. Drawing on theories of networked publics, Isin and Nielsen's concept of 'acts of citizenship', and the political theory of Chantal Mouffe, we argue that networked, agonistic publics are possible where acts of racism and hatred provoke counter-formations which support and celebrate cultural difference.

Amelia Johns

Amelia Johns is an early career researcher and research fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation. Her recently completed PhD (2012) explored experiences of intercultural contact between young people in multicultural urban space, and how these encounters produce racism, intolerance and violent conflict alongside 'hybrid' expressions of national and local belonging. Her work has been published in Continuum: Journal of Media and Culture, Fibreculture and will be appearing in a forthcoming book, Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century. Her current research reflects an interest in young people's experiences of new media as spaces where social and cultural identity, citizenship and experiences of embodiment are resituated and transformed. She is also principal research fellow on an ARC Discovery project examining 'Islamic Religiosity and the challenges of political engagement and National Belonging in Multicultural Western cities'.

Anthony McCosker

Anthony McCosker is an early career researcher and lectures in Media and Communications in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia. His research explores media affect, media technology, digital and visual cultures and social media practices and publics. He is author of the book Intensive Media: Aversive Affect and Visual Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), and he has published a number of book chapters along with articles in journals such as Information, Communication and Society, Convergence, Sexualities, Continuum and Transformations.

May

12:00pm, Thursday 29 May

Muslims in Switzerland: Visibility and Public Sphere

Location details

C2.05, Burwood Campus

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This paper will begin by briefly addressing the Muslim presence in Switzerland beginning from the transition phase that followed the Second World War (when Muslims were brought as temporary workers), to the present day (where many live as permanent residents). It will then proceed to discuss the findings from the 'Vie musulmane en Suisse (Muslim Life in Switzerland)' report prepared by the Research Group on Islam in Switzerland (GRIS) for the Federal Commission on Migration in 2005 (revised in 2010). 

The focus of the seminar will be on matters of religious practices, integration, identity and citizenship. Between Mobile and the Koran, a documentary inspired by the report, will be screened.

The paper will conclude by examining issues of Muslim visibility in the public sphere, including those relating to the wearing of face veils and the Minaret ban. The objective is to illuminate the reasons behind increasing social and cultural tensions, despite the many positive effects the integration process appears to be having.

Stephane Lathion

Dr Stephane Lathion did his PhD in European Studies at Geneva University and worked as a lecturer at the University of Fribourg. He is the coordinator of the Research Group on Islam in Switzerland (GRIS-- www.gris.info) which has links with the Religions Observatory in Switzerland and published the Muslim Life in Switzerland report.

He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Religion and Society Research Centre at UWS. His recent books (in French) include Muslim, a threat for the Republic? (DDB, 2012), Islam and Modernity, Identities between City Hall and Mosque(DDB, Paris, 2010) and The Swiss Minaret Ban: Islam in Question(with P. Haenni, Religioscope, Fribourg, 2011).

June

12:00pm, Thursday 5 June Understanding and addressing racism as a
determinant of child and youth health and wellbeing

Issues of racism, cultural diversity and social cohesion continue to feature highly on the national and international agenda. In this global context, children and young people are required to negotiate multicultural contexts within their everyday lives. However, research is emergent internationally regarding how experiences of racism impact children and youth health and wellbeing; effective ways of supporting development of positive attitudes to diversity and countering racism; as well as optimal ways to buffer children against harmful effects of racism when it occurs. Drawing on several recent studies, this presentation will discuss Australian data on the prevalence of racism experiences and attitudes towards diversity among children and youth and the effects of such experiences and attitudes on their health and wellbeing. It will also discuss ethnic-racial socialisation processes experienced by Australian primary school children, within the context of international literature regarding the importance of ethnic-racial socialization in buffering against racism's harmful effects and in development of racial/ethnic attitudes. Future areas for work will also be highlighted.

Naomi Priest

Dr Naomi Priest is an Alfred Deakin Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. Her current research is focused on addressing child health inequalities through combating racism and promoting diversity and inclusion. This includes social epidemiology and qualitative research to understand the effects of racism on child and youth health and wellbeing, how children develop racial/ethnic attitudes and intercultural understanding, as well as developing, implementing and evaluating anti-racism interventions with children and young people. She also conducts research examining community attitudes towards cultural diversity and experiences of racism among adults from majority and minority backgrounds. 

July

3:00pm, Wednesday 30 July

Location details

Burwood Corporate Centre, Burwood Campus

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Mohamad Ibrahim

Mohamad Ibrahim is Somalia's Minister of Posts and Telecommunications.

While much of his career has been spent in the ICT sector, his interests as a scholar extend to globalization, the role of NGOs in developing countries, the place of ethics and morality in society, religious radicalism, and other areas where technology and humanity intersect and lately slowly moving into the legal field.[13] His various projects involving Somalia stem from his interest in establishing functioning ICT and education systems there.[14] He is also interested in wireless technology and it's potential to create opportunities for communication, and how that is balanced with its negative tendency to distract and saturate society.

12:00pm, Thursday 17 July

Location details

C2.05, Burwood Campus

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Surfing on the Internet 2.0 revolution, Patani 2.0 has allowed Patani neojihadist militants to access new competitive spaces and create their own imagined online community by penetrating new realms of the Internet. This seminar will discuss the use of new media militant propaganda by Patani militants and how it is Janus faced. It will further examines how the Patani 2.0 social interaction enabled by social media such as YouTube leads to group cohesion among certain actors and the formation of a collective identity that is clustered around the notions of Muslim victimization and defensive jihad; and how, at the same time, it reinforces antithetical identities and fosters group identity competition, where one religious group is often pitted against another. As a result, the Janus effect of Patani neojihadist YouTube online propaganda, while it primarily seeks to radicalize, also generates a reactionary, often virulent, anti-Muslim response from the movement's critics.

Virginie Andre

Dr Virginie Andre is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation. Her research interests include globalisation and conflict transformation, ethno-nationalism and terrorism, youth radicalisation and social media in Southeast Asia and Europe. Virginie is also the editorial manager of Islam and Christian Muslim Relatio

August

12:00pm, Thursday 14 August

Location details

C2.05, Burwood Campus

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Each Australian jurisdiction has enacted legislation prohibiting discrimination on various grounds, such as race, sex, disability and age. These laws rely on the individual who has experienced discrimination to enforce them. The equal opportunity agencies play a very limited role in enforcing the law and are expected to be neutral because they provide dispute resolution services. While institutions in other areas (like competition law and occupational health and safety) have a broad range of powers so they can enforce compliance with the law, successive governments have chosen not to invest Australia's equal opportunity agencies with equivalent powers. Drawing on the powers given to equivalent institutions in the United Kingdom and Ireland and their experience, this seminar proposes a new model for enforcing Australia's anti-discrimination laws with a particular focus on the role of the equal opportunity agency.

Dominique Allen

Dr Dominique Allen is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at Deakin University where she teaches Workplace Law and Contract. She completed her doctoral thesis on Australia's anti-discrimination laws at Melbourne Law School and has published widely in this area of law. Her research interests are in anti-discrimination law, equality and human rights.

September

12:00pm, Thursday 4 September
 

Much French thinking since 1960 has gravitated towards forms of decisionism or messianism which secularises eschatological hopes and modes of thinking inherited from the Jewish and Christian tradition. Albert Camus is almost unique in French letters (alongside his friend, the poet Rene Char) in arguing for the need to reanimate motifs from the classical Mediterranean legacy, beginning in Greece: notably, the value of mesure (moderation), the notion of a constant human nature, the urgent need to recapture a non-instrumental, contemplative sense of our place in the natural world, and an opposition to all ideas of an 'end of history' or a single 'great leap forward'. From this perspective, much of contemporary theory's continuing fascination with the possibility of extreme or radical ruptures overturning all previous modes and orders continues the kinds of thinking which legitimated the National Socialists' and Stalinists' secularised millenialisms, rather than pointing in viable new directions, particularly in a period where our relation to non-human nature needs to become paramount. According to Camus' often-maligned "midday thought," human beings are not solely historical, language-using, political beings. We are also mortal, natural beings in an ecosphere we did not create, but in whose profoundly interconnected (and now as we know profoundly threatened) recurrences Camus saw the basis for a new philosophy limiting human hybris, this side of thermonuclear or ecological collapse. In this paper, I'll reconstruct the different registers of Camus' hellenism: beginning from his own youthful experiences growing up in Algeria (for him, a 'Greece in rags'), passing through his early work on the end of antiquity, his continuing work with pagan myths (Sisyphus, Prometheus, Oedipus, Nemesis), culminating in his position that "nothing can be true which compels us to exclude," a difficult wisdom which he sees preeminently figured in classical tragedy.

Matthew Sharpe

Dr Matt Sharpe teaches philosophy at Deakin, and is co-convenor of EPHI (European Philosophy and History of Ideas research group) within CCG. He is presently writing a book on Camus (Brill, 2015) and on the history of Western conceptions of philosophical self-formation.

October

12:00pm, Thursday 2 October

 

Location details

C2.05, Burwood Campus

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The Kenya Slum Upgrading Project (KENSUP's) is a pilot slum upgrading project in Kibera, Nairobi, aims to "improve the livelihoods of people living and working in Kenya's slums through provision of security of tenure, housing improvement, income generation and physical and social infrastructure" (UN-Habitat 2008:7). Though the project entails demolition and construction of housing and infrastructure, it has not resolved the issue of what form of land tenure will eventuate, and who will hold the land title (whether government, private individuals, or communities). The land is contested in multiple ways: the ethnic Nubian community understand all of Kibera to be their ancestral land and have lobbied for land title for decades, resident and non-resident structure owners are concerned about the security of their investments, and tenants are concerned about rent increases. KENSUP has been accused of inadequate frameworks for participation, a critique particularly pronounced in relation to land. This paper presents preliminary findings from field research in Nairobi to explore the nature and quality of 'participation' in relation to the contentious issue of land, drawing on the critical notion of participation as citizenship, and focusing on participation as a forum for addressing contests and conflicts.

UN-Habitat 2008, UN-Habitat and the Kenya Slum Upgrading Program: Strategy Document, UN-Habitat, Nairobi.

Sam Balaton-Chrimes

Dr Samantha Balaton-Chrimes is a Lecturer in International Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

Sam's research is interdisciplinary in nature, cutting across politics and political theory, development studies and anthropology. Her principal research interests are in the areas of democratic theory and practice in global perspective, with a focus on how minorities and marginalised groups can access, participate in, and transform democratic processes, and make effective use of their rights, particularly in relation to land. Her work deals with both empirical and theoretical issues, and focuses on the context of developing economies. Sam holds a PhD in politics from Monash University. She has conducted research in Kenya, India, Indonesia, South Korea, USA and UK, and has published widely in the areas of citizenship studies, ethnic politics, democracy and diversity, and corporate accountability.

November

12:00pm, Thursday 6 November
 

Abstract coming soon

Kate Fitz-Gibbon

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