Staff profile - Jessica Walton

Staff image

Dr Jessica Walton

Position: Research Fellow
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Arts & Education
Department: Alfred Deakin Institute
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 92517007 +61 3 92517007



Dr Jessica Walton has a disciplinary background in socio-cultural anthropology. She is currently working in an interdisciplinary team on projects that focus on everyday conceptualisations and experiences of racism, anti-racism initiatives and approaches that foster positive intercultural relations. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in anthropology at the University of Virginia (USA) and completed her PhD research in anthropology at the University of Newcastle (Australia). She is currently managing a three-year Australian Research Council Linkage project examining the extent to which the 'Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours' exhibition at the Immigration Museum can foster critical understandings of racism and positive attitudes toward cultural diversity among Year 10-12 students.

Jessica's doctoral research examined intercountry adoption as a transnational process. To explore this, she conducted fieldwork in South Korea at KoRoot, a guesthouse for Korean intercountry adoptees in Seoul to explore everyday experiences of identity and belonging. She recently received a competitive Deakin University Central Research Grant (2015) to conduct research on children's experiences of inter-ethnic relations in South Korea, a country currently grappling with what it means to be a 'multicultural' or multiethnic society.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle (NSW), 2010


American Anthropological Association
Australian Anthropological Society

LinkedIn profile


Conferences and seminars

Selected presentations:

Walton J, Priest, N, Paradies Y. ‘Talking culture? Egalitarianism, colour-blindness and racism in Australian primary schools’, Reconfiguring Anti-Racism: Tolerance, Harmony, Inclusion or Justice?, Deakin University, Melbourne, December 2013.

Walton, J, Priest, N, Paradies, Y, Kowal, E, White, F. ‘Who is Australian? Children’s conceptualisations of cultural identity and everyday experiences of racism’. The Australian Sociological Association, November 2013

Walton J, Priest N, Kowal E, White F, Fox B, Paradies Y. “‘You are not born being racist, are you?’: Discussing racism and cultural diversity with primary-aged Australian children”, Racism and Anti-racism through Education and Community Practice: An International Exchange, University of Edinburgh, June 2013.

Walton J, Paradies Y, Priest N, Waters E, Wertheim E, Freeman, E, Trinder M. “Promoting intercultural understanding in Australian schools through local and global community engagement”, American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA, November 2012.

Walton, J, Paradies Y, Priest N, Waters E, Wertheim E, Freeman, E, Trinder M. “Strengthening and critically reflecting on cultural identity to promote intercultural understanding in Australian schools”, Australian Anthropological Society Annual Meeting, Brisbane, September 2012.

Walton J, Priest, N, Paradies Y. “Conceptualisations of Everyday Racism”. Racisms in the New World Order: Realities of Culture, Colour and Identity, James Cook University, Cairns, August 2012.

Walton J. “Re-visiting the ‘unknown’: What it means to be adopted from the perspectives of Korean adoptees”, Interdisplinary Perspectives on Intercountry Adoption in Australia: History, Policy, Practices and Experience, Monash University Adoption Symposium, September 2010.

Walton, J. Transitional spaces and ambivalent identities: Korean adoptees (re)inventing themselves. Joint International Anthropology Conference (ASA/ASAANZ/AAS), Auckland, New Zealand, December 2008.

Walton, J. Engaging experience: Toward understanding Korean adoptee identities. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, November 2008.

Walton, J. “An anthropological analysis of the ways Korean adoptees negotiate shifting identities in the South Korean context”. Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities: A conference about migration, connection, heritage and cultural memory, Adelaide, December 2007.


Awards and prizes

Faculty of Education and Arts Postgraduate Research Publication Prize, University of Newcastle (2009)

Australian Network of Student Anthropologists (ANSA) Postgraduate Travel Grant (2008)

Phi Beta Kappa Society for academic excellence (2004)


Research projects

Evaluation of Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours (ARC Linkage)

Research interests

racism, anti-racism, identity, belonging, transnational migration, intercultural relations, anthropology of emotion, lived experience, South Korea

Research grants

Walton, J. 2015. Examining everyday experiences of inter-ethnic relations in South Korea. Deakin University Central Research Grant. $15,000.

Warr D, Aidani M, Gerrard J, Priest N, Walton J, Paradies Y. 2012. Understanding place-based racism and fostering interculturalism. University of Melbourne Interdisciplinary Seed grant. $30,000.

Research page



Peer-reviewed journal articles:

Walton, J. 2015. Feeling it: Korean adoptees’ experiences of embodied identity. Journal of Intercultural Studies 36(4), Accepted 23 February 2015.

Schorch, P., Walton, J., Priest, N., & Paradies, Y. 2015. Encountering the ‘other’: Interpreting student experiences of a multi-sensory museum exhibition. Journal of Intercultural Studies 36(2), pp. 221-240.

Priest, N., Walton, J., White, F., Kowal, E., Fox, B., and Paradies, Y. 2014. ‘You are not born being racist, are you?’ Discussing racism with primary aged-children. Race, Ethnicity & Education, Published on-line 4 September 2014, DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2014.946496

Priest, N., Walton, J., White, F., Kowal, E., Baker, A., and Paradies, Y. 2014. Understanding the complexities of ethnic-racial socialization processes for both minority and majority groups: A 30-year review, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Published on-line 26 August 2014,
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.08.003

Walton, J., Paradies, Y., Priest, N., Wertheim, E.H., & Freeman, E. 2014. Fostering intercultural understanding through secondary school experiences of cultural immersion. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 28(2), pp. 216-237.

Walton, J., Priest, N., Kowal E., Brickwood, K., Fox, B., White, F., and Paradies, Y. 2014. Talking culture? Egalitarianism, color-blindness and racism in Australian elementary schools. Teaching & Teacher Education 39, 112-122.

Walton, J, Priest N, and Paradies Y. 2013. 'It Depends How You're Saying It': The Conceptual Complexities of Everyday Racism. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 7(1), pp. 74-90.

Walton, J, Priest N, and Paradies Y. 2013. ‘Identifying and developing effective approaches to foster intercultural understanding in schools. Intercultural Education, 24(3), pp. 181-194.

Walton, J. 2012. Supporting the interests of intercountry adoptees beyond childhood: Access to adoption information and identity, Social Policy & Society, 11(3), pp. 443-454.

Book chapters:

Walton, J. 2009. ‘More than a Korean adoptee’: Making sense of identity and adoption in South Korea and adoptive countries. In Other People’s Children: Adoption in Australia. (Eds. Ceridwen Spark & Denise Cuthbert). Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, pp. 207-21.

Book reviews:

Walton, J. 2013. Book Review of Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging, by Eleana J. Kim. Anthropological Forum, 23(3), pp. 318-320.

Walton, J. 2009. Book Review of International Korean Adoption: A Fifty-Year History of Policy and Practice, eds. Kathleen Ja Sook Berquist, M. Elizabeth Vonk, Dong Soo Kim and Marvin D. Feit. Gay & Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 5(3), pp. 191-192.

Commissioned reports:

Walton, J, Paradies Y, Priest N, Waters E, Wertheim E, Freeman E, Trinder M. 2012. Evaluation of the Intercultural Understanding Field Trial. Report for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Melbourne.

Page custodian: External Relations Group
Last updated: