HDR interest areas

Becoming a Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student at Deakin's School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS) gives you the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest academics and researchers in your chosen field. 

With expert supervision and broad interest areas, you can pursue your passion and expand your knowledge base.

Our HDR interest areas

Find a supervisor and discover what projects current research students are undertaking.

PhD, Masters by Research and Professional Doctorate candidates in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences can choose from the following interest areas.


Our anthropology team is passionate about working with HDR students to further knowledge and understanding in a diverse range of subject areas. They're experts in their chosen fields and are prolific contributors to publications and conferences. Many have received international recognition for their work.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Associate Professor Rohan Bastin Civil war and the Sri Lankan social formation

Secularism and religious fanaticism in India

Egalitarian forms and social transformation in Australia
P, M
Dr David Giles Global cities, urban globalisation, urban ethnography (North America, Australasia) 
Political economy, value theory, economic anthropology

Waste, dumpster-diving, squatting, scavenging

Foodways, urban food systems, permaculture

Hunger, homelessness (especially the criminalisation thereof), urban environments, biopolitics 

Transnational social movements, decentralised networks, anarchist and punk counterpublics
P, M
Dr Roland Kapferer Social media

Corporate culture, consumption/marketing and emergent state formations


Technology, robotics, cybernetics and simulation

Anthropology of cinema

Animal anthropology
P, M
Dr Tanya King Natural resource management in Australia – commercial fisheries, water

Procedural justice, consultation and 'NIMBY' in rural and regional Australia

Environmental anthropology
P, M
Dr Gillian Tan Relational and multiple ontologies

Human/non-human relationships and critiques of the nature/culture binary

Issues in contemporary Tibetan society and culture

Ecology and religiosity in the Third Pole Environment (Himalayas)

Nomadic pastoralism and interactions with the state

Ethnography as writing and method
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

Student Supervisor Project title
Martin Hardie Associate Professor Rohan Bastin Cycling, drugs, governance and law in the state of exception
Sonja Boehm Dr Gillian Tan Violence, policy and people
Anne Faithfull Professor Andrea Witcomb On the fringe: hair from Indigenous Australians in museum collections
Krishnaraj Kathirgamathamby Associate Professor Rohan Bastin Religious innovation and social reform in Sri Lanka
Samson Keam Associate Professor Rohan Bastin Where there is water: exploring water management, Sinhalese Buddhism and the social formation in Polonnaruwa district, Sri Lanka
Tisara Munasinghe Arachchi Lekamlage Associate Professor Rohan Bastin The sonic characteristics of Sri Lankan low country drum
Jenny Norris-Green Associate Professor Rohan Bastin South Australian Quakers and Unitarians: a comparative study
Matthew Phillips Dr Roland Kapferer Utopia now: experiments of the social in a Copenhagen Free Town
Mudiyansele Gedara Lalantha Mahesh Premarathna Associate Professor
Rohan Bastin
New forms of Buddhism in Sri Lanka
Tatiana Romanovsky Associate Professor
Rohan Bastin
Evaluating Native Title: A case study of Native Title practice in Victoria
Bronwyn Shepherd Professor Emma Kowal Milingimbi Mission and early 20th century constructions of difference
Christopher Speldewinde Associate Professor
Rohan Bastin
The new regionalism: a comparative study of two regional centres
Ben Vecchiet Associate Professor
Rohan Bastin
Religious innovation and social reform in Sri Lanka
Catherine West Associate Professor
Rohan Bastin
Urban religion in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Learn more about our anthropology discipline

Australian studies

Our Australian Studies Department is home to some of the country's most recognised authorities on Indigenous issues, and Australian history, culture and society. The discipline's reputation for excellence is reflected in the choice of one of its professors as the inaugural BHP Billiton Chair of Australian Studies at Peking University.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Louise Johnson Urban and regional planning, including post-colonial planning

Global suburbs and building better Australian suburbs

Australian social, urban and regional geographies
P, M
Dr Sarah PintoAustralian history

Public and popular history-making

History and politics of emotions

Gender and sexuality in Australia
P, M
Dr Benjamin WilkieAustralian social and cultural history

History of the Scottish diaspora

Australian environmental history, and histories of space and place

Imperial and colonial history

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Caroline Denigan Professor Louise Johnson Owner builders, housewives and homemakers: self-build housing and gender in Australia


Deakin's criminology team has expertise in a wide range of areas. It's engaged in research projects covering virtually every aspect of the field including cybercrime, surveillance, policing, terrorism, organised crime, criminal justice, sexual offences and urban conflict.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Associate Professor Darren Palmer Surveillance


Social order
P, M
Associate Professor Chad Whelan Serious and organised crime

Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Security and crime prevention

Security and major events

Criminal and security intelligence
P, M
Dr Richard Evans Crime, justice and power


History, politics and social change

Crime and the environment


P, M
Dr Clare Farmer Alcohol related anti-social behaviour

Crime, young people and the role of the media

Exclusion, banning and behaviour based orders

Sentencing principles and reform (including mandatory and minimum sentences)

Criminal justice processes, human rights and procedural protections

Failures of justice
Dr Diarmaid HarkinPolice legitimacy

Community policing

Plural policing

Cyber policing

Private security

P, M
Dr Adam Molnar

Technology, security and policing

Privacy and data protection

Security, policing and major events

National security

P, M
Dr Wendy O’Brien Human rights and access to justice

International norms and standards on criminal justice and crime prevention

Children in conflict with the law and alternatives to detention

Child sexual abuse and sexual exploitation

Sexualised and sexually harmful behaviours among children

Sentencing and criminal justice law reform
P, M
Dr Emma RyanPolice use of force

Police accountability

Policy development in criminal justice

Efficacy of criminal justice oversight agencies

Media representations of crime

History of criminal justice practices

Dr Danielle TysonIntimate partner homicide

Violence against women

Filicide in the context of separation

Gender, sentencing and punishment

Media representations of crime

Qualitative research methods

Dr Ian Warren
Privacy and criminal justice/law

Technology and crime prevention



International and comparative criminology

Public order and disorder

Law, crime and space

Cybercrime and transnational regulation
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Morgan Burcher Associate Professor Chad Whelan Social network analysis as an investigative tool for crime intelligence
Kate Rebecca HudsonDr Wendy O'BrienRape shield laws in Australia: a comparative analysis of jurisdictional application and interpretation
Sally KennedyDr Ian WarrenExtradition and the impact of territorial sovereignty on human rights
Christopher Linke Associate Professor Darren Palmer Australian police memorialisation, commemoration and remembrance
Jessica Alyce Saligari Associate Professor Darren Palmer Police response to mental health crises: examining a new partnership
Matthew ThurgoodDr Ian WarrenSecuritisation of the 'migrating dead': examining immigration policy through necropolitics

Learn more about our criminology discipline

Cultural heritage

Our supervisors are known for their subject matter expertise. Kristal Buckley was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to conservation and the environment, particularly in the area of cultural heritage, and to education.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Andrea Witcomb Museums: histories, theories and practices

The history of the representation of cultural diversity in the Australian collecting sector

Thinking about the role of affect in audience engagement in museums and heritage sites

Heritage as a basis for cross‐cultural understanding and dialogue
P, M
Dr Steven CookeMuseums and identity
Landscapes of war and genocide

Holocaust pedagogy, visual research methods and sense of place
P, M
Dr Jonathan Sweet Heritage and development in the Asia–Pacific region
Museums: histories, theories and practices

Cross‐cultural pedagogy
P, M
Dr Linda Young History of historic houses as a species of museum

Victorian gold diggers and transition to civilian life in the 1850s–60s, especially via consumption of goods
History of Canberra
P, M
Kristal Buckley Cultural landscapes, the associative values of land and seascapes, integration of natural and cultural perspectives

Intangible cultural heritage, community engagement and involvement in cultural heritage

Evolving cultural heritage practice in the Asia–Pacific region

World heritage

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Hendrik Berrevoets Professor Andrea Witcomb The myth of Chinese market gardening
Beatrice HarrisProfessor Andrea WitcombHow should museums ethically navigate emotion?
Katrina LolicatoProfessor Andrea WitcombRepresenting Australia's cultural diversity for social benefit and contemporary relevance
Tanya Robinson Dr Linda Young Material identities: mediating fashion knowledges in Australasian museums
Corioli SouterProfessor Andrea WitcombCollecting the sea: the making of maritime collections from Western Australia and their exhibition
Michelle Stevenson Dr Linda Young Snowflakes in a sunburnt country: the development, culture and significance of skiing in Australia
Junjie Su Professor Andrea Witcomb Intangible cultural heritage safeguarding in the context of tourism: a case study of Lijiang, China

Learn more about our cultural heritage discipline


Stimulating and challenging HDR students to interpret and analyse past human behaviour, Deakin's History Department focuses on themes such as war and peace, modernisation and social change. It also covers colonialism, nationalism, internationalism, gender and the Holocaust in American, African-American, Asian, Australian and European histories.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor David Lowe The Cold War and decolonisation

Australia in world affairs

Political biography

Conflict and memory in Asia
P, M
Professor Klaus NeumannHistory and memory

Historical justice

Refugees, borders, migration

The politics of emotion – emotion in politics

Contemporary Germany
P, M
Associate Professor Keith Beattie US history

Film and history

Documentary studies
P, M
Associate Professor Helen Gardner 19th and 20th century history of anthropology in Oceania

20th century history of decolonisation of the Pacific

19th and 20th century history of Christianity and mission in Oceania
P, M
Associate Professor Christopher Waters Australian foreign policy in the age of appeasement

Australia and the decolonisation of the South Pacific

Diplomats and the art of biography
P, M
Dr Greg Burgess History of France

Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries

Citizenship, migration and refugee studies

Human rights in history
P, M
Dr Joanna Cruickshank History of religion in Britain and Australia

History of Aboriginal Missions

Australian Colonial History

Women's history
P, M
Dr Tony Joel The politics of war memory and commemoration
Remembering the Cold War

Remembering sporting triumphs, tragedies and rivalries
P, M
Dr Jonathan RitchiePapua New Guinea

Colonial history

Independence movements

Pacific history
P, M
Dr Tiffany Shellam Cross-cultural encounters between Aboriginal Australians and others in the era of
The history of Australian colonisation, 19th century

Exploring Aboriginal experiences of colonisation through the history of emotions
P, M
Dr Bart Ziino Private life and sentiment in Australia during the First World War 1914–1919

War heritage and commemoration

Early 20th century popular culture
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Jennifer Caligari Dr Joanna Cruickshank Bessie Harrison Lee: temperance and social reform
Nathan CoffeyAssociate Professor Helen GardnerExternal pressure and the rapid decolonisation of Papua New Guinea
Lisa CouacaudProfessor David LoweThe ideal America(n): constructing and deconstructing Dwight Eisenhower's rhetorical presidency
Ruth CrocombeAssociate Professor Helen GardnerSeventh-day Adventists, Indigenous Australian and Pacific Islander missionaries in PNG
Rebecca FillingDr Bart ZiinoRemembering Australia's Vietnam War
Anna KentProfessor David LoweAustralian scholarships for Indonesia – 1980 to 2015: critical mass, policy and expectations associated with scholarships and alumni
Amanda Lourie Associate Professor Helen Gardner From paddock to page: ethnological encounters in 1850s–1860s colonial Victoria
William Peart Professor David Lowe The ideological basis of Egalitarianism in Australia
Lauren RobinsonDr Joanna CruickshankSense of place and connection to the land: Victorian women, 1850–1901
Walter Struve Professor David Lowe A Biography of Kurt Offenburg (1898–1946)
Celeste ThornDr Tony JoelPainful pasts: contemporary histories at sites of genocide
Digby WrenProfessor David LoweContested horizons: competition and cooperation in China-Australia public diplomacy

Learn more about our history discipline

Humanitarian assistance

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Associate Professor Phil Connors Sustainable development: concepts and understandings

Community economic development

Critical community engagement in climate change amelioration/adaptation
P, M
Emma Roberts Using simulation-based training to improve humanitarian leadership skills

Humanitarian ethics and principles

The relevance and effectiveness of international law in today's humanitarian situations
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Alice Banfield Professor Matthew Clarke When 'Acts of God' strike: faith responses and leadership in Vanuatu natural disasters
Joanna Larvin Associate Professor Phil Connors Surviving the aftermath: consideration of violence against women in disaster responses

International and community development

Our academic staff and researchers set the benchmark for active participation in the field of international and community development. They have extensive experience with international government organisations, government agencies, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral agencies.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Matthew Clarke Religion and development
Aid effectiveness
Pacific development
P, M
Professor Damien Kingsbury Causes of separatism in sovereign states

Intra-state conflict resolution, post-conflict stability and state-building

Politics, economic development and policies, and Australia's bilateral relations with Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Burma and Cambodia

Timor-Leste foreign policy, anthropology and history

Regional security issues and terrorism

Political development/processes of democratisation

Human rights/civil and political rights
P, M
Dr Max KellyAgriculture, food security, food systems and food sovereignty

Rural development

Sustainable development in Timor-Leste, the Pacific, Africa and South-East Asia

Impact assessment of foreign aid

Farmer extension, agricultural knowledge and information systems

Animals, livestock welfare, ethics and international development

Civil society and NGOs in international development

Maternal health, Africa
P, M
Dr Maree PardyGender and development

Community development

Gender, culture, rights

Feminism, feminist theory, feminist anthropology

Cultural diversity and urban change
P, M
Dr Anthony WareDevelopment in conflict-affected situations

Myanmar’s Rakhine (‘Rohingya’) conflict and Kachin conflict

Myanmar (Burma): development, political economy, democratic transition

Participatory, strength-based and asset-based approaches to development

Religion in development, inter-religious partnerships, faith-based organisations (FBOs)

Inter-religious partnerships in development by FBOs
P, M
Dr Vicki WareArts-based and sports-based approaches to community development

Conflict transformation in developing countries

Schools as sites for community development in disadvantaged communities

Religion and development
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Louise AchesonDr Anthony WareDigital technology supporting gender empowerment in fragile state contexts
Way Alege N/A Reconciling development interventions and communities' vital concerns in Ituri district
Murray Boardman Dr Anthony Ware The intersection between monitoring and program quality in development NGOs
Tim Budge Dr Max Kelly Mobilising for change in informal settlements in Southern Africa
Maya CordeiroDr Max KellyPerformance measurement and decision-making in international non-governmental organisations
Julia GreenwoodDr Vicki WareCommunity meaning in cyberspace: an ethnographic examination
Primas KapiDr Anthony WareSustainability of community-based development programs in Papua New Guinea
Leanne KellyDr Anthony WareWhat's the point? Program evaluation in small, community development NGOs
Ronan Lee Dr Anthony Ware Who are Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims, what is it they want that is rejected by Myanmar's authorities and why?
Andrew MarriottProfessor Damien KingsburyLawyers, guns and money: advocacy and politics in post-conflict development
Praveena Rajkobal Professor Matthew Clarke Religions, risk and sustainability: reflexive religious ecology movements and environmental crisis management
Dr Michelle SandersDr Vicki-Ann WareEngaging 'flow' through art to assist people process trauma
Kirsten Taylor Professor Damien Kingsbury Ethnic conflict as a barrier to democratisation in Burma/Myanmar
Sarah WilliamsDr Vicki-Ann WareAn investigation of the effectiveness of arts-based approaches to building social inclusion in Australian and international contexts

Learn more about our international and community development discipline

International relations

The international relations program produces researchers who demonstrate the highest level of analytical and interpretative skills in global issues. They tackle the complexities of contemporary international relations and contribute to topic world knowledge. For example, Professor Baogang He has an international reputation as an authority on Chinese democratisation, NGOs and local governance. Dr Samantha Balaton-Chrimes is a specialist in citizenship, democracy and diversity in Africa, India and Indonesia.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Baogang He Chinese politics

Deliberative democracy

Comparative politics and political theory

The politics of international relations in East Asia
P, M
Associate Professor Sally Totman Marshall Middle East politics, international relations and history

Collaborative online learning through role play

Popular culture (in particular Hollywood film)
P, M
Associate Professor Chengxin PanChinese politics and international relations

US foreign policy

International relations in Northeast Asia

Australia and Asia (particularly in the context of US–China relations)

Discourse analysis in international relations

Alternative theoretical perspectives on China’s rise
P, M
Associate Professor Steven Slaughter International relations theory and international political theory

Democratic theory and globalisation

Transnational civil society and activism

Global governance – especially the G20

Global political economy
P, M
Dr Ken BoutinInternational security (including the political economy of security), with a particular focus on East Asia and the United States

The foreign policy of the United States
P, M
Dr Scott Burchill The business class and the GFC
Political change in North Africa

International relations theory
P, M
Dr Danielle Chubb North-east Asian security (particularly North Korea and regional politics)

Inter-Korean relations

Transnational civil society

Australian foreign policy
P, M
Dr David HundtKorean studies

Immigration in Australia and Asia

Capitalism in Asia

American foreign policy
P, M
Dr Costas Laoutides National self-determination movements

Peace-building and transitional justice

Diaspora and civil wars
P, M
Dr Cai Wilkinson Critical security studies, especially securitisation studies and societal security

Genders and sexualities in international relations

LGBT human rights

The politics of security and identity in the post-Soviet space

Interpretive methods and fieldwork in international relations 
P, M
Dean Coldicott Global governance

International political economy

International regime interplay

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Marial AduotDr Costas LaoutidesPolitics of post-war: assessing process of disarmament demobilisation and reintegration in South Sudan
Manushree Bahukhandi Dr Costas Laoutides Comparative analysis of gender and role of gender in conflict regions in India during the conflicts in Kashmir & Assam and applicability of the UNSCR 1325 in these regions
Ravi Dutt BajpaiAssociate Professor Chengxin PanCivilisational perspectives in international relations and contemporary China-India relations
John Bourdouvalis Dr Steven Slaughter Grounding social democracy: European democratic responses to the Global Financial Crisis
William BriggsDr David HundtMaking Marxism relevant in the age of capitalist crisis
Lance Collins Dr Scott Burchill Convincing Canberra: how other countries achieve their foreign policy goals with Canberra
Ben Debney Dr Scott Burchill The oldest trick in the book; crisis, moral panics and the political economy of scapegoating
Hamish DrummondDr Costas LaoutidesPost-conflict redevelopment including demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration in an African context: Burundi and Rwanda
Tezcan GumusDr David TittensorNation, identity and the role of elites: shedding light on Turkey's troubled democratisation
Seema KhanProfessor Damien KingsburyBalochistan insurgency: external factors and regional context
Hamish Kingsley-SmithAssociate Professor Chengxin PanAssessing the transitioning security order in Asia and the limitations of China's strategic ambition
Sean Mackin Dr Craig Snyder The essence of trident
Julie Richardson Dr Cai Wilkinson Gender and security: international policy in Turkey

Learn more about our international relations discipline

International studies

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

ResearcherResearch interestsSupervision level
Dr Samantha Balaton-ChrimesCitizenship (especially in Africa)

Ethnicity and ethnic politics in Africa

Politics of land rights (global perspective)

Democracy in practice (especially in Africa and South Asia)
P, M
Dr Cai WilkinsonCritical security studies, especially securitisation studies and societal security

Genders and sexualities in international relations

LGBT human rights

The politics of security and identity in the post-Soviet space

Interpretive methods and fieldwork in international relations 
P, M

Language and cultural studies

As a language and cultural studies research student at Deakin, you have access to superior linguists. You also get to utilise the capabilities of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, providing support and project collaboration opportunities.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Ismet Fanany Indonesian language, literature and linguistics

Indonesian culture and society

Islam in Indonesia

Metaphors and proverbs, especially Indonesian/Malay
P, M
Associate Professor Rebecca Fanany Language, culture and health

Cultural consonance

Conceptualisations of health

Language and culture as social determinants
P, M
Associate Professor Hakeem Kasem Developing a tool to facilitate teaching and learning of Arabic handwriting

Evaluation of the effectiveness of online blended learning as a teaching model in language education

Assessing the role of community language programs in preserving cultural heritage
P, M
Associate Professor Guo-Qiang Liu Re-constructing national identity: China's policy on Chinese as a foreign language

Social identity and sound change

Continuity and change in China's ideological transformation
P, M
Dr Eugenia DemuroPost colonialism/decoloniality in Latin America

Critical theory in Latin America

Studies of race/gender/class in Latin America

Contemporary social, political and cultural movements in Latin America

20th century modernist and experimental fiction in Latin America

Comparative fiction/literature in Latin America
P, M
Dr Xiangshu Fang Developing a pedagogical innovation to embrace students of diverse abilities/backgrounds in Chinese language learning

The revival of Confucianism and the Chinese Government's response

Historiography and China: the issue of approach
P, M
Dr Zouhir GabsiLanguage teaching 

Minority languages


Arab Spring

Youth Identity

Islamic Discourse
P, M
Dr Israel HolasLatin American literature: poetry, narrative and Vanguardist fiction

Comparative literature: especially tracing the influences of avant garde movements in Latin American literature (and vice-versa)

Roberto Bolaño and infrarrealismo

Latin American social movements


The intersections of the political and the cultural history of 'modern' Latin America (from conquest to the present day)
P, M
Dr Fengqi QianConserving the historic environment

Heritage not elsewhere classified

Understanding Asia's past
P, M
Dr Alistair WelshIndonesian/Malay language and culture

Discourse analysis, such as political discourse

(Third Space) intercultural engagement

Intercultural language teaching

Study abroad language programs
P, M
Dr Lin Zheng Women, words and woes: a structural analysis on Chinese characters

Chinese families in the Chinese magazine on 'Families'

Anglo-Chinese business communication and miscommunication
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Yufi AdrianiAssociate Professor Rebecca FananyReligiosity and happiness in Indonesia : a phenomenological study of young Muslims
Wen ChenAssociate Professor Guo-Qiang LiuCorrelation between foreign language anxiety and the effectiveness of different types of corrective feedback on Chinese linguistic structures
Salai Biak Lian ChingAssociate Professor Rebecca FananyLanguage maintenance amongst diasporic Chin communities around the world: in search of the contemporary state of the Chin language
Vidyarini DwitaAssociate Professor Rebecca FananyLanguage, Culture and Advertising in Indonesia: A Study of Middle Class Attitudes and Behavior
Yenny Narny Professor Ismet Fanany Resilience among survivors of political violence in West Sumatra, Indonesia
Nofel NofiadriProfessor Ismet FananyMetaphor in Rundiang: A study of a genre of traditional literature in West Sumatera
Indah SariAssociate Professor Rebecca FananyError analysis in the work of novice Indonesian translators
Erlinda SyamProfessor Ismet FananyContemporary Minangkabau usage in West Sumatra, Indonesia
Zulprianto ZulpriantoAssociate Professor Rebecca FananyAn analysis of thematic structures and metaphors of the English novel Animal Farm and two Indonesian translations

Middle East studies

Our staff are renowned for their specialised Middle Eastern knowledge. Associate Professor Sally Totman Marshall is an author and international expert on Middle East policy and politics. A frequent commentator on Middle Eastern issues, she contributes to various national and international radio, television and print media groups and speaks at public forums and lectures.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Associate Professor Sally Totman Marshall Middle East politics, international relations and history

Collaborative online learning through role play

Popular culture (in particular Hollywood film)
P, M
Dr Mat Hardy Middle East politics

Military intervention in the Middle East

Online role-play/e-learning

State failure in Libya and representations of the Middle East in fantasy literature

Learn more about our Middle East studies discipline


Deakin is home to a vibrant and pluralistic philosophy research department. It offers a wide range of teaching and research interests spanning and interconnecting the continental, analytic and eastern traditions. Deakin philosophers also form the nucleus of the European Philosophy and the History of Ideas research group (part of the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation).

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Jack Reynolds Contemporary European philosophy

Phenomenology and existentialism

Analytic and continental philosophy

Intersubjectivity and social cognition

Metaphilosophy and methodology
P, M
Associate Professor Russell Grigg Lacanian psychoanalysis

P, M
Associate Professor Matthew Sharpe Cultural relativism vs realism

The scientific revolution

The work of French classicist Pierre Hadot
P, M
Dr Sean Bowden The work of Gilles Deleuze

Contemporary French and European philosophy

American pragmatism

Philosophy of action and agency (individual and collective)
P, M
Dr Leesa Davis Buddhist philosophy (especially Zen and Mahayana)

Hindu philosophy (especially Advaita Vedanta)

Contemporary Buddhist practice in the west

Cross-cultural philosophy

Non-duality in Eastern and Western thought
P, M
Dr George Duke Political authority and legitimacy

Constitutional law and public law theory

Legal theory and general jurisprudence

Political and legal thought of Plato and Aristotle
P, M
Dr Cathy LeggAmerican pragmatism (especially Charles Peirce)


Philosophy of language

Philosophical logic

Metaphysics (including formal ontology)

Artificial intelligence

History of analytic philosophy

Early modern philosophy
P, M
Dr Patrick Stokes 19th and 20th century European thought, especially Kierkegaard and Løgstrup

Personal identity

Moral psychology

Philosophy of death and dying
P, M
Dr David TittensorTurkish politics and society

Transnational Muslim movements

Islamic studies

Gender in Islam

Religion and development
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Joshua BadgeDr George DukeGadamer's rehabilitation of authority and tradition
Dale Clisby Dr Sean Bowden Deleuze's secret dualism: defining the actual/virtual relationship
Andrew KirkpatrickProfessor Jack ReynoldsThe metaphysical structures of experience: towards a process phenomenology
Michael MitchellAssociate Professor Russell GriggTowards a comprehensive theory of self-knowledge
Toni MortonDr Patrick StokesDisenchantment, selfhood and contemporary being
Kevin Murphy Associate Professor Russell Grigg Asexuality:  towards a Freudian-Lacanian understanding
David-Lee Nielson Dr Patrick Stokes 'What am I?' People as subjects and objects
Kane Pierce SimpsonProfessor Jack ReynoldsPerson-hood, animality, and phenomenological being
Kirk TurnerAssociate Professor Matthew SharpeDevelopment of the Lacanian concept of fantasy: trajectories and significations
James Watt Professor Jack Reynolds Rethinking authenticity

Learn more about our philosophy discipline

Politics and policy

Learn from highly qualified, experienced academic staff who have made significant contributions to research in the field both nationally and internationally. Our academics and supervisors have contributed to an extensive range of publications and consulted to various national and international agencies.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Andrew Scott Comparing social democracy in Australia with nations in northern Europe

Policies to reduce inequalities among children through public investment in the early years

The relationship between environmentalism and other political philosophies
P, M
Associate Professor Benjamin Isakhan Middle East history and politics

The history of democracy and democratic theory

Orientalism and cultural studies

Cultural heritage and heritage destruction
P, M
Dr Samantha Balaton-Chrimes Citizenship and democratic theory

Politics of recognition and distribution
P, M
Dr Peter FergusonEnvironmental politics and policy

Environmental political economy

Green political theory

Environmental and human security

The international climate negotiations
P, M
Dr Amy Nethery Asylum and migration policies in Australia and the Asia–Pacific region

Histories and theories of incarceration

Australian policy and public opinion
P, M
Dr Zim NwokoraPolitical parties, party systems and political competition

Constitutional design and constitutional politics

The quality of democracy and good governance
P, M
Dr Maria RaeMedia and politics, political communication

The politics of human rights and the media

Transitional justice and the media

Discourse analysis
P, M
Dr Geoffrey Robinson Explaining NSW Labor's 2011 electoral defeat

The public career of Richard Crouch

Party politics and taxation and public expenditure in the Australian states 1911–40
P, M
Dr Andrew Vandenberg Trade unionism

Social democracy

Neoliberalism social movements
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

Student SupervisorProject title
Peter AlsenProfessor Andrew ScottConcepts of early childhood education and care in Australia and Germany
Sylvia DaravongProfessor Andrew ScottProgressive or left? Does Australia have a viable political alternative to neoliberalism?
Sayed Fadel Associate Professor Benjamin Isakhan The rise and downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (2011–2013)
Daniel Timothy GerrardProfessor Andrew ScottAspirations and practice in Australian social media campaigning
Amita Vengacherry Joseph Professor Linda Hancock Effectiveness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) guidelines in India
Peter MulherinAssociate Professor Benjamin IsakhanBack in Iraq: Australia's foreign policy engaging the Islamic State
Diane Siebrandt Associate Professor Benjamin Isakhan Military occupation of heritage sites: orientalism, archaeology and the Iraq War

Learn more about our politics and policy discipline


Deakin's sociology staff have many years of combined industry experience and are leaders in their research fields. These fields include sociology of media and popular culture, sexuality, crime and justice, youth, consumer society and sustainability, culture and migration, religion and health.

Supervisors and their areas

Key/Note: Supervision level: PhD (P); Masters (M)

Researcher Research interests Supervision level
Professor Liz Eckermann Health, gender and development

Maternal health

Quality of life and social indicators
P, M
Associate Professor Andrew Singleton Sociology of religion: spirituality, youth religion, new religious movements, global Christianity, secularisation, non-religion, religious change, religious movements in the global south

Gender: men, masculinity, gender and the media

Research methods: quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods
P, M
Associate Professor Grazyna Zajdow Alcohol and illicit drugs policy

Narrative experience of alcohol and drugs

Narratives of women, work and ageing
P, M
Dr Bernie East Why does Generation Y have a sense of entitlement?

Using Bourdieu's Habitus and Field to understand contemporary art

The role of architects in fostering consumption
P, M
Dr Anna Halafoff Sociology of religion

Interreligious relations

Educations about religions and beliefs

Buddhism in Australia
P, M
Dr Karen Lane Health



Maternalist theory; Mothering and migration          
P, M
Dr Vince Marotta Social theory

Urban sociology


Multiculturalism and cultural identity


Theories of the stranger
P, M
Dr Kim ToffolettiGender: sport and fitness, media, technology, consumer and popular culture


Sport fandom

Social media and digital networked technologies
P, M

Current students and doctoral projects

StudentSupervisorProject title
Alison AsquithAssociate Professor Andrew SingletonAnglican encounters with orthodox icons
James BakerAssociate Professor Grazyna ZajdowConstructing asylum seekers: representations of asylum seekers in Australia
Katherine CalvertVince MarottaConceptualisations of resistance, agency and power in human/horse relations
Hannah GardenDr Kim ToffolettiMainstream feminist digital news sites and the discourse of popular feminism under neoliberalism
Jayne GarrodDr Karen LaneNegotiating competing childbirth discourses through social media
Laura Gobey Associate Professor Grazyna Zajdow and Dr Kim ToffolettiThe lives and aspirations of young South African migrant women
Samuel HoganAssociate Professor Andrew SingletonReligious change and its management
James Holmes Dr Vince Marotta Fantasy in an increasingly rationalised world
Catherine Kowalski Associate Professor Rebecca Fanany Impact of media on attitudes towards complementary and alternative medicine
Denise Ann Mcnulty Norton Dr Kim Toffoletti Redeeming the father: constructions of fatherhood in recent children's films
Sharni SpencerDr Vince MarottaThe impact of feminist Facebook groups on feminist discourses
Lorayma TaulaDr Vince MarottaThe transnationalism of young Polynesian women
Trisha VillagonzaloDr Vince Marotta#OnePulse: performative community and the politics of bereavement on social media
Xinyu ZhaoDr Vince MarottaNegotiating exclusion and inclusion in a digital age: everyday social media practices among Chinese student-migrants in Australia​

Learn more about our sociology discipline

I have enjoyed my PhD experience more than I can say. My supervision has been of the highest standard, the facilities have been excellent and I have always had help when I've asked for it.

Kirstie Barry

SHSS HDR student

Contact us

For more information about the HDR program within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, please contact the HDR Coordinator.

SHSS HDR Coordinator
Dr Maree Pardy
+61 3 924 45163
Email Dr Maree Pardy