Professor Juan Francisco Salazar

Professor, Communications, School of Humanities and Communication Arts

Juan_SalazarJuan Francisco Salazar (Santiago, 1971) is an anthropologist and documentary filmmaker with a PhD in Communication and Media from Western Sydney University (2005) and a Bachelor of Anthropology from the University of Chile (1994). He is Professor of media studies at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts and Fellow of the Institute for Culture and Society (ICS). From 2016 he has been a University Research Theme Champion (Environment and Sustainability) and from 2020 an Australian Research Council Future Fellow. His work on Indigenous media in Latin America was widely recognised for its novel focus on the poetics of Indigenous video practices and for bringing together Latin American film theory and communication theory, with media anthropology. His current research interests are on social ecological change, anthropology of futures, scientific practices in extreme environments, and environmental justice in community based adaptation to climate change. His current work has focused on cultural research on Antarctica where he has developed pioneering ethnographic work since 2011. His latest work is on social studies of outer space. Among his most known films as director are De la Tierra a la Pantalla (2004); Nightfall on Gaia (2015) and The Bamboo Bridge (2019).


  • PhD in Communication and Media, 2005, University of Western Sydney
  • Master of Arts in Media and Cultural Studies, 1999, University of Western Sydney
  • Graduate Diploma Environmental Management, 1996, Universidad of Chile
  • Bachelor of Anthropology (Honours), 1994, University of Chile

Research Focus

  • Social studies of science
  • Documentary film
  • Environmental humanities
  • Antarctica and Outer Space
  • Indigenous media in Latin America
  • Socio-ecological transitions.

Awards and Recognition

  • 2020 WSU Researcher of Year Award
  • Co-Chair of the Future Earth Australia Steering Committee
  • 2018 Visiting Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
  • 2018 Ostrom Workshop Visiting Fellowship, Indiana University (Bloomington)
  • 2018 Vice-Chancellor Professional Development Award, WSU
  • 2017 UNICEF-IAMCR Fellow, Universidad Uniminuto, Colombia
  • 2016 Winner Best Documentary, Barcelona Planet Film Festival, for Nightfall on Gaia.
  • 2015 Visiting Professor, Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile
  • 2013 Visiting Professor, Universidad Uniminuto, Colombia.
  • 2013 AusAID Australian Leadership Awards Fellowship
  • 2013 Unijobs Lecturer of the Year 2013 (Top 10 University of Western Sydney).
  • 2012 Vice-Chancellor's Professional Development Scholarship, University of Western Sydney.
  • 2010 Vice-Chancellor's Professional Development Scholarship, University of Western Sydney.
  • 2009 Winner, Best Book, Australian Educational Publishing Award
  • 2009 Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Teaching and Learning category for the co-authored book Screen media arts: an introduction to concepts and practices (opens in a new window)(with H Cohen and I Barkat), Oxford University Press.
  • 2000 Australian Postgraduate Research Award

Selected Publications

Salazar, J.F. Kearns, M., Granjou, C., Krzywoszynska, A., and M. Tironi (Eds.) (2020) Thinking with Soils: Material Politics and Social Theory.

Pertierra, A., and Salazar, J.F. (Eds.) (2020) Media Cultures in Latin America: Key Concepts and New Debates.

Salazar, J.F., S. Pink, A. Irving & J. Sjöberg (Eds.) (2017) Anthropologies and Futures: researching uncertain and emerging worlds. London and New York: Bloomsbury.

Granjou, C., J. Walker & J.F. Salazar (2017) “Politics of Anticipation: On Knowing and Governing Environmental Futures”. Futures: The journal of policy, planning and futures studies.

Praet, I., & J.F. Salazar (2017) “Familiarizing the Extraterrestrial / Making Our Planet Alien. Environmental Humanities”, Vol. 9 (2).

Pink, S. and Salazar, J.F., 2017. Anthropologies and futures: Setting the agenda. In Salazar, J.F., S. Pink, A. Irving & J. Sjöberg Anthropologies and Futures: researching uncertain and emerging worlds. London: Bloomsbury

Salazar, J.F. (2017) Microbial Geographies at the Extremes of Life. Environmental Humanities, 9(2): 398-417.

Cameron, F., B. Hodge & J.F. Salazar (2013) Representing climate change in museum space and places. WIREs Climate Change, 4(1), 9-21.

Salazar, J.F. (2009). ‘Self-determination in practice: the critical making of indigenous media’, Development in Practice 19(4-5), pp. 504-513.

Salazar, J.F, & A. Cordova (2008) ‘Imperfect Media: The Poetics of Indigenous Video in Latin America’, in M. Stewart and P. Wilson (Eds) Global Indigenous Media: Cultures, Poetics, and Politics. Duke University Press, pp. 39-57. ISBN 9780822343080.

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