Through its engaged, interdisciplinary research into transformations in culture and society, the Institute contributes to the understanding and shaping of contemporary local and global life.

Regularly published authored books, edited collections, refereed journals and reports share the knowledge needed to bring about positive change in the world. In addition to frequently publishing their research through these works, our members contribute to the sharing of knowledge as the editors of journals including Journal of Cultural Economy, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space and Journal of Australian Studies.

Issues is a multilingual journal of short essays on topics of historical and contemporary relevance, housed at the Institute.


rivusrīvus - A Glossary of Water

Edited by José Roca and Juan Francisco Salazar

A Glossary of Water is a substantial publication presented as an artist book, a scholarly reference and a beautiful object. Edited by José Roca and Juan Francisco Salazar, A Glossary of Water is a limited edition aquatic artefact, a companion to the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled rīvus. The principal working themes – weaving and rivers – naturally expand towards topics like rights of nature, sustainability, food security, consumption, pollution, biodiversity, extinction and ancestral technologies.

This publication sheds light on an important and urgent subject and highlights the deep connections that Australia has to its waterways and bodies of water. The book follows the logic of a glossary, using approximately 80 terms as headings and “definitions” such as creek, dam, estuary, flood, weave and weft. A Glossary of Water has been printed sustainably on excess paper stock of different types and weights from previous book projects, rather than recycled paper, giving the profile of the publication the look and feel of the sediment of the river. A Glossary of Water is available to order online. Orders can be delivered directly to your address or can be picked up from the Info Hub located at The Cutaway at Barangaroo.


Jungle Passports

By Malini Sur

In Jungle Passports Malini Sur follows the struggles of these people to secure shifting land, gain access to rice harvests, and smuggle the cattle and garments upon which their livelihoods depend against a background of violence, scarcity, and India's construction of one of the world's longest and most highly militarized border fences.

Jungle Passports recasts established notions of citizenship and mobility along violent borders. Sur shows how the division of sovereignties and distinct regimes of mobility and citizenship push undocumented people to undertake perilous journeys across previously unrecognized borders every day. Paying close attention to the forces that shape the life-worlds of deportees, refugees, farmers, smugglers, migrants, bureaucrats, lawyers, clergy, and border troops, she reveals how reciprocity and kinship and the enforcement of state violence, illegality, and border infrastructures shape the margins of life and death. Combining years of ethnographic and archival fieldwork, her thoughtful and evocative book is a poignant testament to the force of life in our era of closed borders, insularity, and "illegal migration".

Tanya_reportTowards a National Strategy for Media Literacy National Consultation Report

By Michael Dezuanni, Tanya Notley and Luigi Di Martino

The Australian Media Literacy Alliance (AMLA) developed this document to outline a direction for the development of a national strategy for Media Literacy in Australia. It draws on a national survey of 3510 Australian adults about media use, attitudes and abilities as well as a consultation process involving six workshops across Australia conducted in September 2021. The consultation involved 121 people representing 89 organisations.  As Media Literacy is already a focus of discussion for the review of the Australian Curriculum, the focus of the consultation was on out-of-school education and learning.  There are important overlaps between Media Literacy, Digital Literacy, Online Safety and Information Literacy but each of these has a distinct focus. Media Literacy is defined by AMLA as the ability to critically engage with media in all aspects of life. AMLA’s Media Literacy framework is underpinned by six key concepts and questions that can be used to critically reflect on any media example. This approach received widespread support amongst the participants in the consultation. This report provides a set of recommendations for further action towards the development of a national Media Literacy Strategy.

A3_reportConsultations with young people to inform the eSafety Commissioner’s Engagement Strategy for Young People

By Lilly Moody, Linda Marsden, Betty Nguyen, and Amanda Third

In 2021, the eSafety Commissioner commissioned the Young and Resilient Research Centre at Western Sydney University to run a Living Lab process with children and young people to guide the development of eSafety’s Engagement Strategy for Young People. The process used youth-centred, participatory co-research and codesign methods to explore young people’s insights about online safety and develop recommendations for eSafety’s online safety messaging and resources, and their ongoing engagement with children and young people. This included co-designing a process for establishing a Youth Advisory group, and a draft Aspirational Statement to underpin the Engagement Strategy for Young People.


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