Culture at the crossroads: international conference lands at Western

Rainbow walkway 

Researchers and students from the Institute for Culture and Society are among the line-up of speakers for the world's biggest cultural studies conference, co-hosted by Western Sydney University.

The Crossroads in Cultural Studies conference will draw scholars from five continents to the southern hemisphere for the first time, from December 14th to 17th.

The conference will address such major global cultural issues as racism, migration, digital citizenship, smart cities, violence and substance abuse, housing unaffordability, and sustainable communities. 

Co-hosted by the University of Sydney, a pre-conference for research students will be held at the Parramatta campus of Western Sydney University. 

Institute for Culture and Society Professor Tony Bennett, Co-Chair of the Steering Committee, says that with over 800 delegates, Cultural Crossroads will be the largest cultural studies conference ever held in the southern hemisphere.

"This is a unique opportunity for Australian researchers to engage in international dialogue on the most pressing cultural issues of our time," he says.

ICS researchers will lead three panels presenting the work of major research projects: two on Australian cultural production, practices and tastes, and one on Sydney's Chinatown in the Asian Century.

They are also participating in several other panels and sessions and, along with research students, giving many individual presentations.

Presenters at the conference include:

Ien Ang (Chair and Discussant) 'Sydney's Chinatown in the 21st Century – From Ethnic Enclave to Global Hub

  • Kay Anderson, 'Chinatown Unbound'
  • Alex Wong and Donald McNeill, 'Real Estate and the Rise of China'
  • Andrea Del Bono, 'Assembling Chineseness: Ethnic Community and the Paradoxes of Urban Cultural Politics'

Megan Watkins, 'Can Space Teach? Pedagogies of Social Order' 

Capitalising Culture: Critique and Renewal (Australian Cultural Fields panel)

  • Tim Rowse, 'Tastes for Indigenous Culture'
  • Tony Bennett, 'Putting culture into class'
  • Greg Noble and Anna Pertierra, 'Ethnicising Australian Cultural Consumption'

Stephen Healy, 'Care and Common Concern' 

Australian Cultural Fields: Formation and Transformation

  •  David Carter (University of Queensland) and Michelle Kelly, 'Books and Book Culture in Contemporary Australia: Taste and Participation'
  • Ben Dibley and Modesto Gayo (Universidad Diego Portales), 'Musical Taste and New Modes of Distinction: Investigating the Australian Music Field'
  • David Rowe, 'The Australian Sport Field: Allegiance and Ambivalence'


8 December 2016

Mark Smith, Senior Media Officer