Interdisciplinary Scholars

Madison wears a long-sleeved black top with a  

Madison Shakespeare

Madison Shakespeare is a multi-disciplinary lawyer and filmmaker who has developed extensive academic and pedagogical experience writing and coordinating all units of the Indigenous Major at Western Sydney University over the past six years. Identifying proudly as a First Nation Australian, a salt water woman born on Gadigal Country of Kin from Nations across New South Wales, Madison is humbled to be entrusted with facilitating ways through which to engage all students in culturally-specific learning journeys.
With valuable cultural interface research experience as a member of the Indigenous research team at Flinders’ University Southgate Institute of Social Determinants, Madison has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement in culturally-led research projects focused on addressing social determinants of Indigenous health and holistic wellbeing. As the SA Project Office of the national Ironbark Project and with ongoing research work in an NHMRC grant "Decolonising practice in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care", she has been formative in contributions leading to the development of specific program logic models necessary to decolonise public health and research and in transdisciplinary forums
Adam wears a blue and grey suit. He is standing against a natural leafy background. He looks at the camera.  

Prof. Adam Possamai

Adam Possamai is Professor of Sociology and the Deputy Dean of the School of Social Sciences. He is renowned internationally for his work on the sociology of religion and popular culture. His latest sociology books are The Sociology of Shari’a: Case Studies from Around the World. Second edition (edited with James. T. Richardson and Bryan S. Turner, Springer, 2023), Religion and Change in Australian (with David Tittensor, Routledge, 2022), The Sage Encyclopedia of the Sociology of Religion (edited with Anthony Blasi, Sage, 2020), The Social Scientific Study of Exorcism in Christianity (edited with Giuseppe Giordan, Springer, 2020), The i-zation of Society, Religion, and Neoliberal Post-Secularism (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), and Sociology of Exorcism in Late Modernity (with Giuseppe Giordan, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

He is also a fiction writer in French, having published with Black Coat Press two short stories collection, Perles Noires and Amarama, the novel La vie extraordinaire de Baudelaire and the duology, Les possédés de la Renaissance. He is currently completing a duology in English on exorcism in Greater Western Sydney and another novel in French taking place during the Franco-Prussian war.

Alex smiles at the camera.  

A/Prof. Alex Ling

Associate Dean, HDR (SoHCA)

Alex Ling is Senior Research Lecturer in Communication and Media Arts at Western Sydney University. He is the author of Scandalous Times: Contemporary Creativity and the Rise of State-Sanctioned Controversy (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), Badiou Reframed (I.B. Tauris, 2017), Badiou and Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2011), and co-editor and translator of Mathematics of the Transcendental (Bloomsbury Academic, 2014).

Alex’s research interests include contemporary continental philosophy (especially recent French philosophy), film theory and history, visual art and culture, scandal and controversy, psychoanalytic theory, and mathematics and logic. His current research interrogates the critical function of comedy and charts the decline of this function in the age of social media.

Chris has grey hair and stubble on his chin. He wears a white shirt, and black rectangle glasses. 

A/Prof. Chris Fleming

Chris Fleming is a highly regarded writer and translator whose fiction and non-fiction has appeared in scholarly, literary, and popular media, including Westerly, The Lifted Brow, Island, Red Room Poetry, The Saturday Paper, The Guardian, The LA Review of Books, and The Chronicle Review. His published translations include works by Simone deBeauvoir, René Girard, Simone Weil, Pierre Hadot, and Jean-Pierre Dupuy. His scholarly work has appeared in journals such as Philosophy and Social Criticism, Public Understanding of Science, Body & Society, Parallax, Journal of Continental Philosophy, and Modern Drama. He is the author or editor of ten books, including Modern Conspiracy: The Importance of Being Paranoid, René Girard: Violence and Mimesis, and On Drugs.

His research interests include literary non-fiction, memoir, the philosophy of science and technology, mimetic theory, ideas of social contagion, violence, the philosophy and cultural studies of religion, and theories of human desire.

Dennis wears a suit and tie. The suit is black while the tie and shirt are blue. He has grey hair, and wears black framed glasses. He is sitting in front of a bookshelf. He looks into the camera and smiles slightly. 

Prof. Dennis Schmidt

A philosopher who works with questions of literary theory, interpretation, as well as the bond between aesthetic experience and ethical life.

Before coming to Western Sydney University, Dennis Schmidt taught at various universities in North America and Europe: Penn State, Villanova, and SUNY-Binghamton, as well as visiting appointments at the University of Rome ("La Sapienza") and the University of Freiburg.  He has taught in Comparative Literature and German Departments, as well as Philosophy.  In addition to his own publications, he edits the SUNY Series in Continental Philosophy, which now has over 150 books in print.

Dimitris wears a suit with a red tie. He has glasses.  

Prof. Dimitris Vardoulakis

A scholar whose research interests include deconstruction, biopolitics, Carl Schmitt, Spinoza, Walter Benjamin, and Greek literature.

Professor Dimitris Vardoulakis is the chair of the Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy (ASCP). He is the author of The Doppelgänger: Literature’s Philosophy (2010), Sovereignty and its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (2013), Freedom from the Free Will: On Kafka’s Laughter (2016), Stasis Before the State: Nine Theses on Agonistic Democracy (2018), and Spinoza, the Epicurean: Authority and Utility in Materialism. He has also edited or co-edited numerous books, including Spinoza Now (2011) and Spinoza’s Authority, 2 volumes (2018). He is the director of "Thinking Out Loud: The Sydney Lectures in Philosophy and Society," and co-editor of the book series Incitement for Edinburgh University Press and founding co-editor of the journal Philosophy, Politics and Critique. His research interests range from the relation between literature and philosophy to theories of power and sovereignty, as well as the history of materialism and theories of agonistic democracy. He has a particular interest in the works of Baruch Spinoza, Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida.

Quah Ee Ling smiles at the camera. She is wearing a bright pink and blue apttern shirt, and has long black hair. She wears white and green earrings. 

Dr Quah Ee Ling

Convenor, Cultural and Society

Dr Quah Ee Ling (she/her) is a fire dragon feminist and Senior Lecturer & Convenor, Culture and Society with School of Humanities & Communication Arts. Ee Ling is Singaporean of Chinese-Hokkien and Indonesian-Peranakan heritage, queer woman migrant-settler living on unceded Indigenous lands. The correct order of her name is surname (Quah) first followed by given name (Ee Ling). Ee Ling developed her own strand of feminism - fire dragon feminism to blow flames at injustices and build solidarities for more just and sustainable futures. She has no patience for white supremacy, colonialism, racism and heteropatriarchy. Ee Ling is the author of Transnational Divorce: Understanding Intimacies and Inequalities from Singapore (Routledge 2020) and Perspectives on Marital Dissolution: Divorce Biographies in Singapore (Springer 2015). Her current research projects include: 1. Australian Research Council Linkage project on Place-based Employment and Enterprise of Newly-Arrived Young Migrant Women (2023-26, with Sukhmani Khorana, Nida Denson and Teddy Nagaddya); 2. Fire Dragon Feminism: Asian migrant women’s tales of migration, coloniality and racial capitalism book project (forthcoming with Bloomsbury); 3. Forcibly Displaced Chinese LGBTIQA+ people in Australia (funded by Pride Foundation Australia & Sidney Myers Fund via Australia New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance); 4. Understanding Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Women Employees’ Experiences with Racism in Australian Universities.

Leo wears a brown suit. He has black glasse with a neon green rim.  

Dr Leo Robba

Associate Dean, Engagement (SoHCA)

Leo’s research and design practice focuses on design thinking and planetary health, the dissemination of information, systems thinking and more effective ways to communicate complex ideas that connect communities through art and science. A central theme of Leo’s work is examining designs potential for creating meaningful cultural change relating to human health and wellbeing and the long-term stewardship of Earth’s natural systems. Leo is a long-time collaborator with Professor Tony Capon, USyd and John Reid, ANU (Emeritus) on projects such as Contested Landscape of Western Sydney and more recently The Painted River Project. His painting practice and research investigates garden design, garden culture, the changed landscape and how humans are compelled to redesign the natural world. His research is collaborative and where possible seeks to directly engage local communities in participatory design and art events in conjunction with other academics, industry, cultural institutions and the broader community. His approach to design thinking is inspired by Daniel Christian Wahl who advances biologically-inspired whole systems design and transformative innovation and regenerative cultures.