[csaa-forum] Another attack on CS in the Oz

Glen Fuller g.fuller at uws.edu.au
Fri Jul 28 13:08:16 CST 2006

This piece is very odd. There are a number of strands. A few points:

1) Perhaps Dawson thinks she is offering a productive misreading 
of 'everyday'. This is the foil of her argument (for Right culture 
warriors): look over here, look over here!! She wants to discourse 
within the everyday rather than take the everyday as the object of 

2) Her point about the relative silence of senior academics seems to me 
to be valid. I know there were few soundbites quoted here and there and 
Clif had his op/ed on 'mateship' published in the SMH, but there was 
not any sustained engagement. where were the profs and heads of 
dept/centres? "the Right has been [...] denying that there is anything 
remotely resembling racism in the wonderful, matey Australian attitude 
that dominates Sydney's beach culture" 

Clif's article directly address this: 

quoted in another article: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/an-angry-

3) 'Intellectual language' --> 'discouraged' wtf! Why is she doing a 
PhD? Surely that is one of the good things about doing a phd? The 
poetics of it. I am glad I get to engage in a level of writing that is 
more creative than the discourse of car magazines or something. This 
reads like wannabe policy-wonk speak. Most PhD's feel intimidated by 
complex language. ok, so read a bloody book. yeah, it is a power game. 
The problem with 'intellectual language' from a PhD is totally bizarre.

4) "undoubtedly excellent work will ever find their way into the 
thoughts of average Australians, who are, after all, the ones "living 
with cultural difference" and struggling to make sense of it" Is she 
making an onto-epistemological point here about 'sense'? Maybe she is a 
deleuzian. lol. Oh, no, but then she would be engaging with the 'sense' 
already made as average Australians were struggling. 'Finding their way 
into the thoughts of avergae Australian' This is the second part of her 
argument. Not only is 'everyday'/'discourse of the everyday' collapsed 
together, with academics getting it wrong but the programmatic capacity 
of academics to get their ideas into the heads of others is also askew. 
Damn, I must have missed the master class about that. She is doing a 
PhD on media policy or something, right? SO why is she using the lamest 
bullet-transmission model of media imaginable? Somehow academics are 
meant to be able to have super-powers of mind control. She should have 
framed it as a seduction, ie there are no forces in the media working 
to seduce 'average Australians' back from the comfortable stupidities 
of nationalism, ethicism, racism, sexism, whatever-ism (that one is for 
the pomo gen-Xers;), or if not seducing, then shaming them, as Elspeth 
Probyn might have said, and Clif wrote (above).

5) Her language resonates with point 3 above; policy wonk wannabe 
sliding into opinion piece player (see, I can do it too, 
lol): "academic weasel words", "obscure culture studies 
journal", "academic brownie points"

6) "Glover, who has called for a greater investment by progressives in 
political think tanks, is right in saying that social democrats need 
to 'learn fast how to influence public opinion and change the direction 
of the nation'". [cough] Isn't Dawson a member of a think tank? ::rolls 
eyes:: so this is a scrap over which institution (university or think 
tank) can produce the most effective ways of influencing public 
opinion. To follow up on Mark's point, the think tanks can be the real 
pertisan left while academic lefties are diluted by jargonese. The way 
that think tanks can influence public opinion is by using 'everyday' 
language? Good. But what are they expressing in this everyday language? 
Whose ideas with what research? It would be a tragic failure on 
Dawson's part to not realise that universities already work with a 
whole bunch of institutions in mutually affirming ways. I hope she is 
reading Ien and Greg's work on SBS for her PhD!!!

back to diss writing rather than writing disses, lol...


> > This message is in MIME format. Since your mail reader does not 
> this format, some or all of this message may not be legible.
> Hi Amanda,
> Is this one Œanti-left¹? Looks to me more like an attempt to claim the
> position of the Œtrue left¹ against a current, as Emma Dawson would 
have it
> Œdegraded¹, academic form. She¹s certainly Œanti-theory¹, but I wonder
> whether a different kind of response is called for in cases like 
these than
> to a Bolt or Windschuttle. It is not nice being attacked in public, 
> isn¹t this really someone we should be trying to talk around, find 
> ground with ...?
> - Mg
> On 28/7/06 9:11 AM, "Amanda Wise" <amanda.wise at scmp.mq.edu.au> wrote:
> > Any CSAA-ers want to write a letter defending us?
> >  
> > Another anti-left, anti-theory attack in today¹s Australian, 
attacking the
> > ŒEveryday Multiculturalism¹ conference we are holding here at 
> > University which a number of you are presenting at.
> >  
> > http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19933096-
> >  
> > Cheers
> > Amanda 
> >  
> >  
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ---------------------
> > 
> > Dr Amanda Wise 
> > 
> > Research Fellow & Manager Research Development
> > 
> > Centre for Research on Social Inclusion Macquarie University
> > 
> > Building W6A, Room 701, Phone: +61 2 9850-8835
> > 
> > Email: amanda.wise at scmp.mq.edu.au 
<mailto:amanda.wise at scmp.mq.edu.au>   Web:
> > www.crsi.mq.edu.au <http://www.crsi.mq.edu.au>
> > 
> > Author of Exile & Return among the East Timorese
> > <http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/14214.html%20%20%20>
> > 
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------
> > ----------------------
> >  
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> Dr Mark Gibson
> School of Media Communication and Culture
> Murdoch University
> South Street, Murdoch
> Western Australia 6150
> Editor, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies
> http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/carfax/10304312.html
> Director, Centre for Everyday Life
> tel:   61-8-9360 2951
>         0439 695 703
> fax:  61-8-9360 6570
> email:  M.Gibson at murdoch.edu.au

PhD Candidate 
Centre for Cultural Research
University of Western Sydney

Read my rants: http://glenfuller.blogspot.com/

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