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

Amanda Wise Amanda.Wise at scmp.mq.edu.au
Sat Jul 29 11:09:03 CST 2006

Dear List,

I'd like to add another dimension to this discussion.

My initial distress at Emma Dawson's piece was her blatant misrepresentation
and selective quoting from a CFP I sent out to various lists for the
Everyday Multiculturalism conference. In addition to the things you've all
mentioned, I simply felt she lacked journalistic integrity; at no time did
she contact us, as conference conveners, to ask about the content of the
conference or what kind of papers we were after. 

For those of you interested, I am copying the conference notice (word for
word) below. You will notice only a small part-paragraph of complex language
(sure that's ok, given that its an academic conference) and the rest is
extremely accessible language; more accessible than most CFPs I've seen. As
an academic conference, I also can't see what the problem is with mentioning
Bourdieu in the CFP! If you compare it with how she presented it in her
article, you will see she has seriously misrepresented the conference.

Nor had she has ever seen a list of abstracts or presenters. The irony is
that we deliberately convened this conference and chose the words in the CFP
to attract papers that were grounded and not too over-theorised and texty!
(it is an interesting aside that most of our presenters are from
anthropology and not cultural studies..but that's another debate all

If she had bothered to speak with us before attacking the conference and its
terminology; she would have discovered that;

- Our two keynotes are leading figures in cultural research doing research
that engages beyond the academy who both regularly communicate their work
through the media(Ien Ang and Greg Noble)

- That about 20% of the audience will be non-academics 

- That we have two full panels of speakers from outside academia (government
and community ppl)

- Indeed we have received numerous emails from practitioners interested in
the conference. I think some people underestimate their interest in academic
discussions. We don't always have to 'dumb down'. They are looking for fresh
new ideas and want to be stimulated to find new ways to do their front line

- That we planned a media campaign to promote the conference and the papers
within it. 

- We used the word 'quotidian' only once. What is the problem with that
word? It captures something slightly different from the banal connotations
of 'everyday'. We also provided a simple definition. Of course in lay
contexts I always use the latter term. But this was an academic CFP for
goodness sake! 

So in short; I simply felt that she (mis)used our CFP as an easy target to
make a point, however legitimate (or otherwise) that point may be. Surely
that is not good journalistic practice. 

Call for papers is below FYI

Everyday Multiculturalism Conference
28 & 29th September 2006
Centre for Research on Social Inclusion, Macquarie University 
Key note speakers: 
Professor Ien Ang, ARC Professorial Fellow, Centre for Cultural Research,
University of Western Sydney 
Dr Greg Noble, School of Humanities and Languages, University of Western

While research on Australian multiculturalism and racism is well developed
in Australia, qualitative research into everyday modes of lived
multiculturalism, remains fairly limited. This two day conference seeks to
bring together researchers exploring everyday experiences of cultural
diversity and difference.

The conference will be divided into two parts:

1) Everyday Multiculturalism - Open theme 

Day one will be an open themed day on Everyday Multiculturalism. Papers in
this section will engage with the quotidian dimensions of living with
diversity. Quotidian diversity has variously been described as
'togetherness-in-difference' (Ang 2000), and 'inhabiting difference' (Hage
1998). We take the term to mean those perspectives on cultural diversity
which recognise the embodied or inhabited nature of living with cultural

We are particularly interested in papers that focus on the intersections and
relationships between cultural groups, rather than research taking a single
ethnic group as a focus. Papers may explore the interconnections between the
everyday and larger discourses; everyday interconnections, affinities, and
solidarities, and everyday disjunctures, discomforts, and racisms.

Papers may explore modes of living with and across difference in suburbia or
regional Australia such as through food, neighbouring, shopping or sport, or
issues such as multicultural place-sharing, and battles over place identity
and belonging. Papers which take an embodied approach, such as through
frameworks such as affect or Bourdieu's habitus are also particularly

2) Cronulla and the Everyday Politics of Cultural Difference in Suburbia 

Day two papers will present a collection of new work reflecting on the
Cronulla riots - the causes, the riots themselves, and their ramifications.
The Cronulla riots caught many commentators by surprise.
Some commentators argued that the riots were a symptom of everyday tensions,
others argued that Cronulla represents a failure of multiculturalism, while
still others argued that it was a result of a decade of 'dog-whistle'
politics in Australia. Racism, ethnocentrism and other forms of prejudice
are often born out of everyday encounters with difference intertwined with
national and global politics and discourses. The aim of this day will be to
offer an opportunity to scholars to present works-in-progress around the
Cronulla issue.

We invite proposals from any discipline that engage with any aspect of
'everyday multiculturalism' with a special focus on those employing grounded
methodologies such as fieldwork, interviews, focus groups and ethnographic
participant observation.

Special Panels:

. A panel featuring representatives of some of the more innovative
government and community interventions developed since the riots. 

. A panel of representatives from SBS presenting on a new project for SBS4
'Daily Australian Multicultural Life'. 

Non-presenting audience members from within and outside academia are
encouraged to attend.

Website: http://www.crsi.mq.edu.au/Everydaymulticulturalism.htm 

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list