[csaa-forum] Seeking your thoughts...

Amanda Third a.third at murdoch.edu.au
Tue May 5 10:22:01 CST 2009

Dear Cultural Studies colleagues
I have just returned to (sunny) Perth from a brief stint in Sydney where I
met informally with a group of cultural studies folk to talk about the state
of cultural studies in Australasia and the future of the CSAA. As the new
President of the Association, the discussion was, from my point of view,
very useful for thinking about ways to re-energise the CSAA into the future.
Our biggest current challenge is that, to date, no one has put up their hand
to host this year¹s national conference. As such, it¹s looking like this
will be the first year in the history of the organization that there might
not be an annual disciplinary conference (although we are currently
discussing a couple of other alternatives including an opportunity to run a
one or two day symposium later in the year or perhaps holding an online
conference of some kind).
What this indicates to me is that we need to do some careful thinking about
what the CSAA represents to its various constituencies (postgrad, ECR, MCR
and senior academics) and how the CSAA might become more relevant and
engaging for the community of cultural studies scholars in the region.
So, I¹m hoping that we can open up a discussion on this list about
a) what members would like from the annual CSAA conference (in terms of the
structure of the conference, conference themes, opportunities for making
contact with senior colleagues/people working in the same field of interest,
and so on)
b) what members would like to see the CSAA do over the next few years. I'm
particularly keen to hear about ideas for new initiatives that you think
might help support postgrads and/or ECRs; help to define the cultural
studies agenda both at the level of our own institutional environments and
at the level of the communities we interact with (whether they be the media,
government, a more amorphous 'public', or whatever); or help support
cultural studies scholars to engage with current issues and events both
within the academy and beyond.
And of course, you will probably have suggestions about things I haven't
thought of (if so, please elaborate!).

I'll collate any suggestions that are made and these will become agenda
items for the next CSAA Exec meeting in May.
Please feel free to pass this message on to people who may not be on the
CSAA list. I'm keen to hear from as many people with a vested interest in
cultural studies as possible.
Thanks very much - I look forward to hearing from you.

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