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Our Human Experience

Our Human Experience

By University of Newcastle
From true crime to bushfires to refugees, join researchers from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences for thought-provoking conversations as we explore important questions about humanity, society and current events.
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The history of domestic service

Our Human Experience

Lived Experience Research – with Dr Kate Davies and guests
Lived experience researchers draw on their own experiences, such as disability and mental illness, as assets in the research process. This approach to research may be one way to challenge traditional dichotomies between the ‘researcher’ and the ‘research subject’. Here, Kate Davies, Lauren Hislop and Shaylie Pryer talk about the value of lived experience research and what it has meant for them to work together using autoethnography as a method for reclaiming power over their own stories. They explore the importance of care of self and each other in this type of highly personal research. They celebrate the joy and safety they’ve experienced through an authentically collaborative research process.
December 01, 2021
A global history of Australia
How does our history shape who we are as a country today? How does our history shape who we are as a country today? In this episode Nancy Cushing speaks with historian Dr Julie McIntyre who is writing a book on the global history of Australia for Princeton University Press, due for completion in 2022. Julie is an expert on the wine history of Australia led the Vines, Wines and Identity project and co-authored the book Hunter Wine: a history. She spent time in 2019 undertaking a Fulbright Scholarship at the Shields Library, University of California (Davis) where she began to investigate binational exchange between Australia and America in the grape and wine sciences. We talk about the discoveries she made while immersed in the archives of Davis and what insights her new book will reveal.
October 27, 2021
Everyday Embodiment: Rethinking Youth Body Image with Dr Julia Coffey
Dr Julia Coffey discusses her new book, Everyday Embodiment: Rethinking Youth Body Image. The book develops a new feminist sociological approach to understanding young people’s relationships with the body and self. It draws on interview and visual methods to explore the everyday circumstances of young people’s lives which impact how they feel about their bodies, and their health and wellbeing more broadly. The gendered norms informing body concerns and embodiment are at the centre of this analysis. The book locates the dynamics of femininity, masculinity, and nonbinary embodiments, and searches for moments where broader options for more positive experiences of the body can emerge.
September 30, 2021
The history of the war corpse with Dr Kate Ariotti
Dr Kate Ariotti is investigating an invisible aspect of our military past- what happened to the bodies of Australian military personnel when they died on active service. Her research, funded through the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme, is providing an Australian perspective on global conversations about the history of the corpse in war. In this episode we talk to Kate about her research, which aims to provide the first-ever account of changing policies, practices and attitudes that shaped how the physical remains of Australian war dead were dealt with between the First World War and the wars in the Middle East between 1915 and 2015. We find out what her research is uncovering about this little-known, but important, part of Australian history.
July 21, 2021
Religion at the crossroads with Dr Kathleen McPhillips
Organised religion as we know it is undergoing significant change in late modernity from a number of sources. Young people are far less religious than post war generations although very open to spiritual ideas and multi-faithism. Religious institutions have also been under the hammer over the ways in which they operate financially with the state providing special privileges that other institutions cannot claim. They have also been under scrutiny for their failure to protect children from serious harm in the form of child abuse in religious organisations such as schools, parishes and orphanages. There have been hundreds of public inquiries across the world investigating child abuse in religious organisations, particularly the Catholic Church. Dr Kath McPhillips is an expert in institutional child sexual abuse in religious organisations and in this episode, she examines some of the key features in institutional failure, cultural change and redress.
June 23, 2021
Supporting the health and wellbeing of young Indigenous Australians
Associate Professor Kate Senior in conversation with Daphne Daniels, the Deputy CEO of Yugal Mangi Development  & Stronger Futures, and the Editor of the Ngukurr News. This month's episode of Our Human Experience podcast is in conversation with Associate Professor and medical anthropologist, Kate Senior and the Deputy CEO of Yugal Mangi Development & Stronger Futures and Editor/ co-creator of the Ngukurr News, Daphne Daniels. Kate and Daphne take us on a journey that reveals their 23 years of friendship, and continuing dedication to retrieving dispossessed Indigenous artefacts across Australia that obtain valuable truth in the history of the Ngukurr community. They discuss their creation of the editorial, Ngukurr News and how its positively impacted the Ngukurr community in reconnecting them with Aboriginal ancestral information, alongside providing opportunities for young people to work on a project that is visible and respected. Kate and Daphne play a vital part in the Nations reconciliation process between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and shed light on the importance of truth-telling about Australia’s history in achieving historical acceptance. Most importantly, this episode reveals the continuous strength and resilience shown by remote Aboriginal communities.
May 26, 2021
Analysing the popular genre of crime fiction with Associate Professor Jesper Gulddal
Crime fiction today is the most global literary genre. It has reached almost every country and has huge readerships across the world. Jesper Gulddal has researched how this genre is topping the charts around the world and his book, The Routledge Companion to Crime Fiction, offers innovative approaches to the classics of the genre as well as ground-breaking mappings of emerging themes and trends. In this episode we discuss how classic crime fiction modes are being appropriated and given a local flavour around the world.
April 21, 2021
The secrets to successful creative writing, with Dr Michael Sala (English & Writing, HASS).
Dr Michael Sala is an award-winning author and creative writing academic with the School of Humanities and Social Science. Michael’s first book, The Last Thread, on the Commonwealth Book Prize (Pacific Region), and the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. He is currently writing his third book, the first volume of a fantasy trilogy, a genre he’s familiar with but has never attempted to write before. In this episode we talk to Michael about his writing process and how he is shaping a future generation of writers through his creative writing courses.
March 24, 2021
Highlighting the needs of ignored communities with Dr David Betts
This month we interview Dr David Betts on his research which focuses on the lived experiences of older sexual and gender minorities. Part of being human is having human connections and the ability to be open with people is fundamental to our wellbeing. However, this cohort is an often isolated and invisible group with unique needs, especially as they age. As a social worker in gerontology wards in Christchurch, David noticed a lack of general social supports for people coming into health services and the impact on their wellbeing, prompting him to learn more through a career in academia. David highlights the challenges they face particularly when going into aged care, like discrimination and social stigma.
November 25, 2020
The rhythm and melody of language with Associate Professor Kiwako Ito
Human connection is formed through communication and the human brain can pick up nuanced signals through changes in speech patterns. In this episode of our school podcast we interview Associate Professor Kiwako Ito about her research discoveries around speech, social cues and autism. Kiwa operates the Lab for Applied Language Science and is teaching the next generation of academics important skills in the use of eye tracking devices.
October 14, 2020
Life in the borderlands with Professor Duncan McDuie-Ra
Populations are increasing all around the world and this impacts the human experience whether you’re living in Melbourne or Manipur. Professor Duncan McDuie-Ra examines the relationship between rural-urban space migration and the kind of world this creates, particularly in the borderlands of India. In this episode we interview Duncan about his research which has seen him spend time in the cities that are going through a reinvention and are both dangerous and captivating.
September 15, 2020
The history of madness with Professor Catharine Coleborne
One in 4 people today experience a mental health problem and the World Health Organisation says we are currently witnessing a global mental health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic and isolation has also created many mental health challenges. In this episode Professor Catharine Coleborne shares her research with us which is understanding these challenges historically. Cathy leads the Future of Madness Network at the University of Newcastle and has recently published a book Why talk about Madness? Bringing history into the conversation. In this episode we learn about what it means to study the history of madness and why is it important to voice these histories.
September 07, 2020
Social media and police accountability with Dr Justin Ellis
The rapid evolution of digital technology has enabled the public to place the police under more scrutiny than ever before through the act of recording police operations via mobile phones. We have seen just how powerful this act can be with the tragic death of George Floyd in the USA. Dr Justin Ellis is a criminologist researching the impact of this increased exposure on everyday crime and police-public relations. His research has covered infamous cases of police using excessive force, particular at the Sydney Mardi Gras, and uncovers the hidden costs involved and the impact on police policy.
August 10, 2020
Public health policy in practice with Associate Professor Penny Buykx
During the corona virus pandemic, we have realised just how important public health policy is. In this interview we talk to behavioural scientist Associate Professor Penny Buykx about her research into public health implications for alcohol and substance use. Human’s are disposed to addiction and we do things that are detrimental to our health even though we may know it’s not good for us. Penny sheds light on her research that is helping inform public health policy around alcohol pricing and what insights she has discovered regarding the public’s perception of the link between alcohol and cancer.
June 22, 2020
Associate Professor Bill Palmer on landscape, language and culture
Language is something all humans are born with a capacity to develop - children learn language without effort - so it is fundamental thing that is unique to humans. But how does where you live influence the way you speak? Associate Professor Bill Palmer studies linguistics and his latest research project aims to determine how culture and social diversity interact with landscape in representing physical space in the minds and grammars of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages. He is collecting data from 6 Australian Indigenous languages that are endangered to inform us of how the landscape in which we live impacts what words we use. He also shares with us his confronting experiences of living on remote islands while completing his field work and warns that we are facing a dire situation with many of the world’s languages facing extinction.
May 27, 2020
Disentangling identity, work and economic value
With COVID-19 restrictions forcing many in the hospitality industry out of work, Dr David Farrugia warns that now could be a time of crisis for young people whose identities are closely entangled with their work. A sociologist whose work examines how youth identities are created through the dynamics of work in contemporary societies, Dr Farrugia says that his research has revealed that work for young people has come to occupy centre stage. In this episode we talk to David who is leading research which shows that youth identities are critical sources of value in the hopsitality industry and not necessarily because of their work skills, but more to their youthful attributes.
May 07, 2020
The history of domestic service
What can the historical experiences and cultural memories of the earliest global domestic workers tell us about the history of home, domesticity and cross-cultural relationships? Historian Professor Victoria Haskins is revealing the little known story of the Ayahs and Amahs from India and China – female domestic care workers who travelled to Australian and Britain during the period of British colonialism. The stories of these incredibly mobile women helped shaped our world today. Victoria also reveals the intriguing family history find that sparked her academic journey.
April 27, 2020
Australia’s Environmental History with Assoc Prof Nancy Cushing
The first episode of Our Human Experience for 2020 features Associate Professor Nancy Cushing, an environmental historian with an interest in air pollution as well as human animal relations. Nancy answers the question of whether the air pollution resulting from the recent bushfires was unprecedented and gives us an insight into why Australians eat so much meat.
March 23, 2020
Refugees and Displacement - Dr Georgina Ramsay - Alumni Stories
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode we talk to Dr Georgina Ramsay, an Alumni of the University of Newcastle and Assistant Professor, University of Delaware. Georgina’s work and research has had significant global impact and has emerged as a leading critical voice regarding current issues of displacement, humanitarianism, and the global refugee regime. She is a socio-cultural anthropologist at the University of Delaware, USA and has conducted research with refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo across settings of asylum in Uganda and resettlement in Australia. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:
December 09, 2019
Digital Humanities: looking at the past to understand our future - Dr Erin McCarthy
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode, A/Prof Trisha Pender speaks with Dr Erin McCarthy about her research using digital humanities methods and tools as applied to early modern literature and historical texts. They discuss what these tools can reveal to us about how people in the past wrote and communicated and how we can apply that knowledge to our rapidly changing world today. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:
October 29, 2019
More than just a language - UON's French literature teaching and research
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode we talk with Associate Professor Alistair Rolls, a leading expert on 20th Century French literature, and Dr Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan, a French language and literature academic, who are both teaching their students to think laterally. They talk about how examining literature in a foreign language can take students out of their comfort zone and into a place where they can think critically and deeply. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:
September 24, 2019
Equity in Higher Education - Professor Penny Jane Burke
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode Head of School of the Humanities and Social Science Professor Catharine Coleborne talks with Professor Penny Jane Burke, Global Innovation Chair of Equity, who explains equity in the higher education context and what it means to her as a sociologist of education. This interview also reflects on current practices in universities around equity and the student educational experience. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:…man-experience
September 05, 2019
Positive humanity and social work in practice - Dr Tamara Blakemore
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode we talk with Dr Tamara Blakemore about the purpose of social workers in today’s modern world, how the prevalence of trauma is changing the face of social work, about the new and popular Violence and Trauma course at UON and the role of UON’s new social work in the city hub. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:
August 19, 2019
Slavery, its history and connections to the present - Dr Kit Candlin
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode we talk with Dr Kit Candlin, a historian of violence and early modern specialist of the Atlantic world. An authority on the history of slavery Dr Candlin’s research examines empires that looked out on the Atlantic Ocean from 1400-1840. He describes how the study of the history of slavery can help us understand the modern world and its own forms of ‘slavery’ such as low wages, the poverty cycle, sex slavery and debt bondage. He comments on how slavery has shaped our modern economic systems. Dr Candlin reflects on how studying slavery and coming across some of the most unimaginable punishments and social arrangements has affected him. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:
July 22, 2019
The Future of Higher Education - Professor Darrell Evans
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. Head of School of the Humanities and Social Science Professor Catharine Coleborne talks to Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Darrell Evans before he moves onto new, exciting ventures. They discuss Professor Evans' own career and leadership in higher education and reflect on the introduction of online learning and in particular the Bachelor of Arts Online and how to meet the needs of students while also ensuring they are not isolated while learning by distance. They discuss how the higher education landscape has changed and what challenges the sector faces into the future. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:…man-experience
June 11, 2019
Becoming a story teller and creative writing in Newcastle - Dr Keri Glastonbury
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of humanities and social science. In this episode we talk with poet and Creative Writing research higher degree supervisor Dr Keri Glastonbury. Dr Glastonbury talks about how storytelling is an intrinsic part of being human, her book which is devoted to the gentrification of Newcastle and about the thriving creative writing scene in Newcastle. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:…man-experience
April 29, 2019
True crime and the Australian justice system - Dr Xanthe Mallett
The Human Experience - a podcast from the University of Newcastle’s School of Humanities and Social Science. In this episode we talk with Forensic Anthropologist and Criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett and discuss gender-based bias in the criminal justice system and the impact news and social media can have – for good and bad – on the outcome of trials. Learn more about the Human Experience podcast:
April 10, 2019