[Iag-list] PhD Scholarships to Study the Geographies of Homelessness, Veganism, Unschooling, or Heavy Metal Music at the University of Newcastle, Australia

Simon Springer simonspringer at gmail.com
Mon Jun 17 16:57:21 AEST 2019

*Two Fully Funded PhD Scholarships to Study the Geographies of
Homelessness, Veganism, Unschooling, or Heavy Metal Music at the University
of Newcastle, Australia*

Two Domestic (Australia) or one International PhD scholarships will be
awarded to study at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies under the
direction of Professor Simon Springer in the Discipline of Geography and
Environmental Studies at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

The successful applicant(s) must commence their studies between 01 January
2020 and 31 August 2020.

As per the University of Newcastle (UoN) funding guidelines, the
scholarship(s) will provide an annual living allowance of $27,596 per
annum (2019 rate - indexed annually). For international students, the
scholarship covers the cost of tuition fees, and in some cases includes the
cost of compulsory Overseas Student Health Cover. All domestic students
have their fees covered by the RTP, to a maximum of 4 years for PhD
candidates. There may also be opportunities for additional income through
tutoring and marking.


*Homelessness and Mutual Aid*

While studies of homelessness are well represented in the social sciences,
little attention is paid to the actual experience of being homeless. Focus
on the daily lives, activities, and interactions of street-engaged peoples
as they negotiate the everyday geographies of violence, stigma, exclusion,
survival, and care is required if we are to present a more complete picture
of what it means to be homeless. Greater insight into how homelessness is
experienced is pivotal to any solution, which cannot be achieved without
input from those most affected. By placing the voices of street-engaged
peoples at the centre of our concerns, we begin to expose the invisibleness
and silencing that characterizes the current moment of capitalism.
Governments have largely failed to acknowledge how their social policies
and political reforms underscore significant forms of social
marginalization, and survival on the streets has meant that reciprocity and
mutual aid are necessary strategies to counter the everyday structural
violence that shades the lives of homeless peoples.

·      What does mutual aid look like within homeless communities, and how
does it structure their everyday negotiations of the city?

·      How are organizations like Food Not Bombs contributing to building
solidarity among street-engaged peoples?

·      To equate homelessness with violence directly implicates the state,
establishing a basis to explore non-state forms of reciprocity. How aware
are homeless people of the state’s complicity in their situation?

·      Homelessness is frequently depicted as an alienating experience, but
what forms of connection, community, and care are being mobilized among
street-engaged peoples? What lessons can society at large learn from these
forms of organizing?

*Vegan Political Ecologies*

Veganism is undeniably on the rise. For many the move towards veganism is
informed by an ethics of care that extends not only to other animals, but
also to the wider biosphere. Given the extraordinary depletion of water
resources, widespread deforestation, intensified climate change, pervasive
pollution, and extreme violence that all flow from contemporary animal
agriculture, for vegans, our current food practices represent nothing short
of ecocide. Increasing deforestation, methane and ammonia emissions,
overuse of antibiotics, and contamination of the water table with waste,
are but a few of the deleterious effects of traditional animal agriculture.
While a vegan diet doesn’t solve all of our problems, there are significant
implications for reducing the effects of climate change and moving towards
greater sustainability.

·      What would a shift towards veganism look like in terms of the
impacts on our environment?

·      How are vegans advocating for such changes, and what forms of
activism are effective?

·      What constraints exist in shifting towards veganism in terms of
political will, economic imperatives, and social attitudes?

·      How does veganism intersect with capitalism, and is this compatible
with a more sustainable local and global outlook?

* Unschooling and the Possibilities of Childhood*

Education in its idealized form is a process of self-discovery, an
awakening to one’s potential, and a desire to see such abilities realized.
For many parents and children this ideal increasingly takes the form of
unschooling. Often maligned, unschooling is not anti-education, but rather
a response to authoritative and coercive schooling structures, and is more
appropriately considered as a form of child-led learning. To ensure the
absence of coercion in education children need opportunities to explore for
themselves, making their own decisions about what their interests are, and
how those curiosities might be fulfilled. Presenting a broad range of
opportunities is crucial, but the decision about what path to follow should
be determined by the child. When bound to a classroom we often mistake
obedience for education.

·      Why are more people opting to homeschool their children?

·      What motivates an unschooling approach?

·      What geographies do children engage when learning is shifted from
the classroom to the wider world?

·      What has been the response to unschooling by state authorities and
the wider community?

·      How are social groups formed among unschooling families?

·      What does a day in the life of an unschooling family look like?

·      How do children respond to societal expectations when growing up as

*Heavy Metal Down Under*

Heavy Metal is a global phenomenon, representing a major cultural trend for
the past four decades. Numerous subgenres exist within the general
framework of Heavy Metal, each representing unique subcultures. Many of
these subgenres, such as Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, and the
New Wave of British Heavy Metal evolved in specific geographical settings,
often referred to as ‘scenes’. While unique scenes have evolved across the
globe, the bulk of Heavy Metal’s bands have originated within countries in
the northern latitudes. Australia is uniquely positioned within this global
evolution, owing to its historical connection to the United Kingdom and
shared cultural affinities with its colonial originator. While remote from
the geographical heart of Heavy Metal culture, Australia has developed its
own unique and passionate approach, producing a number of high profile

·      What sorts of lyrical themes have Australian Metal bands adopted?
Are these culturally and geographically unique to the continent?

·      What is the relationship between the cultural evolution of Heavy
Metal in Australia and colonialism?

·      Is Heavy Metal in Australia largely a white phenomenon? What has
been the response to diversity within the scene?

·      How is gender negotiated within the Metal scene in Australia?

·      What sort of reputation do Heavy Metal fans have within the
Australian context? Does this impact the types of spaces that Heavy Metal
fans can utilize?

·      How has the geography of Australia in proximity to other scenes
contributed to or hindered its cultural uptake?

·      What is it about Australian Heavy Metal that makes it distinctive?


Built on the principles of equity, excellence, and engagement, the
University of Newcastle has a reputation as a world-class institution
making an impact within its own region, throughout Australia, and across
the globe. Although having only recently turned 50, UoN is ranked in the
top three per cent of universities worldwide, renowned for the quality and
breadth of its research.


Geography and Environmental Studies at UoN is headed-up by world-class
academics with a broad range of experience in Australia and
internationally. A strong commitment to equity and social justice underpins
the research of those working in the discipline. In the latest ERA Outcomes
of the Australian Government, UoN was rated as “Above World Standard” in
Human Geography. Through the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS)
there is a strong collaborative research culture including a range of
supports and opportunities for Higher Degree Research (HDR) students to
become involved in.


Newcastle is Australia’s seventh largest city and the economic hub of the
Hunter region. With a comparatively low cost of living and a favourable
subtropical climate, Newcastle offers a desirable and welcoming community
lifestyle with the city comforts of restaurants, cafes, art galleries,
sporting facilities, and shopping centres. Newcastle is a centre for
health, tourism, education, environmental services, manufacturing, and
information technology. Home to both creative and sporting festivals,
Newcastle has a vibrant artistic scene and offers many recreation
opportunities, most notably its world-class beaches. In 2011, Newcastle was
selected as one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet and has
a well-deserved reputation as a great place to work and live.

Summer (Dec to Feb) 28°C

Autumn (March to May) 26°C

Winter (June to August) 18°C

Spring (Sep to Nov) 25°C


Please send any questions or an expression of interest along with a
preliminary research proposal to Professor Simon Springer at
simon.springer at newcastle.edu.au

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, where successful
applicants will be notified by October 2019.


Simon Springer UoN Website:

Simon Springer Personal Website: http://anarchistgeography.com/

University of Newcastle: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/

Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at UoN:

Graduate Research at UoN:

Scholarship Information at UoN:

Newcastle Tourism: https://www.visitnewcastle.com.au/

Newcastle Promotional Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOEMcWWshUE


Simon Springer, PhD, MA, BA
Professor of Human Geography
Director, Centre for Urban and Regional Studies
University of Newcastle
Discipline of Geography and Environmental Studies
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science
Callaghan NSW 2308
Location: Social Sciences Building, SR-289
Phone: +61 2 4921 2075
Primary Email: simonspringer at gmail.com
Institutional Email: simon.springer at newcastle.edu.au

Homepage <https://anarchistgeography.com/> - Newcastle
<https://www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/simon-springer> - Academia.edu
<https://newcastle-au.academia.edu/SimonSpringer> - Research Gate
<https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Simon_Springer> - Google Scholar
<https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=f16o-0EAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao> -
LinkedIn <https://www.linkedin.com/in/simondspringer/> - Facebook
<https://www.facebook.com/anarchistgeog> - Twitter

Director: *Centre for Urban and Regional Studies*
Managing Editor: *ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies

*Transforming Capitalism
acknowledge the Aboriginal custodians of the land in the region where I
live and work, the Awabakal and Worimi peoples. I acknowledge the Elders,
past, present and future, and Country itself.*
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