One Fully Funded PhD Scholarship to Study the Geographies of Anarchism, Homelessness, and/or Veganism at the University of Newcastle, Australia – DEADLINE March 31st, 2020

One Domestic (Australia) 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 must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident and must commence their studies before the end of 2020.
As per the University of Newcastle (UoN) funding guidelines, the scholarship will provide an annual living allowance of $28,092 per annum (2020 rate - indexed annually). The successful candidate will have their fees covered by the RTP, to a maximum of 4 years. There may also be opportunities for additional income through tutoring and marking.

Applicants must have a minimum of a BA Honours, and ideally a Master's degree in Geography or a related field (i.e., Sociology, Anthropology, International Studies, Political Science etc.)

 Please send a preliminary Research Proposal along with your CV to Professor Simon Springer at

Applications will be reviewed on 31 March 2019, which is the deadline to apply. The successful applicant will be notified in early April 2019.

The actual focus of the project is up to the student to propose, where the location and details can change, but I am committed to accepting a student whose interests align broadly with one or more of the following three areas:

1) Anarchist Geographies
Anarchism is a perennially misunderstood idea. Far from representing violence and chaos,
anarchism is instead a form of praxis that centres on non-hierarchical organization and the practice of mutual aid, implemented through the everyday politics of direct action, voluntary association, and self-management. Although often misrepresented as an ideology solely concerned with the destruction of the state, the power of anarchist geographies resides in their integral nature, which refuses to assign priority to any one of the multiple dominating apparatuses that constrain our lives, as all are seen as irreducible to one another. Anarchism is the struggle against all forms of oppression and exploitation, a protean and multivariate process that is decidedly geographical.

• Anarchist ideas are expressed through federalism, cities, regions, and at the global level, but how are anarchist geographies practiced on the ground? What experiences arise from grassroots movements, local and international struggles, and the histories and geographies of resistance?
• What does education look like from an anarchist perspective? How is this applied geographically? What are the variations of anarchist pedagogies across space and time?
• How do anarchist geographies mesh with other critical perspectives, theories, and movements within contemporary geography (feminist, queer, Indigenous, post-structural, non-representational, situationist, intersectional, decolonial, anti-racist)?
• How do anarchist practices of mutual aid materialize? What forms and processes do they take? Why are such geographies of mutual aid so commonplace in the wake of disaster?

2) 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?

3) 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? 

Simon Springer, PhD, MA, BA
Professor of Human Geography
Head of Discipline, Geography and Environmental Studies
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
Institutional Email:

Co-Editor: Transforming Capitalism

I 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.