Poppy was awarded her PhD (2015) through the Centre for Cultural Partnerships at the University of Melbourne.

Title: Beyond Voice Poverty: new economies of voice and the frontiers of speech, listening and recogntion

Brief summary: Drawing on media studies, critical theory, cultural studies and political philosophy, this thesis critically examines the politics of voice and conditions of 'voice poverty' in the context of changing media technologies, everyday cultural production, representational politics and political transformation.   It focuses on emerging sites and practices of struggle, resistance and innovation to develop new theoretical approaches and critical frames that critique existing relational, rights-based, liberal-democratic notions of voice and instead account for the shifting structures of power that condition any claim to 'speak up', 'be heard' or 'give account'.  

It draws on recent examples that are reshaping the very frontiers of voice, signalling an emerging cultural economy where categories of speech, listening and recognition are re-constructed and put to work in distinctly provocative, and unpredictable, ways - fundamentally altering what it means - and what is at stake - in giving account of one’s life and conditions.

Intervening in a range of pressing contemporary debates, this thesis is of interest to scholars, activists and practitioners concerned with issues of voice poverty, media justice, narrative violence, informational self-determination and political listening in the age of digital media.

You can access a digital copy of my thesis here


"This research makes a very important contribution to pressing contemporary debates in scholarship and practice around the politics of voice and the possibilities and pitfalls of listening... it is timely and very significant, offering an incisive analysis of emerging contemporary challenges at the intersection of neoliberal democracy and changing technologies".  Dr Tanja Dreher, University of Wollongong (PhD Examiner statement).

“This thesis engages with some of the most pressing political and social questions of the day in a way that draws on a variety of parallel conversations, bringing them together in a way that is both provocative and productive”.  Professor Kate Lacey, University of Sussex (PhD Examiner statement).