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Listening Routes to Justice - GSCSR 2018 Visiting Scholars Seminar Series

  • Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University Nathan - N16_2.71 (HLSS Boardroom - Tanja & Poppy will present from Nathan) Brisbane Australia (map)

My colleague Professor Tanja Dreher and I will present a seminar on the politics of listening at the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffith University

Full event details:

The politics of listening can shift responsibility for more just futures from marginalized voices and on to the conventions, institutions and privileges which shape who and what can be heard in media. In this seminar we examine two recent innovations in First Nations media in order to sketch two key themes in the emerging scholarship on the politics of listening. 

First, we turn to the Twitter day of action, Indigenous Health May Day, in order to explore listening as a metaphor for political practice.  #IHMayDay invites non-Indigenous people to participate by listening to and amplifying First Nations voices within a decolonising framework which challenges deficit discourse. We then focus on sound in the Indigenous podcast Curtain, an ongoing investigative series centred on finding justice for Aboriginal man Kevin ‘Curtain’ Henry, and which examines Australia’s criminal justice system more broadly. Considering the intersection of listening aesthetics and ethics in Curtain, we explore the potential for ‘slow listening’ to disrupt neoliberal and settler-colonial temporalities and hierarchies of attention.

Taken together, we argue #IHMayDay and Curtain each encourage decolonised listening practices as routes to justice and more equitable futures, based in unsettling entrenched hierarchies of attention and catalysing new economies of voice. 


Dr Tanja Dreher is an ARC Future Fellow, UNSW Scientia Fellow and Associate Professor in Media at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Tanja’s current research focuses on the politics of listening in response to community and activist media.  Tanja was a founding co-convenor of the Listening Project funded by the Australian Research Council Cultural Research Network (2008 - 2010) and is working on a monograph, Listening Across Difference: Media beyond the politics of voice. Tanja is visiting the centre during March to work with Poppy and Susan Forde.

Dr Poppy de Souza is an Adjunct Research Fellow with the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research at Griffith University and a researcher with the University of Melbourne on the ARC Discovery project From Members to Leaders? Aboriginal Participation in Political Parties. Her scholarship critically engages with the ethics and politics of voice and listening in the context of changing media technologies, everyday cultural production, representational politics and political transformation, with a focus on sites of struggle, resistance and innovation.  Her work has been published in Media, Culture & Society and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies.