2018 HDR Conference - School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Event status:

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences invites all Higher Degree Research students to present their work in a congenial and friendly atmosphere with a diverse program for personal development and networking opportunities.

Book now

Monday 29 October 2018 08:30 am until Tuesday 30 October 2018 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
HDR Conference Committee
Presented by:
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Type of Event:
Current Student: Postgraduate; Conference

Download conference program [PDF 1.0 MB]

Social Media Updates

Join our Facebook group La Trobe HUSS HDR Conference to be part of our conference support network, with regular updates.

Receive our Twitter updates using #husshdrconf #latrobe

Keynote Speaker: Kim MahoodPhoto of Kim Mahood, Keynote Speaker

Mapping hidden geographies – the writer as cartographer

Imagine the document you have before you is not a book but a map. It is well-used, creased, and folded so that when you open it, no matter how carefully, something tears and a line that is neither latitude nor longitude opens in the hidden geography of the place you are about to enter.

Kim Mahood, Position Doubtful

Set in the remote Tanami Desert, Position Doubtful explores one of our most challenging frontiers, the space between white and Aboriginal ways of understanding the country.

My talk will reflect on how the creative process of writing became a form of cartography, reflecting the material it sought to describe. A map allows you to align geography and metaphor, and to organise the multiple strands of narrative in a way that leaves space for the imagination.


Kim Mahood is an artist and writer whose work explores the relationships between Aboriginal and settler Australians, and between people, art and country in the Tanami Desert , a region to which she has a long connection . Her latest book, Position Doubtful, (Scribe 2016), received multiple shortlistings, including the Victorian Premier’s Awards, the National Biography Award, the Queensland Literary Awards and the ACT Book of the Year. It follows on from her memoir, Craft for a Dry Lake, (Random House 2000), which won The Age Book of the Year for non-fiction and the NSW Premier’s Award.

She has coordinated collaborations between Indigenous and non-indigenous artists, custodians and scientists, facilitated cultural mapping projects with Aboriginal groups in the Kimberley, Central Australia and western NSW, and worked as a consultant and writer for national Indigenous art exhibitions, most recently Songlines at the National Museum of Australia.

Her essays have been published in art, literary and public affairs journals, including The Monthly and Griffith Review. The essay 'Kartiya are like Toyotas – white workers on Australia’s cultural frontier', has become a standard text for the induction of newcomers working in remote Aboriginal communities.

Her art practice explores the interface between Aboriginal and western representations of landscape/country, and includes collaborations with the Walmajarri painter Veronica Lulu, and artist/photographer the late Pamela Lofts. She is represented in state, territory and regional collections.

Work and Career beyond the PhD – Alumni Graduates Panel

Dr Sarah MacLeanPhoto of Sarah MacLean, panel member

Sarah MacLean is a sociologist and senior lecturer in the discipline of Social Work and Social Policy in the School of Allied Health at La Trobe. She has extensive experience in conducting research that supports health and welfare policy development, and was awarded an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellowship (20102014). Sarah has a particular interest in conducting studies that involve hard-to-reach populations and deal with sensitive issues including alcohol and other drug use and gambling. Her research is designed to inform debates about policy and interventions.

Dr James Burfordphoto of Jamie Burford, panellist

James Burford is a lecturer in Research Education and Development at the Graduate Research School, La Trobe University. Prior to joining La Trobe, James worked as a lecturer in Learning Sciences and Education at Thammasat University and as a Research Fellow in the School of Contemplative Education at Mahidol University. His NZARE award-winning doctoral research animated queer and feminist affect studies scholarship to reconsider the affective-politics of the contemporary doctorate. James’ research field is higher education, where his research areas include academic writing pedagogies, academic conferences and questions of educational equity related to sexuality, gender and fat embodiment. His most recent research project is focused on academic mobility to countries in the Global South, with a particular interest in the experiences of academic expatriates working in Thailand. James co-edits Conference Inference, an academic blog on conferences.

Dr Lauren Gawnephoto of panellist Lauren Gawne

Lauren Gawne is a David Myers Research Fellow at La Trobe in the Department of Languages and Linguistics. Her work focuses on understanding how people use grammar and gesture in language, with a particular focus on Tibetan languages in Nepal. Lauren received her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2013, and has been a postdoctoral researcher at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and SOAS (Study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East) University of London. She is also one half of Lingthusiasm, a podcast that is enthusiastic about linguistics.

Dr Bronwyn HinzPhoto of Bronwyn Hinz - alumni panel member

Bronwyn Hinz received her PhD in 2016 from the University of Melbourne’s School of Social and Political Science and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Her PhD included not only two disciplines, but two babies, which seemed like a good idea at the time. She is currently Director of Research and Development for Pivot Professional Learning as well as Honorary Fellow at University of Melbourne’s Institute for Research in Education.

Bronwyn’s expertise in federalism, education policy, Australian politics and multiculturalism is recognised nationally and internationally, and regularly sought by government, academics, peak bodies and the media – with 19 television interviews, 28 published opinion articles and 46 radio interviews to date.

Her career has spanned academia, politics (Chief of Staff and adviser to two federal politicians), education management, the community sector and private sector. Her publications include one book (launched by former prime minister Malcolm Fraser and finance minister Lindsay Tanner, and current Victorian education minister James Merlino), four book chapters, numerous academic papers, submissions to inquiries and countless presentations for academic, government and public audiences. Her two latest publications were a chapter on Australian schooling policy that emanated from comparative policy work commissioned by the Forum of Federations, and an opinion article commissioned and published by The Daily Telegraph – a Murdoch tabloid in Sydney. She lives with her husband and two children in outer Melbourne next to a forest.

You will have 20 minutes to present a conference paper on any aspect of your thesis, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A.

  • Meet, mingle and network with your fellow HDRs
  • Learn amazing things from La Trobe’s diverse research community
  • Share the inspirations that drive your research
  • Hone your presentation skills in a supportive environment
  • Achieve an important milestone in your candidature

2017 HDR Conference Highlights

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Dennis Altman AM

Why Arts Matter

Over the past two decades there has been a steady decline in student interest in Humanities and Social Sciences, reflected in declining student enrolments and fewer academic positions. We can react to these changes by retreating into increasingly erudite academic byways, or by finding new ways to emphasize the importance of creativity and social analysis. My talk draws on thirty years' experience at La Trobe, and on the changing nature of writing and social communication during those decades

PhD and Beyond

Panel of La Trobe Graduates: Dr Gustavo Portes, Dr Mark Mallman, Dr Robyn Sampson, Dr Damir Mitric


Levels 1 & 2

Donald Whitehead Building, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus



17th Jun 2019 12:59pm

Advanced search

June Next Previous

  • Sun
  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat