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  • Featured Member Profile: Erin Carlisle

    Posted on May 28, 2017

    Today’s featured member profile comes courtesy of the brilliant Erin Carlisle. Take it away Erin!

    Member: Erin Carlisle

    What are you researching?
    I’m developing a new approach to a theory of collective political action by bringing political social theory into dialogue with hermeneutic phenomenological philosophy, and critically comparing the work of Hannah Arendt, Cornelius Castoriaids, and Peter Wagner.
    What drew you to this topic?
    Good question! I guess I’ve been interested in what politics ‘is’ and what political action ‘does’ for a long time, mostly in light of conversations with friends about dissatisfaction and frustration with the political process in Australia, and the rest of the world more broadly. My honours thesis focussed on the television show Q&A, and considered whether that constituted a form of political engagement. My PhD takes the question of what politics is and what political action looks like even further, as a theoretical and philosophical question.
    What have been the highlights of your Postgraduate journey?
    I was lucky to be accepted to present at the European Sociological Conference in Prague in 2015, and won a Junior Scholar award for the paper I presented there. Prague was fantastic; Bauman was a keynote speaker in the opening address, and I even asked Agnes Heller a question in her symposium (#nerdalert). I’ve also been really lucky to develop great friendships with other sociology RhD students at Flinders, I wouldn’t be where I am without their support.
    What do you wish you had known before you started?
    How f#&*ing hard a PhD is! And how isolating it can be. Although you read information and blogs about the PhD being hard and isolating etc, you kind of take it with a grain of salt and go “pfft it can’t be that hard, that won’t happen to me”. Nope – it did, and does.
    What advice would you give to others who are either just beginning, or contemplating starting post graduate study?
    First, I’d say don’t give in to the ‘impostor syndrome’, or beat yourself up too much throughout the process. You and your work are great, just push yourself further. (I don’t admit to taking my own advice, by the way).
    Second, talk to your peers and academics about the whole process, about their experiences – the good and the bad – and really think about whether undertaking higher study is something you can and want to do. And more importantly, whether it is something you can kick-ass at, because you need to kick-ass if you want to have a career in research or academia. I have said throughout my journey that “if i had known X, Y, Z, then maybe I wouldn’t have done the PhD”. Although I said that (frequently) through the (very) low-points of the research process, I’ve also learnt a lot about myself and opened an amazing pathway for my future, one where I hope to make a difference in the way we think about and participate in politics.
    What do you do when you aren’t working on your research?
    Ha, as if I have time to not be working on my research right now.. But: hanging out with friends; cartoons (classic Simpsons, Rick and Morty, South Park, etc); football (go Crows!); drinking (with friends, not alone (yet)); and travelling (next on the list is a return to Europe, to celebrate submitting my thesis).
    Thanks Erin! If you think you could answer our 6 quick questions, drop us an email at

  • 2017 Thematic Group events

    Posted on May 25, 2017

    Hello TASA Postgrads!

    With the TASA 2017 abstract deadline fast approaching (1/6 for those of you playing at home) I hope you are all considering contributing to what promises to be a very exciting conference. You can find more information about the 2017 conference ‘Belonging in a Mobile World’ here. There are also several postgraduate scholarships on offer, you can check those out here.

    I would also encourage you to explore our TASA Thematic Groups. These groups are designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration between members researching in related areas, and  finding a group that fits with your research or interests can be a great step towards ‘finding your flock’. Several of these groups are running events this year, and some offer postgraduate scholarships or bursaries so they are worth considering! See details below [re-posted from the TASA blog here]

    I hope to see you at one of our future events!


    Blog Editor

    Several of TASA’s Thematic Groups are running events in the second half of 2017.  Some of these have travel bursaries for postgraduate students. Details of 5 of those events are listed below:

    1. 2017 TASA Health Day, Mobilising health sociology for impact: How can complex understandings of injustice and inequality be used in policy and practice? Friday 13thOctober, UNSW Sydney. Read on…
    2. A 2-day Symposium: Development for Species: Animals in society, animals as society. Deakin University, Melbourne City campus, September 18-19. Read on…
    3. A 1-day Symposium: Politics and Crime Control in the 21st Century: Controversies and Challenges.  22nd September, UoN Sydney campus. Read on…
    4. A Workshop: Ten years since the global financial crisis: Social movements, labour & the crisis last time. Concurrently in Perth – Melbourne – Sydney. Friday 1st December. Read on…
    5. A 1-day Symposium: Research Methods in Youth Studies: Doing ‘Difference Differently’. Wednesday 22 November, University of Melbourne. Read on… 



  • Calling all Postgraduates!

    Posted on May 25, 2017

    [Editor’s note: reblogged from the TASA blog, original post available here]

    In the next couple of issues, Nexus is providing space to publish short accounts (up to 500 words) from postgraduate students in sociology and allied disciplines on their research methodology. We would be interested in hearing whether you had to change course methodologically and why, whether theory drove your initial investigations or empirical data. If theory was significant, tell us which theorist(s) and why and whether the theory has sustained you. Accounts of what approach worked for you and why would be especially welcome. Once our readers engage with your accounts, we will provide space in later issues in the ‘letters to the editors’ where these will be published. We will publish up to six pieces in the next issue of Nexus. Successful applicants will be asked to provide a photograph and contact details for themselves.

    Please submit all articles to the editors: Eileen Clark, Peter Robinson & Alexia Maddox.


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