Monthly Archives: July 2012

Book launch: Come and help us celebrate!

Werewolves and Other Shapeshifters in Popular Culture: A Thematic Analysis of Recent Depictions Book Launch

We are launching our book at the University of Wollongong Shoalhaven campus on Friday, August 3.

Our book draws on popular novels, films and television including Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and Harry Potter to examine how shapeshifting characters are used as a metaphor for difference in terms of gender, sexuality, adolescence, disability, race, class and spirituality. 

The aptly named Shoal-Bites cafe will be the venue, and the book will be launched by Dr Celeste Rossetto of the University of Wollongong. 

Copies of the book will be available on the night. It is also on sale through the University of Wollongong bookshop and from a number of online retailers.

Come and help us celebrate! RSVP using the form below if you’re coming. See you there!


The Joys of Academia

In Australia, that supposedly relaxing ‘break’ between Autumn and Spring Semesters comes to an end this week. It’s Orientation week and Graduation Week here at Wollongong, and it’s busy. But what we’re seeing is nothing compared to next week, when the students will return in earnest.

Ros and I have been enjoying our ‘break’ by finishing up paperwork from last Semester and sorting out paperwork for next Semester. In addition, it’s a fun time of year for Early Career Researchers like our good selves, when we find ourselves bandying around acronyms like CASS, DECRA, ICFA, PCA/ACA, GANZA, and we add in a few actual words like Crawford and Probation for good measure.  What all of these forms have in common is that  just when you think you have them *nearly* filled out, you remember the question you’ve been avoiding all along: the one about about assessing things like the impact of your work.

Now, it occurs to me perhaps we are not the best placed people to do that. So if you have read Werewolves and Other Shapeshifters in Popular Culture, please consider reviewing it on Amazon or similar.

Other than having to read and write and think about myself, it’s been a pretty good week. I got to participate in a Welcome for Study Abroad students, of whom I’m particularly fond (I have done 3 short-term hostings, and once upon a time I was an exchange student myself). And I also had the opportunity to present on teaching students with Asperger’s Syndrome to my colleagues (again, a cohort of whom I am fond and with whom I share some traits 🙂 ). Working a little bit of werewolfery into the latter proved beyond me, but I did manage to use popular culture as a teaching tool. I love this, so I hope you’ll indulge a little non-shifty moment. Enjoy.


Long time, no Blog

We went, we saw, and we conquered Melbourne. It’s taken us two weeks to recover (literally, in Ros’ case; she’s been crook ever since. Kimberley’s just using it as an excuse for our prolonged radio silence).

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Conferences are fun. Popular culture conferences are even more fun, because you feel as though you’re getting away with something. It’s a chance to catch up with friends from conferences past, to debate ideas raised in papers (sometimes quite vehemently), and there’s always the search for a decent cocktail which, let’s face it, you just don’t bother to do at home. Sometimes you even find the perfect cocktail chair, just like Cookie Monster’s in Monsterpiece theatre on Sesame Street.

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The audiences were bigger than this. Honest. (L-R) Dr Emma Price (Deakin), Dr Kimberley McMahon-Coleman (Wollongong) & Dr Roslyn Weaver (UWS). More Doctors than ComicCon.

At the PopCAANZ conference this year, they announced a new Gothic Studies stream will be added to the fold for PopCAANZ 2013 in Brisbane. Its chair will be Dr Lorna Piatti-Farnell, who’s also the President of GANZA. We’ve mentioned GANZA and its inaugural conference before. So if you’re interested in ghosts and ghoulies and very other monsters, especially our favourite shift-y ones, there are plenty of places to explore your ideas. And you might just bump into us, too. 😉