Human and Physical Geographical Science Priority Areas

Cultural Geography

At UNSW Canberra, we are committed to producing geographical research capable of apprehending transformative social and cultural processes on the very cusp of their emergence. We see conceptual and methodological innovation as central to the task of articulating tomorrow’s research agendas in ways that push beyond or ‘problematise’ established habits of thinking. Our cultural geography group is currently exploring problematizations in relation to three core research strengths:

Material environments of socio-technical innovation

Contributing to debates within new materialism, science and technology studies, and post-humanism, we explore how techno-scientific advances are transforming the materiality of social and cultural life in ways that ask new questions about what it means to be human. Of key concern are the material transformations made possible in and through the spatiality of computational processes, including the emerging landscapes of automation, algorithmic design, digital fabrication, advanced manufacturing and artificial intelligence.

Performance, bodies, and the new science of behaviour

At UNSW Canberra, we ask questions about the performative production of sensation, meaning and knowledge across a variety of intersecting spatial registers, from the micro-gestures of moving bodies to the cultural embodiment of digitally mediated sensations. Our research around bodily training and simulation, improvisation, fashion, and humour are generating significant insights into the new science of behaviour emerging today. The group has a strong background in post-structuralism and Non-Representational Theory (NRT), with expertise in conceptualisations of affect, performativity, habit, embodiment and feminist theory.

Spaces of aesthetic experiment

Geographers at UNSW are generating novel insights into the role of aesthetic practices and techniques in the production of new modes of experience, perception and thought. Specific areas of interest here include the new spaces of aesthetic encounter emerging at the interface of art and science; the processual dynamics of creativity and creative expression; and the impact of new technologies on embodied capacities of sense-making. Work in this area has involved collaborations with practitioners and communities beyond the academy, including bioartists (the Tissue Culture and Art Project; the Alternate Anatomies Lab), architects (ETH Zurich), art-science collectives (danceroom spectroscopy) and arts-based community organisations (Up Our Street; Urban Living Partnership UK).

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Environmental Geography

Climate change adaption investigating both natural and anthropogenic influences (including extreme climate events and ecological degradation) and responses (including low-lying coastal transformation and sustainable development in agricultural practices), through the use of long term climate change perspectives, Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing.

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