Gita Subedi: Vocational Training and Education in Nepal

Please join us for an informal lunchtime discussion with Gita Subedi. Gita is an Australian Himalayan Foundation teacher trainer in Nepal. She will tell us about her work bringing education to remote villages in Nepal through teaching training and support for disadvantaged students. She has also recently started providing vocational training for women in Nepal. For further information, see <>

Time: 19 September 12:30
Venue: LHA Research Hub, 19.2072

All welcome.

Please reply for catering purposes to Linh Nguyen <> by Friday September 15.

Please download a poster here.

Global Climate Change Week

Global Climate Change Week aims to encourage academic communities – including academics, students, and non-academic staff at universities – in all disciplines and countries to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions. Held annually in October, GCCW provides an open-ended framework for voluntary activities aimed at raising awareness, inspiring behaviour change, and driving political transformation in relation to climate policy.

Wondering what you might do during GCCWeek 2017 (Oct 9-15)? Here are a few suggestions, with links to some examples universities organised for GCCWeek in 2015 and 2016.

For more ideas for activities see the links given here and here to GCCWeek activities in 2015 and 2016, and our How to organize Global Climate Change Week at your university guide.

So please spread the word, follow GCCWeek on twitter (hashtag #GCCW17), and register for GCCWeek (you can register your interest here and register activities here).

Human Rights and Gender Equity in Afghanistan

Dr Sima Samar in conversation with Indigo Foundation’s Sally Stevenson.

The Indigo Foundation is co-hosting a visit to Australia by Dr Sima Samar, the Independent Chair of the Afghan Human Rights Commission, first Minister for Women’s Affairs in Afghanistan and a Nobel Prize nominee. From 2005-2009, Dr Samar also served as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights for Sudan.

Dr Samar will share her insights on some of the key human rights and gender equity challenges in Afghanistan and how the agenda might be progressed. She will be in conversation with Sally Stevenson, chair of  Indigo Foundation – a Wollongong-based development NGO and UOW Cares partner.

This event is sponsored by the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research at the University of Wollongong

Date: Tuesday 30 May
Time: 12.30-1.30
Venue: 24.202, University of Wollongong

All welcome. Please register your attendance with Susan Engel <> by Friday 26 May.

Dr Sima Samar
In 1984, the communist regime arrested her husband, and Sima and her young son fled to neighboring Pakistan. Distressed by the total lack of health care facilities for Afghan refugee women, she established in 1989 the Shuhada Organization and Shuhada Clinic in Quetta, Pakistan. The Shuhada Organization was dedicated to the provision of health care to Afghan women and girls, training of medical staff and to education. In the following years further branches of the clinic/hospital were opened throughout Afghanistan. From 1989-2011, Shuhada’s health programmes benefited over 3.3 million people, its education programmes 176,000, and its vocational training 6,000 people. It has also given human rights trainings to 220,000 people. After living as refugee for over a decade, Samar returned to Afghanistan in 2002 to assume a cabinet post in the Afghan Transitional Administration led by Hamid Karzai. In the interim government, she served as Deputy President and then as Minister for Women’s Affairs. She was forced into resignation from her post after she was threatened with death and harassed for questioning conservative Islamic laws, especially sharia law. During the 2003 Loya Jirga, several religious conservatives took out an advertisement in a local newspaper calling Samar the Salman Rushdie of Afghanistan. From 2005-2009, Dr Samar also served as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur for the Situation of Human Rights for Sudan. She is the winner of a range of human rights awards. A more detailed biography can be found at: <>

Download an information flier for this event here: Sima Samar.

Roundtable: IVF – The Global Experience

It is almost forty years since the first babies conceived through In vitro fertilisation were born in the UK and India. Assisted reproduction is now an industry of global dimensions. In this Roundtable international experts will discuss the contemporary and future implications of assisted reproduction. Speakers will be Professor Marcia Inhorn (Yale University), Professor Sarah Franklin (University of Cambridge) and Dr Nicola Marks (University of Wollongong). The Roundtable will be chaired by Professor Sarah Ferber (University of Wollongong).

The  Roundtable will be held in Building 20, Lecture Theatre 2 at the University of Wollongong from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday 9 February and will be followed by light refreshments.

All welcome but please reply to Robyn Morris <> by Monday 6 February for catering purposes.

The Roundtable will be held in association with an invited workshop on IVF and Assisted Reproduction: Australia and the Global Experience, funded by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong. The workshop is convened by Sarah Ferber, Nicola Marks and Vera Mackie, Chief Investigators on ARC Discovery Project DP150101081.

Please download a poster here.

Human Rights and Social Media

A Workshop Organised by the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research

Friday 9 December 2016, Building 20, Lecture Theatre 5

Special Lecture (Chair: Rowena Ward)

9:00 Anne Allison (Duke University)
The Spectre of Dying Alone: A Manga of Lonely Death in Japan

Panel One (Chair: Vera Mackie)

10:00 Alexander Brown
Social Media and the Intimate Public

10:30 Linh Nguyen
A Different Angle: Reading Social Media Responses to the Vietnamese Youtube Series My Best Gay Friends

11:00–11:30 Tea Break

Panel Two (Chair: Alexander Brown)

11:30 Khursten Santos
Twitter #Fandom_69Min and the Regulation of Fans’ ‘Intimate Citizenship’

12:00 Loren Vettoretto
Women’s Contemporary Experiences of Hostility in the Video Game Industry

12:30 Mark McLelland
Art as Activism in Japan: The Case of a Good-for-Nothing Kid and her Pussy

1:00 Lunch (Foyer of Building 20)

Anne Allison will launch Mark McLelland (ed.), The End of Cool Japan? Ethical, Legal and Cultural Challenges to Japanese Popular Culture, Routledge.


Global Climate Change Week @ UOW

Global Climate Change Week is happening at UOW from October 10-16. The event aims to encourage academic communities – including academics, students, and professional staff at universities – in all disciplines and countries to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions.

Please visit to find details of the various events.

If you’re taking part in GCCW 2016 please register on the GCCW website.

There’s also a climate change survey now available at:​. Please have a go at it and encourage others to do so!

Inquiries to:

Keith Horton
Lecturer in Philosophy
School of Humanities and Social Inquiry (room 19.1091)
Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts
University of Wollongong NSW 2522


IVF and Assisted Reproduction: Australia and the Global Experience

IVF and Assisted Reproduction: Australia and the Global Experience is an invited workshop funded by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia – to be held at the University of Wollongong, February 9-10, 2017. This workshop will bring together leading social scientists, lawyers and medical practitioners to survey the history, present situation and future prospects of IVF and new reproductive technologies in their cultural and social context in Australia and internationally.

Rarely has a medical technology presented such ambiguities as IVF. It brings happiness to many people, at the same time as opening up troubling potentialities, with profound effects on individuals, families, social groups, and cultural understandings. Its historical trajectory is paradoxical in that IVF and the associated assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have become, on the one hand, more and more ‘routine’ and acceptable but, on the other hand, potentially more ethically and culturally disruptive.

The first IVF conception in Australia was in 1973 and the first IVF birth in Australia was in 1980. The state of Victoria was the first government to regulate practices related to IVF, and this was cross-referenced in other regulatory regimes, notably in the United Kingdom. Australian-based researchers were involved in the development of ARTs and operated in global research networks, often in keen competition with researchers in other countries. Since the birth of Louise Brown in the UK (the first baby to be born from conception through IVF) in 1978, an estimated 5 million children have been born through IVF worldwide, and IVF has become the lynchpin of a global reproduction industry.

IVF has been supplemented by other technologies and practices, such as donor insemination, the provision of third party ova, the freezing of gametes and embryos, and the creation of babies with three genetic parents (ovum cytoplasm donor, ovum nucleus donor and sperm donor). Once conception and gestation had been separated, it became possible to engage in surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. Commissioning parents now travel to such places as India, Thailand or the USA to engage in transnational surrogacy agreements. Although commercial surrogacy is prohibited in Australia, recent media controversies have revealed that Australians do travel overseas to engage in transnational surrogacy agreements.

The ways in which IVF and ARTs are deployed in particular contexts are not always predictable. ARTs can either bolster conventional family structures or challenge these through facilitating single, gay, lesbian and transgender parenthood; they also might enable complex combinations of genetic, gestational and social parenting. Like other technologies, ARTs are historically and culturally shaped. This workshop will place IVF and associated forms of assisted reproduction in their changing historical and contemporary contexts, in local sites which are embedded in global and transnational processes and in specific local cultural contexts. The workshop will:

  • reflect on the four decades of history of IVF and assisted reproduction;
  • situate IVF and assisted reproduction in their cultural and social context;
  • encourage dialogue between social scientists, lawyers and medical practitioners;
  • consider the current state of the regulation of IVF and assisted reproduction in Australia;
  • place Australian policies in a comparative regional and global context; and
  • consider future policy directions.

Popular representations of development: creating global alliances or reproducing inequalities?

The Centre for Critical Human Rights Research
presents a Public Lecture by

Professor Uma Kothari (University of Manchester, UK)
Room 67.101, 4:30 to 6:00, Thursday 17 November.

Most people gain their knowledge about poverty and inequality and other development-related concerns from very public representations of the lives of other people in distant places. Indeed, since the 1980s there has been a vast proliferation of campaigns, charity adverts, musical movements, fair trade marketing, celebrity endorsements, and media promotions to support international development. But do these popular representations of international development concerns, and the diverse public spheres in which engagements with development take place, have the potential to instill ideas of global interconnectedness, produce an ethos of care for distant suffering others and forge new kinds of global alliances? Or do popular, visual images and the increasing involvement of public figures, celebrities and the media reproduce global inequalities, obscure the structural realities of poverty and, rather than forging a common humanity, reinforce hierarchies between people and places? This lecture explores these issues through an analysis of historical and contemporary representations of international development and the use of popular, visual campaigns to strengthen global connections.

Uma Kothari

Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies and Director of the Global Development Institute in the School of Environment, Education and Development at University of Manchester. Her research interests include international development and humanitarianism and migration, refugees and diasporas. Her research has involved a number of funded projects, most recently an Australian Research Council project on International Volunteering and Cosmopolitanism, and a Norwegian Research Council project on Perceptions of Climate Change and Migration. Her current research is on Visual Solidarity and Everyday Humanitarianism. She has published numerous articles. Her books include Participation: the new tyranny? (2001), Development Theory and Practice: critical perspectives (2001), and A Radical History of Development Studies (2005). She is currently writing a book on Time, Geography and Global Inequalities. She was recently made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and conferred the Royal Geographical Society’s Busk Medal for her contributions to research in support of global development.

***** ALL WELCOME ****

RSVP to by Monday 14 November.

Utopia After the Crash

Centre for Critical Human Rights Research Third Inequality Forum

Professor David F. Ruccio

Where: Lecture Theatre 1, Building 20, University of Wollongong
When: 5:30pm, Wednesday 26 October 2016

Utopia and critique seemingly disappeared from our academic, cultural, and political discourses after the crash of 2007-08, precisely when they have been most needed. In my lecture, I want to present for discussion the thesis that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had a much more positive assessment and appreciation of “utopian socialism,” especially the work of Robert Owen, than we find in traditional, “scientific” interpretations of Marxism (emanating from both inside and outside the Marxian tradition). I also intend to connect that debate over utopian socialism to the rich, long history of intentional communities in Australia, beginning with Herrnhut in 1853. Finally, I plan to argue that, while Marxian theory is not a utopianism (unlike, for example, neoclassical economics), it does have what I consider to be a “utopian moment,” which is based on the idea of ruthless criticism. In my view, it is the twofold critique of political economy—the critique of capitalism and of mainstream economic theory—that needs to be recaptured and rethought, since it is particularly relevant to the debate about the causes and consequences of the Global Financial Crisis and the ongoing problems of capitalism in the world today.

RSVP for catering purposes by Monday 24 October to

About the Speaker
Dr. David F. Ruccio is Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught since 1982. He is also a member of the Higgins Labor Studies Program and the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. He has won the Kaneb Teaching Award, the Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and an American Association of University Professors Academic Freedom Award. Dr. Ruccio is the author of over 80 journal articles and book chapters. His books include Development and Globalization: A Marxian Class Analysis (Routledge), Economic Representations: Both Academic and Everyday (Routledge), Postmodern Moments in Modern Economics (Princeton University Press), Postmodernism, Economics, and Knowledge (Routledge), and Postmodern Materialism and the Future of Marxist Theory (Wesleyan University Press).

Dr. Ruccio was a founding member of the journal Rethinking Marxism, served as its editor for twelve years (1997-2009), and was most recently the coeditor of the Keywords section. He continues as a member of the international advisory board. A frequent speaker in interdisciplinary programs and conferences around the world, Dr. Ruccio has appeared on the BBC World News Service and has been interviewed by a wide range of national and international media. His blog is Occasional Links & Commentary on Economics, Culture, and Society, and he frequently writes for the Real-World Economics Review blog.

Dr. Ruccio’s main research areas are Marxian economic theory, inequality and the Second Great Depression, international political economy, economic development (especially in Latin America), and economic methodology. He is currently working on three new book manuscripts: “Critique and Utopia,” “Mind the Gap” and “What’s the Matter with Exploitation.”

Download a poster for this event.

Film Screening and Commemoration for Hiroshima Day 2016

Film Screening Tell the Prime Minister, Dir. Eiji Oguma

“Tell the Prime Minister” Trailer (International Version) from webDICE on Vimeo.

After the Fukushima disaster in 2011, a new anti-nuclear protest movement erupted on the streets in Japan. Through protest footage and interviews with people at the heart of the movement, this intimate and powerful grassroots documentary tells the story of early post-3.11 activism.

After the screening there will be a discussion with Alexander Brown, who was in Japan during the peak of the antinuclear movement in 2011 and 2012. Alexander’s translation of a recent essay by the director is available at The Asia-Pacific Journal.

When: Thursday 4 August, 5:30pm for 6pm start.
Where: Building 20, Room 2, University of Wollongong

For more information contact Alexander Brown at


Hiroshima Day Commemoration

Join the annual commemoration of Hiroshima Day and observe a minute’s silence at the time the bomb was dropped.

When: Saturday 6 August, 7:30am
Where: Crown St Mall Amphitheatre – ‘Peace Place’

Contact Margaret Perrott on 0409 041 381