The Australian Cultural Sociology Thematic Group Annual Meeting – Minutes.


Thursday, December 1st 2011, 12.30-1.30pm

TASA Conference, Newcastle,

Cummings Room, City Hall.


Convenors present:                                                  Absentees:

Cathering Strong (Chair)                                          Nick Osbaldiston

Michael Walsh                                                           Luke Howie

Theresa Sauter (Minute-taker)

Members attended: 8 at max.

  1. Welcomed members to meeting; conveners and members introduced themselves.

2.   Provided review of year 2011

(a)  The Ron Jacobs Public Lecture held in June with TASA and Thesis 11.

(b)  The provision of two postgraduate scholarships for this even to Ms Theresa Sauter and Ms Geraldine Donoghue. Made members aware of reports in NEXUS and newsletter.

(c)   The establishment of the Blog to replace the newsletter and the loss of the website. Unable to show website (no internet connection) but made members aware of blog site address. Encouraged members to make use of the blog as a site that will potentially become a hub for cultural sociology in Australia in the future.

(d)  The loss of Kate Maher (temporary) as a member of the convening team and the addition of Theresa Sauter after a competitive process – elected without competition.

3.  Opened up floor for discussion of plans for 2012.

(a)  Ideas for an edited collection in Australian Cultural Sociology

  • keen interest.
  • Proposed themes:
    • Theoretical middleground (proposed by postrgrad student Chris Driver)
    • History of cultural sociology in Australia (proposed by Peter Beilharz); would work well with 50 yrs of TASA celebration in 2013; à much enthusiasm for this suggestion
  • Action to be taken:
    • Eduardo de la Fuente suggested as pre-project/ mini research project to document the longer pre-history of cultural social scientific reflection in Australia; mentioned work of Joanne Finkelstein.
    • Send out a call for ideas on blog
    • Clarify who the call for papers will be open to à Thematic group members only? Or wider academic community?

(b)  Ideas for TASA Thematic Group funding in 2012

  • Ideas from the floor:
    • one-day symposium to plan special issue in Australian Cultural Sociology; provide funding for postgrads to attend again
    • editing workshop for members to discuss work in progress and network to find others to publish with; also, provide postgrad funding if possible.
    • NB: members were keen that any event that we host should have the outcome of opportunities for publishing.
  • Action to be taken:
    • Consider whether both ideas could be accommodated
    • Draw up ideas for where to hold event(s)
    • Draw up budget plan

(c)   Called upon members to find someone to do a review of the TASA conference 2011 for blog

  • not much response. Postgrad Chris Driver proposed to think about it
  • Action to be taken: contact Chris?

(d)  Upon late arrival of Andy Bennett, raised issue of possibility for an international conference/workshop with Griffith’s Cultural Sociology school as suggested last year

  • Andy Bennett: funding possibilities for 2012 pretty much exhausted; proposed to keep the idea for the following year 2013; would know more about available funding in November/December 2012.
  • Action decided to be taken:
    • Concentrate on one-day symposium, workshop and Australian Cultural Sociology special issue for 2012.
    • Return to possibility of conference/workshop together with Griffith in 2013.

5. Asked members for further feedback and discussion from the floor;

(a)  Member Sally Hourigan raised whether it would be possible for members to receive prompts via email or Twitter when new blog posts have been posted.

  • Action to be taken: look into setting this up.

(b)  Member Sally Hourigan voiced frustration about not being able to present in the Cultural Sociology stream at the past two TASA conferences despite indicating it as a preference.

  • Response: we have raised the issue with conference organisers.
  • Action to be taken: talk to conference organisers ahead of time next year to ensure all members can be accommodated

(c) Member Chris Driver suggested setting up a special section on blog for

sharing work in progress.

  • Response: good idea; will look into it; in the meantime though, you can send us any work in progress and we can post it on the blog.
  • Action to be taken: look into setting up separate section.

(d) Member Andy Bennett raised the problem of field of research codes;

urged to make clearer for others what Cultural Sociology is (NOT Cultural Studies!) to avoid having papers in stream that clearly do not belong there.

  • Action to be taken:
    • raise issue with conference organisers.
    • more vigilance in review process.
    • re-direct papers to more suitable streams if necessary.

     (e) Congratulations from Peter Beilharz and acknowledgements of our hard  

            work and efforts in making Cultural Sociology the biggest single section in    


6. Thanked attendees; called for any other feedback, comments, suggestions, ideas to be directed to us at any time.

7. Closed meeting


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