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The Listening Project

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST are sought for the position of Project Officer on ‘The Listening Project’ funded by the ARC Cultural Reserach Network and the Transforming Cultures Research Centre. The Project is based at the University of Technology, Sydney. Details of the project appear below.

The position entails 40 days work over a period of 18 months, beginning 15 November 2007. Remuneration is at RA HEW Level 6 (approx $35 per hour including casual loading).

The Project Officer will:

  • Organise a series of six workshops, including organising travel for participants outside Sydney
  • Facilitate an email discussion list
  • Conduct background research to identify relevant literature and potential interested participants, including media practitioners and others outside the academy involved in relevant projects and organisations
  • Establish and maintain an online database / wiki available to all project participants. This database will contain bibliographical resources as well as information on relevant projects and organisations.
  • Obtain, copy and distribute relevant papers, including published articles, works in progress etc.
    Produce audio recordings of workshops
  • Provide editorial support for the publication

TO EXPRESS YOUR INTEREST IN THE POSITION please send a brief CV (5 pages max) and a statement outlining your skills, experience and motivation relevant to the position.

Please send your EOI via return email to Dr Tanja Dreher
[email protected] by Monday 8 October.

Project Coordinators: Dr Tanja Dreher (UTS), Dr Justine Lloyd (Macquarie),
Dr Penny O’Donnell (UTS)

The Listening Project is a program of collaboration that will generate sustained discussion and a publication around the practices, politics and ethics of the cultural literacy of Œlistening‚. The project develops a new area of study through an innovative model of networking, bringing together researchers in a range of disciplines and media and cultural producers. It also develops the notion of Œcultural literacy‚ to include not only familiarity with or fluency in cultural rules and values but also the capacity to strategically intervene in communicative processes of
meaning-making and interpretation in ways that invigorate inter-cultural interaction and public dialogue.

The program will examine Œlistening‚, an emerging focus in Media Studies and citizens‚ media interventions. Habitual critiques of representation and the politics of Œspeaking‚ (or giving voice to the voiceless) are giving way to investigation of more dynamic and active possibilities for social inclusion and social change based on ecognition, dialogic engagement and acceptance.
The issue of cultural respect lies at the heart of the cultural citizenship
debate (Stevenson 2003).

Internationally, there are increasing calls for attention to the practices, politics and ethics of listening. Sociologist Charles Husband has long argued that the Œright to be understood‚ and an ethics of listening are as important as the Œright to communicate‚ in developing a multi-ethnic public sphere. Media scholars John Downing and Clemencia Rodriguez identified Œlistening‚ as a crucial new theme for media studies research in Keynote addresses to the OURMedia conference in Sydney (April 2007). Indeed, Downing proposes that constructive cultural change is contingent on engendering Œa sense of obligation to listen‚ to those historically marginalised from public communication. Researchers in education propose a need to develop Œears that can hear‚ in antiracism education (Jones 1999), while debates around the politics of recognition and deliberative democracy raise interesting questions about the genuine difficulties of Œlistening to everyone‚ (Bickford 1996). Yet there is remarkably little scholarly publication or ongoing research into these vital issues.

We propose a program of workshops leading to a multi-authored publication around the theme of Œlistening‚. A focus on Œlistening‚ opens up innovative and theoretically informed research in media and communications, as well as connecting with researchers in a number of other areas such as social inquiry, cultural studies and politics.

Dr Tanja Dreher
ARC Postdoctoral Fellow
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123
Broadway NSW 2007
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (02) 9514 1671