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 Transcending boundaries : the arts of Islam : treasures from the Nassar D. Khalili Collection
Transcending boundaries : the arts of Islam : treasures from the Nassar D. Khalili Collection
This thesis examines and problematizes curatorial decision-making favouring the experiential encounter over interpretative/didactic modes of display when the museum’s mandate is to promote cross-cultural understanding between Muslim and Non‐Muslim communities through displays of Islamic art and culture. Based on a case study of the travelling exhibition The Arts of Islam: Treasures from the Nassar D. Khalili Collection, this investigation traces the journey of a collection of artifacts through four exhibitionary sites (Sydney, Abu Dhabi, Paris, and Amsterdam) from 2007-2011. A central aim of this study is to demonstrate the polysemic nature of artifacts when placed in the museum context by exploring the notion that objects acquire additional meanings as a result of site‐specific curatorial decision‐making. To this end, a theoretical model is developed and applied that profiles how differing practices, procedures and policies of display involve a process of (re)presentation, (re)contextualization, disruption and transformation, affected by and impacting upon particular social, political and cultural nuances in the wider public sphere. A ‘tool box’ approach to analysis is adopted, drawing on a range of theories from the fields of post-colonial studies, museology, and cultural theory. Interviews with a cross-section of stakeholders from exhibition venues provide empirical evidence for the evaluation of the experiences, opinions and perspectives of sponsors, curators and museum audiences who were involved in or attended exhibitions and their related events. Additionally, conversations with museum professionals from a range of prominent institutions are included to allow comparison with the travelling display. In conjunction with findings from primary and secondary sources, discussions will involve reference to museological challenges and dilemmas including: East/West relations historically; Orientalism and practices of Islamic collecting by individuals and organizations; the effects of patronage and sponsorship especially the influence of corporations; the material, aesthetic and commercial properties of the museum object; and questions arising from representations of cultural and aesthetic objects through particular politics of display. These issues are analysed for their interaction with discourse and debates concerning: identity politics, nation building, modernity, governmentality, colonial legacies, multiculturalism, art markets and their collectors, and influence of the media. Final conclusions evaluate the success of these cultural and artistic enterprises and recommendations include the adoption of new museological practices and policies of display that are inclusive of diverse audiences and have the potential to increase cross-cultural understanding on both the local and global level.
"A buddy doesn't let kids get hurt in the playground" : starting school with buddies
"A buddy doesn't let kids get hurt in the playground" : starting school with buddies
Starting school can be a daunting experience for young children. Recognising the importance of peers and peer support during the start to school, many schools implement ‘buddy programs’ where older, more experienced students are paired with new school starters as a means of helping new children become familiar with school, and as a way of helping older students demonstrate responsibility for others in their school community. During 2004, a buddy training project operated in two suburban schools in Sydney, Australia where 25 teacher education students and 130 Year 5 school students participated in training days aimed to facilitate the development of communication, reflection and community building skills. Using conversational interviews, researchers identified areas of interest and concern as children entered these schools, as well as potential avenues for support. These provided the basis for the development of ‘training’ experiences by the teacher education students. This paper describes the buddy training program implemented in the two schools and uses the perspectives of children, university student teachers and school staff to evaluate the program.
"A patchwork of services" : caring for women who sustain severe perineal trauma in New South Wales from the perspective of women and midwives
"A patchwork of services" : caring for women who sustain severe perineal trauma in New South Wales from the perspective of women and midwives
Background: Current research into severe perineal trauma (3rd and 4th degree) focuses upon identification of risk factors, preventative practices and methods of repair, with little focus on women's experiences of, and interactions with, health professionals following severe perineal trauma (SPT). The aim of this study is to describe current health services provided to women in New South Wales (NSW) who have experienced SPT from the perspective of Clinical Midwifery Consultants (CMC) and women.Methods: This study used a descriptive qualitative design and reports on the findings of a component of a larger mixed methods study. Data were collected through a semi-structured discussion group using a variety of non-directive, open-ended questions leading CMCs of NSW. A survey was distributed prior to the discussion group to collect further information and enable a more comprehensive understanding of services provided. Data from individual interviews with twelve women who had experienced SPT during vaginal birth is used to provide greater insight into their interactions with, and ease of access to, health service providers in NSW. An integrative approach was undertaken in reporting the findings which involved comparing and analysing findings from the three sets of data.Results: One overarching theme was identified: A Patchwork of Policy and Process which identified that current health services operate in a 'patchwork' manner when caring for women who sustain SPT. They are characterised by lack of consistency in practice and standardisation of care. Within the overarching theme, four subthemes were identified: Falling through the gaps; Qualifications, skills and attitudes of health professionals; Caring for women who have sustained SPT; and Gold standard care: how would it look?Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest that current health services in NSW represent a 'patchwork' of service provision for women who have sustained SPT. It appeared that women seek compassionate and supportive care based upon a clear exchange of information, and this should be considered when reflecting upon health service design. This study highlights the benefits of establishing multi-disciplinary collaborative specialist clinics to support women who experience SPT and associated morbidities, with the aim of providing comprehensive physiological and psychological support.
"At all events, in retrospect I became preoccupied" : the prose fictional metaphysics of W. G. Sebald
"At all events, in retrospect I became preoccupied" : the prose fictional metaphysics of W. G. Sebald
This thesis examines writing as a means of persuasion through which one might explore the grounds and scope of perception. Its primary focus is W. G. Sebald’s four works of prose fiction, Vertigo, The Rings of Saturn, The Emigrants and Austerlitz. I interpret Sebald as unique among contemporary writers of fiction in his sustained interest in the metaphysics of perception, in particular the role played by suggestive connections, and the kind of thinking that takes place in writing, as writing, while one writes. For Sebald, writing (both as material and as a representational device) and reading are crucial parts of perceptual experience, not simply from the perspective of a knowing, human subject, but in terms of the various kinds of agencies distributed throughout the world. I argue that Sebald’s prose fiction accounts for a wide range of perceptual experiences, including perspectives of the human and non-human, living and non-living, remembered, documented, dreamt and imagined. In his work we witness how these generically different experiences continually affect and participate in the nature of each other. Sebald’s attention to the complexity of perceptual experience, along with his stylistic elegance and formal innovativeness, means that his work offers valuable insight into the question that haunts any literary enterprise: what is the world like from another perspective? And to what extent is a perspective informed by the multiple perspectives it necessarily obscures? Sebald provides the reader with an account whereby specific perceptual detail and impersonal history at once interweave and retain their distinctness. I read Sebald alongside the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and recent critics and thinkers who have taken an interest in Whitehead’s work. For me, Whitehead offers a conceptual scaffold adequate to the richness, variability, obscurity and continual novelty of perceptual experience. In addition to Whitehead’s work, I recruit other contemporary thinkers and writers who, like Sebald, are preoccupied with imaginatively accounting for the various genres of thing that compose our world and instance worlds unto themselves. This predisposition methodologically and stylistically manifests in readings of modernity that emphasise poetic affect and poetic ix thinking as ways of accounting for experience and which are not limited by disciplinary exclusivity. Among the perhaps more implicit, though no less productive, propositions of this reading is a reassessment of the division between non-conscious and conscious perception. Invoking Whitehead’s “philosophy of organism”, I argue for a conception of consciousness that exemplifies aspects of non-conscious perceptual and cognitive processes, and, in an inverse but complementary fashion, for a more inclusive conception of the non-human world regarding its perceptual capacity. Sebald’s prose is the test case that serves as a limitation and medium, and which plays an active role in the tracing and establishment of these propositions. This thesis practises a kind of literary criticism that treats objects as implicated in the pervasive aspects of our experience. It proposes an interpretation of Sebald’s texts and, more generally, a reading methodology or theory that seeks to exemplify rather than judge the hypothetical worlds his texts establish.
"Because my parents say so" : children's monetary decision making
"Because my parents say so" : children's monetary decision making
The aim of this research is to understand children's monetary decision making. Using a qualitative approach, we interviewed 136 primary five students randomly selected from 6 primary schools in Singapore. In this brief report, we highlight several themes that emerged from our analysis which explains students' decision making processes when money is concerned. We also found that parents are the main or only guidance to the students in understanding personal financial management. Such findings may have implications for subsequent instructional interventions to improve students' financial literacy.
"Chinesenesses" outside Mainland China : Macao and Taiwan through post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema
"Chinesenesses" outside Mainland China : Macao and Taiwan through post-1997 Hong Kong Cinema
By examining the filmic representation of Macao and Taiwan in Hong Kong films, mostly released after the 1997 sovereignty transfer, this paper will address the notion of Chineseness in its plural form as associated with different Chinese societies. The purpose is to bring attention to the cosmopolitan side of Chineseness in Hong Kong cinema rather than the mere influence from the Mainland (PRC). I will argue that it is this pluralised, composite Chineseness reflected in Hong Kong cinema that has reinforced its very “Hong Kong-ness” against the impact from the “orthodox” Chineseness of the Mainland. Through a combination of textual and contextual analyses of selected Hong Kong diaspora films respectively set in Macao and Taiwan, this paper aims to provide a general understanding of the imbrications of various Chinese societies within Greater China and, most importantly, the changing role and position of Hong Kong (cinema) within this conceptual China as “one country” before and after it became a special part of the PRC.
"Cultural policy" : towards a global survey
"Cultural policy" : towards a global survey
The field of "cultural policy" has acquired sufficient purchase internationally to warrant a comparative global survey. This article examines questions that arise preliminary to such an endeavour. It looks first at the problems posed by the divided nature of "cultural policy" research: on the one hand policy advisory work that is essentially pragmatic, and on the other so-called "theoretical" analysis which has little or no purchase on policy-making. In both cases, key elements are missed. A way out of the quandary would be to privilege a line of inquiry that analyzes the "arts and heritage" both in relation to the institutional terms and objectives of these fields but also as components of a broader "cultural system" whose dynamics can only be properly grasped in terms of the social science or "ways of life" paradigm. Such a line of inquiry would address: the ways in which subsidized cultural practice interacts with or is impacted by social, economic and political forces; the domains of public intervention where the cultural in the broader social science sense elicits policy stances and policy action; the nature of public intervention in both categories; whether and how the objects and practices of intervention are conceptualised in a holistic way. A second set of interrogations concerns axes for the comparison of "cultural policy" trans-nationally. One possible axis is provided by different state stances with respect to Raymond Williams’ categories of national aggrandizement, economic reductionism, public patronage of the arts, media regulation and the negotiated construction of cultural identity. Another avenue would be to unpack interpretations of two leading current agendas, namely "cultural diversity" and the "cultural and/or creative industries".
"I have a patent lawyer on my payroll" : intellect v. intellectual property rights : a battle over the cultural commons
"I have a patent lawyer on my payroll" : intellect v. intellectual property rights : a battle over the cultural commons
Over the last 20 years, markets have come to dominate the way ‘resources’ are managed. The expansion of the market doctrine has at its core the belief that appropriate private property rights are the best way to promote innovation and protect freedoms. The scramble over private property rights is now well entrenched in the intellectual property arena, with countless examples of patents entering areas that once seemed inconceivable. This article moves from Bollier’s (2002) discussion of the concept to argue that intellect, rather than being a commodity that is promoted by private property rights, is rather a commons – more specifically a ‘cultural commons’. As such, the process of commodification turns intellect into intellectual property – limiting its availability. As a commons, if intellect is to be promoted, it must be open and shared in the public sphere. In contrast to the ongoing commodification of all aspects of life, social movements and academics are beginning to rediscover the commons. This rediscovery now takes the battle between the dominant forces of free market fundamentalism and those who oppose them, into the cultural sphere.
"I know PE is important but I don't feel confident teaching it" : Australian primary pre-service teachers' feelings and thoughts about teaching physical education
"I know PE is important but I don't feel confident teaching it" : Australian primary pre-service teachers' feelings and thoughts about teaching physical education
HPE (Health and Physical Education is one of the six compulsory Key Learning Areas (KLAs) in Primary Education in New South Wales (NSW) schools. Teachers are required to ensure their classes participate in both a practical and a theory lesson each week. Despite this mandatory obligation, Morgan (2008) has indicated that both pre-service teachers and practicing teachers would rather teach the other KLAs, regardless of the reported educational value of HPE. The quality of Physical Education (PE) in NSW primary schools has been questioned because teachers have experienced problems while teaching this subject (Morgan and Hanson, 2007). Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the feelings and thoughts of pre-service teachers towards teaching PE. An anomymous open-question survey (Saris and Gallhofer, 2007) was used with a cohort of pre-service teachers studying in the Master of teaching (Primary) program at the University of Western Sydney. The study explored areas such previous education, professional life and previous involvement with sports and physical activity, feelings about teaching HPE, and their impact on their willingness to teach PE. Using a qualitative analysis of responses produced an amalgamation of their discourses (Hallinan, 2006; Knijnik, 2006). Three different categories emerged from their responses. These will be discussed as well as implications for effective teaching practices, inclusivity and health oriented HPE practices within all NSW primary schools.
"I know that you don't have to work hard" : mathematics learing in the first year of primary school
"I know that you don't have to work hard" : mathematics learing in the first year of primary school
Harry completed his first year of primary school (Kindergarten) during 2004 in New South Wales, Australia. He enjoyed school; made great friends; played lots of sport; continued to read quite successfully; was well-liked by his teachers; participated in many activities; and, on reportedly rare occasions, did some mathematics. In this paper, comparisons are made between the mathematics Harry was capable of doing before he started school and what his parents were told he actually did during his first year of school. The paper was stimulated by Harry’s response to his parents when asked, near the end of his first year, what he had learned in mathematics at school: “I know that you don’t have to work hard”.
"I wish I was anywhere but here" : 'structure of address' in the badlands
"I wish I was anywhere but here" : 'structure of address' in the badlands
This paper began its gestation process after the riots which took place over a period of four nights in early March 2005 in the suburb of Macquarie Fields in the western suburbs of Sydney, NSW, Australia. The riots were sparked after a high-speed police car chase in which two young men in their late teens were killed. Anger of local residents erupted in response to the deaths of the young men and was targeted at local police. This anger took the form of street riots which continued for several days. The driver of the car in which the two young men were killed, who had fled the scene, was taken into custody a week after the riots. In the ensuing days, NSW police arrested 59 people and laid 186 charges for a variety of offences including assaulting police, malicious damage, malicious wounding, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of illegal drugs, and rioting (NSW Police).

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