Call for Papers

Conference Themes

The 30th Anniversary Conference has three themes plus a general submission stream:

Everyday Icons: Cultural studies celebrates the everyday with insight. As a discipline, we are renowned for cultivating a discerning approach to understanding geographies of belonging. We are all attached to everyday places, rituals, local celebrities and ideas in ways that organise individual and cultural identity and choreograph belonging. Ask a Melbourne local about Mirka Mora or Franco Cozzo: local celebrities who shaped the city and who live on in urban Melbourne spaces. Ask a Gold Coast resident about Big Kev and mediated, lived, historical and contemporary experiences, places, images, sounds will be woven together in sharing dis/identification and dis/attachment. Local people become everyday icons, as do buildings, giant landmarks (be they animals or fruits), and scholarly figures. The everyday icons of Australian cultural studies have shaped the thinking of a generation and built the foundations for cultural studies now. This theme invites you to celebrate the vernacular icons that shape your quotidian experience. From Meaghan Morris to boutique coffee shops, we want to hear about why and how your everyday icons provide sustenance. Who or what is your everyday icon? What is fabulous about this icon?

Pasts and Futures: Putting culture, texts, artefact and emergences into their temporal context is a key cultural studies activity. In an anniversary year, we often look back at trajectories of the past to understand the present and predict the future, and we are certainly keen to do so at an anniversary conference.  Yet, critiquing chrononormativity as the cultural condition that deploys temporal concepts—including pasts, presents and futures—to organise and make productive bodies, being, selfhood and relationality is also an important cultural studies endeavour.  As climate catastrophes make futures less knowable, we are driven to develop new ways to think those chronormativities to address the urgency of the future at local and global scale. This theme calls upon us to ask how temporalities, choronormativities and the consideration of histories and futures shape cultural studies research.  What are the utilities for conceiving research that emerge from revisiting cultural studies’ pasts?  How does the application of temporality change the trajectories of a cultural artefact? And in what instances do we eschew the constraints of linear temporality to think otherwise? 

National interests: In the era of COVID-related restrictions on mobility, the figure of ‘the nation’ has become more marked as (some) people are further restricted from crossing its borders, while many others became more dependent on government biopolitical initiatives to sustain life in an era of pandemic, of climate catastrophes and the emergence of warrior-like tensions in many regions.  And, of course, many are vulnerabilised by the same initiatives or by the failure of national interests to sustain life in inclusive and democratic ways.  As the concept of national interests increasingly governs research funding regimes and scholars are called upon to demonstrate their alignment with national interests, how can cultural studies scholarship navigate the lines between the regimes that fund research, resistance to nationalism, and the politicisation of scholarship? 

Submit a proposal

We are calling for proposals for:

  • papers (including multi-authored papers)
  • panels (of 3-4 presentations).

Papers can address any of themes above or be in the ‘general’ category.

To submit a paper proposal we ask for title, abstract (250-300 words) and bio (50 words). To submit a panel proposal we ask for a panel title, panel abstract (100 words) and individual paper titles/abstracts/bios.

Submissions are now closed.

Any queries, please contact the team at