Postgraduate Corner

Ashleigh Watson, Postgraduate Portfolio Leader:

As we near the end of 2018, the Postgraduate sub-committee and I are working hard to finalise our biggest event of the year – the annual Postgraduate Day at the TASA conference. This year the event is happening on Monday 19 November at Deakin University, Burwood. We have a stellar line up of sociological talks and activities planned, including a keynote by Associate Professor Steven Roberts, a panel with Professor JaneMaree Maher and Dr Karla Elliot, and our much-anticipated mentoring session involving a range of established sociologists. Thanks to all the speakers and mentors who are volunteering their time for this day. Find the full program below.

Recently, we ran our second postgraduate and Early Career Researcher event for 2018 at Griffith University with the Griffith Centre for Social and Cultural Research. Entitled Behind the scenes: How to run academic events and organise collaborative publishing, this intimate workshop offered participants insight into putting together symposiums and pitching edited collections to publishers. Professor Andy Bennett and Dr Brady Robards shared their experiences and gave some fantastic practical advice on theming events, securing funding, managing budgets, organising programs, inviting speakers, and preparing and pitching post-event publications. Thanks to Andy, Brady, and the GCSCR for their involvement and support.

Finally, I offer my warmest congratulations to Dr Ben Lohmeyer who has been elected as Postgraduate Portfolio Leader for 2019–2020. Ben has worked on the postgraduate sub-committee alongside Josie Reade, Zoei Sutton and Milovan Savic for the past two years, and has proven to be an asset to postgraduate members of the Association. Thanks to each of you for your work and best of luck, Ben, with the portfolio in the future.

TASA Postgraduate Day 2018 Program

9:00 – 9:30 Registration
9:30 – 10:15 Welcome Session:


Welcome to TASA 2018

In this welcome session, led by the Postgraduate Sub-Committee, participants will meet other postgrads in their thematic groups and share their experiences of postgrad life. We will focus on networking and conferencing tips including meeting academics and the conference Twitter backchannel.


TASA President Professor Dan Woodman will also present our annual Conference Scholarship Award winners.

Ashleigh Watson


Dr Ben Lohmeyer


Zoei Sutton


Josie Reade


Professor Dan Woodman

10:15 – 11:15 Keynote:


Triumphs and Tears; Fortune and Fears: an acknowledgement of what it feels like to be professional sociologist

At the risk of coming off like a wannabe motivational speaker, in this talk I focus on some of the affective dimensions of being an academic. In particular, I aim to illuminate, validate and legitimise the full range of ups and downs that we experience during our PhD training and into our research careers. I’ll advocate for greater emphasis on kindness and collectivity as we navigate increasingly precarious times in the neo liberal academy and end with a reminder of the significance of sociology for today, tomorrow and beyond. Associate Professor Steven Roberts



11:15 – 11:45 Morning Tea
11:45 – 12:30 Panel:


Graduate Students and Supervisors: precarious relationships of power and professionalism


In the Change the Course report, evidence of systematic and troubling practices of harassment and discrimination in the Academy were revealed. In the subsequent months, AWGSA commissioned a feminist best practice report to resource the organisation and its members to offer support to those experiencing such incidents.


In this panel discussion, focused specifically on the postgraduate–supervisor relationship, we reflect on current University responses, the importance of effective gendered analysis and our shared responsibilities to create safe and inclusive spaces for academic work. We examine how current employment pattern in universities impact on the ethical and professional graduate student/supervisor relationships.

Professor JaneMaree Maher


Dr Karla Elliott


12:30 – 1:15 Mentoring Session:


Meet a Mentor

In this session, established sociologists working in a range of institutions and fields will partner with small groups of postgraduate participants for mentoring and discussion. We will aim to group participants with other postgrads at similar stages but from different institutions to their own, to increase diversity of experience and help illuminate different institutional contexts. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring specific questions for their mentors or discussion points for their small groups.


Mentors include: Dr Brady Robards, Dr Shanthi Robertson, Dr Emma Kirby, Dr Karla Elliot, Dr Peta Cook, Dr Joseph Borlagdan, Associate Professor Alphia Possamai-Inesedy, Dr Sara James, Dr Joanne Bryant, Dr Kate Huppatz, Dr Steve Matthewman, Dr Ashley Barnwell, Dr Brendan Churchill, Dr Christina Malatzky, Dr Steven Threadgold, Dr Peter Bansel, and others (TBA)













1:15 – 2:15 Lunch
2:25 – 2:45 Info Session:


Teaching Sociology Futures

This session presents advice for managing early career teaching work now and into the future. This includes professional teaching skills (including working with convenors and in a team environment), practical class activities (including digital technologies), and managing teaching workloads in an increasingly precarious environment. Dr Brady Robards
2:45 – 3:15 Info Session:


Publishing Strategies

This session will take a big picture look at scholarly publishing. There is a heightened expectation for postgraduatess and ECRs to produce high quality (and high quantity) publications – in this session we look at the realities of the publishing landscape and explore how to maximise your postgraduate research during and following your PhD. Dr Shanthi Robertson
3:15 – 3:45 Info Session:


Research Grants

This session will shed light on the complex world of research grants and funding. Focusing on ARC grants, we translate the various available grants and fellowships including processes and priorities for early career sociologists. This will include a walk-through of how to apply for a DECRA. Dr Emma Kirby
3:45 – 4:15 Info Session:


Sociology Jobs

This session presents advice for post-degree work pathways and paints a broad picture of early career sociology work. We hear from sociologists with experience in teaching, academic research, media, service, and council projects and programs. This session includes advice for building a research profile. Dr Jessica Crofts


Dr Nicholas Hookway

4:15 – 5:00 Closing Session:


Going Forwards

In this closing session, Jessica Crofts and Nicholas Hookway join postgraduate sub-committee members to work with participants to develop their conference strategies and refine their research ‘elevator pitch.’ Ashleigh Watson


Dr Ben Lohmeyer


Zoei Sutton


Josie Reade


Dr Jessica Crofts


Dr Nicholas Hookway


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