Dr Scott Sharpe
BA, PhD Macq
Telephone: +61 2 6268 6296
Fax: +61 2 6268 8017
Location: PEMS North, Room 310
Social and Cultural Theory, Culture Jamming, Cultural Geography, Globalisation and Global Resistance, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, Economies and Ecologies of Excess, Geographies of Affect, Role of Humour in Thought and Politics, Sex and Sexuality, Geography and Sociology of Sport, Region and Post-regional studies.
Scott Sharpe is a Lecturer in geography with teaching and research interests in the areas of social, economic and cultural geography. He was awarded his PhD with the Vice-Chancellor’s commendation from Macquarie University in 2002. His thesis examined the research practices of academic human geographers in light of the ‘cultural turn.’ His overarching research interest is in the relationship between thinking and politics in its broadest sense. This interest has manifest in research projects in a number of areas and institutions: the academy, hospitals and birth centres, the military, and in movements resistant to ‘globalisation.’
Before his current position of the Australian Defence Force Academy Scott was employed as a lecturer at Macquarie University in the Department of Sociology (2003), teaching the sociology of work and employment, the sociology of sexuality and gender and research design. He has also worked in the Department of Health and Chiropractic, at Macquarie University, developing the Health Studies program.
Scott is involved in teaching human geography at all undergraduate levels. His main teaching areas are in social and cultural geography:
Social Geography Course Description - since 2004, offered Semester 1 (taught with Dr Paul Tranter)
This course examines the way people shape spaces and, in turn, the way spaces shape people. The use of space to legitimate some behaviours, whilst censuring others, has been recognised by both benevolent and despotic powers. The organisation of the city for example has been an important theme since antiquity. Plato, the West's most famous and influential philosopher spent a good deal of thought on what constitutes the ideal city, who would be its legitimate and illegitimate inhabitants and who would govern it. But it is perhaps in modernity that the potential for influencing behaviour through city planning was most fully realised. Modernists such as Baron von Hausmann and Le Corbusier and closer to home Walter Burley Griffin recognised the role that space played in shaping behaviour of individuals and in shaping the direction of society. Yet although space can be planned to some degree to direct people to act, speak and even think in certain ways, there are of course many other facets of human action that thwart the best laid plans. The unpredictability of human action ensures a constantly changing landscape, which can only be explained by understanding the interplay between people and space. Much of the material examined is topical in nature and includes Australian and international examples. This course is designed to open your eyes to different interpretations of places, events and behaviours with which you may already be familiar.
Cultural Geography Course Description ? since 2005, offered in Semester 2, 2006 In this course we examine the geography of sex, sport and humour.
Do sex, sport and humour serve as domains in which different cultures can communicate? Or are they sites of cultural division? Cultural geography approaches such questions by examining the way meaning is constructed according to the role of space and place. This unit introduces students to the sub-discipline of cultural geography through the meanings attached to these three important domains of cultural life: sex, sport and humour. These domains are produced and consumed very differently depending on location. Here we examine a variety of cultural media besides texts: film, television, the internet, in order to ?denaturalise? the cultural activities of sport, sex and humour. For their main assessment task students will research their own case study from one of these areas.
Scott also contributes to cultural geography elements in first level courses, to topics around globalisation, industrialisation and post-industrialisation in Strategic Geographical Issues of the Asia-Pacific Region, the cultural construction of landscape and economies and ecologies of excess in Resource Management and to a range of human geographical projects in the third year Geographic Research Methods. He is also supervises honours students working in areas of cultural geography (for example the cultural geography of video racing-games, or the cultural geography of backpacking).
Scott in the field on a High Country Geography 1 Field School to Kosciuszko National Park.
Scott has several interconnected and ongoing research projects:
Geographies of Global Resistance – this project in conjunction with Prof. Bob Fagan and supported by a large ARC Discovery Project Grant examines various responses to globalisation. Institutional and non-institutional responses to globalisation are explored through contrasting case studies chosen from: 1) the organised labour movement both in Australia and internationally, 2) new social movements involving highly publicised anti-globalised protests in particular places, such as Seattle, Melbourne and Genoa and 3) ‘spontaneous’ (although more often highly orchestrated) forms of resistance known as culture jamming. I am particularly interested in Culture Jamming as a from of political action since it often uses humour and modes of displacement which undermine our taken-for-granted assumptions about the relationship between place, truth and politics. Part of the phenomenon of culture jamming is the use of new media technologies to call into question the primacy of identity as it relates to political change.
Geographies of thought
This is a broad project that attempts to theorise thought from a spatial perspective. From the institutions of knowledge production such as universities and research agencies, to the redressing the supposed mind/body duality this project contributes to theoretical developments that explore the relationship between space, thought and action. At a conceptual level, this project deploys a re-reading of Leibniz by the philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, to show how fieldbased research can open thinking up to the new . The work builds on and substantially contributes to theorisations of the new and different in thought, and thus provides a challenge to the tradition of domesticating that which is new by incorporating it into the realm of the known. This involves a reworking of dialectical understandings of change, which remain the mainstay for much geographical practice. There are political implications to these theoretical manouevres, and the project thus leads to another project through an analysis of alternate practices of political action.
Geographies of affect: The role of humour, shame and anger in political and social change
This project, connected to the project Geographies of thought via the affective dimension of thought, questions the primacy given to rationality to understand political action. Teaching of ?Rational' messages or presenting rational arguments may be of limited use when attempting to affect social and political change. This project has thus far focussed on the use of humour and subterfuge by culture-jammers to overcome the problem of gaining publicity in an overstaturated media environment. Such practices may provide potential to think in new ways and to conceptualise alternative presents and futures beyond the often tired terms of debates. This work has extended to the phenomenon of radicalisation, in order to better understand the relationship of violence and social and political action.
Current collaborators include Dr Maria Hynes (ANU), Prof. Bob Fagan (Macq. Uni: Sydney), Glenn Banks (UNSW@ADFA, Massey University NZ), Paul Tranter (UNSW@ADFA), and Michelle Duffy (Uni. Melb).
Consultancy contract with Dr Katerina Agostino, Land Operations Divisions, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), to work on the Battle Command Training Task, a pilot study of United Nations Military Observers (UNMOs) operating in East Timor which utilises story telling and narrative methodology.
Consultancy with Associate Professor Martin Burke of Joint Systems Branch DSTO, working on a project to understand the complexities of terrorism from a cultural perspective.
- Sharpe, S. & Tranter, P., 2010, The hope for oil crisis: Children, oil vulnerability and (in)dependent mobility, Australian Planner, 47(4), 284-292, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07293682.2010.526622.
- Nelson, J., Dunn, K., Paradies, Y., Pedersen, A., Sharpe, S., Hynes, M., & Guerin, B., 2010, 'Review of bystander approaches in support of preventing race-based discrimination'. Victorian Heath Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), Carlton, Australia. 46 pages.
- Hynes, M. & Sharpe, S., 2010, Yea-saying laughter, Parallax, 16(3), 44-54.
- Hynes, M. & Sharpe, S., 2010, Affecting global resistance, paper presented to Joint New Zealand Geographical Society and Institute of Australian Geographers Conference, Christchurch, 5-8 July 2010.
- Hynes, M., Sharpe, S., 2010, Humour and social change: From ideology to affect, paper presented to The Australian Sociological Association Conference, The Australian National University, Canberra,1-4 December 2009.
- Sharpe, S. & Hynes M., 2010, The laughing dead: Humour and the affective dimensions of social change, paper presented to Joint New Zealand Geographical Society and Institute of Australian Geographers Conference, Christchurch, 5-8 July 2010.
- Hynes, M. & Sharpe, S., 2009, Affected with joy: Evaluating the mass actions of the anti-globalisation movement, Borderlands e-journal, 8(3). Available at: http://www.borderlands.net.au/vol8no3_2009/hynessharpe_affected.pdf
- Hynes, M., Sharpe, S. & Greig, A., 2009, The windschuttle hoax and the problem of truth, The Australian Sociological Association Conference Proceedings, Stewart Lockie, David Bissell, Alastair Greig, Maria Hynes, David Marsh, Larry Saha, Joanna Sikora and Dan Woodman (Eds), December 2009. ISBN 978-0-646-52501-3.
- Tranter, P.J. & Sharpe, S., 2008, Escaping monstropolis: Child-friendly cities, peak oil and Monsters, Inc., Children's Geographies, 6(3), 295-308, doi: 10.1080/14733280802184021.
- Hynes, M., Sharpe, S. & Greig, A., 2008, Chasing democracy: Dissent, civil society and humour, Social Alternatives, Vol. 27, Issue 1.
- Hynes, M. H., Sharpe, S. Q. & Fagan, R., 2007, Laughing with the yes men: The politics of affirmation, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 21(1), 107-121.
- Tranter, P. J. & Sharpe, S., 2007, Children and peak oil: An opportunity in crisis, International Journal of Children's Rights, 15(1), 181-197.
- Banks, G. & Sharpe, S., 2006, Wine, regions and the geographic imperative: The Coonawarra example, New Zealand Journal of Geography, 62, 173-184.
- Sharpe, S., Hynes, M. & Fagan, B., 2005, Beat me, whip me, spank me, just make it right again: Beyond the didactic masochism of global resistance, FibreCulture Issue 6 - Mobility, New Social Intensities and the Coordinates of Digital Networks. Available at: http://journal.fibreculture.org/issue6/issue6_sharpe.html
- Sharpe, S., Hynes, M. & Fagan, R., 2003, Political action and the play of appearances: Theorising the political implications of a comic event, in P. Corrigan et al. (eds.), New Times, New Worlds, New Ideas: Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association (TASA), University of New England, Armidale.
- Sharpe, S., 2002, A Geography of the Fold, PhD Thesis, Department of Human Geography, Macquarie University.
- Fagan, R.H., Howitt, R.L., Adams, M., Abayasekera, G., Cook, R., Edwards, M., Eggelton, K., Harwood, A., Jackson, S., Sharpe, S., Suchet, S., 2001, Nourishing conversations in the co-construction of knowledge, in A. Bartlett & G. Mercer (eds), Postgraduate Research Supervision: Transforming (R)elations, pp. 261-275, Lang, New York.
- Sharpe, S., 1999, Bodily Speaking: spaces and experiences of childbirth, in Teather, E.K., Embodied Geographies: Spaces, Bodies and Rites of Passage, Routledge, London & New York.
- Sharpe, S., 1999, Review of R. Peet’s ‘Modern Geographical Thought’ (1988), Australian Geographical Studies, 37(3), 363-366.
- Sharpe, S., 1995, A Geography of the Birthing Moment: Space and social practice at the RHW Birth Centre, Honours Thesis, Department of Human Geography, Macquarie University.
Member of the Institute of Australian Geographers