Quantifying the Queer in an Australian Urban Context

Mr Xavier Goldie1

1The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Considerable research has examined the relationships between queer communities and the city, particularly within a qualitative, North American context. As an extension of my work providing the first quantitative treatment of the spatial patterning of male and female same-sex couples in Australia’s two largest urban centres, I examine the changes to these patterns over the last five years and determine whether or not explanatory variables emerge which may explain both the current patterning, and shifts to those patterns over that period. As a corollary of this, I examine the appropriateness of quantitative methods and theoretical predictions in describing queer geographies, at the expense of methods which seek to understand urban queer Australians’ diverse and diverging life histories and experiences, which perhaps more comprehensively answer the questions of why they have chosen to live where they live, and the consequences of those choices on shared socio-spatial identities.


Xavier is Outreach Manager at AURIN, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for Urban Research at RMIT University. His candidacy focuses on the relationship between urban structure, disadvantage and transport. He also has a strong research interest in bringing a quantitative focus to marginalisation and segregation in an urban context, and appraising the appropriateness of bringing quantitative methods to bear on the process of identity construction in cities

Gendered Geographies of Islamophobia in the San Francisco Bay Area

Miss Rhonda Itaoui1

1Western Sydney University, Parramatta, Australia,

2UC Berkeley, Berkeley, United States of America


Increasing political and social hostilities in the United States have led to contested negotiations of public spaces by racialized Muslim men and women. This paper explores the lived experiences of Islamophobia reported by Muslim men and women in the San Francisco Bay Area, California by examining the gendered spatialities of these experiences. Drawing upon an online survey and a series of face-to-face interviews from 2016 to 2018, the case study finds that the frequency, nature of, and places where Islamophobia is experienced are differentiated by gender. Visibly Muslim women wearing a hijab are most likely to experience Islamophobia. Interviews further illustrate that Muslim women face Islamophobia in various public spheres, particularly on public transport. Muslim men on the other hand, though reporting lower levels of Islamophobia in the survey, claim to experience higher rates of Islamophobia in airport spaces.

Through examining intersections between race and gender, the paper argues Islamophobia is indeed gendered and spatialized. The particular vulnerability of Muslim women to everyday instances of Islamophobia in the public sphere, points to the way in which Islamophobia further undermines the ability for women to enjoy the ‘gendered right to the city’ in everyday spaces.


Rhonda Itaoui is a PhD candidate and researcher at Western Sydney University with the Challenging Racism Project. Her research examines the impact of Islamophobia on the spatial mobility of young Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sydney. Rhonda is also a Research Fellow with the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley, working on documenting, and challenging Islamophobia across the globe. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests are centred in cultural and social geography focussing on race, diversity and belonging in urban spaces.

Transnational social spaces and its implications on social inclusion for high skilled NESB women

Mrs Prabha Bogoda Arachchige1

1Monash University, Australia, Clayton, Australia


Using Crenshaw’s intersectionality approach, Levitt and Glick Schiller’s framework of transnational social fields and Bourdieu’s cleft habitus, this presentation focuses on belonging and social inclusion for highly skilled migrant women from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB). It examines the experiences of social exclusion faced by migrant women both in their origin and host communities, what is referred to as ‘double social exclusion’ in the literature. Specifically it considers the process by which NESB women transfer their social and cultural capital in to host society and further how they mitigate social exclusion in Australia. Through a series of ethnographic in-depth interviews, the proposed research offers further insights into how highly skilled migrant women traverse parallel worlds and in so doing, (re)negotiate and transform their identity in a new country.


I am a human geographer, specialised in Cultural and Political Geography. I obtained my undergraduate qualifications in Sri Lanka and currently pursuing a PhD at Monash University, Australia. I am attached to the school of Social and Political Sciences and Monash Migration and Social Inclusion centre. Currently I am researching on migration and social inclusion of highly skilled migrant women.


“…they can’t read maps. Apparently that’s a woman thing”: Exploring gendered performances of everyday wayfinding

Miss Ainsley Hughes1

1University Of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia


Recent feminist scholarship has pushed studies of mobile life to consider how gender relations and identities are tied to meanings of home, household, and economy (Pavolvskaya, Gerrard and Aure 2018) in both everyday contexts and across broader patterns of global migration. This is evidenced by a recent special issue in Gender, Place and Culture which focused on gender and (im)mobilities. This paper seeks to take research on gender and mobilities in a new direction by exploring gendered practices and politics of everyday wayfinding. Drawn from semi-structured interviews, the stories in this paper illustrate the perceptions of respondents about the skillfulness of women to navigate; perceptions which had affects for how women viewed themselves, their mobile performances, and dynamics of companionship and collaboration when moving with other people. Where some interviewees expressed that having poor navigational skills was simply “a woman thing”, other interviews revealed that recent developments in digital wayfinding technologies are empowering women to move in new ways. These gendered negotiations with feeling lost and found are important as they are intimately tied to the broader politics of mobile life, for how particular bodies come to know and move through space and place.


Ainsley Hughes is a PhD candidate at the University of Newcastle. She is broadly interested in mobilities, emotion and affect, and how mobile life might be changing in the face of rapid technological change.

Gendered Subjectivities and Climate Change Adaptation Processes in Ghana’s Central Region: Moving Toward More Equitable Adaptation Decision-Making and Outcomes

Ms Alicea Garcia1,2,4, Professor Petra Tschakert1,3

1The University of Western Australia (UWA), Nedlands, Australia,

2Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID), Canberra, Australia,

3United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN IPCC), Geneva, Switzerland,

4Political Ecology Network, Lancaster, England


Vulnerabilities to climate change and opportunities to adapt can vary based on social differences that are bound up in complex power dynamics in any given place or context. The gendered dynamics of climate change adaptation are well documented, with scholars and activists calling for in-depth investigations into the socio-political drivers of gendered inequalities that can affect capacities for adaptation. The research presented in this paper utilises intersectionality theory and theories of subjectivities to explore how power dynamics and social norms related to gender in Ghana’s Central Region either empower or inhibit farmers’ capacities to adapt to climate change. The results demonstrate gendered and intersectional subjectivities that may well constitute barriers or limits to adaptation, namely, lack of financial means, lack of influence and choice in household and community decision-making, lack of time and opportunity to engage in adaptive actions, lack of agency, and poor health. Nuanced investigations into the links between power, gender, and barriers and limits to adaptation are crucial for exploring underlying mechanisms that drive gendered inequalities and that result in inequitable adaptation outcomes. Through such investigations, just and effective adaptation initiatives can be envisioned for moving toward more radical and transformational adaptation policy and decision-making.


Alicea Garcia’s current PhD research with The University of Western Australia (UWA) focuses on how gendered dynamics of social inequality affect farmers’ capacities to adapt to climate change in Ghana’s Central Region. Alicea is also currently a Postgraduate Fellow for the Africa Research and Engagement Centre (AfREC), UWA, a Western Australia Representative for Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID), and a Research Node for the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN). Alicea is interested in how advanced feminist frameworks can further research focused on emancipation from inequality and equitable outcomes from transformative policy and decision-making surrounding climate change.

Email: alicea.garcia@research.uwa.edu.au

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