Miss Megan Sharp

Miss Megan Sharp

Casual Academic

School of Humanities and Social Science

Girls to the front

Megan Sharp is a PhD student in sociology who uses the intersection between lived experience and theoretical paradigms to explore the creation of female identities within subcultures.

Megan Sharp 

'My research looks at collective authorization, so what women do and say to make other women feel empowered to try themselves out', she explains.

Observing audience interaction in punk and hardcore music spaces through a feminist and queer lens became the catalyst for Megan's post-graduate work.  Radical geography, or the way our bodies take up space, is a central theme in her research.

'The hardcore scene is largely male-dominated and homosocial. My work looks at the construction of female identities in male dominated spaces,' Megan clarifies.

FEVER TO TELL

Whilst completing Open Foundation at the University of Newcastle, subjects relating to the field of sociology most piqued Megan's curiosity. She found that queer theory was a particularly useful lens through which to view the world.

'I always loved queer theory, I could relate to it, and found it applicable to all kind of scenarios,' she declares.

Intending to further explore understandings of queerness for her Honours thesis, Megan found that participants in her research organically directed the focus to feminism and visibility, through their interest and immersion in local music scenes.

'It just so happened that the women I spoke to used punk as an example of how their queerness can be subjective, subversive and discursive', she remembers.

'I found that my project evolved from a study of queer in every day life into a much more funneled and structured idea of queerness within the subculture of punk.'

REBEL GIRL

Compared to traditional sociological research that posits the researcher firmly outside of the topic being studied, Megan is unconventional in her unashamed self-inclusion.  She's interested in the reflexive research methodologies, ones that consider the insider position of the researcher within research.

'My research includes a lot of auto-ethnography, a lot of lived experience, a lot of understanding my own embodiment,' Megan asserts.

'It also includes a lot of how my personhood affects space and how space affects my personhood.'

Due to her immersion in the scene, and her position as a subjective participant, Megan is also very committed to invoking the punk ethos of reciprocity through her research.

'I'm researching 'do it yourself' and 'do it together' scenes,' Megan reveals.

'It is very important to me that I am one of those women, and that they are one of me, and we help each other out.'

'I'm not just taking their ideas. I like my research to be an exchange rather than just an opportunity to take.'

THIS IS NOT A TEST

Megan's PhD will explore creative self-making and identity construction among young queer women in punk scenes across Australia and the UK. Using Newcastle, Australia as the base site, this qualitative study builds on her previous research by including comparative data involving women in the music scenes of Melbourne, Brighton and London.

Being an insider within her research, Megan is interested in exploring the notion that she is afforded benefits that might not be extended to outsiders. Using social media to build rapport with potential research participants or identify relevant events is essential to her work, but fraught with ethical considerations.

'Going up to women and simply asking them to be part of my research project will see me fail about 90% of the time, so it is essential to build rapport and share knowledge', Megan discloses.

Accordingly, she recently presented a paper exploring reflexive considerations of research methodologies in 'do it yourself' online spaces at The Journal of Youth Studies International Conference in Copenhagen in March, 2015.

HOT TOPIC

Megan sees her work as updating previous records related to the history of women in punk, particularly in Australia.

'Although there's a lot of research on women in punk, women from Australia tend to get lumped in together with women from across the world,' Megan advises.

'Apart from American studies of riot grrrl, queer women are largely excluded from the narrative of music scenes.' 

Making her research accessible and an authentic representation of the voice of young people is important to Megan.

'I also like to play with language. I don't necessarily find it helpful to always use heavily structured or academic language', she declares.

COMMITTED FOR LIFE

Currently travelling the world to compare the experiences of women at punk shows in cities of different scale, Megan is already looking to her next topic of research. She is aware that her insider perspective on the transitional phase of young adulthood is time limited. 

'My research will always be from a feminist perspective, simply because it has to be,' she attests.

I thoroughly enjoy youth studies, so I will stay in that for as long as I can get away with being part of youth culture.'

While admitting to really liking punk, which she describes as quite niche and often misunderstood, and that she will also always undertake queer research, Megan realises that she needs to explore topics outside of her comfort zone.

'My next research will probably be away from myself – something that isn't so much about my experiences as a young person,' she muses.

Megan Sharp

Girls to the front

Megan Sharp is a PhD student studying sociology who uses the intersection between lived experience and theoretical paradigms to explore the creation of female

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Career Summary

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Social Science (Honours), University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Social Science (Comm Welf&Human Serv), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Feminism
  • Femme/Butch Visibilities
  • Gender
  • Intersectionality
  • Punk
  • Queer Theory
  • Subcultures

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
169901 Gender Specific Studies 50
160403 Social and Cultural Geography 25
220306 Feminist Theory 25

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia
Casual Lecturer University of Newcastle
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
27/05/2016 -  Casual Academic English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle
Open Foundation
Australia

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
24/11/2016 -  Research Assistant Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)
Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health
Australia
1/07/2015 - 1/02/2016 Research Assistant Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Teaching appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
2/02/2016 -  Casual Teacher

Newstep is a one-year foundation studies program designed for 18-20 year olds who have completed the HSC but did not qualify for university entrance, have experienced adverse circumstances during their senior secondary schooling or did not complete the HSC.

Newstep is offered at both the Callaghan campus in Newcastle and the Ourimbah campus on the Central Coast. It is accepted as an entry qualification to many universities in Australia.

Newstep is designed as a pathway between school and undergraduate study, giving you the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge necessary for success in a university study environment.

English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle
Newstep
Australia

Awards

Honours

Year Award
2014 First Class
School of Humanities and Social Science - Faculty of Education and Arts - The University of Newcastle

Member

Year Award
2014 Excellence in Honours
The Australian Sociological Association (TASA)

Prize

Year Award
2015 Co-Publication Award
University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Recognition

Year Award
2016 UoN Sessional Academic Award - runner up
Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle

Research Award

Year Award
2014 Faculty Medal
The University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts | Australia

Invitations

Speaker

Year Title / Rationale
2017 Gender Inclusive Teaching Practices

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
EPHUMA137 Australian Culture and Society
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle

As a result of successfully undertaking EPHUMA137, students will become acquainted with the basic dimensions of Australian culture and:

a) Develop the ability to analyse characteristic features of society and draw connections between wider social issues and the student's own world.

b) Be introduced to a range of social theories that attempt to rationalise the wider workings of society.

c) Develop the ability to think critically about the causes and effects of discriminatory practices on individuals and groups within society.

d) Develop an understanding of how and why social practices, norms and government policies have altered over time and the impact these have had on Australian society.

e) Engage in wide reading, deep thinking, academic research, written composition and oral discussion skills in order to consolidate the learning process.

Course Coordinator 22/02/2016 - 15/07/2016
EPHUMA310 Social Enquiry (Intensive)
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle

Intensive Social Enquiry introduces students to the discipline of Sociology, which represents the study of people and cultures in industrial societies. This course provides an understanding of sociological concepts for examining social structures and interaction in everyday life. In teaching how to use the 'sociological imagination", the complex dynamics of social interaction will be uncovered. The course will examine the impact of social roles, social functions, social inequality and class, on people's lives as well as what people do when they are interacting on a face-to-face level. This viewpoint challenges the taken-for-granted, or commonsense, view of the world. It will also examine topic areas such as: 

- Gender (how construction of masculinity and femininity varies across time and culture)

- Race & Ethnicity (appreciation of cultural difference and how people are affected by stereotyping and racial discrimination) 

- Health (how health is not random but a culturally constructed experience impacted by class, ethnicity, age and gender)

- Education (how different theories provide different explanations for educational inequality)

- Media (how ownership and control influences content and how advertisements can be deconstructed)

- Social Research Methods (how social research is carried out in the social sciences)

Social Enquiry prepares students for tertiary study by teaching them to take a scientific approach to examining social life in contemporary society.

Course Coordinator 25/07/2016 - 30/11/2016
SOCA2081 New Media and Society
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Newcastle
This course looks at 'new' and 'old' media within a sociological framework. It considers a wide variety of media forms, practices and cultures, assessing their influence on human interactions and experiences. Key topics include: social media and smart phones; the videogame industry and gaming cultures; online communities and participatory media; new and old journalism and its democratic influences and social functions; political communication and its consequences; advertising and the designing of desire; and popular narratives in TV and cinema and their social influences. This course covers central material in the sociological understanding of media texts. It helps students understand power relationships in society and the social construction of culture. It answers sociological questions such as: Does the new media democratize electronic communication? Do the media influence our actions? What are the positive and negative social consequences of new media technologies? Do the media reinforce social stereotypes?
Course Coordinator 22/02/2016 - 16/07/2016
EPHUMA310 Social Enquiry (Intensive)
English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, University of Newcastle

Intensive Social Enquiry introduces students to the discipline of Sociology, which represents the study of people and cultures in industrial societies. This course provides an understanding of sociological concepts for examining social structures and interaction in everyday life. In teaching how to use the 'sociological imagination", the complex dynamics of social interaction will be uncovered. The course will examine the impact of social roles, social functions, social inequality and class, on people's lives as well as what people do when they are interacting on a face-to-face level. This viewpoint challenges the taken-for-granted, or commonsense, view of the world. It will also examine topic areas such as: 

- Gender (how construction of masculinity and femininity varies across time and culture)

- Race & Ethnicity (appreciation of cultural difference and how people are affected by stereotyping and racial discrimination) 

- Health (how health is not random but a culturally constructed experience impacted by class, ethnicity, age and gender)

- Education (how different theories provide different explanations for educational inequality)

- Media (how ownership and control influences content and how advertisements can be deconstructed)

- Social Research Methods (how social research is carried out in the social sciences)

Social Enquiry prepares students for tertiary study by teaching them to take a scientific approach to examining social life in contemporary society.

Course Coordinator 16/06/2015 - 28/11/2015
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Highlighted Publications

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Sharp M, Nilan P, 'Queer punx: young women in the Newcastle hardcore space', Journal of Youth Studies, 18 451-467 (2015) [C1]

© 2014, Taylor & Francis.This article investigates the ¿becoming¿ of queer female punx in the contemporary hardcore scene in a regional Australian city. Twelve young women aged... [more]

© 2014, Taylor & Francis.This article investigates the ¿becoming¿ of queer female punx in the contemporary hardcore scene in a regional Australian city. Twelve young women aged 20¿30 years were interviewed about their experiences of queer identity. They emphasized their involvement in the music scene as a key catalyst for the development of a queer punk identity even though the local hardcore scene is male-dominated and homosocial. We find that these young female queer punx assert their identity through collectively summoning and synthesizing the counternormative resources of both queer and punk Do It Yourself (DIY) to configure the space of hardcore differently. Our findings confirm the durability of a playful, subversive punk ethos in constituting challenges to the normative.

DOI 10.1080/13676261.2014.963540
Co-authors Pamela Nilan

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Sharp M, Nilan P, 'Queer punx: young women in the Newcastle hardcore space', Journal of Youth Studies, 18 451-467 (2015) [C1]

© 2014, Taylor & Francis.This article investigates the ¿becoming¿ of queer female punx in the contemporary hardcore scene in a regional Australian city. Twelve young women aged... [more]

© 2014, Taylor & Francis.This article investigates the ¿becoming¿ of queer female punx in the contemporary hardcore scene in a regional Australian city. Twelve young women aged 20¿30 years were interviewed about their experiences of queer identity. They emphasized their involvement in the music scene as a key catalyst for the development of a queer punk identity even though the local hardcore scene is male-dominated and homosocial. We find that these young female queer punx assert their identity through collectively summoning and synthesizing the counternormative resources of both queer and punk Do It Yourself (DIY) to configure the space of hardcore differently. Our findings confirm the durability of a playful, subversive punk ethos in constituting challenges to the normative.

DOI 10.1080/13676261.2014.963540
Co-authors Pamela Nilan

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Sharp ML, Renaud E, 'Digital Queers: Exploring LGBTIQA+ online spaces and queer(ed) research methodologies' (2016)

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Sharp ML, 'The Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire resonates with queers globally', (2016) [O1]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 1
Total funding $75,000

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20141 grants / $75,000

Higher Degree by Research Scholarship$75,000

Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle
Scheme RTP Grants
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2017
GNo
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS
UON N
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Miss Megan Sharp

Positions

Casual Academic
Sociology and Anthropology
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Casual Teacher
Sociology and Anthropology
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Academic Division

Casual Newstep Teacher
Sociology and Anthropology
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Academic Division

Research Assistant
Sociology and Anthropology
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Casual Lecturer
Sociology and Anthropology
Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies
Academic Division

Contact Details

Email megan.sharp@newcastle.edu.au
Links Research Networks
Personal Blogs
Twitter
Research Networks

Office

Room W321
Building Behavioural Sciences
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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