Dr Miriam Williams

Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

In 2013 I graduated with my PhD titled: 'Cities of Possibility: Performing Care-full Urban Justice'. Inspired by a politics of possibility, my PhD thesis uncovered actually existing practices of care and justice in the everyday city. Using a participatory research methodology my research involved researcher volunteering and interviewing at three urban commons in Newtown and Enmore, Sydney, Australia. By drawing together work on urban commons, a feminist ethic of care and literature on the Just City I show how care and justice are interdependent in practice. From January 2012-March 2013 I worked part-time as a senior research assistant on an NCCARF funded project: 'Climate change adaptation in the rental sector'. This research project looks at the assets and barriers affecting climate change adaptation in the rental sector in Newcastle, NSW. While studying for my PhD I was the postgraduate representative on the Institute of Australian Geographers Council for 2 years (2008-2010). I was also the postgraduate representative on the Council of the Geographical Society of NSW (2009-2011). Throughout my PhD I have worked at the University of Newcastle as a casual academic on a number of courses including 'Cities and Regions', 'Social Development and the Environment', and 'Globalisation, Cities and Economies'. In Semester 2 2012 I lectured in Environmental Values and Ethics at the Ourimbah campus of the University of Newcastle. In Semester 1 2013 I lectured in Global Poverty and Development whilst working as a Senior Research Assistant for the Centre of Urban and Regional Studies.I am currently lecturing in Geography and Environmental studies at the University of Newcastle.

Research Expertise
- Urban geography focusing on theories of urban justice, everyday cities, practice, urban commons and a feminist ethic of care. - Climate change adaptation and the rental sector, everyday practices of sustainability - Research methodologies: performativity and research politics, community organisations and participatory research methods

Teaching Expertise
Experience in teaching topics such as urban geography, environmental values and ethics and development studies.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Development Studies, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Development Studies (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Human Geography
  • Sustainability
  • Urban Geography

Languages

  • English (Fluent)

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
160499Human Geography not elsewhere classified100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
19/01/2015 - 22/12/2015LecturerUniversity of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
28/07/2014 - 28/11/2014Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
29/07/2013 - 13/12/2013Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
2/03/2011 - 2/03/2011Sessional AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
Centre for Teaching and Learning
Australia
9/09/2006 - 9/09/2006Casual AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/01/2012 - Senior Research AssistantUniversity of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
1/01/2010 - Membership - Geographical Society of NSWGeographical Society of NSW
Australia
1/01/2008 - Membership - Institute of Australian GeographersInstitute of Australian Geographers
Australia
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Publications

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


Chapter (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2015Instone LH, Instone L, Mee KJ, Palmer J, Vaughan N, Williams M, 'Climate change adaptation and the rental sector', Applied Studies in Climate Adaptation: Australian Experiences, Wiley, Oxford 372-379 (2015)
Co-authorsLesley Instone
2015Instone Lesley, Mee Kathy, Palmer Jane, Williams MJ, Vaughan Nicola, 'Climate change adaptation in the rental sector', Applied Studies in Climate Adaptation, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK 372-379 (2015)
Co-authorsLesley Instone
2014Instone LH, Instone L, Mee KJ, Palmer J, Vaughan N, Williams M, 'Climate change and the rental sector', Applied Studies in Climate Adaptation: Australian Experiences, Wiley, Oxford 372-379 (2014)
Co-authorsLesley Instone

Journal article (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Palmer J, Instone L, Mee KJ, Williams M, Vaughan N, 'Green tenants: practicing a sustainability ethics for the rental housing sector', Local Environment, (2014)

The shift towards social, government and corporate ethics which value environmental sustainability has also embraced householders in a plethora of educational guides, policies, regulations and consumer information about green home improvements, purchasing choices and household practices. In this paper, we make the claim that the rental housing sector, and in particular the private rental sector, has yet to participate, structurally, culturally and materially, in this shift to an ethics of sustainability. We argue, however, that even on such otherwise arid ground, an alternative ethic is developing, a sustainability ethic practiced by green tenants whose activities inside and outside their homes go beyond the considerable material constraints of their dwellings and incomes, and beyond the purely transactional utility of the rental contract. These activities, relational, interconnected and resilient, offer both glimpses of a greening rental housing sector, and a clearer picture of the areas where work remains to be done. Based on a research study, we conducted of the rental sector in regional Australia, and in particular of the everyday sustainability practices of tenants, we suggest that these activities are a practice-based form of care for the world, in many ways similar to Maria Puig de la Bellacasa's practice-based, human-decentred ethics which she suggests is exemplified in the permaculture movement. The stories of the tenants we interviewed for our study also point the way to other changes which are needed to enable a practice-based sustainability ethic to flourish across the rental housing sector as a whole. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

DOI10.1080/13549839.2013.879640
Co-authorsLesley Instone
2014Mee KJ, Instone L, Williams M, Palmer J, Vaughan N, 'Renting Over Troubled Waters: An Urban Political Ecology of Rental Housing', GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH, 52 365-376 (2014) [C1]
DOI10.1111/1745-5871.12058Author URL
Co-authorsLesley Instone
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Dr Miriam Williams

Positions

Lecturer
Geography and Environmental Studies
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Casual Research Assistant
Geography and Environmental Studies
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology

Contact Details

Emailmiriam.williams@newcastle.edu.au
Phone(02) 4921 5095

Office

RoomSR-294
BuildingSocial Sciences
LocationCallaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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