Dr Miriam Williams

Dr Miriam Williams

Lecturer

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

Miriam Williams is a Lecturer in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Newcastle. Her current research interests focus on urban commons in Newcastle, NSW. Prior to this in 2013 Miriam received her PhD titled: 'Cities of Possibility: Performing Care-full Urban Justice'. Inspired by a politics of possibility, her PhD thesis uncovered actually existing practices of care and justice in the everyday city. Using a participatory research methodology her 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 she showed how care and justice are interdependent in practice. Journal Articles from her PhD research have been published in Area, Urban Studies and soon to be published in Antipode.

In 2012-2013 Miriam worked as a Senior Research Assistant for the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Newcastle 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. In 2013 Miriam continued as a Senior Research Assistant for but CURS and the Department of Planning and Geography at Macquarie University on a ARC funded project looking at Everyday and Formal Urban Regeneration. 

While studying for her PhD was the postgraduate representative on the Institute of Australian Geographers Council for 2 years (2008-2010) and the postgraduate representative on the Council of the Geographical Society of NSW (2009-2011). 

In 2012 Miriam co-founded The Commons, Hamilton, an innovative community hub, fair trade cafe, arts space, ethical goods store and social justice incubator www.thecommons.org.au

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
Miriam has course coordinated and lectured in GEOG2080: Cities and Regions, GEOG2130: Geographies of Development, ENVS1003: Environmental Values and Ethics and GEOG3240: Globalisation, Cities and Economies. 
Student feedback from GEOG2130 2015: 
"Dr Williams has a professional, enthusiastic, clever and funny approach to encourage students' engagement. Personally I highly appreciate the course and part of this is because of her teaching."
Miriam is currently an Honours Supervisor in 2016


Qualifications

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

Keywords

  • Care-full Justice
  • Development Studies
  • Ethic of Care
  • Human Geography
  • Sustainability
  • Urban Commons
  • Urban Geography

Languages

  • English (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2012 -  Senior Research Assistant University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
1/01/2010 -  Membership - Geographical Society of NSW Geographical Society of NSW
Australia
1/01/2008 -  Membership - Institute of Australian Geographers Institute of Australian Geographers
Australia
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Publications

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


Book (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Instone L, Mee KJ, Palmer J, Williams M, Vaughan N, Climate change adaptation and the rental sector, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 200 (2013) [A1]
Co-authors Lesley Instone

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Instone LH, Mee KJ, Palmer J, Williams M, Vaughan N, Williams M, 'Climate change adaptation and the rental sector', Applied Studies in Climate Adaptation: Australian Experiences, Wiley, Oxford 372-379 (2015) [B1]
Co-authors Lesley Instone

Journal article (7 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Williams MJ, 'Care-full Justice in the city', Antipode: a radical journal of geography, 10.1111/anti.12279 1-19 (2016)
DOI 10.1111/anti.12279
2016 Williams MJ, 'Justice and care in the city: uncovering everyday practices through research volunteering', Area, 48 513-520 (2016)

© 2016 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)In urban theory our knowledge of actually existing justice practices in the city are limited. In cont... [more]

© 2016 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)In urban theory our knowledge of actually existing justice practices in the city are limited. In contrast, our collective knowledge of the ways an ethic of care is practised is better developed. In this paper I argue for the need to value care in conceptualisations of the just city by mobilising the unification of care-thinking and justice-thinking in a way that accepts that both care and justice may (or may not) be practised as situated responses to injustice and neglect, and as other ways of doing/thinking/being the city. I argue that researcher volunteering can help reveal actually existing justice and care in the city in their situated context. Drawing on a research project that documents everyday practices of care and justice at Alfalfa House Food Cooperative, Sydney, Australia, I use the example of waste to explore the ways actually existing care and justice are practised. My aim is to expose how, within everyday urban community organisations, the transformative and relational expressions of care and justice can be revealed through researcher volunteering. By focusing on the actually existing expressions of care and justice in the city we might begin to see how the just (and caring) city is being made and remade in the here and now.

DOI 10.1111/area.12278
2015 Fisher K, Williams M, Fitzherbert S, Instone L, Duffy M, Wright S, et al., 'Writing difference differently', New Zealand Geographer, 71 18-33 (2015) [C1]

© 2015 New Zealand Geographical Society.This paper investigates the writing of situated knowledge and explores the possibilities of enacting difference by writing differently. We... [more]

© 2015 New Zealand Geographical Society.This paper investigates the writing of situated knowledge and explores the possibilities of enacting difference by writing differently. We present a selection of research stories in which carrier bags, sounds, baskets, gardens and potatoes are interpreted less as objects of research or metaphors to aid in analysing phenomena, than as mediators of the stories. Our stories emphasise the ontological politics of engaging with and representing the relational, the messy, the spontaneous, the unpredictable, the non-human and bodily experiences. These stories demonstrate how writing is performative and how it is integral to the production of knowledge.

DOI 10.1111/nzg.12077
Co-authors Lesley Instone, Sarah Wright
2015 Palmer J, Instone L, Mee KJ, Williams M, Vaughan N, 'Green tenants: practicing a sustainability ethics for the rental housing sector', Local Environment, 20 923-939 (2015) [C1]

© 2014 Taylor & Francis.The shift towards social, government and corporate ethics which value environmental sustainability has also embraced householders in a plethora of educati... [more]

© 2014 Taylor & Francis.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.

DOI 10.1080/13549839.2013.879640
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2014 Mee 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]
DOI 10.1111/1745-5871.12058
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2010 Schalscha MP, Williams MJ, 'Conference postgraduate workshop', New Zealand Geographer, 66 229-230 (2010) [C3]
Williams M, 'Searching for actually existing justice in the city', Urban Studies,
DOI 10.1177/0042098016647336
Show 4 more journal articles

Conference (11 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Williams MJ, 'Urban Commons as more-than-property' (2016)
2015 Mee KJ, Instone L, Vaughan N, Williams M, Palmer J, '"Those everyday things ¿ that¿s where I feel like I have the most control at the moment¿: The Everyday Politics of Rental Housing Adaptation', Housing Theory Symposium 2015, Housing Adaptation and Resilience Program (2015) [E3]
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2013 Instone LH, Mee K, Williams M, Palmer J, Vaughan N, Vaughan N, 'Renting over troubled water: an Urban Political Ecology of Rental Housing', Abstracts. Institute of Australian Geographers Conference 2013 (2013) [E3]
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Instone LH, Mee KJ, Palmer J, Williams M, Naughan N, 'Rental housing, climate change and adaptive capacity: An asset-based approach', Climate Adaptation in Action 2012: Sharing Knowledge to Adapt. Conference Handbook (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Williams M, Vaughan N, 'Mobilising the contribution of the rental sector to adaptive and resilient suburbs: an asset-based approach', Proceedings of the Institute of Australian Geographers Annual Conference (2012) [E3]
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Williams M, 'Constituting urban commons: other ways of doing/being/thinking the city' (2012)
2012 Williams MJ, 'Growing the urban commons through everyday acts of care and justice', AAG Annual Conference. Abstracts (2012) [E3]
2011 Williams MJ, 'Situating everyday practices of care and justice in inner city community organisations', Institute of Australian Geographers Conference 2011 Abstracts (2011) [E3]
2010 Williams M, 'Everyday urban research: reflections on volunteering' (2010)
2009 Williams M, 'Revealing everyday practices of care in the inner city: entry points for research' (2009)
2008 Williams MJ, 'Supplying the ethical latte: A study of the discourses shaping the Fair Trade movement in Australia', Institute of Australian Geographers Conference 2008: Abstracts (2008) [E3]
Show 8 more conferences

Report (12 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Williams M, Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Vaughan N, 'Sustainability and climate change in the rental sector: stories from the media', CURS, 15 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Williams M, 'Climate change and the rental sector: Mapping the legislative and policy context: NSW', CURS, 33 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Williams M, 'Climate change and the rental sector: Mapping the legislative and policy context: Local Government', CURS, 26 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Williams M, Palmer J, Instone L, mee K, Vaughan N, 'Asset Based Community Development and Pro-poor Asset-based Climate Change Adaptation: Integrating two approaches to a climate change adaptation project in the tenancy sector', CURS, 13 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Vaughan N, Williams M, Instone L, Mee K, Palmer J, 'Climate change and the rental sector: theorising the housing manager', CURS, 14 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Williams M, Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, 'Researching everyday climate change adaptations: Principles, practice and outcomes', CURS, 11 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Williams M, Vaughan N, 'Climate change and the rental sector: Mapping the legislative and policy context: National', CURS, 34 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Palmer J, williams M, instone L, mee K, Vaughan N, 'Climate Change Outcomes in the Rental Sector:Strategies for more-than-adaptation', CURS (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Williams M, Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Vaughan N, 'Researching everyday climate change adaptations: Revealing assets, transforming relationships between tenants, housing managers and landlords, enhancing adaptive capacities', CURS (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Williams M, Vaughan N, Instone L, Mee K, Palmer J, 'Tenant resources on sustainable living and everyday climate change adaptations', CURS, 15 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Palmer J, Instone L, Mee K, Williams M, Vaughan N, 'Climate change and the rental sector: Mapping the legislative and policy context: Analysis', CURS, 25 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
2012 Vaughan N, Williams M, Instone L, Mee K, Palmer J, 'Climate change and the rental sector: sustainability and the housing manager'', CURS, 15 (2012)
Co-authors Lesley Instone
Show 9 more reports
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Dr Miriam Williams

Position

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

Contact Details

Email miriam.williams@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 8963

Office

Room SR-289
Building Social Sciences
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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