Podcast - The Human Experience

A podcast from the School of Humanities and Social Science examining what it means to be human

The researchers of the School of Humanities and Social Science examine all facets of what it means to be human. This podcast series explores important questions about humanity, society and current events.  Join us for thought-provoking conversations with our humanities and social science scholars who are helping to improve the human experience through their research.  Episodes are released on a monthly basis.

Episode 8 - Digital humanities: looking to the past to understand our future

In this episode, Associate Professor Trisha Pender speaks with Dr Erin McCarthy about her research using digital humanities methods and tools as applied to early modern literature and historical texts. They discuss what these tools can reveal to us about how people in the past wrote and communicated and how we can apply that knowledge to our rapidly changing world today.

Episode 7 - More than just a language: UON's French literature teaching and research

In this episode we talk with Associate Professor Alistair Rolls, a leading expert on 20th Century French literature, and Dr Marie-Laure Vuaille-Barcan, a French language and literature academic, who are both teaching their students to think laterally. They talk about how examining literature in a foreign language can take students out of their comfort zone and into a place where they can think critically and deeply.

Episode 6 - Equity in higher education

In this episode Head of School of the Humanities and Social Science Professor Catharine Coleborne talks with Professor Penny Jane Burke, Global Innovation Chair of Equity, who explains equity in the higher education context and what it means to her as a sociologist of education. This interview also reflects on current practices in universities around equity and the student educational experience.


Episode 5 - Positive humanity and social work in practice

In this episode we talk with Dr Tamara Blakemore about the purpose of social workers in today’s modern world, how the prevalence of trauma is changing the face of social work, about the new and popular Violence and Trauma course at UON and the role of UON’s new social work in the city space.


Episode 4 - Slavery, its history and connections to the present

In this episode we talk with Dr Kit Candlin, a historian of violence and early modern specialist of the Atlantic world. An authority on the history of slavery, Dr Candlin’s research examines empires that looked out on the Atlantic Ocean from 1400-1840. He describes how the study of the history of slavery can help us understand the modern world and its own forms of ‘slavery’ such as low wages, the poverty cycle, sex slavery and debt bondage. He comments on how slavery has shaped our modern economic systems. Dr Candlin reflects on how studying slavery and coming across some of the most unimaginable punishments and social arrangements has affected him.


Episode 3 - The future of higher education

Head of School of the Humanities and Social Science Professor Catharine Coleborne talks to Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Darrell Evans before he moves onto new, exciting ventures. They discuss Professor Evans' own career and leadership in higher education and reflect on the introduction of online learning and in particular the Bachelor of Arts Online and how to meet the needs of students while also ensuring they are not isolated while learning by distance. They discuss how the higher education landscape has changed and what challenges the sector faces into the future.


Episode 2 - Becoming a story teller and creative writing in Newcastle

In this episode we talk with poet and Creative Writing research higher degree supervisor Dr Keri Glastonbury. Dr Glastonbury talks about how storytelling is an intrinsic part of being human, her book Newcastle Sonnets which is devoted to the gentrification of Newcastle, about the thriving creative writing scene in Newcastle and The School of Humanities and Social Science's involvement in the Newcastle Writers Festival.


Episode 1 - True crime and the Australian justice system

In this episode we talk with Forensic Anthropologist and Criminologist Dr Xanthe Mallett and discuss gender-based bias in the criminal justice system and the impact news and social media can have – for good and bad – on the outcome of trials. Dr Mallett has been involved in the cases of Kathleen Folbigg and Keli Lane - women convicted of murdering their children. She gives her take on the evidence presented in their cases and why she believes they are innocent. Dr Mallett also discusses her forthcoming book on Australian true crime and tells us why she believes there are more unsolved murders that are likely linked to notorious backpacker killer Ivan Milat.