SAM Cells

SAM Cells are small cross disciplinary research groups that contribute directly to enhancing the School's outreach capacity and address aspects of the UNSW strategic plan.

1. Intermedial Composition in Creative Practice

This cell investigates the processes by which creative work takes shape in different fields. In particular it examines the extension of ideas into form, the experience of invention, and the dynamic relationship between different art forms. The Cell focuses on the generation of creative development through engagement with artists’ writing and practice, looking at the inner workings of creative collaboration and the different kinds of labour that is undertaken in the work of composition across fields as diverse as creative writing, dance, performance, music, media/film and visual arts.


  • Stephanie Bishop | Creative Writing
  • Erin Brannigan | Dance, Performance, Film and Visual Arts
  • Miriama Young | Music
  • Brigid Costello | Media Arts
  • Bryoni Trezise | Performance
  • Michael Hooper | Music

Associated Members

  • John Napier | Music
  • Alyssa Rothwell | Animation
  • Caroline Wake | Performance
  • Sean Pryor | English
  • John Peterson | Music
  • Theron Schmidt | Performance
  • Manolete Mora | Music

2. The Transnational

Despite extensive scholarly engagement with this notion, there is undoubtedly an increasing discomfort with approaches based on the rhetoric of transnationalism that tend towards synthesis rather than heterogeneity, especially in relation to matters which require particularly fluid models of understanding such as mobility, diaspora, coloniality and modernity. Still, the transnational has proven to be a surprisingly adaptable concept, given particular urgency in recent years in the wake of international economic crises, the rise of forms of international solidarity based on religious fundamentalism, and the unprecedented movement of peoples due to civil war, economic hardship and (increasingly) climate change. Through the lens of literary, film, music and media studies, this research group will consider what the transnational has been in the past, what it is today, and what it is becoming. At the core of these investigations will be a shared commitment to pressurizing the notion of the transnational within and between disciplines.


  • Prof Bill Ashcroft | Literary Studies
  • John Attridge | Literary Studies
  • Sarah Collins | Musicology
  • Ramaswami Harindranath | Media
  • Laetitia Nanquette | Literary Studies
  • Jane Mills | Film & Television

3. Australian Culture & Aesthetics

The Australian Culture and Aesthetics (ACA) aims to identify, develop and promote Australia-focused research and creative outputs. The Cell builds on recognised research excellence in the fields of Australian literary studies, Australian music scholarship and composition and Australian theatre history and performance studies to develop new research priorities in cognate areas including Australian Film.


  • Dr Jonathan Bollen | Theatre & Performance
  • A/Prof Anne Brewster | English
  • Dr Greg Dolgopolov | Film
  • Dr Michael Hooper | Music
  • A/Prof Elizabeth McMahon | English
  • Dr Fiona Morrison | English
  • A/Prof Brigitta Olubas | English
  • Dr John Peterson | Music
  • Professor Andrew Schultz | Music
  • Dr Caroline Wake | Theatre & Performance
Organisational units