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Dr Michelle Duffy

Lecturer in Sociology

michelle duffy
Phone:   +61 3 990 26559 or +61 3 512 26559
Fax:   +61 3 990 26359 or +61 3 512 26359
Office:   1E 128, Gippsland Campus


Michelle Duffy joined the School of Humanities, Communications and Social Science in 2009. Prior to this she taught in the Australian studies, Australian indigenous studies and geography programs at the University of Melbourne.



Research interests

I am a human geographer, with research interests that are strongly interdisciplinary. The broader context of my work is in understanding how interactions between people and place contribute to notions of community and identity, and hence the concepts and processes of belonging or alienation. More specifically, my research explores three key themes:

  1. Society, Culture and Identity
    My research examines the role culture plays in shaping our lives at different spatial levels, from the global to more everyday and local processes operating within and between individuals, communities and societies. Through the lens of the arts, and more specifically that of sound, music and performance, I explore how our private and public selves are articulated and/or challenged in public spaces and events.
  2. Australian rural and regional cultures
    I have a very strong commitment to rural and regional research, and have undertaken a number of regional-based, collaborative projects These projects utilise a number of methodological approaches in order to assess the impact of music and community festivals on the emotional life of rural communities in terms of connectivity, social cohesion, resilience and wellbeing.
  3. Methodological and theoretical approaches
    My research explores the ways in which notions of identity and place are given meaning out of the various social relations occurring in particular times and spaces. More specifically, studying these relations raises methodological questions around the role of emotions and affect. This has led to developing appropriate methodology for capturing what is difficult to articulate in words, and hence an interest in theoretical developments in cultural studies and social sciences.

My other research interests include Australian studies more broadly, with particular interests in cultural diversity and race relations, tourism, place-making, and contemporary cultural theory.  

Current research projects

VicHealth Technology, Arts and Social Connections Scheme (TASC) $25,000 (Awarded 2010)

Images of Home: Children’s Creative Response to the Changing Landscape of Officer

Images of Home is a Community Cultural Development (CCD) research project involving young people from Officer Primary School, with Cardinia Shire Council, CCD sound artists and researchers from Monash University Gippsland Campus and the Centre for Cultural Partnerships at the University of Melbourne.  It is a pilot project designed to engage young people living in growth corridors in Victoria to explore social connection and the meaning of ‘home’ in a rapidly changing environment.  Using state of the art sound capture technology, participants will be encouraged to ‘capture’ and then play with the sounds of their environment to explore their aural connection to their landscape.  In this way they will map out their social connection through soundlines, and ‘recapture’ their own sense of home in a rapidly changing environment.  The project will run across two years, with each year culminating in an ‘exhibition’ of their sound explorations plus photos, curated by the young participants themselves with sound artist Ms Angela Grant.

Project team

Dr Michelle Duffy Sociology, Monash University, Gippsland campus
Mr Dean Merlino Centre for Cultural Partnerships, University of Melbourne
Dr Debra Manning Community Welfare and Couselling, Monash University, Gippsland campus
Ms Angela Grant Sound artist
Ms Louisa Marks  Cultural Development Officer, Cardinia Shire Council
Ms Ingrid De Bree Art Teacher, Officer Primary School

In progress: ARC Linkage application

Building Family and Community Resilience and Sustainability in Growth Corridors:
A case study in Cardinia Shire, Victoria

This collaborative multidisciplinary project will work with government and non-government agencies, community organisations and residents to facilitate the development of an enriched and well-resourced community in the context of rapid urban development. The project will produce vital insights into how sustainable and resilient communities can be achieved focusing on social support and infrastructure, social connectedness, environmental sustainability, community participation, community resilience and models of community development and service delivery. 



book cover

Michelle Duffy (2009) Music of Place: Community identity in contemporary Australian music festivals Germany: VDM Verlag



Hearing Places: Sound Place Time Culture, book cover

Ros Bandt, Michelle Duffy, Dolly MacKinnon (eds) (2007) Hearing Places: Sound Place Time Culture. Cambridge Scholars Publishing



Encyclopedia entries

Book chapters

International refereed journal articles

Exhibition essay

Conference proceedings


Coordination and teaching:

Teaching contribution to:

Postgraduate supervision

Research grants



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