Dr Barbara Evers
BA (Hons), PhD Murdoch.

Senior Lecturer

About me

I am predominantly a cultural sociologist working across a variety of areas.  My research concentrates on the interplay between culture and society, with a particular interest in histories of person formation or identity, food identities and sustainable food systems.

I am part of the international Figurational/Eliasian network.

 

Teaching area

Main teaching areas

  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Sociology of Everyday Life
  • Multiculturalism
  • Sociology of Food
  • Cultural Sociology

Units taught in 2015-2016

  • SOC134 Introduction to Sociology
  • SOC105 Sociology and Everyday Life
  • BAR150 Ideas and Identity
  • BRD201 Food Matters

Research areas

Research interests
  • History/Sociology of Person formation
  • Food Security
  • Food Waste
  • Historical Sociology
  • Cultural Sociology
  • Identity
  • History of Manners
  • Cultural/Social identities
  • Online communities
  • Cross-cultural relationships

My current research is to assess the public perception of GM Food and to conceptualise community understandings of food technology outside expert scientific sources. It seeks to build a bridge between the science of future foods and the more generalised public understandings of food security, safety and production.

The above research is a collaboration with Dr Kirsty Bayliss (School of VLS) and Professor Toby Miller (Sir Walter Murdoch School).

Another research project focuses on how Elias’s figurational or process sociology can help us to understand the ambiguities of the food system whilst making a useful and positive contribution to what is called ‘food studies’. This is also a collaborative project.

My other research focus is on the formation of a particular kind of person, the befuddled foodie, who is able to think and talk about food in a specific way. This way of being is a marker of a certain sensibility, it is a Western,  middle class sensibility, that is, sometimes, but not always, accompanied by a particular manner in which certain individuals approach ‘foodways’. Part of this sensibility is dealing with the contradictions that seem to be central to foodstuff choices. This person possesses adequate economic and cultural capital, is influenced by the etiquette of eating, the pleasures of (local) food, but is also aware of ethical issues around food such as concerns about the sustainability of the industrial food system, animal welfare and food waste.

Current projects

  • My current research is to assess the as yet poorly defined discourses on the micro dimension of Food Security. It seeks to build a bridge between the science of future foods and the more generalised public discourses on food security, safety and production.

The above research is a collaboration with Dr Kirsty Bayliss (School of VLS) and Professor Toby Miller (Sir Walter Murdoch School).

  • My other research focus is on the formation of a particular kind of person, the befuddled foodie, who is able to think and talk about food in a specific way. This way of being is a marker of a certain sensibility, it is a Western,  middle class sensibility, that is, sometimes, but not always, accompanied by a particular manner in which certain individuals approach ‘foodways’. Part of this sensibility is dealing with the contradictions that seem to be central to foodstuff choices. This person possesses adequate economic and cultural capital, is influenced by the etiquette of eating, the pleasures of (local) food, but is also aware of ethical issues around food such as concerns about the industrial food system, animal welfare and sustainable choices.
  • Joint research project with Dr Jo Goodie (School of Law/MU) examining the ways in which ‘the environment’ has been constituted and situated as a subject of legal thinking and practice through the law’s interface with non-legal conceptualisations of the environment, and the subsequent formation of particular kinds of persons.

Events and speaking engagements

  • 2016, “Food Waste” GLYDE INN Community Centre, April
  • 2015, “Australian Foodways” NWAFU Study Tour Academic Program, Murdoch University, June
  • 2014, “Australian Foodways” NWAFU Study Tour Academic Program, Murdoch University, July
  • 2014, “Norbert Elias, the Quest for Excitement and mass media”, University of Leicester, June
  • 2014, NWAFU Study Tour Academic Program, Murdoch University 23 July.
  • 2013, Cultural Sociology Thematic Group and Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology: ‘Cultural Sociology Today’, La Trobe University 25 November.
  • 2013, MUPSA: Multidisciplinary Conference, Murdoch University 3 October.
  • 2013, “The Science of Smell”. Science Expo. Perth, October.
  • 2010, “Elias’s Manners and Thomasius’s Decorum”. International Sociological Association (ISA), Gothenburg, July.
  • 2006, “The making of military minds: Elias and the Freikorps in Weimar Germany”. Elias in the 21st Century, University of Leicester, April.
  • 2005, “The Freikorps in Weimar Germany: A Special Case of Habitus Formation”. The International Sociology Conference (ISS), Stockholm, July.

Professional and community service

  • Learning and Teaching Committee (TLC) member
  • Acting Associate Dean Learning and Teaching
  • Restructuring BA Committee member
  • The Learning and Teaching Venues Committee (LTV) member
  • Co-organiser of the Reduce Food Waste Forum
  • Member of Working Party preparing business plan for the Center of Bio-Security and Food-Security
  • Co-Editor of Human Figurations: long-term perspectives on the human condition (Published by University of Michigan)

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Current PHD Supervisions
  • Carolina Baos – Investigation high-skilled migration to Australia since the Global Financial Crisis.
  • Julie O’Callaghan – Climate Change: A historical analysis of the discourses informing Australian climate change public policy since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
  • Angela O’Leary – Making Human Rights Social: Natural Law and the Sociology of Human Rights.
  • Julliette Grey -  Civil Governance and Toleration.
  • Elizabeth Lewis - Goffman, Disability and the Changing Concept of Self.
  • Robert Parkhouse – The Sociology of Fear.
  • Ali Hayes – How does culture and gender affect refugees’ access to Australian higher education?
  • Fardaus Ara - Scope for Participation of Women in Local Government: A Comparative Study between Bangladesh and Australia.
  • Purabi Ghosh - Investigation of Food Waste in Food Supply Chain and developing Methods to minimize Food Waste.
  • Samreen Zahara – The role of social protection in ensuring Food Security for the poor and its gendered dimensions.

 

 

 

 

Publications

Chapters

  • Evers, A., (2013),The Epicurean in Elias,In: Norbert Elias & Social Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, pages 63 to 74.
  • Wickham, G., Evers, A., (2010),Society, State, Security, and Subject Formation: The Emergence of Modern Neutrality Society and the Formation of the Types of Subjects it Requires,In: State, Security, and Subject Formation, Continuum International Publishing Group, pages 116 to 132.

Journals

  • Ghosh, P., Sharma, S., Haigh, Y., Evers, A., Ho, G., (2015), AN OVERVIEW OF FOOD LOSS AND WASTE: WHY DOES IT MATTER?, Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 11, 1, pages 1 - 15.
  • Wickham, G., Evers, A., (2012), Elias in the Footsteps of Hobbes?, Human Figurations: long-term perspectives on the human condition, 1, 1, pages 2 - 11.
  • Evers, A., Hodgson, N., (2011), Food choices and local food access among Perth's community gardeners, Local Environment: the international journal of justice and sustainability, 16, 6, pages 585 - 602.

Conference

  • Evers, A., (2014),Thomasius's decorum and Elias's manners,In: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference (2014).
  • Evers, A., (2013),Let's talk about manners,In: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference (2013).
  • Evers, A., (2012),Figurational Sociology and Food Studies: The case of bee3r drinking rituals in 20th century Germany,In: The Annual Conference of The Australian Sociological Association 2012.
  • Evers, A., (2011),"The Fuddled Foodie": The formation of a particular kind of food person.,In: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference (2011).

Refereed Journal Articles

Wickham, G. and A.L.B. Evers. “Elias in the Footsteps of Hobbes?” Human Figurations 1:1 (2012). Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.11217607.0001.106.

Wickham G. and B. Evers. “But Culture can be dangerous: an Outline of a Research Project” Nexus 19:3 (2007): 3-5.

Refereed Book Chapters

Evers, A.L.B. “The Epicurean in Elias”. In Norbert Elias, Social Theory and Key Issues, edited by F. Dépelteau and T. Landini, 63-69. Basingstoke: Palgrave-McMillan, 2013.

Wickham G. and B. Evers. “Society, State, Security, and Subject Formation: The Emergence of modern neutrality society and the formation of types of subjects it requires”. In State, Security and Subject Formation, edited by A. Yeatman and M. Zolkos, 116-132. New York: Continuum, 2010.

Refereed Conference Publications

Evers Evers, A.L.B. “Thomasius’s decorum and Elias’s manners.” In B. West (ed) Challenging Identities, Institutions and Communities. Adelaide: University of South Australia and The Australian Sociological Association (electronic publication, no page numbers), 2014.

Evers, A.L.B. “Let’s talk about manners.” In H. Forbes-Mewett, N. Osbaldiston and C. Strong (eds) Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations: 50 Years of Australian Sociology. Melbourne: Monash University and The Australian Sociological Association (electronic publication, no page numbers), 2013.

Evers, A.L.B. “Figurational sociology and food studies. The case of beer drinking rituals in 20th century Germany.” In A. Broom and L. Chesire (eds) Emerging Inequalities. Brisbane: University of Queensland and The Australian Sociological Association. (electronic publication, no page numbers), 2012.

Evers, A.L.B. “The Befuddled Foodie. The formation of a particular kind of food person.” In S. Threadgold and E. Kirby (eds) Local Lives/Global Networks. Newcastle: The University of Newcastle and The Australian Sociological Association. (electronic  publication, no page numbers), 2011.

Evers, A.L.B. “Re-inventing the person. A non-Kantian approach to the self”. In T. Majoribanks et al. (eds) Reimagining Sociology. Melbourne: The University of Melbourne and  The Australian Sociological Association. (electronic publication, no page  numbers), 2008.