Tasmania as Modern Pastoral?

Tasmania as Modern Pastoral? Commodifying material and immaterial lifestyle through media and communication

Degree type


Closing date

27 March 2023



Citizenship requirement


About the research project

The natural environment, often depicted as divided between 'unspoilt' nature and 'productive' resources, has served as an effective metaphoric device across a range of texts in a range of modern traditions. This collective fascination with the pastoral ideals of rural and natural spaces, which occur as liminal zones between the pristine and the exploited, continues as societies become increasingly urbanised and post-industrial, and accessibility to rural environments become associated with socio-economic stratifications of class and wealth.

In the last two decades the mediatization of the landscapes of Tasmania, Australia's island state, has increasingly included representations of rural landscapes serving as a metaphor for lifestyle. This project invites approaches that try to understand the cultural, political and economic ramifications of wider Australia's 'Tasmanian imaginary', including analysis of creative and tourism industries and discourses around real estate and lifestyle, especially in Tasmania-based media, including film and television productions, and marketing and branding campaigns. Importantly, this project seeks to understand how media platforms inform and instruct ideological understandings of the promotion of Tasmania as a lifestyle choice. Using Tasmania as the object of study, this project examines the role of place in the logic of late capitalism, notably the commodification of lifestyle, which is a hallmark of globalisation in Australia and elsewhere.

Primary Supervisor

Meet Dr Gemma Blackwood


Applicants will be considered for a Research Training Program (RTP) scholarship or Tasmania Graduate Research Scholarship (TGRS) which, if successful, provides:

  • a living allowance stipend of $31,500 per annum (2023 rate, indexed annually) for 3.5 years
  • a relocation allowance of up to $2,000
  • a tuition fees offset covering the cost of tuition fees for up to four years (domestic applicants only)

If successful, international applicants will receive a University of Tasmania Fees Offset for up to four years.

As part of the application process you may indicate if you do not wish to be considered for scholarship funding.


Applicants should review the Higher Degree by Research minimum entry requirements.

Additional eligibility criteria specific to this project/scholarship:

  • Applicants must be able to undertake the project on-campus

Selection Criteria

The project is competitively assessed and awarded.  Selection is based on academic merit and suitability to the project as determined by the College.

Application process

There is a three-step application process:

  1. Select your project, and check you meet the eligibility and selection criteria;
  2. Contact the Primary Supervisor, Dr Gemma Blackwood to discuss your suitability and the project's requirements; and
  3. Submit an application by the closing date listed above.
    • Copy and paste the title of the project from this advertisement into your application. If you don’t correctly do this your application may be rejected.
    • As part of your application, you will be required to submit a covering letter, a CV including 2 x referees and your project research proposal.

Following the application closing date applications will be assessed within the College. Applicants should expect to receive notification of the outcome by email by the advertised outcome date.

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