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The Australian National University

Inspiring Women of ANU: Professor Simone Dennis

Presenter/s: Professor Simone Dennis

Event type: Inspiring Women of ANU - Inaugural lecture

Event date: Tuesday, 13 February 2018 - 4:00pm

Event venue: Theatrette (2.02), Sir Roland Wilson Building #120, 120 McCoy Circuit

In this lecture, we welcome Professor Simone Dennis from the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Archaeology and Anthropology.

A Career up in Smoke

Why is it important to study smoking? Why have I spent the better part of my career doing just that? In this lecture, I trace the smoky journey I have taken through academia, detailing how attendance to this practice has shifted from an acceptable social habit to something dirty and dangerous. Among other things, focusing on tobacco smoking and its legislation has led me to consider broad social issues such as how middle class-ness is expressed and made manifest in the world; how, far from being backgrounded atmospheric, the air itself is essential to how the operations of power become manifest and effective, and equally essential to the making of the social world. Tracking and tracing the legislative changes to smoking has also permitted me to develop some insights into how we create and deploy methodological and analytic tools to social phenomena, and particularly about how the senses are involved in the production of social science data and results. The emergence of third-hand smoke has proved extremely interesting for what and how the ‘public’ has been constructed, and who can and cannot belong to it. We may think that everyone belongs to something called ‘the public’, but existing and emergent legislation dealing with constraining smoking in public space might make us think otherwise.

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Image credit Simone Dennis.

This inaugural lecture is the first in the Gender Institute lecture series Inspiring Women of ANU, which celebrates female academic staff at ANU who were appointed to Level E in the last round of promotions.

This lecture is proudly brought to you by the Gender Institute and the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

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