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Personal profile



Dr Nicole Matthews lectures across media and cultural studies at the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University in Sydney. 

Nicole graduated from Adelaide University with a BA (Hons) in English and Politics in 1991 and undertook her PhD at Griffith University, graduating in 1998.  During her time as a research student she served as the Women's Officer for the Council of Australian Postgraduate Associations.  She lectured in media and cultural studies at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK from 1995 to 2007, where she completed a Graduate Diploma in Education. She was on the executive of the Women's Studies Network (UK) for some years, has been co-convenor of the list-serv Surveillance since 1997 and was the book reviews editor for the journal Somatechnics from 2014-16. She recently received a Certificate IV in Australian Sign Language through the NSW Deaf Society.

Research Interests

Nicole's work brings together auto/biography, disability and Deaf studies, popular genres of broadcast and electronic media, and education. Her current research focuses on the convergence between mobile phones and digital hearing aids, and considers the way these technologies might shape the way hearing, hard of hearing and Deaf people imagine these wearable technologies and the people who use them.  She has a long-standing interest in social justice-oriented listening, in both political and professional settings.  Her enduring interest is the role of media in processes of social and political change. 

Her funded collaborative research projects include work, in partnership with the Deaf Society of NSW, on young Deaf peoples' use of video for storytelling; with Scope UK, BigLottery funded research on representations of children with disability in children’s books and media; with the Dementia Training Study Centre (SA/NT), research exploring the use of digital life stories in dementia education for medical, health and social care workers; and most recent, in partnership with researchers from the National Acoustic Laboratories and the HEARing Cooperative Research Centre, research around self-fitting hearing aid users’ experiences of phone linked devices.

Curriculum and teaching interests

Nicole currently teaching, at undergraduate level, CUL322 Screening (Ab)normal bodies and CUL260 Health, Bodies, Media.

She also researches around learning and teaching in higher education.   She was CI on two projects, funded by the UK's Higher Education Academy subject networks, exploring collaborative relationships between universities, their students and community organisations.  She has published on educational transitions, inclusive higher education, academic literacy testing, peer review of teaching, organisational barriers to blended learning and the use of lived experience narratives in professional education.   She also has a longstanding interest in the use of problem based learning in the curriculum.

Nicole has supervised both traditional and creative doctoral projects. PhD students she has supported as primary or associate supervisor have worked around autobiographical storytelling; narratives of gender, disability and care; non-normative embodiment and gay subcultures in gaming; film sound and embodiment; Deafness, music and identity; gender and ageing; verbatim theatre and dementia; disability in performance; political change and documentary; partnerships between educational, commercial and community organisations; and policies and discourses around non-human animals. 


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