• 3 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
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Personal profile


Rachael is an interdisciplinary researcher across the areas of dance, performance, media, autoethnography, and post-structuralist and feminist theory.

She holds a PhD from Macquarie University titled ‘Deterritorializing Gender in Sydney’s Breakdancing Scene: A B-girl’s Experience of B-boying’ (2017) and a BA (Hons) (2009) at Macquarie University. Rachael’s doctoral thesis questioned why so few female participants engage in the creative domain of Sydney’s breakdancing scene, and how breakdancing might be a space to displace and transgress gendered norms. Rachael explored these questions through drawing on her own experiences as a female within the male-dominated breakdancing scene in Sydney, and used autoethnography, interviews with prominent scene members, and feminist and post-structural philosophers to analyse constructions of gender and the body in Sydney’s breakdancing scene.

Rachael is a practising dancer, and has competed in breakdancing competitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth, and is also involved in a number of local, national, and international ‘street' dance competitions in Sydney. She has published in Continuum: Journal of Media and Culture, as well as The Journal of World Popular Music.

Rachael is interested in the methodological dynamics between theory and practice, the representation of the dancing gendered body in media, the nexus between local and online politics of gender and sexuality within hip-hop culture, as well as more broadly different styles of ‘street’ dance. Her research utilises the theoretical frameworks offered by Deleuze and Guattari, Butler, Bourdieu, and other feminist and post-structuralist philosophers.

Rachael has a range of teaching experience in the Department across Media, Music, and Cultural Studies units. She is currently convening and teaching MAS104: Australian Media, and MAS105: Media Cultures.


Research Interests:

Politics of gender and gender performance; ‘street’ dance and hip-hop culture; theorisations of ‘the body’; constructions of the dancing body in both local communities and online; the relationship between media representations and culture within and across local, national, and international assemblages; the methodological dynamics between theory and practice.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Rachael Gunn is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

regulation Social Sciences
cultural studies Social Sciences
dance Social Sciences
gender Social Sciences
hip hop Social Sciences
experience Social Sciences
lockout Social Sciences
economics Social Sciences

Research Outputs 2012 2018

  • 3 Citations
  • 1 h-Index
  • 3 Conference proceeding contribution
  • 2 Article
  • 1 Chapter
  • 1 Conference paper

Nocturnal paradox: how breakdancing reveals the potentials of the night

Gunn, R., 15 May 2018, (Accepted/In press) Nocturnes: popular music and the night. Stahl, G. & Bottà, G. (eds.). Palgrave, (Pop Music, Culture and Identity).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


"Don't Worry, it's Just a Girl!": negotiating and challenging gendered assumptions in Sydney's breakdancing scene

Gunn, R., 2016, In : Journal of World Popular Music. 3, 1, p. 54-74 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Australian Culture
Gilles Deleuze
Lived Experience
Félix Guattari

The 'systems of relay' in doing cultural studies: Experimenting with the Body without Organs in b-girling practice

Gunn, R., 3 Mar 2016, In : Continuum. 30, 2, p. 183-194 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

cultural studies
Cultural Studies

Breaking down dominant conceptualisations of place: the transgressive potential in '143 Liverpool Street Familia's' engagement with the 'Downing Centre Courts'

Gunn, R., 2014, Communities, places, ecologies: proceedings of the 2013 IASPM-ANZ Conference. O'Regan, J. & Wren, T. (eds.). Brisbane, QLD: International Association for the Study of Popular Music, p. 84-95 12 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionResearchpeer-review

hip hop

Overcoming the Hip-Hop habitus

Gunn, R. & Scannell, J., 2013, Shifting sounds: musical flow : a collection of papers from the 2012 IASPM Australia/New Zealand Conference. Wilson, O. & Attfield, S. (eds.). Dunedin, New Zealand: lASPM Australia/New Zealand, p. 53-61 9 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionResearchpeer-review