• 6 Citations
  • 2 h-Index

Research output per year

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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.

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Research Outputs

Breaking into the Olympics: what will Paris 2024 do to/for Hip-hop Culture?

Gunn, R., 2020, (In preparation) In : Continuum.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dancing away distinction: queering hip hop culture through all style battles

Gunn, R., 1 Mar 2019, In : Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture. 4, 1, p. 13-26 14 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Nocturnal paradox: how breakdancing reveals the potentials of the night

    Gunn, R., 2019, Nocturnes: popular music and the night. Stahl, G. & Bottà, G. (eds.). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 147-162 16 p. (Pop Music, Culture and Identity).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Queer contexts in Australia and Aotearoa/New Zealand

    Hoad, C. & Gunn, R., 1 Mar 2019, In : Queer Studies in Media & Popular Culture. 4, 1, p. 3-12 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

    Where the #bgirls at? Feminist politics of (in)visibility in breaking

    Gunn, R., 2019, (Submitted) In : Feminist Media Studies.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle