Associate Professor Ruth Barcan

BA DipEd UoN PhD UQ
Senior Lecturer

A14 - The Quadrangle
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 6013
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

Website Phonebook Entry

Biographical details

Dr Ruth Barcan is the author of Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices (Ashgate, Dec. 2013); Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses (Berg, 2011), Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy (Berg 2004), and the co-editor of Imagining Australian Space: Cultural Studies and Spatial Inquiry (UWA Press 1999) and Planet Diana: Cultural Studies and Global Mourning (Research Centre in Intercommunal Studies, UWS Nepean, 1997). She is the author of numerous articles in areas such as the body in culture, consumer culture, and teaching.

Research interests

  • Nudity and nudism
  • Feminist cultural studies approaches to the body
  • Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
  • New Age practices
  • Pedagogy
  • Sensory studies

Teaching and supervision

The body in contemporary culture (GCST2614 The Body: Theories, Practices, Cultures)

Research methods and thesis development (WMST6902 Arguing the Point: Research in Gender and Cultural Studies)

Associations

Ruth is an active member of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia. She has given two invited plenary addresses to the annual conference of this association. These addresses focused on the teaching of cultural studies to undergraduates, and in particular the question of values. The first focused on the question of hope in teaching; the second on students' responses to the question of what they valued in cultural studies. Both addresses attracted much favourable attention.

Awards and honours

Barcan's interest in the values and politics of teaching has been recognised in other ways. A trained teacher, she won a prestigious Department of Education award (CAUT, 1997) to investigate task-based ways of teaching critical theory to undergraduates. She was awarded a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching (Design and Practice) Award, 2011.

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected publications

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Books

  • Barcan, R. (2013). Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • Barcan, R. (2011). Complementary And Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers.
  • Barcan, R. (2004). Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers.

Book Chapters

  • Barcan, R. (2015). Intuitive Spiritual Medicine: Negotiating Incommensurability. In Nicola K. Gale and Jean V. McHale (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Social Science and Law. London: Routledge.
  • Barcan, R. (2013). Invisible, dispersed and connected: The cultural plausibility of subtle-body models in the contemporary West. In Geoffrey Samuel, Jay Johnston (Eds.), Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West: Between mind and body, (pp. 224-238). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  • Barcan, R., Johnston, J. (2011). Fixing the Self: Alternative Therapies and Spiritual Logics. In Michael Bailey and Guy Redden (Eds.), Mediating Faiths: Religion and Socio-Cultural Change in the Twenty-First Century, (pp. 75-87). Surrey: Ashgate.
  • Barcan, R. (2010). Dirty Spaces: Separation, Concealment, and Shame in the Public Toilet. In Harvey Molotch and Laura Noren (Eds.), Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing, (pp. 25-41). New York: New York University Press.
  • Barcan, R. (2010). Spiritual Boundary Work: How Spiritual Healers and Medical Clairvoyants Negotiate the Sacred. In Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Kevin White (Eds.), Medicine, Religion, and the Body, (pp. 129-146). Leiden: Brill.
  • Barcan, R. (2009). Intuition and Reason in the New Age: A Cultural Study of Medical Clairvoyance. In Howes, David (Eds.), The Sixth Sense Reader, (pp. 209-232). Oxford, United Kingdom: Berg Publishers.
  • Barcan, R. (2008). Alternative Therapies as Disciplinary Practices: The Uses and Limitations of a Foucauldian Approach. In Nicole Anderson and Katrina Schlunke (Eds.), Cultural Theory in Everyday Practice, (pp. 14-26). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press Australia.

Journals

  • Barcan, R. (2014). Aromatherapy and the Mixed Blessing of Feminization. The Senses and Society, 9(1), 33-54. [More Information]
  • Barcan, R. (2014). Aromatherapy Oils: Commodities, Materials, Essences (forthcoming). Cultural Studies Review, 20(2).
  • Johnston, J., Barcan, R. (2006). Subtle transformations: Imagining the body in alternative health practices. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(1), 25-44.
  • Barcan, R., Johnston, J. (2006). The Haunting: Cultural Studies, Religion and Alternative Therapies. Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(Fall), 63-81.
  • Barcan, R. (2005). Dirty Spaces: Communication and Contamination in Men's Public Toilets. Journal of International Women's Studies, 6(2), 7-23.
  • Barcan, R. (2004). "Regaining What Mankind Has Lost Through Civilisation": Early Nudism And Ambivalent Moderns. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress Body and Culture, 8(1), 63-82.
  • Barcan, R. (2003). The Idleness of Academics: reflections on the usefulness of cultural studies. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 17(4), 363-378.
  • Barcan, R. (2002). Female exposure and the protesting woman. Cultural Studies Review, 8(2), 62-82.
  • Barcan, R. (2002). In the Raw: "Home-Made" Porn and Reality Genres. Journal of Mundane Behavior, 3(1), online.
  • Barcan, R. (2002). Problems without Solutions: teaching theory and the politics of hope. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 16(3), 343-356.
  • Barcan, R. (2001). 'The Moral Bath of Bodily Unconsciousness': Female Nudism, Bodily Exposure and the Gaze. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 15(3), 303-317.

Reference Works

  • Barcan, R. (2005). Nudism. (pp. 458-460).
  • Barcan, R. (2005). Nudity. (pp. 460-461).

2015

  • Barcan, R. (2015). Intuitive Spiritual Medicine: Negotiating Incommensurability. In Nicola K. Gale and Jean V. McHale (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Social Science and Law. London: Routledge.

2014

  • Barcan, R. (2014). Aromatherapy and the Mixed Blessing of Feminization. The Senses and Society, 9(1), 33-54. [More Information]
  • Barcan, R. (2014). Aromatherapy Oils: Commodities, Materials, Essences (forthcoming). Cultural Studies Review, 20(2).

2013

  • Barcan, R. (2013). Academic Life and Labour in the New University: Hope and Other Choices. Farnham, UK: Ashgate.
  • Barcan, R. (2013). Invisible, dispersed and connected: The cultural plausibility of subtle-body models in the contemporary West. In Geoffrey Samuel, Jay Johnston (Eds.), Religion and the Subtle Body in Asia and the West: Between mind and body, (pp. 224-238). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

2011

  • Barcan, R. (2011). Complementary And Alternative Medicine: Bodies, Therapies, Senses. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers.
  • Barcan, R., Johnston, J. (2011). Fixing the Self: Alternative Therapies and Spiritual Logics. In Michael Bailey and Guy Redden (Eds.), Mediating Faiths: Religion and Socio-Cultural Change in the Twenty-First Century, (pp. 75-87). Surrey: Ashgate.

2010

  • Barcan, R. (2010). Dirty Spaces: Separation, Concealment, and Shame in the Public Toilet. In Harvey Molotch and Laura Noren (Eds.), Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing, (pp. 25-41). New York: New York University Press.
  • Barcan, R. (2010). Spiritual Boundary Work: How Spiritual Healers and Medical Clairvoyants Negotiate the Sacred. In Elizabeth Burns Coleman, Kevin White (Eds.), Medicine, Religion, and the Body, (pp. 129-146). Leiden: Brill.

2009

  • Barcan, R. (2009). Intuition and Reason in the New Age: A Cultural Study of Medical Clairvoyance. In Howes, David (Eds.), The Sixth Sense Reader, (pp. 209-232). Oxford, United Kingdom: Berg Publishers.

2008

  • Barcan, R. (2008). Alternative Therapies as Disciplinary Practices: The Uses and Limitations of a Foucauldian Approach. In Nicole Anderson and Katrina Schlunke (Eds.), Cultural Theory in Everyday Practice, (pp. 14-26). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press Australia.

2006

  • Johnston, J., Barcan, R. (2006). Subtle transformations: Imagining the body in alternative health practices. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 9(1), 25-44.
  • Barcan, R., Johnston, J. (2006). The Haunting: Cultural Studies, Religion and Alternative Therapies. Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, 7(Fall), 63-81.

2005

  • Barcan, R. (2005). Dirty Spaces: Communication and Contamination in Men's Public Toilets. Journal of International Women's Studies, 6(2), 7-23.
  • Barcan, R. (2005). Nudism. (pp. 458-460).
  • Barcan, R. (2005). Nudity. (pp. 460-461).

2004

  • Barcan, R. (2004). "Regaining What Mankind Has Lost Through Civilisation": Early Nudism And Ambivalent Moderns. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress Body and Culture, 8(1), 63-82.
  • Barcan, R. (2004). Nudity: A Cultural Anatomy. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers.

2003

  • Barcan, R. (2003). The Idleness of Academics: reflections on the usefulness of cultural studies. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 17(4), 363-378.

2002

  • Barcan, R. (2002). Female exposure and the protesting woman. Cultural Studies Review, 8(2), 62-82.
  • Barcan, R. (2002). In the Raw: "Home-Made" Porn and Reality Genres. Journal of Mundane Behavior, 3(1), online.
  • Barcan, R. (2002). Problems without Solutions: teaching theory and the politics of hope. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 16(3), 343-356.

2001

  • Barcan, R. (2001). 'The Moral Bath of Bodily Unconsciousness': Female Nudism, Bodily Exposure and the Gaze. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 15(3), 303-317.

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