Professor Adkins, who will join the University in July 2018, has previously held posts at Goldsmiths, University of London, the University of Manchester, the Australian National University, the University of Kent, and most recently at the University of Newcastle where she was the Chair of Sociology.
Professor Adkins is deeply invested in the future of the social sciences and was attracted by the opportunity to lead such a strong and unique school here at the University of Sydney.
“This is a key moment for the social sciences globally. Many articulate this moment in terms of a crisis. However, the key problems of today - from housing affordability, through ageing populations to generalized precariousness - are social science problems,” said Professor Adkins.
The social sciences are particularly well-placed to understand the multiple disruptions that characterise the current moment. The combination of disciplines in SSPS - which is far wider than most - offers real opportunities to address these problems. The School’s clear potential to engage with these challenges is what attracted me to the University of Sydney.”
Among some of her biggest achievements was receiving the Academy of Finland Distinguished Professorship, which is jointly hosted by the University of Tampere and the University of Turku.
“Apart from being a major honour, this gave me the opportunity to work in Finland for six months a year and carry out a project with a Finnish research team. I gained real insights into Nordic models of higher education, their policy frameworks and research culture,” said Professor Adkins.
Another achievement for Professor Adkins has been co-editing the Australian Feminist Studies journal over the past four years.
“Editing any journal is seriously hard work but the ability to promote outstanding new feminist research and shape debate has been incredibly exciting. The journal will find a new home at the University of Sydney from July and I’m looking forward to launching our special issue on ‘Money’ shortly which features an interview with feminist icon Silvia Federici,” said Professor Adkins.
When asked what she is most looking forward to about working as Head of School for SSPS, she replies that she is looking forward to meeting and supporting the academics and professional staff within the School.
“My role is all about finding the best ways to lead and support staff to achieve new levels of success in our research and teaching. I’m especially keen to look at how we ensure all staff in the school feel valued and feel that they have a stake in where the school is headed,” said Professor Adkins.
Professor Adkins will formally join the University on 2 July 2018.
Over the next 3 years, Dr Nicole Wegner will examine popular assumptions about the “ideal soldier” and how cultural myths shape military policies and priorities in Australia and abroad.