Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ben Gallan - The Oxford Tavern as Heterotopia and Cultural Asset (2010)

In 2010, just as the Oxford Tavern was breathing its last breath, University of Wollongong student Ben Gallan submitted his thesis on the beloved venue.

Having formerly played with local punk bands Point of Resistance and Reason Strikes, Gallan became involved in a project seeking to determine cultural assets in regional Australia. Believing that the Oxford deserved recognition as an important cultural asset, Gallan set about to show "how participants describe their experiences of participation in a local scene, analyse the relationship between the venue and the scene, and  theorise how the Oxford could be understood as a cultural asset for Wollongong."

From this thesis, Gallan has sumbitted a number of journal articles, including one published in Australian Geographer entitled Gatekeeping Night Spaces which looks at the role of booking agents in creating local live music scenes.

True to his punk roots though, rather than just allow this thesis to gather dust on the desk of a few faceless academics, he has been generous enough to allow Steel City Sound to disseminate the information to the people.

Gallan is currently undertaking a PhD at UOW seeking to re-think day and night in urban spaces.

Gallan B, 2010 Mild mannered bistro by day, eclectic freak-land at night: The Oxford Tavern as Heterotopia and Cultural Asset. Honours Thesis, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Wollongong. (.pdf)

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