Mackie, Vera Prof.

Director, Centre for Critical Human Rights Research

  • Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies - School of Humanities and Social Inquiry

Research Overview


  • Vera Mackie is Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong. She is Director of the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research.

    She is Chief Investigator, with Sarah Ferber and Nicola Marks, on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project on 'IVF and New Reproductive Technologies: The Global Experience' (2015 - 2017); and Chief Investigator, with Diane Kirkby, Tanya Fitzgerald and Tangerine Holt, on an ARC Linkage Project on 'Fostering Women's Leadership through Educational Exchange, 1930–1980'.  She has held an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship focusing on ‘From Human Rights to Human Security: Changing Paradigms for Dealing with Inequality in the Asia-Pacific Region' (2010–2014) and an Australian Research Council Australian Professorial Fellowship (2004–2009) focusing on ‘The Cultural History of the Body in Modern Japan’.

    She is involved in  several UOW Global Challenges projects: 'Australia and the Sustainable Development Goals' (Mackie et al.), ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowement: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’ (Tanima et al.) and  Sustainable Development Goal actions at a local level: A case study of cross-sectoral engagement involving multi-stakeholder partnerships (Gibbons et al.)

    Vera has varied teaching, research, administrative and supervisory experience in the fields of Japanese language and linguistics, Japanese history, gender studies and cultural studies. She supervises research in Asian Studies. gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, citizenship studies and human rights research.

    In addition to previous positions at Swinburne, the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne and Curtin University, she has been a Visiting Professor at Victoria University, the University of Queensland, Ochanomizu University and Hitotsubashi University and has held fellowships at New York University, the National University of Singapore, the University of the Philippines, Chūō University, the Australian National University and a Harold White Fellowship at the National Library of Australia.

    She was awarded the Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research in Japanese Literature in 2011; was named a UOW 'Woman of Impact' in 2016 and received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Supervision in 2018.

    She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p><strong><em>Current research and multidisciplinary team:</em></strong> I am currently working as a chief investigator (CI) on a UOW Global Challenges Seed Funding project (GC), titled, ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’. I am working with the following senior colleagues on this project: Vera Mackie, Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies, Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts; Professor Gordon Waitt, Head of School of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and, Professor Jan Wright, Faculty of Social Sciences, We also have the following external investigators: Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University (SU), UK; Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington; and, Dr. Sendirella George, Victoria University of Wellington.</p><p><strong><em>Brief description of the project:</em></strong> Women’s empowerment is a key microfinance objective and is achieved by providing small loans to poor people mainly in developing countries. Notwithstanding highly publicised success stories, microfinance is controversial.<sup> </sup>Feminist and development scholars claim that promoters of microfinance often gloss over its ‘dark side’. Despite a rich academic and policy literature on microfinance, challenging questions remain – in particular, with regards to defining women’s empowerment, understanding how conventional accounting and accountability systems reinforce structural barriers that disempower women, and exploring how accounting can contribute to female empowerment. The study addresses these questions through a pilot case study with an NGO the CI has worked with for her PhD [ISDE, Bangladesh]. The study broadens the focus by working with poor women in receipt of microfinance loans and feminist activists working with ISDE’s NGO network on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and ‘non-formal education’ projects. The researchers have collaborated to develop an analytical framework drawing on insights from feminist and development studies to examine ways of transforming traditional accounting tools and the criteria for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on microfinance initiatives. We completed our data collection, and conducted thirty individual interviews, and four focus group sessions, using methods such as story-telling and video reflections. <br /><br /><strong><em>Expected Impacts:</em></strong> The research is designed to provide theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy contributions.  Theoretically, it  shows how feminist concepts can inform politicised understandings of accounting. Empirically, it  develops accounting and accountability practices that help us understand the socio-political relations (e.g. gender, class and ethnicity) that produce disempowerment and poverty.  Methodologically, it advances understanding of how to put dialogic accounting into practice. In terms of policy design, it stimulates discussions among academics, civil society groups, and policymakers regarding the potential roles of accounting in poverty reduction, good governance, and participatory development.<sup></sup></p>

Available as Research Supervisor

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Mediascapes national imaginaries: LGBT characters media in Vietnam Nguyen, Thi Huyen Linh
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Reading and Re-creating: the Adaption of Shōnen Manga in Thailand Krairit, Thammachat
    Doctor of Philosophy 'Does the J mean Japanese or G (J)enre?': An examination of Japanese Role Playing Games Baillie, Angus
    Doctor of Philosophy Japanese Responses to Refugees Yamagata, Atsushi

Professional Service Activities


Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • H-3805-2016

Research Overview


  • Vera Mackie is Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong. She is Director of the Centre for Critical Human Rights Research.

    She is Chief Investigator, with Sarah Ferber and Nicola Marks, on an Australian Research Council Discovery Project on 'IVF and New Reproductive Technologies: The Global Experience' (2015 - 2017); and Chief Investigator, with Diane Kirkby, Tanya Fitzgerald and Tangerine Holt, on an ARC Linkage Project on 'Fostering Women's Leadership through Educational Exchange, 1930–1980'.  She has held an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship focusing on ‘From Human Rights to Human Security: Changing Paradigms for Dealing with Inequality in the Asia-Pacific Region' (2010–2014) and an Australian Research Council Australian Professorial Fellowship (2004–2009) focusing on ‘The Cultural History of the Body in Modern Japan’.

    She is involved in  several UOW Global Challenges projects: 'Australia and the Sustainable Development Goals' (Mackie et al.), ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowement: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’ (Tanima et al.) and  Sustainable Development Goal actions at a local level: A case study of cross-sectoral engagement involving multi-stakeholder partnerships (Gibbons et al.)

    Vera has varied teaching, research, administrative and supervisory experience in the fields of Japanese language and linguistics, Japanese history, gender studies and cultural studies. She supervises research in Asian Studies. gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, citizenship studies and human rights research.

    In addition to previous positions at Swinburne, the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne and Curtin University, she has been a Visiting Professor at Victoria University, the University of Queensland, Ochanomizu University and Hitotsubashi University and has held fellowships at New York University, the National University of Singapore, the University of the Philippines, Chūō University, the Australian National University and a Harold White Fellowship at the National Library of Australia.

    She was awarded the Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research in Japanese Literature in 2011; was named a UOW 'Woman of Impact' in 2016 and received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research Supervision in 2018.

    She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales.

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p><strong><em>Current research and multidisciplinary team:</em></strong> I am currently working as a chief investigator (CI) on a UOW Global Challenges Seed Funding project (GC), titled, ‘Microfinance and Women’s Empowerment: Bringing Transformations through Dialogic Accounting’. I am working with the following senior colleagues on this project: Vera Mackie, Senior Professor of Asian and International Studies, Faculty of Law Humanities and Arts; Professor Gordon Waitt, Head of School of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences; and, Professor Jan Wright, Faculty of Social Sciences, We also have the following external investigators: Professor Trevor Hopper, Sussex University (SU), UK; Professor Judy Brown, Victoria University of Wellington; and, Dr. Sendirella George, Victoria University of Wellington.</p><p><strong><em>Brief description of the project:</em></strong> Women’s empowerment is a key microfinance objective and is achieved by providing small loans to poor people mainly in developing countries. Notwithstanding highly publicised success stories, microfinance is controversial.<sup> </sup>Feminist and development scholars claim that promoters of microfinance often gloss over its ‘dark side’. Despite a rich academic and policy literature on microfinance, challenging questions remain – in particular, with regards to defining women’s empowerment, understanding how conventional accounting and accountability systems reinforce structural barriers that disempower women, and exploring how accounting can contribute to female empowerment. The study addresses these questions through a pilot case study with an NGO the CI has worked with for her PhD [ISDE, Bangladesh]. The study broadens the focus by working with poor women in receipt of microfinance loans and feminist activists working with ISDE’s NGO network on ‘gender mainstreaming’ and ‘non-formal education’ projects. The researchers have collaborated to develop an analytical framework drawing on insights from feminist and development studies to examine ways of transforming traditional accounting tools and the criteria for monitoring, evaluating and reporting on microfinance initiatives. We completed our data collection, and conducted thirty individual interviews, and four focus group sessions, using methods such as story-telling and video reflections. <br /><br /><strong><em>Expected Impacts:</em></strong> The research is designed to provide theoretical, empirical, methodological and policy contributions.  Theoretically, it  shows how feminist concepts can inform politicised understandings of accounting. Empirically, it  develops accounting and accountability practices that help us understand the socio-political relations (e.g. gender, class and ethnicity) that produce disempowerment and poverty.  Methodologically, it advances understanding of how to put dialogic accounting into practice. In terms of policy design, it stimulates discussions among academics, civil society groups, and policymakers regarding the potential roles of accounting in poverty reduction, good governance, and participatory development.<sup></sup></p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Mediascapes national imaginaries: LGBT characters media in Vietnam Nguyen, Thi Huyen Linh
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Reading and Re-creating: the Adaption of Shōnen Manga in Thailand Krairit, Thammachat
    Doctor of Philosophy 'Does the J mean Japanese or G (J)enre?': An examination of Japanese Role Playing Games Baillie, Angus
    Doctor of Philosophy Japanese Responses to Refugees Yamagata, Atsushi

Professional Service Activities


Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • H-3805-2016
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Geographic Focus