I’d like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where I live and work, the Woiwurrung (Wurundjeri) peoples of the Kulin Nation, and pay my respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

I’m a cultural geographer from Melbourne, Australia.

My research is concerned with changing working-class life in a globalised era, with a particular focus on contemporary China. My conceptual interests are in affect, mobility and (post)phenomenology, particularly around themes of vulnerability, passivity and desire. A methodological motif that runs through my research is an expanded concept of ‘translation’, one that connects to my interests in intersubjectivity, reflexivity and the first person singular. As part of this research, I also make documentary films, working with experimental and non-representational styles of presentation.

I’m currently a PhD Student in the School of Geography, The University of Melbourne. My PhD research explores experiences of loss and its relation to corporeal transformation, through examples of workers affected by recent coalmine closures in regional Australia and China. I originally began my PhD in 2017 at the wonderful School of Sociology, Australian National University, and currently hold an Elizabeth and Vernon Puzey Scholarship from The University of Melbourne.

In 2015, I was an Honours student in the School of Geography, The University of Melbourne. My Honours research considered the movement of migrant workers in rural China through the lenses of mobility and social reproduction. My undergraduate studies, also at The University of Melbourne, were in Environmental Geography and German; as part of these degrees, I spent a year on exchange at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

I currently help to run the Geography Artist in Residence Program at The University of Melbourne (with Sangeetha Chandra-Shekeran), co-convene the Cultural Geography Study Group of the Institute of Australian Geographers (with Michelle Duffy, Michele Lobo and Kaya Barry) and co-edit the Kandos School of Cultural Adaptation’s Artist, Farmer, Scientist project publication (with Laura Fisher and Lucas Ihlein).

If you’d like to get in touch, please do drop me a line at vzhang@student.unimelb.edu.au.


Image: Screenshot from a video recorded onsite at Bruce and Serana Hunt-Hughes’ property in Violet Town, Victoria, for a weaving grass planting day with 2018–2019 School of Geography Artist in Residence Museum Incognita. Museum Incognita is a collaborative project of Fayen d’Evie and Katie West, which revisits neglected, concealed or obscured histories of place to active new encounters through a custodial ethic. The plantings are a continuation of the project developed by Katie and Fayen during their residency in the Goulburn Valley. The aim is to cultivate resources for local weavers from Kaiela Arts, as a step to healing country, culture and future.