Wendy Varney  PhD


Wendy Varney has a long-time interest in the environment and social justice issues. Born in Sydney, she has worked at a variety of jobs.

She acquired her initial degree, a BA (Hons), majoring in Government and Public Administration, at the University of Sydney and later attained her PhD in Science and Technology Studies, her thesis being on the topic of “The Social Shaping of Children’s Manufactured Toys.”

She has taught in and been involved with subjects across a wide range of areas, including Sociology; Environmental Studies; Australian Studies; Politics; History; Cultural Studies; and Science, Technology and Society. She has also taught Arts subjects within Nursing and Engineering programs.

Wendy has a strong interest in the history and politics of sport, especially in the areas of gymnastics and cricket.

She is a writer, editor and freelance teacher, as well as having an amateur interest in theatre studies and botany. She has written across many areas and on many themes.

Below is a selection of her published works:


BOOKS


Sharon Beder (with Wendy Varney and Richard Gosden), This Little Kiddy Went to Market (Pluto Press, London and UNSW Press, Sydney, 2009)

Brian Martin and Wendy Varney, Nonviolence Speaks: Communicating Against Repression, Hampton Press, Creskill, NJ, 2003, 230 pages.

Wendy Varney, Fluoride in Australia: A Case to Answer, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1986, 159 pages.

BOOK CHAPTERS


Wendy Varney, "Toys, Technology and Social Shaping" in Lars-Erik Berg, Anders Nelson and Krister Svensson (eds), Toy Research in the Late Twentieth Century, Vol. I: Toys in Educational and Socio-Cultural Contexts, Stockholm International Toy Research Centre Stockholm, 2003, pp 181-189.

Wendy Varney, "Tamagotchis: All Byte, No Bark" in Anders Nelson, Lars-Erik Berg and Krister Svensson (eds), Toy Research in the Late Twentieth Century, Vol. 2: Toys as Communication, Stockholm International Toy Research Centre, Stockholm, 2003, pp. 277-288.

Wendy Varney, “Tumbling into Gendered Territory: Gymnastics and its Technologies” in Andy Miah and Simon B. Eassom (eds), Sport Technology: History, Philosophy and Policy, Kidlington, Oxford: Elsevier, 2002, pp. 177-194.

Wendy Varney, “Toys, play and participation” in Brian Martin (ed.), Technology and Public Participation, Science & Technology Studies, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, 1999, pp. 15-35.

Wendy Varney, “Playing into Corporate Hands: The Hyper-Commercialisation of Children’s Toys” in Stephen Frith, Barbara Biggins and Tracy Newlands (eds.), Marketing Toys: It’s Child’s Play, New College Institute for Values Research, 1995, pp. 57-65.

Wendy Varney, “The Playful Sell: Marketing through Toys” in Stephen Frith and Barbara Biggins (eds.), Children and Advertising: A Fair Game? Institute for Values Research, Sydney, 1994, pp. 57-61.

REFEREED JOURNAL ARTICLES


Wendy Varney, “And Sadly Runs the Don: Tragedy and the Stuff of Legends in ‘The Don’s Last Innings’” Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, vol. 25, no. 2, Spring/Summer, 2008)

Wendy Varney, “From Homeward Bound to Housebound: Images of Home in Popular MusicM/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, vol. 10, no. 4, August 2007

Wendy Varney, “Green Nonviolent Resistance in Australia,” Peace Review, vol. 19, no. 3, July-September 2007.

Wendy Varney, “Bodies on the Line: Physical Protest” in M/C Reviews, November 2004

Wendy Varney, “A Labour of Patriotism: Female Soviet Gymnasts’ Physical and Ideological Work, 1952-1991,” Genders, issue 39, April 2004

Brian Martin and Wendy Varney, “Nonviolence and Communication,” Journal of Peace Research, vol. 40, no. 2, March 2003, pp. 213-232.

Wendy Varney, “Love in Toyland,” M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, 21 November 2002

Wendy Varney, “Bang Bang! Ka-ching! War Profits from the Toy Box,” Social Alternatives, vol. 21, no. 2, Autumn 2002, pp. 41-45.

Wendy Varney, “Of Men and Machines: Images of Masculinity in Boys’ Toys,” Feminist Studies, vol. 28, no. 1, Spring 2002, pp. 153-174.

Brian Martin, Wendy Varney and Adrian Vickers, “Political Jiu-Jitsu Against Indonesian Repression: Studying Lower Profile Nonviolent Resistance,” in Pacifica Review, vol. 13, no. 2, June 2001, pp. 143-156.

Wendy Varney, “Voyeurs, Take Your Marks!” M/C Reviews, October 2000

Wendy Varney, “Playing with ‘War Fare’’’ in Peace Review, September 2000, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 385-391

Brian Martin and Wendy Varney, “Convivial Media,” M/C Online, 12 April, 2000

Wendy Varney and Brian Martin, “Lessons from the 1991 Soviet Coup,” Peace Research, vol. 32, no. 1, February 2000, pp. 52-68.

Wendy Varney and Brian Martin, “Net Resistance, Net Benefits: Opposing the MAI,” Social Alternatives, vol. 19, no. 1, 2000, pp. 47-51.

Wendy Varney, “Howzat! Cricket from Empire to Globalization,” Peace Review, vol. 11, no. 4, December 1999, pp. 557-563.

Wendy Varney, “Legitimation and Limitations: How the Opie Report on Women’s Gymnastics Missed its Mark,” Sporting Traditions, vol. 15, no. 2, May 1999, 73-90.

Wendy Varney, “Barbie Australis: the Commercial Reinvention of National Culture,” Social Identities, vol. 4, no. 2, 1998, pp. 161-176.

Wendy Varney, “The Briar Around the Strawberry Patch: Toys, Women and Food,” Women’s Studies International Forum, vol. 19, no. 3, 1996, pp. 267-276.

Wendy Varney, “Children’s Make-Up: Masking the Contradictions,” Journal of Australian Political Economy, no. 33, June 1994, pp. 21-35.

Wendy Varney, “Toys R Big Business,” Current Affairs Bulletin, vol. 70, no. 2, July 1993, pp. 11-15.

Mark Diesendorf and Wendy Varney, “Fluoridation: Politics and Strategies,” Social Alternatives, vol. 5, no. 2, April 1986, pp. 48-53.

OTHER ARTICLES

Wendy Varney, “Bowling for a common line? Whence Australian sport?Australian Options, Issue 60, Autumn 2010, pp. 5-7.

Wendy Varney, “Taking a Stand: Nonviolent Protest, Sport and Globalisation,” Gandhi Marg, vol. 28, no. 3, October-December 2006.

Wendy Varney, “Choc Chicks,” Arena Magazine, December 2003/January 2004, pp. 12-14.

Wendy Varney, “Pink Paradoxes on Nevsky Prospect,” Arena Magazine, December 2002/January 2003, pp. 41-43

Wendy Varney, “Tackling Apartheid: Reflections on the 1971 Anti-Tour Campaign,” Gandhi Marg, vol. 23, no. 3, October-December 2001, pp. 317-340.

Brian Martin and Wendy Varney, “Nonviolent Action and People with Disabilities,” Civilian-Based Defense, Year-End 2000, pp. 4-16.

Wendy Varney, “Toy Story: Half Truths in the Toy Box,” Metro Education, no. 10, May 1997.

Wendy Varney, “Oh, What a Fleecing: Australian Sport and Commercial Spectacle,” Arena Magazine, no. 26, December-January 1996/7, pp. 31-34.

Wendy Varney, “McCulture in the Classroom,” Education, 23 August, 1993, p. 8.

REVIEWS


Wendy Varney, Review of Hans Bonde’s Football with the Foe: Danish Sport under the Swastika, Idrottsforum (forthcoming).

Wendy Varney, Review of Shaun Powell’s Souled Out? How Blacks are Winning and Losing in Sports, Idrottsforum (forthcoming).

Wendy Varney, Review of Kath Woodward’s Boxing, Masculinity and Identity: The ‘I’ of the Tiger, Idrottsforum (3 September 2008)

Wendy Varney, Review of Matt Norman’s film Salute, Idrottsforum (3 September 2008)

“China’s Little Master” Review of Lang Lang (with David Ritz), Journey of a Thousand Miles, The Manly Daily, 29 August, 2008, p. 28.

Wendy Varney, Review of Hans Bonde’s Gymnastics and Politics: Niels Bukh and Male Aesthetics, Idrottsforum, May 2007

Wendy Varney, Review of Hans Bonde’s Gymnastics and Politics: Niels Bukh and Male Aesthetics, Arete (online reviews of the Sport Literature Association), January 2007

Wendy Varney, “Beneath the Surface and Beyond Submarine Technologies,” Review of Robert Moore’s A Time to Die: The Kursk Disaster, Metascience, vol. 13, no. 2, July 2004.

Wendy Varney, Review of Toby Miller, Geoffrey Lawrence, Jim McKay and David Rowe, Globalization and Sport in Sporting Traditions, vol. 19, no. 1, November 2002, pp. 94-96.

Wendy Varney, Review of Ann Moyal’s Platypus, Antipodes, June 2002, vol. 16, iss. 1, pp. 92-93.

Wendy Varney, Review of Sharon Beder’s Selling the Work Ethic: From Puritan Pulpit to Corporate PR, Labour History, iss. 82, May 2002, pp. 179-180.

Wendy Varney, Review of Stephen Zunes et. al, Nonviolent Social Movements: A Geographical Perspective, Pacifica Review, vol. 13, no. 3, October 2001, pp. 295-296.

Wendy Varney, Review of David Rowe, Sport, Culture and the Media: The Unruly Trinity, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 97, November 2000, pp. 166-167.

Wendy Varney, Review of Patricia Ranald and James Goodman (eds), Corporate Power and Globalisation: Opposing the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), Prometheus, vol. 18, no. 2, 2000, pp. 225-227.

Wendy Varney, “A Deep Look at Shallow News,” Review of “The Shallow End” theatre production, Green Left Weekly, 5 April, 2000.

Wendy Varney, “Designer Genes under Review,” Review of Richard Hindmarsh, Geoffrey Lawrence and Janet Norton (eds), Altered Genes: Reconstructing Nature, Metascience, vol. 9, no. 1, March 2000, pp.56-58.

Wendy Varney, Review of Norman Solomon, The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media: Decoding Spin and Lies in Mainstream News, Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 94, February 2000, pp. 203-204.

Wendy Varney, “One Word…Magnificent!”, Review of “One Word…We” theatre production, Green Left Weekly, 19 January 2000.

Wendy Varney, “Global Destruction, Local Impoverishment,” Review of Lorraine Elliott’s The Global Politics of the Environment, Metascience, vol. 18, no. 3, November 1999, pp. 473-75.

Wendy Varney, Review of Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins (ed.), From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games, Prometheus, vol. 17, no. 3, 1999, pp. 344-347.

Wendy Varney, “The Side Science Wears its Trousers on,” Review of Margaret Wertheim’s Pythagoras’ Trousers, Metascience, no. 10, 1996, pp. 185-187.

Wendy Varney, “Toyland,” Review of Stephen Kline’s Out of the Garden: Toys, TV and Children’s Culture in the Age of Marketing, Metascience, no. 6, 1994, pp. 146-148.

Wendy Varney, Review of Brian Martin’s Scientific Knowledge in Controversy, Search, vol. 22, no. 8, December 1991, p. 291.

CONFERENCE PAPERS


“The Environment Movement in 1968: Planting Greenery and Seeds for Change,” 1968 Workshop, History and Politics Program, University of Wollongong, October 2008.

“Batting Average Takes Centre Stage in Australian Cricket Comedy,” Sport Literature Association Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, New York, June 2007.

“Morphisms and Metaphors: Represented Links Between Women and Food,” Australia-Canada Food Workshop, University of Wollongong, July 2006

“Fired With Football Fervour: A Comparison of Two ‘Australian Rules’ Football Plays,” Sport Literature Association Annual Conference, Humboldt University, Arcata, California, USA, June 2006

“Protest and Politics at the Olympics: the Case of Vera Caslavska and the Prague Spring,” ASSH Sporting Traditions Conference XV, Melbourne Cricket Ground, July 2005.

“Media Waifs: Historical Shifts in the Representation of Female Gymnasts Since 1972,” Australian Historical Association’s Annual Conference, Newcastle, July 2004.

“Bending Over Backwards for the Soviet State: the Use of Female Gymnasts by the Soviet Union for Ideological Purposes, 1952-1992,” ASSH Sporting Traditions Conference XIV, Australian Catholic University, July 2003.

“‘Cupcakes’ Dolls: So Much Icing, So Little Substance,” at the 3rd International Toy Research Conference, organised by the International Toy Research Association and the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media, University of London, at London, UK, August 2002.

“Sharp Angles, Sharp Shooting and Sharply Gendered: Masculinities in the Toy Box,” Masculinities Workshop, Arts Faculty, University of Wollongong, November 2000.

“The Shifting Relationship Between Cricket and its Fans” at Sporting Teams and Fans Conference, Sunshine Coast University, July 1999.

“Tamagotchis: All Byte, No Bark,” at the 2nd International Toy Research Conference organised by the Nordic Centre for Research on Toys and Educational Media, Halmstad University, Sweden, June 1999.

“Communication Technology as Social Resistance: Analysing the Roles of Communication Technology and Nonviolent Resistance in the Defeat of the 1991 Attempted Soviet Coup,” at the Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (AAHPSSS), Sunshine Coast University, Maroochydore, July 1999.

“Women’s Gymnastics and Social Change” at Sport: The Real Level Playing Field? Conference, organised by the Stout Foundation, NZ National Library, Wellington, New Zealand, October 1998.

“Toy Technology: From Teddy Bears to Tamagotchis” at Annual AAHPSSS Conference, Flinders University, Adelaide, July 1998.

“Commodification of the Female Gymnast” at Commodification: Theories, Practices, Histories and Representations Conference, Wollongong University, February 1998.

“War Toys as Material Documentation of Social Change” at the Annual AAHPSSS Conference, University of Auckland, July 1997.

“Toys and Democracy” at the Annual AAHPSSS Conference, University of Auckland, July 1997.

“Toys, Technology and Social Shaping” at the International Toy Research Conference organised by the Nordic Centre for Research on Toys and Educational Media, Halmstad University, Sweden, June 1996.

“Scientific Application, Apparatuses and Anorexia: Some STS Insights into Women’s Gymnastics” at the Annual AAHPSSS Conference, University of New South Wales, July 1995.

“Australian Barbie: An Intersection of Myths About Being Australian, Being Female” at Myths and Millennial Dreams Workshop, organised by School of Art and Cultural Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, May 1995.

“Playing into Corporate Hands: The Hyper-Commercialisation of Children’s Toys” at Marketing Toys: It’s Child’s Play, conference organised by Young Media Australia and the Institute for Values Research at New College, University of NSW, March 1995.

“A World Apart: The Promulgation of Separate Spheres in Toyland” at Culture/Sex/Economies Conference, University of Melbourne, December 1994.

“A Political Economy of Toys: The Convergence of Industrial Interests in Children’s Cultural Artefacts” at Australian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Wollongong, October 1994.

“Toying with Green Image: the Marketing of Environmental Toys” at the Annual AAHPSSS Conference, Griffith University, Brisbane, July 1994.

“The Playful Sell: Marketing through Toys” at Children and Advertising: A Fair Game? National Conference organised by Young Media Australia and the Institute for Values Research at New College, University of NSW, July 1994.

“Toys and Gender” at Sex/Gender in TechnoScience Worlds Conference, University of Melbourne, July 1993.

“The Politics of Fluoridation” at ANZAAS Conference, Monash University, Melbourne, 1985.