Nyah Harwood

Postgraduate Research

Research Areas: Sexuality, Health & Education, Viral Hepatitis, Injecting Drug Use & Harm Reduction

Research Topic: The praxis of pleasure: Trans people’s injecting practices as practices of resistance
Supervisors: Dr Max Hopwood, A/Prof kylie valentine
Co-Supervisor: Jake Rance

Nyah graduated from Southern Cross University with a BA(Hons), majoring in cultural studies and writing, and was awarded a university medal. Her honours thesis looked at trans lives and the biopolitics of administrative classifications of sex and gender in Australia

After working in the harm reduction and community sector, Nyah commenced her PhD at CSRH in February 2014.

Working at the intersection of critical trans and drug user politics, Nyah’s PhD research uses Foucault’s concept of governmentality to explore the ways trans people who inject drugs in Australia are constituted through harm reduction discourses. While the neoliberal subject is constituted on the one hand as an empowered self-regulating subject; on the other hand this occurs in a neoliberal context, which obscures structural issues of marginalisation. Foregrounding the concept of pleasure as a means of thinking through the aforementioned tensions, Nyah’s research will explore the ways trans people’s injecting practices constitute practices of resistance not just to dominant discourses of drugs, but also broader social dimensions of race, class, (trans)gender/sex, sexuality, and ability in ways which form new power relations, and a re-claiming of the body.

Nyah was on the organising committee for the first Queensland Transgender, Sistergirl and Gender Diverse Conference, held in Cairns. She was also a co-researcher in the "Trans voices" project at James Cook University, which looks at trans womens’ experiences of transition. Her interests are strongly focused on gender theory, trans feminism, drug-user activism, as well as anti-oppression, sex work, and trans politics.

Publications

Journal Articles

Harwood, N., & Vick, M. (2012). Trans issues in higher education: personal encounters in two Australian universities. International Journal for Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, 12, 67-80.

Conference Presentations

Harwood, N., & Vick, M. (2012, August). Exploring power relations in a medical model of health: a socio-cultural analysis. Paper presented at the QLD Transgender, Sistergirl and Gender Diverse Conference, Cairns. http://www.transconference.org.au/uploads/1/0/5/8/10587506/program.pdf

Harwood, N., & Vick, M. (2012, July). Trans issues in higher education: Personal encounters in two Australian universities (with Melissa Vick). Paper presented at the Twelfth International Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations Conference, Vancouver, Canada. http://ondiversity.com/_uploads/D12_FINAL_Program_-_Post_Conference.pdf (see p.29).

Harwood, N., & Vick, M. (2012, December). Embracing Diversity: Social and human relationships education and sexuality/gender diversity beyond protection and equity (with Melissa Vick). Paper presented at The Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference, Sydney. NSW. http://www.aare.edu.au/pages/static/abstract.aspx?aid=209

Harwood, N., & Vick, M. (2012, December). Rethinking bullying: violence and gender (with Melissa Vick). Paper presented at The Joint Australian Association for Research in Education and Asia-Pacific Educational Research Association Conference. Sydney. NSW. http://www.aare.edu.au/pages/static/abstract.aspx?aid=1043

Harwood, N. (2013, April). Administrative Violence: Trans lives and the biopolitics of administrative classifications of sex and gender in Australia. Paper presented at the National LGBTI Health Alliance Health in Difference conference, Melbourne. http://www.lgbthealth.org.au/sites/default/files/Health%20In%20Difference%202013%20-%20Conference%20Program%20Compressed%20Rotated.pdf