Tanja DreherDr Tanja Dreher

Position: Senior Lecturer, Communication and Media    Studies (ARC Future Fellow)
Location: 19.2022
Telephone:      +61 2 4298 1219

  • 2006 PhD in Media Studies, Centre for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney
  • 2001 Advanced Diploma in Applied Aboriginal Studies, Tranby Aboriginal College
  • 1997 Master of Arts (Journalism), University of Technology Sydney
  • 1993 Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney


Dr Tanja Dreher is a Lecturer in Media and Communications, specialising in International Communications and media and multiculturalism. Dr Dreher’s research focuses on the politics of listening in the context of media and multiculturalism, Indigenous sovereignties and feminisms and anti-racism. Tanja is a co-convenor of The Listening Project exploring the practices, technologies and politics of listening as political practice. Tanja’s particular interest lies in listening across difference and the politics of recognition in listening for media justice. Her previous research has focused on news and cultural diversity, community media interventions, experiences of racism and the development of community anti-racism strategies after September 11, 2001. Tanja has worked closely with diverse communities in western Sydney through collaborative research with Arab and Muslim communities and with media and community arts organisations.  Dr Dreher has previously worked as ARC Postdoctoral Fellow and as the Research Manager at the UTS Shopfront community engagement program.

Areas of Expertise

Media and Multiculturalism
Media Theory
Global Media, International Communications
Identity and Difference
Community, Indigenous and Alternative Media
Racism and anti-racism after September 11, 2001
Muslims and the Media
Intersectional analyses

Research Profile

Current Research Projects

Listening Across Difference: Media and Multiculturalism Beyond the Politics of Voice

Research and policy on media and cultural diversity routinely emphasise speaking or 'voice', whether in mainstream, community or diaspora media. Tanja Dreher’s current research extends these discussions to focus on questions of 'listening'. Drawing on recent work in postcolonial feminism and political theory, the research explores the productive possibilities of a shift beyond the politics of voice to explore 'listening across difference' in media studies and media advocacy work. Case studies of ‘listening interventions’ include community media ‘listening spaces’, ‘eavesdropping with permission’ and media practices beyond media as examples of the transformative potential of political listening for developing multicultural media.

Listening for Media Justice

This emerging research agenda considers the ways in which recent attention to political voice and a turn to 'listening' might offer productive resources for research and practice aimed at media justice in global, mainstream, community and alternative media.

Ripple Effects: Ice (Information Cultural Exchange) and Cultural Citizenship in Western Sydney

An ARC Linkage Project with partners The Australia Council, Arts NSW and ICE (Information Cultural Exchange), an innovative new media and community arts organisation in Western Sydney. Dr Dreher’s research examines the patterns of recognition and uneven ‘listening’ generated by community arts and digital storytelling projects, focusing on ‘going public’ at launch and screening events and the shifting nature of community media in culturally diverse communities.

Recent Publications

Searchable RIS publications from 2000 to date

Edited books and journals

  • Dreher, T and C Ho (eds) ‘Beyond the Hijab Debates: New conversations on gender, race and religion’ Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Osuri, G & T Dreher (2009) ‘Acting Sovereign: Interventions in a politics of gendered protectionism’ borderlands ejournal Vol 8 (1)
  • O’Donnell, P, J Lloyd and T Dreher (2009) ‘Listening, Pathbuilding, Continuations: a new research agenda for media and cultural studies’ Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies Vol 23 (4)
  • Dreher, T & C Ho (2007) ‘''Not another hijab row”: New conversations on gender, race, religion and the making of communities', Transforming Cultures eJournal Vol 2.

Refereed journal articles 

  • Flood, M, T Dreher & B Martin (forthcoming 2013) ‘Activism and Academia: A toolkit for managing competing demands’ Australian Universities Review
  • Dreher, T (2012) ‘A partial promise of voice? Digital storytelling and the limits of listening’ Media International Australia Feb 157- 166
  • Dreher, T (2010) ‘Speaking up or being heard? Community media interventions and the politics of listening’ Media, Culture and Society Vol 32(1) pp1-19
  • Bloch, B.A. & Dreher, T. 2009, 'Resentment and Reluctance: Working with everyday diversity and everyday racism in Southern Sydney', Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 30, no. 2, pp. 193-209.
  • Dreher, T. 2009, 'Listening across difference: Media and multiculturalism beyond the politics of voice', Continuum, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 445-458.
  • Dreher, T. 2009, 'Eavesdropping with permission: the politics of listening for safer speaking spaces', Borderlands E-Journal, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-21.
  • O'Donnell, P.A., Lloyd, J.S. & Dreher, T. 2009, 'Listening, pathbuilding and continuations: A research agenda for the analysis of listening', Continuum, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 423-439.
  • Couldry, N. & Dreher, T. 2007, 'Globalization and the Public Sphere: The Space of Community Media in Sydney', Global Media and Communication, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 79-100.
  • Ho, C. & Dreher, T. 2007, 'Not another hijab row: New conversations on gender, race, religion and the making of communities', Transforming Cultures eJournal, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 1-14.
  • Dreher, T. 2006, 'From cobra grubs to dragons: negotiating the Politics of Representation in Cultural Research', Cultural Studies Review, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 90-106.
  • Dreher, T. 2003, 'Speaking up and talking back: News media interventions in Sydney's 'othered' communities', Media International Australia incorporating Culture & Policy, vol. November, no. 109, pp. 121-137.
  • Dreher, T. 2002, 'Intersections: an interdisciplinary approach to media, identity and place', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 67-80.

Book chapters 

  • Dreher, T (2009) ‘Media and Cultural Diversity’ chapter in Cunningham, S and G Turner (eds) The Media and Communications in Australia Fifth Edition, Allen and Unwin, Sydney
  • Dreher, T (forthcoming 2014) ‘Audiences, broadcast’, invited contribution to A Companion to the Australian Media. (ed) B Griffen-Foley, Australian Scholarly Publishing
  • Dreher, T (forthcoming 2014) ‘White Bread Media’ invited contribution to Cunningham, S and S Turnbull (eds) The Media and Communications in Australia Sixth Edition, Allen and Unwin, Sydney
  • Voyer, M, T Dreher, W Gladstone and H Goodall (forthcoming 2013) ‘Carving the stake: dodgy science or global necessity? A comparative analysis of media coverage of marine parks in NSW (2005-2010) in Environmental Conflict and the Media, eds. Libby Lester and Brett Hutchins, Peter Lang, New York (revised chapter accepted 23 January 2012)
  • Dreher, T. 2010, 'Media Interventions in Racialized Communities' in Kevin Howley (eds), Understanding Community Media, SAGE, Thousand oaks, California, pp. 143-150.
  • Dreher, T (2009) ‘Muslim media interventions: a command performance’ in Australian Muslims and the Media Ewart, J & H Rane (eds) Melbourne University Press, Melbourne Vic
  • Chalmers, S. & Dreher, T. 2009, 'Safeguarding Masculinity' in Tanja Dreher and Christina HO (eds), Beyond the Hijab Debates, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne UK, pp. 134-148.
  • Dreher, T. & Ho, C. 2009, 'New conversations on gender, race and religion' in Tanja Dreher and Christina HO (eds), Beyond the Hijab Debates, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle Upon Tyne UK, pp. 1-15.
  • Dreher, T. 2007, 'Contesting Cabramatta' in Poynting, S; Morgan, G (eds), Outrageous, ACYS Publishing, Tasmania, pp. 111-124.
  • Dreher, T. 2007, 'New Media Responsibilities in Reporting Terrorism' in Lynch, A; Williams, G; MacDonald, E (eds), Law and Liberty in the War on Terror, The Federation Press, Sydney, Australia, pp. 211-219.
  • Dreher, T (2000) ‘Cabramatta news talk: Audiences, identity and symbolic power’, The Other Sydney: Communities, Identities and Inequalities in Western Sydney edited by J Collins and S Poynting, Common Ground Melbourne 106-122.

Research monographs (refereed)

  • Dreher, T (2006) ‘Whose Responsibility? Community antiracism strategies in NSW after September 11, 2001, UTS Shopfront Research Monograph Series No 3, University of Technology, Sydney ePress
  • Dreher, T (2005) ‘Targeted’: experiences of racism in NSW after September 11, 2001 UTS Shopfront Research Monograph Series No 1, University of Technology, Sydney ePress

Refereed conference papers

  • Dreher, T and J Mowbray (2012) The power of one on one: Living Libraries and the challenges of antiracism work UTS Shopfront Research Monograph Series No 7, University of Technology, Sydney ePress
  • Dreher, T. 2008, 'Media, multiculturalism and the politics of listening', Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, July 2008 in ANZCA08: Power and Place: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Communication Association Conference, ed Dr Elspeth Tilley, Department of Communication, Journalism & Marketing, Massey University, pp. 1-14.
  • Dreher, T (2001) ‘Intersections: a transdisciplinary approach to media, identity and place’ in Transdisciplinarity Refereed proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia pp. 82 – 92. This paper was awarded the Grant Noble Award for Best Postgraduate Paper 

Other non-refereed publications

  • Osuri, G, T Dreher & E Laforteza (2009) ‘”Acting sovereign” in the face of gendered protectionism’ borderlands ejournal Vol 8 (1)
  • Lee-Shoy and Dreher (2009) ‘Listening spaces for intergenerational communication’ Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies Vol 23 (4)
  • Ho, C & T Dreher (2009) ‘Not Another Hijab Row: New Conversations on Gender, Race, Religion and the Making of Communities’ International Feminist Journal of Politics Vol 11 (1) 114 – 126.
  • Dreher, T & B Bloch (2007) Thinking Outside the Square: Capacity Building for Community Conflict Resolution in Rockdale, UTS Shopfront unpublished report to Rockdale City Council, Sydney.
  • Dreher, T (2006) ‘”What is the solution?” Moving cultural diversity to the centre of journalism debates’ section IV of the colloquium 'Talking about Journalism and Cultural Diversity' Australian Studies in Journalism No 16 July.
  • Dreher, T and F Simmons (2006) ‘Australian Muslim Women’s Media Interventions’ Feminist Media Studies  Vol 6 (1) 117 – 120.
  • Dreher, T & J Collins (2005) Building Bridges: community relations in NSW after September 11, 2001, UTS Shopfront unpublished report to Community Relations Commission for a multicultural NSW, Sydney.
  • O’Donnell, P and T Dreher (2002) ‘Teaching Students to Challenge the War-as-Justice Rhetoric’ Feminist Media Studies Vol 2 (1) 147 – 149.
  • Dreher, T. (2000) ‘Mapping Media Power’ Review Essay in Communal/Plural: Journal of Transnational and Cross-Cultural Studies Vol 8 (3) 257-264
  • Castillo, A. & Dreher, T. 2001, Tune in to Fairfield City: a multicultural driving tour. (Audio recording and Guide)

Web resource

The Listening Project: a program of research collaboration that has brought together Australian cultural and media scholars, practitioners and activists interested in the theme of ‘listening’, an emerging international focus in Media Studies and citizens’ media interventions.

Last reviewed: 10 October, 2016