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Dr John G Fox

BJuris (UNSW), LLB (UNSW), MSocSci Policy and Human Services (RMIT), MSocWork (RMIT), PhD (RMIT)


John is a lecturer in social work and draws on his prior experience as a lawyer, policy advocate and social planner in his teaching and research.

He contributes to social work theory and practice, and the teaching thereof, in relation to the promotion of human flourishing through research that promotes:

  • greater recognition of the role of our bodies and the material world in all dimensions of health and wellbeing (principally by drawing on contemporary research in relation to biopolitics, materialism, post-humanism and critical social theory)
  • inclusion and participation, especially by addressing social exclusion that follows from ideas and practices that do not recognise and value social diversity
  • ‘deep’ transformative learning that has the potential to promote social inclusion (including teaching and learning in higher education).

John’s research engages with local industry and the community through the Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne. His current focus is on the contribution of bodily experience to transformative learning, and in the longer term, how lessons learned by the JHC (and similar organisations in many other countries) can support work in relation to other communities confronting racism and social exclusion.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Fox, J and O’Maley, P (2017), ‘Adorno in the classroom: how contesting the influence of late capitalism enables the integrated teaching of academic literacies and critical analysis and the development of a flourishing learning community’, Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2016.1269314

Grace, M, Townsend, R, Testa, D, Fox, J, O’Maley, P, Custance, J and Daddow, A (2013), ‘Student diversity as grass roots internationalisation in Social Work education’, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 15(1), 120-134

Fox, J and Pease, B (2012), ‘Military deployment, masculinity and trauma: reviewing the connections’, The Journal of Men’s Studies, 20(1), 16-31

Crisp, B and Fox, J (2012), ‘Negotiating the university environment: How first year students learn about university processes’, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 55-72

Refereed books

Fox, J (2015), Marx, the body, and human nature, Palgrave Macmillan, London

Refereed chapters

Fox, J (in print) ‘Reclaiming compassion: Auschwitz, Holocaust remembrance, and social work’, in Crisp, B (Ed.), Routledge handbook of religion, spirituality and social work, Routledge, London

Crisp, B and Fox, J (2014) ‘Making new students feel that they matter: Promoting social inclusion within the university community’, in Crisp, B and others (Ed) (2014), Practising Social Inclusion, Routledge, Oxford

Custance, J, Fox, J and O’Maley, P (2014) ‘Becoming a community of readers: academic literacies in the social work classroom’, in Funston, A, Gill, M, & Gilmore, G, Strong starts, supported transitions & student success, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge, pp 219-244

Conference presentations

Fox, J and Cohen, M (2016), ‘The Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne – Public pedagogies of compassion and connection’, paper presented at the Public Pedagogies Institute Annual Conference, Turning learning back to front, Melbourne, Australia, 28-30 November 2016

Fox, J (2014), ‘Relating to ‘wrong life’: The Counterfeiters (2007)’, paper presented at The Future of the Past: Representing the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Trauma in the 21st Century Conference, Jewish Holocaust Centre/Deakin University, Melbourne, July 2014

Fox, J (2012), ‘Welfare policy and the new materialisms’, paper presented at the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia’s Annual Conference, Materialities: Economies, Empiricism & Things, University of Sydney, Australia, 4-6 December 2012

Grace, M, Townsend, R, Testa, D, Fox, J, O’Maley, P, Custance, J and Daddow, A (2012), ‘Student diversity as grass roots internationalisation in Social Work education’, paper presented at the Australian Association for Social Work and Welfare Education Symposium, University of South Australia, Adelaide, 27-28 September 2012

Grace, M, Daddow, A, Egan, R, Fox, J, Noble, C, O’Maley, P, Ridley, C and Testa, D (2011), ‘Blurring the boundaries: a collaborative approach to language and learning support for Social Work students’, paper presented at the Multiculturalism: Perspectives from Australia, Canada and China Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, 21-22 November 2011

Teaching responsibilities

John coordinates and teaches in the following units of the social work course:

Industry experience

  • Special Advisor, Consumer Affairs, Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Executive director, Centacare
  • Coordinator, social and equity planning team, Hume City Council
  • Scholar-in-residence, Jewish Holocaust Museum and Research Centre, Melbourne

Areas of expertise

  • Social policy
  • Social theories about the body
  • Social work
  • Teaching critical social theory
  • Teaching critical social work

Contact details

+61 3 9919 4419