The scholarship is part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project: The African Diaspora and Pentecostalism in Australia: New Perspectives on Materiality, Media and Religion.
This project investigates the new African Diaspora in Australia and its embrace of Pentecostalism, particularly after arrival. The African community in Australia has often been associated with poor settlement outcomes, and has also been on the receiving end of a racialised moral panic. The project aims: to understand the range of challenges African-Australian communities faces; to determine why so many of their members join Pentecostal churches; to investigate how Pentecostal churches support these communities' translocal and transnational mobility and sense of belonging, and; to contribute to policy efforts to improve outcomes for African new arrivals in Australia.
Within this larger project, the PhD candidates will conduct ethnographic research with Pentecostal churches in Australia, and with African Diasporas in the country. Both projects will investigate questions such as: how do Pentecostal churches support/hinder processes of settlement and ‘integration’? How do some Pentecostal megachurches generate transnational religious fields – ones which may harness resources from branches elsewhere in the world? And what impact does all of this have on Australian cities’ post-secular social landscapes?
There are two scholarships in this project. One of the PhD candidates will be based in Sydney, at the Religion and Society Research Centre, School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University, and the other in Perth, at the School of Social Sciences, University of Western Australia.