Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Professor Catharine Lumby

Catharine LumbyProfessor of Media


Catharine Lumby is the author and co-author of six books and numerous journal articles and book chapters. She is currently writing a literary biography of the author Frank Moorhouse. Since 2004, Catharine has worked in a pro-bono role advising the National Rugby League on cultural change and education programs for players. Before entering academia in 2000, she was a journalist and opinion writer and has worked for The Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC and The Bulletin magazine. Catharine is on the editorial boards of Public Communication Review, the International Journal of Cultural Studies, and Feminist Media Studies. She was the foundation Chair of the Media and Communications Department at Sydney University and the foundation Director of the Journalism and Media Research Centre at UNSW. She joined Macquarie University in 2013. She has been the recipient of seven Australian Research Council grants and has completed research projects for organisations as diverse as Google Australia, the Australian Communication and Media Authority, the Australian Sports Commission and the National Rugby League. In 2013, Catharine was appointed to the National Museum of Australia Council, in an announcement made by Australia's Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke.

Professor Catharine Lumby's website can be found at

Research Interests

Catharine's research spans media studies, gender studies and media content regulation. Her current research interests include:

  • Young people, media consumption and relationships
  • Media content regulation in a convergent media environment
  • Social media and ethics
  • The future of journalism in the online and social media era
  • The role of education in preventing violence against women

Current Grants

ARC Discovery Grant - Young People, Sex, Love and Media - Catharine Lumby, Kath Albury and Alan McKee - 2012-2015 ($200,000)

Twitter, Democracy and the Future of Journalism - Internal grant - $30,000


Authored Books:

Lumby, C. (2008), Alvin Purple, Currency Press, Sydney.

McKee, A., Albury, K. and Lumby, C. (2008), The Porn Report, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. 

Lumby, C and Fine, D. (2006), Why TV Is Good For Kids: Raising 21st Century Children, Pan Macmillan, Sydney. 

Lumby, C. (2000),  Tim Storrier: The Art of the Outsider, Craftman's House, Sydney.

Lumby, C. (1999), Gotcha: Life In A Tabloid World, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.  

Lumby, C. (1997), Bad Girls: The Media, Sex and Feminism in the 90s, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.  

Edited Books:

Lumby,C. and Probyn, E. (eds),  Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. 

Chapters in Books:

Lumby C. (2012), "Reality TV", Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, 2nd ed Volume 3, Academic Press, San Diego, pp 734-740.

Albury, K. and Lumby, C. (2010), "Sport, Media and Politics", The Media and Communications in Australia, Allen and Unwin, Sydney. 

Lumby, C. (2007), "Doing It For Themselves. Teenage Girls, Sexuality and Fame", Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader, Sean Redmond and Sue Holmes, Sage, Los Angeles and London, pp. 341-352.

Lumby, C. (2006), "Inside Out: The Contemporary Humanities in Practice", Creating Value: The Humanities and Their Publics, ed. Probyn, Elspeth, Muecke, Stephen, and Shoemaker, Adam, The Australian Academy of the Humanities, Canberra, pp. 117-128. 

Lumby, C. (2006), "Vanishing Point", The Celebrity Culture Reader, P.David Marshall (ed), Routledge, London and New York, pp. 530-546.

Lumby, C. (2006), "Media Ethics", The Media and Communications in Australia, ed. Cunningham, Stuart and Turner, Graeme, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, pp. 303-314.

Lumby, C. (2006), "Women", Sociology: Place, Time and Division, ed. Beilharz, Peter and Hogan, L

Lumby, C. (2004 "Our Man At the Cultural Studies Cliff Face", Frank Moorhouse, National Library, Canberra.

Lumby, C. (2004), "Outside In: Academics and Public Debate", The Ideas Market, ed. Carter, D., Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. 

Hartley J. and Lumby, C. (2003), "Working Girls or Drop-Dead Gorgeous? Young Girls in Fashion and News", Youth Cultures: Texts, Images, and Identities, Praeger, Wesport, Conn. and London. 

Lumby, C. (2003), "Real Appeal: The Ethics of Reality TV", Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics, ed. Lumby, C, and Probyn, E., Cambridge University Press, Melbourne. 

Lumby, C. (2002), "Televising the Invisible: Prisoners, Prison Reform and the Media", Prisoners As Citizens, ed. Brown, D. and Wilkie, M., Federation Press, Sydney.

Lumby, C. (2002),  "The Future of Journalism", The Media and Communications in Australia, ed. Cunningham, S. and Turner, G. Allen and Unwin, Sydney.

Lumby, C. (2001), "Generation Panics: Age, Knowledge and Power in a New Media Era", Culture in Australia, ed. Bennett, T. and Carter, D., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Lumby, C. (2001), "Systemic Murmurs", What Is Installation?, ed. Gezcy, A. and Genocchio, B., Power Publications.

Lumby, C. (2001), "Entertaining Sex and Politics", Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and the National Interest, ed. Berlant, L. and Duggan,L., New York University Press, New York. 

Lumby, C. (1999), "Mediating Democracy, Politics and the Media in the Postmodern Public Sphere", New Voices for Social Democracy, ed. Patmore, G. and Glover,D. Pluto Press.

Lumby, C. (1998),  Essay on feminism and the media, Australian Feminism: A Companion, Caine, B.  general editor, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.  

Lumby, C. (1998), "Feminisms", Americanisation and Australia, eds. Bell, P. and Bell, R., University of NSW Press.

Lumby, C. (1997), "Nothing Personal: Sex, Gender and Identity in the Media Age", Sex In Public: Australian Sexual Cultures, ed. Matthews,J., Allen and Unwin, Sydney.

Lumby, C. (1997),  "Back To The Brady Bunch', The Retreat From Tolerance, ed.  P. Adams,  ABC Books, Sydney.

Lumby, C (1997), "Vanishing Point", Planet Diana: Cultural Studies and Global Mourning, ed.  Re: Public, Research Centre in Intercommunal Studies, University of Western Sydney, Sydney.

Lumby, C.  and O'Neill, J., (1995),  "Tabloid Television", with John O'Neill, Not Just Another Business:Journalists, Citizens  and the Media,Pluto Press, Melbourne.  

Journal Special Issues

Kath Albury and Catharine Lumby co-editors: Media Information Australia, "Children, Young People, Sexuality and the Media" (May 2010).

Journal Articles (refereed unless otherwise indicated):

Lumby, C. and Funnell, N.  (2012), "Between Heat and Light: The Opportunity in Moral Panics", Crime Media Culture, 7.3.

Caple, H., Greenwood, K. and Lumby, C. (2011), "What League? The Representation of Female Athletes in Australian Television Sports Coverage", Media International Australia, 140, pp. 137-146.

Albury, K., Evers, C. and Lumby, C. (2011), "Playing by The Rules: Researching, Teaching and Learning Sexual Ethics with Young Men in the Australia Rugby League", Sex Education, 11.3, pp. 339-351. 

Lumby, C. (2011), "Past the Post in Feminist Media Studies", Feminist Media Studies, 11.4, pp. 95-100.

Lumby, C. (2010), "Ambiguity, Children, Representation, and Sexuality." CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 12.4, Purdue University Press:

Lumby, C. and Albury, K. (2010), "Too Much? Too Young? The Sexualisation of Children Debate in Australia", Media Information Australia, 135, pp. 141-152.

McKee, A., Albury, K., Dunne, M., Grieshaber, S., Hartley, J., Lumby, C. and Mathews, B. (2010),  "Healthy Sexual Development: A Multidisciplinary Framework for Research", International Journal of Sexual Health, 22.1, pp. 14-19. 

Hartley, J., Green, L. and Lumby, C. (2010), "Refused Classification and the Proposed Australian Internet Filter: An Assault on the Open Society", Australian Journal of Communication, 37.3, pp. 1-14.

Lumby, C. and Albury, K. (2008), "Homer Versus Homer: Digital media, Literacy and Child Protection", Media International Australia, No. 128, August, pp. 80-88.

Lumby, C. (2005),  "Playing By the Rules: Off the Field", University of NSW Law Journal, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 312-315. 

Lumby, C. (2001),  "Watching them Watching Us: The Trouble With Teenage Girls", Continuum, Volume 15, No. 1, April, pp. 49-55.

Lumby, C. (2000), "Sex, Murder, and Moral Panic: Coming to a Suburb Near You", Meanjin, Volume 58, no. 4, pp.  92-106. (non-refereed)

Lumby, C. (1999), "Genre Anxiety: Media Studies and Popular Debate", Media Information Australia, No.  88, February, pp. 40-47.

Lumby, C. (1998), "No Kidding: Paedophilia and Popular Culture", Continuum, Volume 12, No.1, April, pp. 47-55.

Lumby, C. (1997), "Girls and the New Media", Meanjin, Volume 56, No. 1, pp.  105-118. (non-refereed)

Lumby, C. (1997), "Panic Attacks: Old Fears in a New Media Order", Media International Australia, No.  85, November, pp.  40-46.  

Review Articles: 

2003"Democratising Cultural Studies", Cultural Studies Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 224-226. 

2002 "Teaching Media Studies", Continuum, Vol. 15, Number 1, April, pp. 129-132. 

Other publications: 

Lumby, C. and Crawford, K. (2011), The Adaptive Moment: A Fresh Approach to Convergent Media in Australia, Report for Google Australia.

Green, L., Brady, D., Olafsson, K., Hartley, J. and Lumby, C. (2011), Risks and Safety for Australian Children on the Internet: Full Findings from the AU Kids Online survey of 9-16 year olds and their parents, Report prepared for The ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation.

Lumby, C., Hartley, J. and Green, L. (2009), Untangling the Net: The Scope of Content Caught by Mandatory Internet Filtering, Report prepared for the Internet Industry Association of Australia.

 Lumby, C., Caple, H. and Greenwood, K. (2010), Towards a Level Playing Field: Sport and Gender in Australian Media, Report prepared for Australian Sports Commission.