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Senior Lecturer/Convenor Radio, Macquarie University

Virginia Madsen is an experienced research and teaching academic, leading the radio strand for the Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies Dept (MMCCS) at Macquarie University. She is also an established radio producer and writer whose many works have been broadcast by the major public service media institutions in Europe, USA and Australia. She worked for many years on staff and as an independent producer for the ABC's national radio networks, RN and ABC Classic FM before taking up a Vice Chancellor's research fellowship at the University of NSW, Sydney, and then a research/teaching position at Macquarie University. Madsen has also created sound designs for theatre, television and museum contexts. Current research projects include leading the 2014 ARC funded Discovery project: "Cultural Conversations: A History of ABC Radio National". Madsen is also completing a book charting the international documentary tradition and imagination in radio. Madsen chairs the Management Committee of the Centre for Media History (CMH), Macquarie University and is a member of its Advisory Board:


  • 2008–present
    Senior Lecturer in Media, Macquarie University
  • 2005–2008
    Visiting Research Fellow (Dept of Media), University of NSW
  • 2002–2005
    Vice Chancellor's Post Doctoral Research Fellow, University of NSW


  • 2001 
    University of Technology, Sydney, Doctorate of Creative Arts (DCA)
  • 1993 
    University of Sydney, Diploma of Arts (French Studies)
  • 1983 
    University of Technology, Sydney, BA (Communications)


  • 2014
    Children of Sodom and Gomorrah: A Review essay, RadioDoc Review
  • 2014
    'Documentary' (radio) and 'Podcasting' entries, Companion to the Australian Media
  • 2014
    Son sauvage Arlésien (book chapter) , La tentation du son
  • 2013
    Charting the documentary-feature in radio: impressions of the 'radio eye' from new wave to next wave, Australasian Sound Archive
  • 2013
    'Your ears are a portal to another world': the new radio documentary imagination and the digital domain (book chapter), Radio's New Wave: Global Sound in the Digital Era
  • 2010
    Voice cast: the distribution of the voice via podcasting, VOICE: Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media
  • 2010
    A Call to Listen: the 'new' documentary in radio: encountering 'wild sound' and the film sonore, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
  • 2009
    Cantata of Fire: son et lumière in Waco, Texas, auscultation for a shadow play, Organized Sound (Cambridge journals)
  • 2009
    Radio and the Documentary Imagination, Radio: Critical Essays in Media and Cultural Studies, Volume I (collection)
  • 2009
    Written in Air: Experiments in Radio (chapter) , Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia
  • 2009
    A radio d'auteur: the documentaire de création of Kaye Mortley, SCAN (Media Journal)
  • 2009
    Authorship and the Documentary, Editorship of Special Issue SCAN
  • 2009
    Voices-cast: a report on the new audiosphere of podcasting with specific insights for public broadcasting (e-book conference proceedings), ANZCA09 - Communication, Creativity and Global Citizenship, Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference
  • 2007
    Cultural radio at the crossroads: "When I hear the word culture I switch on my radio'": reflections on an underestimated form, cultural radio, Southern Review 39.3
  • 2005
    Radio and the documentary imagination: thirty years of experiment, innovation, and revelation, The Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media 3.3
  • 2005
    The atelier de création radiophonique: propositions for an expanded radio imaginary, Radio in the World: Radio Conference, 2005
  • 2004
    Thirty Years of the International Radio Feature, The IFC Collection: 30 Years of International Radio Documentaries (CD Collection and Booklet)
  • 1999
    The Call of the Wild, Uncertain Ground: essays between art and nature

Grants and Contracts

  • 2014
    "Cultural Conversations: A History of ABC Radio National" (DP140102514)
    Lead Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    ARC (Discovery project)

Research Areas

  • Media Studies (200104)
  • Australian History (Excl. Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander History) (210303)
  • Film, Television And Digital Media (1902)