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Professor Jill Bennett

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett
+61 2 9385 0691

Jill Bennett is Scientia Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. She is Founding Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts and of The Big Anxiety Festival; and is part of the leadership team of the Ageing Futures Institute.

In 2017, she founded The Big Anxiety – festival of people + art + science, a research-driven, mental health festival, which won ‘Best New Event’ at the Australian Event Awards in its inaugural year, 2017 In 2019 she co-curated (with Bec Dean) The Empathy Clinic as part of The Big Anxiety.

Jill’s ARC Laureate fellowship (which commenced in 2018) supports the transdisciplinary Felt Experience & Empathy Lab [fEEL] at UNSW. fEEL brings together psychologists and creative practitioners, specialising in mental health engagement, and in the use of experiential media such as virtual reality to communicate embodied experience. fEEL’s innovative approach to subjective experience and knowledge exchange utilises immersive media/Virtual Reality to create perception simulation, facilitating ‘seeing through the eyes of another’. Outputs include the IEEE Award winning The Visit, an interactive avatar made with women with dementia. Collaborations include  work with NPY Women’s Council/Uti Kulintjaku

Jill’s books include Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma and Contemporary Art, Stanford UP, 2005 and Practical Aesthetics: Events, Affect & Art After 9/11, 2011. She has recently co-edited Thinking in the World: A Reader (2020) and is series editor (with Mary Zournazi) of the Thinking in the World series (Bloomsbury).

Recent articles describing the strategies of The Big Anxiety within a psychosocial framework include Bennett, J., Froggett, L. and Muller, L. (2019) Psychosocial aesthetics and the art of lived experience, Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 12(1-2): 185–2010.


The Empathy Clinic

Big Anxiety highlights

New body mapping tool:

Selected Publications

Conference Abstracts

Kuchelmeister V; Bennett J; Ginnivan N; Kenning G; Papadopoulos C; Dean R; Neidorf M, 2020, 'The Visit (Abstract IEEE VR 2020)', in IEEE VR 2020, Atlanta, presented at 27th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, Atlanta, 22 March 2020 - 26 March 2020,

Creative Works (non-textual)

Kenning G; Colemen W; Bennett J, 2019, WEVE (Woollahra Emotion Visualisation Experience), WEVE: It feels like home, Woollahra Library at Double Bay, Watsons Bay Library, Paddington Library, 05 November 2019 - 08 November 2019, medium: Synchronous multi media screen installation
Bennett J; Kuchelmeister V; Dean R; Ginnivan N; Neidorf M; Kenning G; Papadopoulos C; Pledger D; Mitchell H; Kew E, 2019, The Visit (VR), The Empathy Clinic, AGNSW, UNSW Galleries, DAX centre, Melbourne, Western Sydney University, IEEE VR conference Atlanta., 27 September 2019 - 09 November 2019, medium: VR, at:
Bennett J; Kuchelmeister V; Ginnivan N; Kenning G; Neidorf M; Dean R; Papadopoulos C, 2019, The Visit, The Big Anxiety - festival of people + arts + science, UNSW Galleries, Sydney, NSW, 27 September 2019 - 09 November 2019, medium: Immersive Visualisation, Virtual Reality, at:
Bennett J; Ginnivan N; Kuchelmeister V; McKinnon A; Neidorf M; Kenning G; Papadopoulos C; Dean R, 2019, A Course of Empathy (Empathy App), The Empathy Clinic, Online and UNSW Galleries, 27 September 2019 - , medium: Website, at:

Journal articles

Bennett J; Froggett L; Kenning G; Muller L, 2019, 'Memory Loss and Scenic Experience: An Arts Based Investigation', FQS Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung, vol. 20,