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Post date: 23 May 2014

Pontius Pilate: Washing One's Hands of Refugees - audio now available

The parable of the Good Samaritan is often invoked in discussion of refugee issues, but in the times in which we are living, Pontius Pilate seems to be the more popular role model.

In this lecture, Professor Maley discusses some of the bases of responsibilities towards refugees on the part of states and their agents, explores some ways in which contemporary state practice in Australia is devoted to finding ways of avoiding the discharge of such responsibilities, and shows how it is inspirational and innovative individuals, rather than agents of the state, who often played the most critical roles in assisting those who face a dire threat of persecution.

Lecture audio: Pontius Pilate: Washing One's Hands of Refugees 


Post date: 14 February 2014

Humanities Research Centre Selected to Participate in Major Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant


Post date: 3 October 2013

HRC 2013 Newsletter


Post date: 24 July 2013

Humanities Research Journal Series; Volume XIX No. 2. 2013. The World and World-Making in Art

Humanities Research Journal Series; Volume XIX No. 2. 2013
The World and World-Making in Art

Edited by Caroline Turner, Michelle Antoinette and Zara Stanhope

ISSN 1440-0669 (Print version) $29.95 (GST inclusive)
ISSN 1834-8491 (Online)

For More Information:


Post date: 1 May 2013

Book Launch - A Good Life. Human Rights and Encounters with Modernity

Invitation to Mary Edmunds Book Launch

This book is a story. It’s a story about ordinary people in very different parts of the world dealing with rapid change in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It’s about times of turbulent and violent social upheaval and rupture with the past. It’s about modern times. It’s also about being human; what it is to be human in a modernising and globalising world; how, in responding to the circumstances of their times, different groups define, redefine, and attempt to put into practice their understandings of the good and of what constitutes a good life. And it’s about how human rights have come to be not abstract universal principles but a practical source of consciousness and practice for real people. Drawing on the author’s experience as an anthropologist, the book examines different groups over the last three decades of the twentieth century and the first years of the twenty-first: Thai factory workers over a period of two coups in the 1970s; Spanish nuns in the 1980s,
in the aftermath of the Second Vatican Council and the end of the Franco dictatorship; Aboriginal people in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia dealing with the impact of late colonialism and moves towards self-determination, from the 1980s to the present.


Post date: 11 February 2013

HRC ANU Gender Institute Visiting Fellowship 2014 applications (CLOSED)

The Humanities Research Centre is accepting applications for the inaugural HEC ANU Gender Institute Visiting Fellowship for 2014. The fellowship is valued at $3,000.

This fellowship is part of the HRC's 2014 theme is Now Showing: Cultures, Judgements, and Research on the Digital Screen.  Further information on the 2014 HRC Annual Theme.

The application process (and forms) for the Gender Institute Fellowship is the same as for the other HRC Visiting Fellowships for 2014.  This information is found here.


Post date: 11 December 2012

Debjani Ganguly awarded Fellowship at Clare Hall, Cambridge University

 Debjani GangulyThe Head of the Humanities Research Centre, Associate Professor Debjani Ganguly has been awarded a Fellowship at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and will be taking it up in the first half of 2013. The Fellowship makes Debjani a Life Member of Clare Hall and and an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Research in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH). During her visit she will explore the archives and holdings of the Centre for South Asian Studies, consolidate links with scholars in world literature and digital humanities, finalise revisions to her completed manuscript on the world novel, give public seminars, and mentor graduate scholars at Clare Hall.


Post date: 19 November 2012

2014 HRC Visiting Fellows Program (Closed)


Post date: 14 November 2012

2013/2014 HRC Internal Fellowships

The Humanities Research Centre is inviting applications for two ANU Internal Fellowships.
Call for Applications (PDF)
Supervisor's Approval Form (PDF)
Supervisor's Approval Form (DOCX)

Deadline: 15 January 2013

Contact: Dr Debjani Ganguly, HRC, ANU
Phone: 6125 9877


Post date: 24 July 2012

Bill Gammage wins Prime Minister's Literary Award for Australian History

23 July 2012: Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Arts Minister Simon Crean announced the winners of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards at the National library  of Australia.  Among the winners was Professor Bill Gammage, from the Humanities Research Centre, receiving the prize for the inaugural Prize for Australian history with his recently published book, The Biggest Estate on Earth, the result of 12 years  of scholarship.

In The Biggest Estate on Earth, Gammage reveals that Aboriginal Australians used complex land management systems to transform the continent into vast parklands reminiscent of an English country estate.

“The kind of landscape that Aborigines created before 1788 was a tapestry of patterns,” says Gammage in Park Life. “You had trees next to grass and grass broken up by clumps of trees, forest broken up by clearings and so on. It was a mosaic of different kinds of plant communities and that was true whether it was rainforest or spinifex.

“When Europeans first came to Australia, they assumed that what they saw was natural. They often described the landscapes as ‘parks’. Like the gentlemen’s parks in England...

“But it never occurred to them that the parks in Australia could have been made; it didn’t occur to them that ‘wandering savages’ could have done such a thing. So their common assumption was that they were seeing a natural landscape.”

Bill also comments that "Aboriginal people worked hard to make plants and animals abundant, convenient and predictable.

By distributing plants and associating them in mosaics, then using these to lure and locate animals, Aborigines made Australia as it was in 1788, when Europeans arrived," when he writes about his book on The Conversation.

Watch Professor Bill Gammage of the ANU Humanities Research Centre discussing his book The Biggest Estate on Earth.

For more information, see:

    the article in the Sydney Morning Herald
    the ministers' award shortlist media release
    Park Life, an interview with Professor Gammage in February 2012

The Biggest Estate on Earth is published by Allen & Unwin and can be purchased online from the University Coop Bookshop.

To view video recording:


Updated: 27 March 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head, HRC / Page Contact:  HRC administration