Archive for the 'Research' Category

Book Launch for Penny Russell’s Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia

To be launched by Professor Jill Julius Matthews, Professor of History, Australian National University.

Penny Russell is an Associate Professor in the Department of history. She is ‘fascinated by snobs and social climbers, scandals large and small, and the mysterious ways people lived, loved and learned in times past’, as her new book reveals:

In colonial Australia manners marked the difference between savagery and civilisation, between vulgarity and refinement. Colonists recoiled in shock and confusion at the customs of Indigenous Australians, but they also sensed the savagery lurking in white society. Manners mattered, to individuals and to society. Original and compelling, Savage or Civilised? is the story of behaviour, respect and manners in colonial Australia. 

When: 6 for 6.30pm, Friday November 12, 2010
Where: Gleebooks Bookstore, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
RSVP: or phone (02) 9660 2333

Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia, by Penny Russell, is published by UNSW Press


SOPHI receives over 70% of the Faculty’s funding in latest round of ARC grants

The ARCs have been released and we congratulate SOPHI staff on another successful round of ARC application. History has won an APF and an APD, and Philosophy an ARF, and various others were successful in their DP applications. As a School we won over 70% of the total Faculty amount.

From Paddy to Pura: the origins of Angkor
Dr Dougald J O’Reilly, Dr Louise G Shewan, Dr Damian H Evans, Dr Kathryn M Domett, Prof Charles F Higham, Prof Elizabeth (Lisa) A Matisoo-Smith, Dr Thomas F Higham, Dr Sian E Halcrow, Dr Thomas O Pryce, Prof Rethy Chhem

Project Summary
This project explores the origin and rise of the state in ancient Southeast Asia. Through the investigation of sites in Cambodia and Thailand and using an array of innovative technologies, the research will contribute to the global investigation of humankind’s trajectory toward ever-increasing complexity.

Redeeming the Great Barrier Reef. Science, romanticism and indigenous knowledge in the cultural and ecological history of the reef, c.1850-1950
Prof Iain D McCalman

Project Summary
This project shows how, in the late-nineteenth-century, scientist W Saville-Kent, journalist EJ Banfield and castaway Narcisse Pelletier, and their intellectual successors, helped transform widespread popular fear and distrust of the Great Barrier Reef by inaugurating positive and holistic scientific, literary and ethnographic analyses of the region’s ecology.

Personal liberty, British identity and surveillance in the antipodes, 1780s – 1830s
Dr Kirsten E McKenzie

Project Summary
By studying surveillance in colonial Australia and South Africa, this project will come to a new understanding of what defined British liberty. It will demonstrate that our country’s history lies at the centre of one of the most pressing questions of our time-how far do concepts of freedom remain tied to national and cultural particularity?

Enterprising women: race, gender and power in the revolutionary Atlantic, 1770-1820
Prof Cassandra J Pybus, Dr Kit Candlin (APD)

Project Summary
This historical project will research emancipated slave women who became successful entrepreneurs in the British slave colonies in the late eighteenth-century, to show how these remarkable free black women influenced the culture of the British empire, both in the colonies and at home.

Year of the riot: Harlem, 1935
Prof Shane White (APF), A/Prof Stephen M Robertson, Prof Stephen R Garton

Project Summary
Using a website to reconstruct Harlem and map the events of the 1935 riot, this project reveals the dynamics of the first instance of a new kind of racial violence-against police and property rather than between blacks and whites-and the impact of the Depression on African Americans.

A theory of theory choice
Prof David Braddon-Mitchell, Dr Kristie L Miller (ARF)

Project Summary
Disagreements sometimes seem to be about the world, and sometimes seem to be about the right way to conceptualise or talk about the world. This project offers a new way to determine which disputes fall into which
category, and offers them.

Critical edition of Robert Kilwardby’s commentary on Aristotle’s Prior Analytics, with historical / philosophical introduction and analytical notes
Prof Paul Thom

Project Summary
In the Middle Ages, logic was one of the areas of philosophy that could be pursued relatively independently of theology. Great conceptual achievements resulted, many of which have been given new expression using the techniques of modern logic. This project will make Kilwardby’s highly original work in logic accessible to contemporary logicians.

Congratulations to all, and to those colleagues who supported them in the application process!