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SOPHI’s Pakistan flood relief morning tea raises $242.75!

Thanks to all those SOPHI staff who were able to make it to the morning tea last Wednesday, and to donate to the Pakistan flood crisis collection. And a special thanks also to all those who couldn’t make it to the morning tea, but made an effort to get their donations in.

We’ve finalised the collection now, and raised $242.75, which will be donated to Oxfam Australia’s Pakistan Floods Appeal.
See the Oxfam Australia website for more details or if you didn’t manage to donate through SOPHI, but would still like to contribute to this relief effort.

With best wishes, Julie-Ann and Elia

Wondrous Antiquities: The Histories of Herodotus

Nicholson Museum Course in a Day
Saturday, 12 September 2009

10am to 4.30pm, Nicholson Museum,
Quadrangle, University of Sydney

Five lectures from leading University of Sydney scholars; Alastair Blanshard, Julia Kindt, Frances Muecke, Hyun Jin Kim and Michael Turner. The aim is to give a better understanding of the extraordinary work that is the Histories of Herodotus. The day will include a showing of one of the best known Herodotus moments in modern culture – the Gyges/Candaules passage from the film The English Patient.

Cost: $100. Full information about the day is attached. HERODOTUS
Booking: 02 9351 2812 or m dot turner at usyd dot edu dot au

Welcome back!

Welcome back!  I know it feels as if you haven’t really left….but just pretend.

New year –  new President of the USA –  new world order (maybe) –  new students –  and new challenges on the horizon that will enliven your time in SOPHI and the Faculty over the next few months.  The themes for this year will be a variation on the everpresent demands for us to go forth and teach and do research: we need to renew our thinking about the quality of our teaching, and we need to address the challenge of ERA (‘Excellence in Research Australia’).

The quality of our teaching always matters, but it has never mattered more. Many of you will by now be (very) aware of a surge of enrollments in SOPHI first year units this semester – which is wonderful -but will put us under considerable pressure in terms of the size of our classes and tutorials.  The Faculty as a whole is also under pressure somewhat, since we have slipped – slightly – in the rankings that the government uses to measure our teaching performance (to which serious $$’s are attached).  I’ve also felt for some time that we could do a much better job of supporting and mentoring our tutors: we need to integrate them much more fully into our Departments and provide much more disciplinary oriented advice, mentoring and training. So look for initiatives across all these fronts this year. The good news is that the evaluations we administer to our students (the ‘USE surveys’) are telling us that we’re doing a pretty good job; we’ve improved our mean scores across all of the key questions in each of the last 3 years…So there is much to build on.

The ERA is a slightly more complicated political beast. No new money rides on it, but reputation and the distribution of resources in the future may well be shaped by it. Social scientists make much of the concept of ‘path dependence’,  and I think we are seeing the emergence of a new ‘path’ for the way research will be funded in the future. As you know, the Humanities will be evaluated this year, and among other things they will be looking at publications between 2002-7 for each ‘field of research’ (mastery of  new jargon will be constant battle this year). So it is vital that we have as fully accurate a record of your publications during this period as possible. If you haven’t checked your ‘IRMA’ file yet (the university’s publication information data base) then please do so now, and let Julie-Anne know if anything needs to be changed or added (julie-ann dot robson at usyd dot edu dot au).

It’s a particular pleasure to welcome new appointees to SOPHI in 2009: In Archaeology, Nina Kononenko and Mitch Hendrickson joins us as  ARC APDs.   In Gender and Cultural Studies, Melissa Gregg joins us as ARC APD and then as Lecturer from July; Anna Hickey Moody took up a new Lectureship in January; Meaghan Morris takes up a new half-time positions as Professor of Cultural Studies (from July); and Fiona Allen joins us as a fixed-term Lecturer from this week. In  History, Ross Jones and Blanca Tovias de Plaisted take up their ARC APD and University Postdoctoral Fellowships, respectively; and Peter Denney joins us as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (from Dec 2008). In Classics and Ancient History, Anne Rogerson takes up the Tesoriero Lectureship in Latin in July; Hyun Jin Kim took up his University Postdoctoral Fellowship just this week, and Sebastiana Nervegna took up the Kevin Lee Postdoctoral Fellowship in January.  In Philosophy, Rachael Briggs, Patrick Greenough Aidan Lyon, Lionel Schapiro,  Zach Webber, and John Wilkins all join us as Postdoctoral Fellows.  Welcome one and all to the SOPHI team….

2009 SOPHI Strategic Development Fund (SDF)

Applications for 2009 Strategic Development Fund are now called for. The guidelines and application form are attached. The closing date for applications is Friday 6 March 2009. This Fund is only open to academic staff members within the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry.

Duncan Ivison
Professor, Head of School
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
Faculty of Arts, University of Sydney

2009_SOPHI_SDF_Application_&_Guidelines

Survey: Video use in the Faculty of Arts, 2008

Arts Digital had recently experienced an increasing number of requests for support in the use of video and multimedia for teaching, learning and research purposes within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney.

To assist with planning the support and equipment provision over the next 12-24 months, Arts staff are invited to take part in the Survey of Video use. To access the survey please click on the link below:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=_2fno43zKHWVd73ngBBH00hg_3d_3d

Thank you for your participation.

Arts Digital | Faculty of Arts | The University of Sydney


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