Power of the humanities

Explore stories about the social benefits and impact of the Humanities and the remarkable outcomes that can be achieved when humanities researchers collaborate on national and global challenges. Visit our Newsroom to explore stories about our people, community and research.

In the spirit of Humanities Australia, the Academy’s journal, we’re introducing a new series of essays by Fellows across a wide range of topics. This month, Academy President Emeritus Professor Lesley Head FASSA FAHA discusses reframing climate change as a social issue.

Welcome to the 12th edition of the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ flagship journal Humanities Australia, showcasing some of the outstanding research and writing being carried out by our Fellows, grants and awards alumni and those involved in our annual lecture series. It is an essential part of our commitment to supporting excellence in the humanities and communicating their value to the public.

Australia is one of the world’s most multicultural nations in the world. Discover how humanities researchers have played a pivotal role in reshaping understandings of national identity and culture, identifying and addressing some of the nation’s systemic inequalities, and helping Australia reposition itself at a time of rapid change and geopolitical turbulence.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art is critically acclaimed at home and internationally, but until the middle of last century, it was often displayed in an ethnographic context instead of artistically. Learn how curators, activists, artists and community elevated these important artforms and transformed contemporary Australian art.

Australia has much to learn from Aboriginal land management practices, especially as we enter another season of bushfires, drought and extreme weather events. Archaeological and historical research shows just how extensively Aboriginal cultures used fire and expert agricultural strategies for over 65,000 years, and how we might re-adopt these historically proven approaches.

Evidence shows that language does indeed influence many things, including speakers’ conceptions of physical space and other abstract ideas like time and kinship. Explore the linguistic studies of the past and present that are helping scholars understand language’s diverse impact on human thought.

Subaltern studies remains relevant today as new classes of subaltern people – such as refugees – emerge, but where did this field of study come from and how has it been used in the past?

He supped with the Gunpowder Plot conspirators, was almost hanged after killing a fellow actor in a sword fight, and wrote a satirical play that led to the closure of London’s theatres for months, but you may have never heard of him. Thanks to extensive research and new editions, the striking and bold theatrical works of Ben Jonson, can now retake their place next to Shakespeare’s.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.