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.

Fellow and literary historian Professor Katherine Bode explores Australia’s literary and cultural heritage through her research into fiction found in 19th century Australian newspapers. With more than 36,000 publications in ‘To be continued: The Australian Newspaper Fiction Database,’ Katherine’s exploration has barely scratched the surface of this vast trove of historical fiction.

Fellow and Professor of Digital Media Jean Burgess argues that despite the chaos brought on by Elon Musk in recent months, Twitter has always been much more than a tech company. Regardless of how the story of Twitter turns out, what its user community does next will help shape the future of our media and communication environment.

Fellow and Professor of Political Philosophy Duncan Ivison argues that the call for a Voice to Parliament is not, as its critics argue, an attempt to insert race-based politics into the Australian Constitution but is instead a democratic claim.

This text is based on his 2022 Annual Academy lecture delivered in Ballarat at the 53rd Annual Academy Symposium. The full video of his lecture can be viewed at the end of this article.

This week’s Five-Minute Friday Read from Janet McCalman, Emeritus Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne, discusses the nature of wealth inequality and examines why a Universal Basic Income is not enough to fix the causes of poverty.

This week saw the release of Ensuring Occupations are Responsive to People with Disabilities, a landmark report by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) commissioned by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. As part of the Academy of Humanities’ support for the project, Professor Bree Hadley provided a study of disability in the arts, creative, and cultural industries for the project, and Professor Gerard Goggin was a member of the Expert Reference Group. In this week’s Five-Minute Friday Read, they explain why disability training needs fundamental reform now.

In response to the current Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide and as part of the Five-Minute Friday Read series, Christina Twomey, Professor of History at Monash University, looks at the history of activism to raise awareness of veteran suicide and asks: what does Australia owe its veterans?

In today’s Five-Minute Friday Read, Graham Tulloch, Emeritus Professor of English at Flinders University, explores how the work of Robert Louis Stevenson continues to capture the imagination of modern audiences and why his work is still so relevant in the 21st century.

For the Five-Minute Friday Read and on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Julia Gillard’s ‘Misogyny Speech’, Joy Damousi, Professor of History, Dean of Arts and Director of the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Australian Catholic University and immediate past President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, discusses the speech’s legacy and what it might mean for the future of women in politics and society.

In today’s Five-Minute Friday Read, Shurlee Swain, Emeritus Professor in the National School of Arts at Australian Catholic University, examines the terrible history of child removal in Australia and its lasting impacts across communities.

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.