Annual Academy Lecture

Each year, in this distinguished lecture series, a Fellow is invited by Council to deliver a lecture on their latest research. The series also features a lecture by each Academy President during their term in office. The Academy Lecture is a rich display of the breadth and depth of scholarship in the humanities and the impact and imaginative power of this work.

The long list of lectures that have been presented is in itself a potted history of the Fellowship, and richly displays the breadth and depth of their scholarship.

The first Academy Lecture (then simply called the ‘Annual Lecture’) was delivered by Emeritus Professor A. D. Hope on 19 May 1970, in the National Library theatre. It was entitled The literary influence of Academies.

The literary influence of an academy can only be effective if its members are prepared to be daring, controversial, enterprising and imaginative, to take up large and important issues, to pronounce on them clearly and firmly, and to advance the light by showing themselves – A. D. Hope, Annual Academy Lecture, 1970

We have over 50 years of Annual Academy Lectures. Unfortunately, the 2020 Academy Lecture could not be held due to the global pandemic.

2024 Academy Lecture

Past lectures

2019: Being Humane: A contested history by Professor Joy Damousi FAHA

2018: Turning the level of civilisation up — a twenty-first century challenge by Professor Julianne Schultz FAHA

2017: Not just warriors or victims by Professor Kim Scott FAHA

2016: Academic freedom and the contemporary university: Lessons from China by Professor John Fitzgerald FAHA

2015: The ethnographic echo: archaeological approaches to writing long-term histories of Indigenous spiritual beliefs and ritual practices by Professor Ian J. McNiven FAHA

2014: Generosity and the Institutions of the Humanities by Emeritus Professor Lesley Johnson FAHA

2013: Creators or destroyers: The burning questions of human impact in ancient Aboriginal Australia by Professor Peter Hiscock FAHA

2012: No speaker

2011: Politics, Poetics and Policy: Boarders, bordering and humanities by Professor Joseph Lo Bianco FAHA

2010: Can Mute Stones Speak? Evaluating cultural and ethnic identities from archaeological remains: The case of Hellenistic Jebel Khalid by Emeritus Professor Graeme Clarke FAHA

2009: The idea of an Academy by Professor Ian Donaldson FAHA

2008: Spectacle in sixteenth-century Venice: or how Carpaccio, Giorgione and Titian represented Patrician Youth Theatre by Professor Jaynie Anderson FAHA

2007: Scales and balance: Archaeology, cultural heritage and sustainability by Professor Iain Davidson FAHA.

2006: Multilingual society with a monolingual mindset by Professor Michael Clyne FAHA

2005: Informing the Public: Is there a place for a critical humanities? by Emeritus Professor Graeme Turner FAHA

2004: Teddy Roosevelt’s trophy: History and nostalgia by Professor Iain McCalman FAHA

2003: Backstage at the Republic of Letters by Dr Inga Clendinnen FAHA

2002: Inquiries into truth by Professor Mark Finnane FAHA

2001: Alternative Australias: Fates and fortunes by Professor Malcolm Gillies FAHA

2000: Big History’, Globalisation and Australia: Towards a more inclusive account of the past by Associate Professor David Christian FAHA

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.