Recognising excellence in the humanities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this article contains the name of a person who is deceased.
The Academy today recognised outstanding humanities researchers and leaders from the cultural, creative and research sectors in Australia – across three categories of membership.
Twenty-four Fellows were elected today.
These distinguished researchers represent a diverse range of fields, including leading Australian experts on Indigenous Australian and Pacific languages and cultures, digital media technologies, feminism, Australian cultural history, literary cultures past and present, Australian archaeology, and environmental studies.
“The calibre of these new Fellows is a testament to the continuing strength of the humanities in Australia today, despite the many difficulties experienced by the sector over the past few years”, said Academy President Emeritus Professor Lesley Head FASSA FAHA.
‘‘Today we recognise the excellence of their work, and their vital contributions in areas of cultural, social and environmental thought, policy and planning.”
Five international researchers with close and enduring links to the Australian humanities were elected as Corresponding Fellows, with expertise across cultural studies, global history, sign languages, philosophical moral psychology and classical literature.
Seven Honorary Fellows were elected today for their contribution to the cultural and creative life of the nation. They include Aboriginal artists and creative practitioners, public intellectuals, visual artists and those who have made an enduring contribution to the humanities.
“Among this remarkable group of Australians is Deborah Cheetham for her contribution to Australian cultural life and championing the development of First Nations artists and works, and Former Senator the Hon Kim Carr, honoured for his determination to see the humanities play a central role in the research and innovation system in Australia”, said Professor Head.
For the first time in the Academy’s history, an Honorary Fellowship was awarded posthumously. Mr Archie Roach AM was proposed and accepted for nomination as an Honorary Fellow prior to his death in July 2022. With the support of Mr Roach’s family, the Academy continued with the nomination to election at the Annual General Meeting.
Professor Wayan Arka – linguistics and language literacy education, maintenance and documentation of minority languages in Indonesia: Professor, Australian National University
Professor Jill Bennett – relations between visual culture and trauma studies, memory studies, and postcolonial studies cultural studies and the visual arts: Director of UNSW’s Big Anxiety Research Centre.
Dr Caroline Bird – Australian archaeology, especially South Australia, Victoria, and Western Australia, developing new models of past Aboriginal practice. She is currently Research Manager at Archae-aus.
Professor Clint Bracknell – musicology, linguistics, and Australian studies. Noongar researcher and composer, innovation in Indigenous music and the revitalisation of Indigenous languages: Professor, University of Queensland
Professor Deborah Brown – early modern philosophy and philosophy of science, including work on non-human minds, the nature of pain and the philosophical foundations of women’s rights: Director of the University of Queensland’s Critical Thinking Project.
Professor Simon Butt – Law in contemporary Indonesia and the influence of law on history, religion, music, art, and literature in Indonesia: Professor of Indonesian law, University of Sydney.
Jane Clark – art history and museum curation, integration of the fine and applied arts, Australian Impressionism, women artists: Senior Research Curator, MONA, Tasmania.
Professor Natalie Edwards – transnational and migrant literature, multilingual and women’s life-writing: Deputy Dean (People and Culture), University of Adelaide.
Dr Jenny Green – endangered Indigenous languages from remote communities in Central and Northern Australia, development of Indigenous language dictionaries: Research Fellow, School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne.
Professor Ari Heinrich – Chinese art, history of medicine, and queer cultures, literary translations of queer Chinese novels: Professor, School of Culture, History & Language, Australian National University.
Professor Wayne Hudson – Australian religious thought, the role of English Deism in the Enlightenment, and the connections between religion, utopia, and reform. AuSI Visiting Fellow, Australian Studies Institute, Australian National University.
Professor Tony Hughes d’Aeth – literary environmentalism, Australian cultural history, print studies and settler colonialism in Australia, North America, South Africa, and New Zealand: Chair of Australian Literature, University of Western Australia.
Professor Marguerite Johnson – ancient Mediterranean cultural studies, representations of gender, sexualities, and the body, and reception of classical studies in modern times: Professor of Classics, University of Newcastle.
Professor Jay Johnston – religious studies, role of objects and images in ritual material culture; and the aesthetics of religion: Professor, Department of Studies in Religion, University of Sydney.
Professor Ronan McDonald – modern literature and literary culture in Ireland, study of literary criticism and literary theory: Gerry Higgins Chair in Irish Studies, Culture and Communication, the University of Melbourne.
Professor Felicity Meakins – linguistics, Northern Territory Aboriginal languages, including traditional languages, as well as newer contact varieties: Professor, Linguistics, the University of Queensland.
Professor Richard Menary – philosopher of cognitive science, interaction of cognition and culture: Professor of Philosophy and Head of the Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University
Associate Professor Antonia Rubino – Italian studies, experience of Italian diaspora, impact of migration on Italian language and dialects: Associate Professor, Italian Studies, University of Sydney.
Associate Professor Nicola Stern – archaeological investigations of the Early Stone Age in East Africa and the late Pleistocene of Australia: Associate Professor, Archaeology, La Trobe University.
Professor Carolyn Strange – historian of crime and capital punishment, public memory, gender studies. Professor and Head of School of History, Australian National University.
Associate Professor Thom van Dooren – environmental humanities, human/animal coexistence, animal extinctions. Associate Professor, Gender and Cultural Studies, University of Sydney.
Professor Denise Varney – theatre studies, critical evaluation of dramatic literature and live performance, Australian studies, and the cultural role of theatre in society. Professor, Theatre Studies, Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.
Professor Anik Waldow – historical and modern philosophy, theories of cognition, embodiment, and the self: Professor of Philosophy, University of Sydney
Professor Sally Young – media and communications, interrelation between government, politics and the media in Australia: Professor, Political Science, the University of Melbourne.
2022 Honorary Fellows
Dr Julia Baird – journalist, public affairs broadcaster, and non-fiction writer and biographer. ABC, Sydney Morning Herald, and Newsweek.
Dr Tony Birch – novelist, poet, public intellectual and activist.
Former Senator the Hon Kim Carr – former Senator and Minister for science, innovation and research.
Professor Deborah Cheetham AO – Yorta Yorta woman, opera singer, composer and artistic director, Professor of Practice at Monash University.
Dr Fiona Foley – visual artist and author from K’gari QLD, founding member of Boomalli Aboriginal Artist Co-operative, Senior Lecturer, Griffith University.
Dr Lindy Lee – painter and sculptor, drawing on her Chinese-Australian heritage and integrating Daoism and Chan Buddhism.
Mr Archie Roach AM – Singer, songwriter, storyteller, and campaigner for the rights of First Nations Australians (awarded posthumously.)
Mr Peter Varghese AO – Chancellor of the University of Queensland, and former DFAT Secretary, international affairs commentator and advisor.
2022 Corresponding Fellows
Professor Joyce Chaplin – global, environmental and intellectual history: James Duncan Phillips Chair of Early American History, Harvard University.
Professor Stephen Harrison – scholar of Latin literature and the classical tradition: Senior Research Fellow, Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
Dr Victoria McGeer – philosophical moral psychology, social cognition: Senior Research Fellow, Princeton University and Professor of Philosophy, Australian National University.
Professor Adam Schembri – sign languages, especially Auslan and British Sign Language (BSL): Professor, Linguistics, University of Birmingham.
Professor McKenzie Wark – globalisation, new media technology, British cultural studies and French poststructuralism, transgender studies: Professor at The New School, New York.
Welcoming new Council members
In addition, at today’s AGM, four new members were elected to the Academy Council:
- Fred D’Agostino FAHA is Emeritus Professor of Humanities at the University of Queensland where he has undertaken numerous senior roles including President of the Academic Board, Executive Dean of Arts and served two terms on the University Senate. He is a Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences.
- Victoria Haskins FAHA, Professor of History at the University of Newcastle, is a social and cultural historian focusing on the intersection of race, labour and gender relations in colonialism. Founding co-Director of the Purai Global Indigenous History Centre and President of Academic Senate (2020-2022) at Newcastle University.
- Chris Hilliard FAHA is the Challis Professor of History at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on twentieth-century British cultural and intellectual history, including within wider global networks, and explores the place of literature, historical writing, and censorship in colonial culture. He is a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts.
- Joanne Tompkins FAHA is Emeritus Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Queensland and a consultant with Outside Opinion. Her research expertise lies in spatial theories and virtual reality; multicultural theories and drama; intercultural performance and feminist performance. She is a former Executive Director for Humanities and Creative Arts at the Australian Research Council.