Marking the end of a tumultuous year for our creative and cultural sector, the 51st Australian Academy of the Humanities Symposium ‘At the Crossroad? Australia’s Cultural Future’ explores the impacts of COVID-19 and other disruptions to our cultural life and considers how innovative cultural policy settings and creative practice could together underpin a path to recovery for the sector, for our people and our communities.
One of Australia’s most renowned editors and translators of French, Ms Penny Hueston, is the recipient of the 2020 Medal for Excellence in Translation for Being Here: The Life of Paula Modersohn-Becker by Marie Darrieussecq (Melbourne: Text Publishing, 2017).
COVID-19 represents Australia’s single biggest health crisis of the past 100 years. It has provided a myriad of complex, previously untested challenges for governments, businesses and communities to manage and negotiate. One of the most difficult challenges has been in communicating important, potentially life-saving information to a broad range of communities, each with their own needs and special challenges.
In this first in a series of articles on Humanities for Times of Crisis, we speak to Academy Fellow Ingrid Piller, Distinguished Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, about the barriers facing multicultural Australia during COVID-19 and the role of humanities expertise in overcoming these challenges.
An award-winning Australian artist whose recent practice involves the revival of the traditional Indigenous possum skin cloak, is the recipient of the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ 2020 John Mulvaney Fellowship.
Award-winning Australian writer and historian, Dr Billy Griffiths – whose latest book Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia (2018) has been described as ‘the freshest, most important book about our past in years’ – is the recipient of the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ 2020 Max Crawford Medal. The Medal is Australia’s most prestigious award for outstanding achievement and promise in the humanities by an Australia-based early-career scholar.
As a nation we are facing unprecedented challenges, as we wrestle with the consequences of back-to-back bushfire and pandemic crises as well as Australia’s first recession in 29 years. Arts and culture have a significant role to play in helping Australia address these challenges, including setting the tone for how we view ourselves as a nation now and into the future.
2020 has been a record year for challenges: catastrophic bushfires, a brutal global pandemic, the shutdown of our cultural and creative sectors, unemployment shooting up the charts, and a massive fee hike for those wanting to study humanities, arts and social science courses at university.
The Australian Academy of the Humanities today expressed deep concern about the Government’s changes to university fee structures, which disproportionally affect the humanities and call into question the very role of the 21st-century university.
The COVID-19 pandemic had helped shine a light on what it means to be human, and humane. It has challenged us to work on the most complex issues in a collaborative and collegiate way.