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Humanities Research: Volume XX, Number 1, 2024 »

Public Humanities of the Future: Museums, Archives, Universities and Beyond

Edited by: Kylie Message, Robert Wellington, Frank Bongiorno
Publication date: 2024
‘Public Humanities of the Future: Museums, Archives, Universities and Beyond’ explores the roles, responsibilities and challenges of the humanities in 2024 and beyond. It examines if and how our public cultural institutions and disciplines engage ethically and meaningfully with the challenges of contemporary life, and sheds light on how the conception and practice of humanities research is developing institutionally as well as through collaboration with partners and communities beyond the university context. This high-profile publication marks a number of historic moments, including the increasing urgency of the humanities in contemporary life, as well as the rapid development of interdisciplinary, digital and public humanities over the last decade, and the opportunities for international collaboration reflected in the post-COVID 19 resumption of international travel. It also marks the 50th-year anniversary of the Humanities Research Centre at The Australian National University, and the re-launch of Humanities Research.

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Grassroots Law in Papua New Guinea »

Edited by: Melissa Demian
Publication date: 2023
The introduction of village courts in Papua New Guinea in 1975 was an ambitious experiment in providing semi-formal legal access to the country’s overwhelmingly rural population. Nearly 50 years later, the enthusiastic adoption of these courts has had a number of ramifications, some of them unanticipated. Arguably, the village courts have developed and are working exactly as they were supposed to do, adapted by local communities to modes and styles consistent with their own dispute management sensibilities. But with little in the way of state oversight or support, most village courts have become, of necessity, nearly autonomous. Village courts have also become the blueprint for other modes of dispute management. They overlap with other sources of authority, so the line between what does and does not constitute a ‘court’ is now indistinct in many parts of the country. Rather than casting this issue as a problem for legal development, the contributors to Grassroots Law in Papua New Guinea ask how, under conditions of state withdrawal, people seek to retain an understanding of law that holds out some promise of either keeping the attention of the state or reproducing the state’s authority.

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ANU Historical Journal II: Number 4 »

Publication date: October 2023
In the fourth issue of the ANU Historical Journal II, broad and urgent historical questions about memorialisation, environmental change, and violence are elucidated by detailed and thoughtfully contextualised studies of local places and communities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The six peer-reviewed articles span topics including frontier sexual violence, the categorisations of child patients in mental hospitals, the politics of war memorialisation, the long history of flooding in Queensland, and changing practices in community cemeteries. Complementing these articles are five book reviews which cast a critical eye on a wide range of new work, encompassing Australian, global, military, political, colonial, and disciplinary history. This issue also features the inaugural Robin-Griffiths Lecture in Environmental History, reflecting on Libby Robin and Tom Griffiths’ path-breaking work and changing sensibilities around national parks, as well as a conversation-style review of ‘Marking Country: Mapping Deep History’, presented by the Research Centre for Deep History. Together these pieces speak to the contributions of the research centres in the School of History, and to the rich range of ways in which history can be meaningfully created and communicated.

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Return to Volcano Town »

Reassessing the 1937–1943 Volcanic Eruptions at Rabaul

Publication date: 2023
Wally Johnson and Neville Threlfall re-examine the explosive volcanic eruptions that in 1937–43 killed more than 500 people in the Rabaul area of East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. They reassess this disaster in light of the prodigious amount of new scientific and disaster-management work that has been undertaken there since about 1971, when strong tectonic earthquakes shook the area. Comparisons are made in particular with volcanic eruptions in 1994–2014, when half of Rabaul town was destroyed and then abandoned. A striking feature of historical eruptive periods at Rabaul is the near‑simultaneous activity at Vulcan and Tavurvur volcanoes, on either side of Rabaul Harbour. Such rare ‘twin’ eruptions are interpreted to be the result of a common magma reservoir beneath the harbour. This interpretation has implications for ongoing hazard and risk assessments and for volcano monitoring in the area.

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Memory in Place »

Locating colonial histories and commemoration

Edited by: Cameo Dalley, Ashley Barnwell
Publication date: 2023
Memory in Place brings together Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars and practitioners grappling with the continued potency of memories and experiences of colonialism. While many of these conversations have taken place on a national stage, this collection returns to the rich intimacy of the local. From Queensland’s sweeping Gulf Country, along the shelly beaches of south Sydney, Melbourne’s city gardens and the rugged hills of South Australia, through Central Australia’s dusty heart and up to the majestic Kimberley, the collection charts how interactions between Indigenous people, settlers and their descendants are both remembered and forgotten in social, political, and cultural spaces. It offers uniquely diverse perspectives from a range of disciplines including history, anthropology, memory studies, archaeology, and linguistics from both established and emerging scholars; from Indigenous and non-Indigenous contributors; and from academics as well as museum and cultural heritage practitioners. The collection locates some of the nation’s most pressing political issues with attention to the local, and the ethics of commemoration and relationships needed at this scale. It will be of interest to those who see the past as intimately connected to the future.

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The Compleat Busoni, Volume 2 »

Busoni’s other music: A complete survey

Authored by: Larry Sitsky
Publication date: 2023
VOLUME 2: Busoni’s other music: A complete survey. Larry Sitsky, professor emeritus at The Australian National University, is an internationally known composer, pianist, scholar, and teacher. His books are fundamental reference works on subjects such as Australian piano music, the 20th-century avant-garde, the piano music of Anton Rubinstein, the early 20th-century Russian avant-garde, and the classical reproducing piano roll. The Compleat Busoni is the result of Sitsky’s lifelong focus on the composer Ferruccio Busoni. Over three volumes, Sitsky surveys Busoni’s vast output, provides an ending to the unfinished opera Doktor Faust, and presents definitive realisations of the Fantasia Contrappuntistica in two-piano and orchestral versions. New insights into Busoni’s style and aesthetics are an integral aspect of this work.

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The Compleat Busoni, Volume 3 »

Ending to Doktor Faust and the definitive realisations of the Fantasia Contrappuntistica

Authored by: Larry Sitsky
Publication date: 2023
VOLUME 3: I. Ending to Doktor Faust II. Definitive version of the Fantasia Contrappuntistica for two pianos III. Concerto for Orchestra: Completion and orchestration of the Fantasia Contrappuntistica. Larry Sitsky, professor emeritus at The Australian National University, is an internationally known composer, pianist, scholar, and teacher. His books are fundamental reference works on subjects such as Australian piano music, the 20th-century avant-garde, the piano music of Anton Rubinstein, the early 20th-century Russian avant-garde, and the classical reproducing piano roll. The Compleat Busoni is the result of Sitsky’s lifelong focus on the composer Ferruccio Busoni. Over three volumes, Sitsky surveys Busoni’s vast output, provides an ending to the unfinished opera Doktor Faust, and presents definitive realisations of the Fantasia Contrappuntistica in two-piano and orchestral versions. New insights into Busoni’s style and aesthetics are an integral aspect of this work.

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Subjects and Aliens »

Histories of Nationality, Law and Belonging in Australia and New Zealand

Publication date: August 2023
Subjects and Aliens confronts the problematic history of belonging in Australia and New Zealand. In both countries, race has often been more important than the law in determining who is considered ‘one of us’. Each chapter in the collection highlights the lived experiences of people who negotiated laws and policies relating to nationality and citizenship rights in twentieth-century Australasia, including Chinese Australians enlisting during the First World War, Dalmatian gum-diggers turned farmers in New Zealand, Indians in 1920s Australia arguing for their citizenship rights, and Australian women who lost their nationality after marrying non-British subjects. The book also considers how the legal belonging—and accompanying rights and protections—of First Nations people has been denied, despite the High Court of Australia’s recent assertion (in the landmark Love & Thoms case of 2020) that Aboriginal people have never been considered ‘aliens’ or ‘foreigners’ since 1788. The experiences of world-famous artist Albert Namatjira, and of those made to apply for ‘certificates of citizenship’ under Western Australian law, suggest otherwise. Subjects and Aliens demonstrates how people who legally belonged were denied rights and protections as citizens through the actions of those who created, administered and interpreted the law across the twentieth century, and how the legal ramifications of those actions can still be felt today.

The Compleat Busoni, Volume 1 »

Busoni and the piano: The works, the writings, and the recordings

Authored by: Larry Sitsky
Publication date: August 2023
VOLUME 1: Busoni and the piano: The works, the writings, and the recordings. Larry Sitsky, professor emeritus at The Australian National University, is an internationally known composer, pianist, scholar, and teacher. His books are fundamental reference works on subjects such as Australian piano music, the 20th-century avant-garde, the piano music of Anton Rubinstein, the early 20th-century Russian avant-garde, and the classical reproducing piano roll. The Compleat Busoni is the result of Sitsky’s lifelong focus on the composer Ferruccio Busoni. Over three volumes, Sitsky surveys Busoni’s vast output, provides an ending to the unfinished opera Doktor Faust, and presents definitive realisations of the Fantasia Contrappuntistica in two-piano and orchestral versions. New insights into Busoni’s style and aesthetics are an integral aspect of this work.

The Road to Batemans Bay »

Speculating on the South Coast During the 1840s Depression

Authored by: Alastair Greig
Publication date: 2023
The Road to Batemans Bay is the story of competing ventures to create ‘the Great Southern Township’ on the South Coast of New South Wales in the early 1840s. The idea of developing the furthest reaches of settlement was linked to the hopes of southern woolgrowers for a road from their properties to the coast, over the Great Dividing Range. The township proponents dreamed that having a quicker and cheaper connection to Sydney would allow them to open a port second only to Port Jackson. The scene begins with the proposed coastal township of St Vincent, in an age of optimism: settlement is expanding, exports are growing and land prices are soaring, generating Australia’s first land boom. Before long, however, the colony experiences a catastrophic economic depression whose ‘pestilential breath’ infects those with a stake in the coastal townships. Alastair Greig follows the fate of these individuals, while also speculating on the broader fate of South Coast development during the mid-nineteenth century. Greig gives a unique insight into many aspects of colonial life—including the worlds of Sydney’s merchants, auctioneers, land speculators, surveyors, map-makers and lawyers—as well as its maritime challenges. The Road to Batemans Bay is a chronicle of how Australia first developed its land-gambling habit and how land speculation led to the road to ruin.

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