Welcome to the second edition of Articulation for 2019.
During my first semester as Dean of Arts, I have been very impressed by this Faculty’s commitment to excellence in education, research and engagement. I look forward to getting to know the Faculty, University and wider community better still over the months and years ahead and to working with you, our alumni, in cementing our Faculty’s position as one of the world’s finest. It is my hope as Dean that the Faculty will develop an even closer set of relationships with our alumni and provide better opportunities for you to engage with current and prospective students and to gain the benefit of a remarkable international network of graduates.
I hope also that our alumni will look first to the Faculty and the University as a source of inspiration for further education and personal development. As always, I am very keen to hear from you, and to welcome you to the Faculty at any time. It was a great pleasure to host our Arts Alumni Awards at the Recital Centre on 15 May and to meet many of our graduates who have gone on to great success and distinction in their chosen field. Please read about our award recipients, from Rising Stars to Lifetime Achievers.
The career (so far) of our featured alumnus John Tass-Parker (BA and B. Comm), recently listed in the Forbes '30 Under 30', who has worked as a digital communications adviser to two Prime Ministers and latterly as Head of Politics and Government at Instagram, gives an insight into the possibilities opened up by combining the traditional attributes of our graduates with individual flair for digital technology.
In this edition, we also showcase a diverse range of topics, illustrative of the breadth of activities, teaching and research interests that characterise the Faculty.
Professor Mark Edele gives a reflective and entertaining response to the question 'what can history really teach us in the 21st century?' He highlights in particular the value of encouraging the development of the power of critical discernment that comes from mastering the skills of research, investigation and explanation associated with that discipline. It is tempting, given the examples Mark cites of two notorious past readers of history, to suggest that we would all benefit from an ability to 'think like historians' and thus guard, however imperfectly, against the mis-application of history’s lessons.
Our feature on Antarctica considers how Dr Alessandro Antonello, of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, uses historical analysis to illustrate change in cultural and scientific understanding, in the context of the Antarctic Treaty system since the 1950s. In the Cold War era, Antarctica was a focus of diplomatic and territorial rivalries, and the locus of a multilateral attempt to avoid international discord. Alessandro makes a persuasive case that scientific knowledge of the Antarctic and surrounding seas advanced, as a consequence of activity driven often by geopolitical motives, and that public attention has shifted based on appreciation of the importance of limiting exploitation of Antarctica's ecosystems.
A PhD candidate, Louise Box, provides a 50th anniversary tribute to Harold and Lily Wright, whose vision and generosity in endowing two print scholarships facilitated her curatorial work in the British Museum. Our continued contribution to scholarship and conservation connected to the understanding, care and use of cultural objects of all kinds is a theme that will remain of immense significance for the Faculty and is a true point of difference from other universities given our location in modern Australia's cultural heart. The theme is illustrated again this year by our sixth Melbourne Masterclass with the National Gallery of Victoria on the Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang. If you are able to visit this wonderful exhibition or attend the Masterclass on 23 September, please take the opportunity.
I hope you enjoy this edition of ARTiculation.
Professor Russell Goulbourne
Dean of Arts