Discovery Projects and DECRA successes

The Faculty of Arts received a total of $2.5M in ARC project funding for Discovery and DECRA projects commencing in 2015. This success will see five new Discovery projects and four new DECRAs commence in 2015, with the Faculty's DECRA success rate above both the University and G08 average.

Discovery projects

Professor Trevor G Burnard
DP 150104051  

British Guiana became the most important slave colony in the British Empire following the abolition of the slave trade. Its history and the experience of the slaves who made up the majority of its population is the focus of this project, designed so that rich archival sources will be used to enable slaves to speak directly about their experience. This project is expected to illuminate the character of slavery and slave resistance in an especially profitable but harsh slave society in a late period of slavery. It is intended to explore the alternative kinds of colonisation that were possible in the early nineteenth-century British Empire, to deepen our understanding of slave management in plantation societies and to contribute to the historical analysis of race and slavery.

Dr Emma Kowal, Professor Yin C Paradies, Assoc. Professor Cressida Fforde
DP 150102087 

Advances in genomics are expected to have profound impacts on contemporary identities, including Indigeneity. A focus on social processes since the 1970s has left scholarship on Indigenous identity ill-equipped to grapple with the consequences of the genomic era. Drawing on multidisciplinary expertise, Indigenous and non-Indigenous investigators intend to examine biological and social influences on Indigeneity in narratives of self-presentation and in two fields currently being transformed by genomics: ancestry testing and repatriation. The project is expected to develop and test a biosocial model of Indigeneity to enhance existing knowledge of Indigenous identification as a critical factor in monitoring and improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous people.

Dr Claire Maree

This project analyses how varieties of language (dialect, gendered speech styles, youth slang) are written onto the screen in audiovisual media as subtitles and impact-captions. It explores the attitudes held by editors, producers and translators towards language which influence this process. It aims to use the Japanese global media, which is well- known for its heavy use of text-on-screen and its rich diversity of language styles, as a case study. This is expected to lead to a greater understanding of textual representation of identity in contemporary digital media.

Professor Greg Restall

This project aims to bridge philosophy, linguistics, logic and computation by developing proof-theoretical semantics for a comprehensive fragment of Montague Grammar (a formal language suited to analysing natural languages). It aims to show how this can be implemented in software, exploring and evaluating the philosophical assumptions grounding inferentialism and proof-theoretical semantics. It seeks to exploit and examine the connections between logic, linguistics philosophy and computer science and to chart how information is grounded in our interaction with the world and our norms for dialogue. The result is expected to be a more realistic and comprehensive understanding of logic and language, and tools for software that communicates more flexibly and effectively.

Dr Andrew J Turner, Dr Giulia M Torello-Hill, Dr James H Chong-Gossard

In the early Italian Renaissance at a time when theatrical infrastructure was still lacking, rapid advances in learning and technology helped scholars to show how the Latin plays, which had only survived as teaching texts, were in fact works to be performed, eventually leading to stage revivals. This project proposes to build on the successes of an Australian team working on the Roman playwright Terence, and demonstrate the importance of humanist scholars to intellectual history. It intends to utilise a range of historical resources, many only available in recent years through digitisation.

DECRA grants

Dr Bina Fernandez

Migration produces re-configurations of care arrangements within households and communities that are often invisible to social policy yet crucial to the welfare of society. This project aims to make the care needs of migrants visible to social policy by analysing the care practices of Ethiopian migrants in Lebanon and in Australia. The project also aims to produce an innovative re-conceptualisation of how migrants' care practices are shaped by households, communities, the state and the market within three diverse social policy regimes. This project aims to provide an evidence-base for the culturally specific dimensions of care and propose policy related outcomes to enhance the well-being and productivity of migrant communities and enrich social cohesion.

Dr Gerald J Roche

China is currently addressing many issues associated with issues of minority cultural autonomy and ethnic differences. This project will explore the ongoing assimilation of the Monguor, an ethnic minority group in Tibet. It seeks to fill an important gap in our knowledge of ethnic tensions, autonomy and assimilation in contemporary China. Ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis of texts in Tibetan will be used to investigate the impact of state and ethno-national assimilationist projects on ethnic minorities in China. This new analysis of China's ethnic dynamics and their geopolitical consequences is designed to strengthen our understanding of the region.

Dr Leah E Ruppaner

For many parents, balancing work and family demands is extremely stressful, affecting work, relationships and parent and infant health. In response, governments around the world have instituted family policies, which have not yet been systematically evaluated for their effectiveness This project aims to address this limitation by systematically evaluating family policies to maximise the health and well-being of Australian families. Applying cutting-edge methods and recently released data, this project also aims to provide specific policy suggestions to guide Australian family policy and to improve the future well-being of Australian families.

Dr Julie C Fedor

Over the past decade, the Russian state has reasserted a role in shaping how the past is narrated and represented, both within Russia and beyond. This project critically examines this phenomenon, drawing on close readings of sources including history textbooks, monuments and mass media. The project aims to enhance understanding of how narratives about the past are being mobilised in contemporary dynamics between the Russian state and Russian civil society.