Research strengths

Critical thinking across the Humanities and the Social Sciences is the School's core business. Our research illuminates the history of ideas and creativity, and explains the complexity of community and culture.

Our world-class researchers are renowned for their:

  1. interpretation of the historical and theoretical archive
  2. analysis and practice of new modes of aesthetics and communication; and
  3. informed interventions to debates on contemporary culture

Across our programs, the School’s research agenda aligns with this University’s grand challenges of understanding our place and purpose in the world. To this end we are committed to Australian-based research, research about the region (the Asia-Pacific), and research that is comparative, transnational and/or global in orientation.

We lead a number of research projects covering a wide range of cultural production, including mass, digital, and print media, visual art, literature, performance, cultural policy, film, television, and public events including festivals. Funded research concentrations are to be found in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800), the Research Unit in Public Cultures and the Australian Centre. These indicate our depth of expertise in developing major longitudinal research themes, and engaging with stakeholders in the delivery of research. We utilise a range of research methodologies across the fields of literary scholarship, gender, race, and class analysis, visual semiotics, digital humanities, social ethnography, creative practices, indigenous studies, media and cultural policy. This is not an exhaustive list as one of the School’s great strengths lies in providing a context for exciting interdisciplinary research initiatives, both within the School and in alliance with research centres and institutes across the University.

Engagement and impact

The School has an outstanding record of high quality and internationally ranked academic publication, well exceeding Faculty and University targets. Citation counts are high as are the number of prestigious invitations to speak at major international research colloquia. We offer intensive graduate research training, and attract students from around the world with projects that are competitively funded. Competitive grant income, both internal and external, supports most research, and this in turn leads to attractive postdoctoral and research-only appointments in the School. Our researchers are also widely recognised for their active contributions to public dialogue and their strong engagement with community organisations and policy-makers such as schools, publishers, galleries, museums, and local government.