School strategic research initiative

In 2017, the School of Languages and Cultures launched its Strategic Research Initiative Scheme to foster research collaborations within and beyond the School. Two projects have been successful in the first round: Places of Memory, Narrative and Trauma and Visualizing Korea: From the late 19th Century to the Present.

Places of Memory, Narrative and Trauma

Project leader– Dr Amy Hubbell

Project team members – Dr Annie Pohlman, Dr Natsuko Akagawa, Dr Sol Rojas-Lizana

Project collaborators – Dr Geoff Wilkes, Dr Felicity Meakins, Dr Guy Ramsay

External collaborators – Professor Charles Forsdick, University of Liverpool, Dr Erin Jessee, University of Glasgow, UK & Emeritus Professor William Logan, Deakin University

How do survivors and witnesses relate to the places of traumatic memory? This interdisciplinary research project explores how place figures in narratives of violence, disaster and war, and how people interact with the physical spaces where they and their communities experienced trauma.

The central aim of the project is to investigate the relationship between trauma and place through narrative. We ask two inter-connected research questions:

  • How do survivors and witnesses interact with places of traumatic memory?
  • How is this confrontation between people and place recounted and shaped through narrative across various cultures and languages? And
  • Do place and narrative reverberate to amplify or dissipate trauma experienced?

This interdisciplinary project brings into conversation a wide range of cultural contexts and narrative forms: from testimonies of genocidal violence in Indonesia, to narratives of commemoration of war dead in Japan, to artistic and literary representations of mass violence in Algeria and Chile. We examine the connections between places of trauma and the texts, testimonies, stories and other expressions which arise from these places. We focus on the culturally specific forms of commemoration and narration in these texts in order to find points of convergence and difference in these forms.

These narratives of trauma and place are examined across three main themes, which are:

  • War memorials and other sites of memorialisation;
  • Exhibitions, artistic and literary expressions related to places of traumatic memory; and
  • Ruins and places un-commemorated, in order to examine places of traumatic memory which have been disremembered, forgotten or otherwise cut off.

Visualizing Korea: From the late 19th Century to the present

Project leader – Associate Professor David Chapman

Project team members – Dr Isaac Lee, Dr Min Jung Jee,

Project collaborators (HASS Faculty) – Professor Roland Bleiker (POLSIS) and Associate Professor Morris Low (HAPI)

Recent escalating tensions between North and South Korea, the two Koreas and Japan, China’s relationship with both North and South Korea and the role of the United States in the region underscore the necessity for a greater understanding of Korea and its place in the world. This project adopts the field of ‘visual cultures’ as a research direction to bring innovative multidisciplinary insights to the area of Korean studies and to generate original and ground breaking understandings of Korea. The project will bring together expertise focused around four core themes connected to visual cultures: a) The Cartographic Gaze: Visualizing Colonial Korea, b) Images and Texts: Visualizing Korea through Education, c) On Display: Visualizing Korea through Expositions and Events, d) Imag(in)ing Politics: Visualizing the Division of North and South.

Project members

Dr Amy Hubbell

French Discipline
Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Annie Pohlman

Indonesian Discipline
Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Natsuko Akagawa

Japanese Discipline
Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Sol Rojas-Lizana

Spanish Discipline Coordinator
Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Geoff Wilkes

German Discipline
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Felicity Meakins

Linguistics Discipline
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Guy Ramsay

Chinese Discipline
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Associate Professor David Chapman

Japanese Discipline Coordinator
Associate Professor
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Isaac Lee

Korean Discipline
Senior Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures

Dr Min Jung Jee

Korean Discipline Coordinator
Lecturer
School of Languages and Cultures