Welcome from the Head of School - In Focus June 2018

Culture is commonly thought of as something that is associated with particular nation states or ethnic groups. Yet research has shown that culture is, and long has been, something that not only marks boundaries, but also crosses those boundaries. In an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, we find cultures are in a constant flux, being translated across (perceived) boundaries, and in the process morphing into something that goes beyond that – what are sometimes called transcultures. It is thus with great delight that we will be hosting three extraordinary scholars in the School of Languages and Cultures in August: Professor Jeffrey Angles (Western Michigan University), a renowned specialist in Japanese literature, Professor Yifeng Sun (University of Macau), a distinguished scholar in translation, and Professor Phil Powrie (University of Surrey), a world leading scholar in French cinema. We welcome you to take the opportunity to join an intellectually enriching and stimulating series of public talks that will be held during their visits.

We also welcome you learn more about other international scholars we have recently hosted, as this edition of In Focus includes links to podcasts on the role of ideology in public discourse by Professor Jef Verschueren (University of Antwerp), and on the role of culture in conversational repair by Associate Professor Galina Bolden (Rutgers University).

As always, our students have done us proud. You can read more about their achievements, including Yuta Ishii in winning a national interpreting award in Japan, Amy Bergman in being selected as a laureate of the Embassy of France ‘Nicholas Baudin’ Travel Program, and Esther Lovely in being awarded the inaugural Mariko Bando Fellowship.

As do our staff. In collaboration with Twelfth Night Theatre, we also warmly welcome you to join us at the launch of ‘Isle Aichinger Film and Fate: Camera Flashes Illuminating a Life’ translated by Dr Geoff Wilkes.

Finally, I’d like to invite you to reflect on the current state of indigenous languages in Australia. The recent article by Dr Felicity Meakins in The Australian proves to be both sobering reading, yet also points towards hope for meaningful reconciliation with Australia’s first peoples. Language lies at the centre of that hope.

Professor Michael Haugh FAHA
Head of School
School of Languages and Cultures