Inaugural Lecture Series - Upcoming Lectures

Insights 2011: Inaugural Lectures

The Inaugural Professorial Lectures are taking on a brand new look and a new location for 2011. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is delighted to be hosting the Insights 2011: Inaugural Lectures at the Nicholson Museum in partnership with the Sydney University Arts and Social Sciences Alumni Association.

Please join us to hear a diverse range of subjects covered by our Professors as outlined below:

Thursday 28 July: History and the Individual Life

Professor Barbara Caine, Head of School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST OF THIS TALK CLICK HERE

Professor Barbara Caine, Head of School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

Professor Barbara Caine, Head of School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry

The extraordinary recent interest in both autobiography and biography that is evident amongst the general reading public can be seen at a scholarly level as well and there is now much discussion of the “biographical turn” within the humanities and social sciences. Nowhere is this more evident than in History as many historians engage in biographical study in a variety of different ways. But the relationship between history and biography has long been a troubled one and the difficulties continue as some historians seek to establish the similarities and differences between history and biography and the limitations of focusing on an individual life – while others explore the best and most fruitful ways to incorporate individual lives and life stories within historical writing. This lecture will explore the changing nature of this debate over the past few decades while looking also at some of the new ways in which historians are approaching and drawing on individual lives.

Barbara Caine taught in the Department of History at Sydney University for a number of years and was the first Director of the Women’s Studies Centre before taking up a chair at Monash University in 1995. She returned to Sydney at the beginning of 2011. She is the author of a number of books including Bombay to Bloomsbury: a Biography of the Strachey Family (Oxford University Press, 2005), and Biography and History (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and the editor of Friendship: a History (Equinox, 2010).

Where: Nicholson Museum, The University of Sydney
Cost: Free
Time: 5.30 for 6pm. Refreshments provided

Please go to http://www.sydney.edu.au/alumni/insights to register your details.
Please call (02) 9351 7454 for any Insights 2011: Inaugural Lecture
enquiries.


Thursday 18 August: Malthus and the New World: Peopling America and Australia

(in conjunction with Australian Nominating Committee for the Harvard Chair and in association with the Harvard Club) Professor Alison Bashford, Professor of Modern History
TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST OF THIS TALK CLICK HERE

Professor Alison Bashford, Professor of Modern History

Professor Alison Bashford, Professor of Modern History

Food security is back on the global public sphere’s agenda, and so, therefore, is Robert Malthus. People love him or loathe him, but few have asked what Malthus thought about Australia. The new colony of New South Wales in fact formed a founding case on which Britain’s original political economist built his late eighteenth-century ideas on population. His next case was the new United States of America; the thirteen colonies-turned-republic, located on the edge of another vast continent. Just what did Malthus think about these very different New Worlds, their original inhabitants, and the prospects for newcomers? This lecture brings recent scholarship on colonial history, gender history, and environmental history to Malthus’s famous Essay on the Principle of Population, and in the process asks how the population and ecological histories of Australia and America might be rethought.

Alison Bashford was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies, Harvard University, in the History of Science Department in 2009/10. She is Professor of Modern History at the University Sydney, where she has taught and researched since 1995. Her books have explored the history of science and medicine in Britain and Australia, most recently The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010 with Philippa Levine) and Geopolitics and the World Population Problem (forthcoming, Columbia University Press). She is currently co-editing with Stuart Macintyre the 2 volume new Cambridge History of Australia. In 2010 she was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and in 2011 awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for the project “Climate Change and the History of Environmental Determinism.”

Where: Nicholson Museum, The University of Sydney
Cost: Free
Time: 5.30 for 6pm. Refreshments provided

Please go to http://www.sydney.edu.au/alumni/insights to register your details.
Please call (02) 9351 7454 for any Insights 2011: Inaugural Lecture
enquiries.


Thursday 6 October: Anthropology in the Time of Climate Change

Professor Linda Connor, Professor of Anthropology
TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST OF THIS TALK CLICK HERE

Professor Linda Connor, Professor of Anthropology

Professor Linda Connor, Professor of Anthropology

How can Anthropology contribute to a critical understanding of anthropogenic climate change, a potentially catastrophic process of planetary dimensions? Citizens of a globalized world, enmeshed in a Faustian bargain with nature to achieve transcendence through material wealth and consumer satisfactions, confront the prospect of a warmed, entropic and resource-scarce future. Anthropology’s comparative method of cultural analysis suggests new and productive ways of thinking about humanity’s visioning of immortality, death, survival and politics in the time of climate change.

Linda Connor was born and raised in Sydney and is a graduate of the University of Sydney’s Department of Anthropology. She has worked in several countries and continents as researcher and academic, pursuing interests in shamanism, healing, development, religion and ritual, and environmental change. These interests have converged in recent years in the study of anthropogenic climate change, culture and place, with research undertaken and supervised in Hunter Valley NSW, Indonesia, and Nepal.

Where: Nicholson Museum, The University of Sydney
Cost: Free
Time: 5.30 for 6pm. Refreshments provided

Please go to http://www.sydney.edu.au/alumni/insights to register your details.
Please call (02) 9351 7454 for any Insights 2011: Inaugural Lecture
enquiries.


Thursday 10 November: The Bliss of Solitude

Professor Barry Spurr, Professor of Poetry and Poetics
TO LISTEN TO A PODCAST OF THIS TALK CLICK HERE

Professor Barry Spurr, Professor of Poetry and Poetics

Professor Barry Spurr, Professor of Poetry and Poetics

Poetry of the solitary state abounds, variously expressing the poets’ own lives, ideological convictions, historical contexts and the sheer counter-cultural appeal of representing a human condition which, increasingly in Western society, is regarded as pathological. Poetry of solitude (blissful and otherwise) reveals a rich vein of thought and artistry, thematically arresting and technically compelling, from a range of authors over the several centuries of English verse. How do poets present solitude in contrasting historical periods? What are the different kinds of poetically-constructed solitude? Do men and women write differently about it? Does it have discernible, quantifiable influence on the technical matters of word-choice, imagery and prosody?

Barry Spurr was educated at the Universities of Sydney and Oxford and was appointed to the academic staff in the Department of English in 1976. He has concentrated his teaching, research and extensive publication on poetry, and is a leading authority on the life and work of T.S. Eliot. Earlier this year, The Times Literary Supplement described his most recent book, on Eliot, as a “wonderful journey” into its subject. Professor Spurr was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators in 2007 in recognition of an “outstanding contribution to education” and, in 2011, he was appointed to Australia’s first professorial chair in poetry and poetics. He is currently engaged in interdisciplinary research for the University’s newly-established Human Animal Research Network and for the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence project for the History of the Emotions.

Where: Nicholson Museum, The University of Sydney
Cost: Free
Time: 5.30 for 6pm. Refreshments provided

Please go to http://www.sydney.edu.au/alumni/insights to register your details.
Please call (02) 9351 7454 for any Insights 2011: Inaugural Lecture
enquiries.