FASS 2013-2014 RESEARCH SUPPORT SCHEME SMALL AND LARGE GRANTS
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Research Support Scheme (FRSS) is the Faculty's central research support scheme. Its purpose is to seed and support high quality research projects by individual researchers or teams of researchers. FRSS Large Grants provides funding of between $20-30,000 and is available to colleagues at all levels. FRSS Small Grants provides funding of between $5-8,000 and is restricted to academics at Levels A-C.
FRSS Large Scheme Awards
Professor Vrasidas Karalis, Modern Greek Studies
The current Greek crisis and its impact on enthnosymbolism: The post-Zorba era in Greece
The current economic collapse in Greece has led to a major redefinition of central symbols employed to express contemporary Greek experience. The main symbol constructed in order to express “Greekness” for the international audience came from cinema and particularly from Michael Cacoyannis’ film Zorba the Greek (1964). The symbol of Zorba has become an international brand expressing the “essence” of Greek culture and experience. The project will
explore the cultural impact of the economic and social collapse that took place after 2009 in the country and the new symbols constructed, or being in the process to being constructed, in order to express contemporary Greek realities.
Dr Richard Miles, Classics and Ancient History
The Rise of Decline in the Later Roman Empire
For over two centuries historians have debated whether the Western Roman Empire was in decline prior to its political disintegration in the fifth century A.D. This project takes a new approach by rejecting the notion that Late Roman decline can be empirically quantified. Instead, through the examination of mainly historical, administrative and religious texts it will explore why the Late Roman elite often chose to present their own period as an age of decline. The project will also examine archaeological material to test the hypothesis that much of the physical evidence for economic and political decline was in fact the result of radical structural reorganisation by a centralising imperial government and a newly empowered Christian Church.
Professor Glenda Sluga, History
Before Globalization? A new history of economic internationalism
The origins of globalization is one of the most important debates in the social sciences, yet we still understand it as some abstract force determining our economic existence and quality of life. In this project I will map the changing course of international life since the early nineteenth century, providing a genealogy of how economics and politics intersected historically to make the modern global world. My intention is to establish a new research agenda focused on ideas and people instrumental in shaping economic internationalism, thus positioning Australia at the forefront of understandings of its possibilities in the twenty-first century.
FRSS Small Scheme Awards
Dr Ali Aldahesh, Arabic and Islamic Studies
(Un)Translatability of Qur’anic Idiomatic Phrasal Verbs into English: A Contrastive Linguistic Study
Idiomatic expressions, in any given language, constitute translators’ biggest headache due to their language-specificity, context-sensitivity, and lexical, semantic, and pragmatic complexity. This complexity is doubled when these expressions employed in scriptures such as the Qur’an where they are typically utilized in an idiosyncratic manner and encumbered with Qur’an-specific sociolinguistic connotations. This project will investigate the ways by which translators of the Qur’an deal with one of the most significant aspects of idiomaticity in Arabic, that is Qur’an Idiomatic Arabic Phrasal Verbs. The aim here is threefold: 1) to explore the difficulties the translators encounter when rendering these expressions into English; 2) to appreciate the strategies they employ to provide the functional-idiomatic equivalent of such expressions; and 3) to propose a number of recommendations to the Qur’an translators which would contribute to the heated debate about the issue of (un)translatability of the Islamic scripture.
Dr Giorgia Alu, Italian Studies
Faces of a nation: photography and migration in post-unification Italy
This project studies the production and circulation of photographs of Italian migrants in the period from Italy’s Unification in 1860 to the crisis of the Liberal system starting in 1918. The aim is to analyse issues of belonging, collective and national identity construction by looking at a selection of photographic portraits produced abroad. The project will contribute to an understanding of how private photographs of migrants and their families can become part of a complex system which sees the possession and exchange of images strictly linked to social and economics codes, as well as political interests.
Dr Francesco Borghesi, Italian Studies
Eugenio Garin’s Historiography and Renaissance Philosophy
Eugenio Garin (1909-2004) was an Italian philosopher and historian of Renaissance philosophy, who was recognised as an authority on the intellectual history of the Renaissance. This project aims to reassess his contribution to the historiography on Renaissance philosophy in light of some recent publications on his early academic years and his letters, which only now are being made available to scholars. In particular, my project will look at his scholarship on the humanist philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, on whom Garin published in 1937 a ground breaking book, which he always refused to re-publish despite its popularity.
Dr Anna Boucher, Government and International Relations
Gender, Migration and the Global Race for Talent
This Project assesses the place of gender within global skilled immigration debates and policies. Over recent decades, many post-industrial societies have implemented policies seeking to attract skilled immigrants. States compete aggressively for the most skilled immigrants, leading to what has been referred to as the “global race for talent.” What does this increasing economic selectivity mean for gender equality within immigration policy? Through a mixed methods approach, combining coded analysis of immigration policies in 12 countries with detailed case-studies of Australia and Canada, this Project demonstrates that new skilled
immigration policies have often disadvantaged women.
Dr Laura Bugg, Sociology and Social Policy
Refugee resettlement in Australia and Canada: Analysing the role of faith-based organisations
In North America and Australia, the state has largely contracted out welfare services to non-government providers, with faith-based organisations (FBOs) now providing the majority of support to refugees. This project analyses the role of FBOs in refugee resettlement in Australia and Canada, both welfare states that have significant contractual arrangements with FBOs to provide refugee services. This project will investigate FBOs’ role in refugee resettlement in order to understand how FBOs use religious resources in program delivery, to study the interaction of religious organisations with refugees of other faiths, and to determine the impacts of FBO programs on refugee integration.
Dr Damien Cahill, Political Economy
The project seeks to understand the durability of neoliberal policy norms and forms of regulation by examining the ways in which they have become embedded in formal institutions, class relations and ideological norms. In doing so, the project traces the complex and sometimes contradictory relationship between neoliberal ideas and neoliberal policy practices and highlights inadequacies with dominant ideas-centred accounts of neoliberalism.
Dr Stephen Cheung, Economics
Developing a new experimental procedure to elicit individual economic time preferences.
This project will develop, test, and document a new experimental procedure to measure economic time preferences, i.e. preferences over proximate versus delayed gratification in monetary rewards. These preferences are critical to understanding behaviours such as educational investments, financial decision-making, and health choices. However, experimental economics literature on time preference has recently been shrouded in controversy, with heated debate over both measurement procedures and the resulting estimates of the rate at which individuals discount delayed rewards. This project aims to unblock that controversy, by demonstrating a new approach that overcomes the weaknesses of two procedures at the centre of recent disputes.
Dr Hayley Fisher, Economics
The financial implications of relationships breakdown: a comparative study and Australia and the UK.
Relationship breakdown is a significant life event with important financial implications. Moreover, possible outcomes outside relationships affect bargaining power and hence outcomes within relationships. It has been established that women experience a larger financial impact from relationship breakdown than men. However, far less is known about the duration of financial disadvantage, the recovery mechanisms used, and how this varies across the income distribution. This project will extend analysis of outcomes in England and Wales to Australia, and examine how individual characteristics and different institutional environments, including welfare policy, child support and family lase, affect the recover mechanisms used.
Dr Francoise Grauby, French Studies
The Birth of Vocation
This project focuses on the birth of vocation in French Literature (19th-21st century) by studying the stories, diaries and autobiographies of a selection of French writers (male and female) who devoted an important part of their writings to tracing the origins of their calling. I will focus particularly on their early involvement with literature and examine how the choices of their youth determine their chosen paths. This project on “artists-in-the-making” will also examine these writers’ positioning in relation to representations of writing and writers that have been circulating in France since the 19th century.
Dr Vannessa Hearmann, Indonesian Studies
Indonesian Trade Union Activism and the World Federation of Trade Unions (1945-1966)
This project examines the relationship between the largest left-wing trade union in Indonesia, SOBSI (Sentral Organisasi Buruh Seluruh Indonesia, Central Organisation of Indonesian Trade Unions) and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) between 1945 and 1966. This relationship is examined through the prism of the individual experiences of Indonesian union activists. It therefore analyses the mobilities of Indonesian activists and the exchange of ideas that were enabled between them and activists in other countries through the WFTU. In turn, the project also examines how the Cold War and the Sino-Soviet split affected these relationships.
Dr Adam Kamradt-Scott, Centre for International Security Studies
Investigating civil-military cooperation in health security in the United States
This study will examine the nature and extent of civil-military cooperation in health security within the United States in an attempt to identify best practice examples to inform ‘third generation’ civil-military relations. More specifically, the study will investigate the formation of the US Public Health Commissioned Corps, its work, operational arrangements, and relationship with civilian organisations such as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and military institutions such as the US Arm Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRID).
Dr John Mikler, Government and International Relations
The Shifting Face of Financial Power post the Global Financial Crisis in Liberal Market Economies
I will employ a ‘three faces of power’ approach to capitalist relations of production in liberal market economies (LME), focusing particularly on the third face of discursive power. Treating the global financial crisis (GFC) as a critical juncture, the potential for institutional change as a result of shifts in perceptions of the legitimacy of financial actors from before, immediately after, and since the crisis within LMEs will be explored as a way of determining the power of financial actors to influence policy, and the manner/extent to which the power they wield to achieve the outcomes they desire has/has not changed.
Dr Joyce Nip, Media and Communications
Public opinion formation on China’s microblogs
The Chinese Internet application that combines features of Twitter and Facebook – Weibo – has recently enabled the formation of public opinion. This shatters the state monopoly of public opinion formation, which came under challenge when earlier platforms of social media became popular. Relevant studies so far mainly describe its usage pattern but fail to reveal the power relations involved. The first study internationally of power relations in Weibo public opinion formation, the project aims to study the relative power of various user sectors. Data analysis is made possible through collaboration with Dr K.W. Fu at the University of Hong Kong, who runs an archiving project of Sina Weibo.
Dr James Reilly, Government and International Relations
China’s Economic Statecraft in Myanmar: Wealth, Power and Strategic Foreign Policy
With direct control over much of the world’s second-largest economy, the Communist Party should be able to deploy China’s vast wealth to influence its smaller Asian neighbors. Yet Beijing is often unable to shape key policy decisions in even the poorer countries on its periphery. Why? This project develops a new explanation based on China’s domestic politics. As one of three case studies within my larger book project, this FRSS-funding project examines how the central state’s reliance upon commercial enterprises, local authorities, and bureaucratic agencies constrains China’s ability to extract concessions and build trust in Myanmar.
Dr Frank Smith, Government and International Relations
Divided by Common Language? Comparing Interpretations of Cyber Attack in Australia and the United States
The importance of cyber security is well recognized, but there is little international agreement on what counts as a cyber-attack – even among the technical experts that defend against them. Why not? And how can allies like Australia and the United States cooperate on cyber security if they dispute basic terminology and this the interpretation of threats? By analysing the language an practices of the Computer Emergency Response Teams that coordinate information sharing about cyber-attacks in these two countries, this pilot project will provide valuable insight into the limits and opportunities for defence cooperation in cyberspace.
Dr Lucia Sorbera, Arabic and Islamic Studies
Feminism in Twenty-first Century Egypt: History, Literature, and Politics of a Continuing Revolution
This project maps and investigates the fundamental significance of feminist activism in the 2011 Egyptian Revolution through the analysis of a selected corpus of writings and interventions by four generations of prominent Egyptian women intellectuals. Combing women’s history, literary analysis, and ethnography, the project will shed light, for the first time, on the intersection between intellectual and grassroots women’s activism. Documents and interviews in Arabic, English and French will be collected, translated and analysed, it will significantly contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the interconnection between women’s activism and revolution in a strategic region of the world.