New research support initiatives for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The Kerkyasharian and Kayikian Fund

In late 2014, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences announced a new research and scholarships fund in Armenian studies, made possible through the generous contribution of Mr Stepan Kerkyasharian AO and Mrs Hilda Kerkyasharian. The Kerkyasharian and Kayikian Fund will support awards, grants and scholarships for honours students, postgraduate students and academic staff at the University of Sydney carrying out research related to Armenian history and culture, from the 19th century and earlier.

The purpose of fund is to assist academics to undertake scholarly research and research related activities in 19th Century or earlier Armenian Studies. ‘Armenian Studies’ refers to studies of any aspect of the Armenian nation and of Armenian individuals, whether occurring in Armenia or anywhere in the world, including, but not limited to: archaeology; architecture; art history; classics and ancient history; history, including military history; language and culture; linguistics; literature; medieval studies; music; peoples; philosophy; and religion.

The successful recipients of the Kerkyasharian and Kayikian Fund for 2016 have been announced. Congratulations to both Dr. Jan Shaw and Professor Iain Gardner. Their innovative research is sure to have a significant impact on the scholarship surrounding pre 19th Century Armenia.

Dr. Jan Shaw hails from the Department of English, and plans to explore historical English perceptions of Cilician Armenia through the study of the French romance Melusine and its English adaption in 1500. This research will confront both the real and the imaginary impact that eastern Christian communities had on fifteenth-century English culture, and the interplay between these two regions.

Professor of Religion Iain Gardner will delve even further back into Armenian history to uncover whether Mani the founder of the religious community, Manichaeism travelled through Armenia in the third-century. This research will resolve a long-standing point of contention in the field, and further illuminate the history of religion in Armenia which remains a core issue in its national identity.

For further information please email

The Nicholas Anthony Aroney Research Fund

Established in 2014 from the Estate of Nicholas Anthony and in his memory, the purpose of the Research Fund is to supply financial awards which support academic staff and/ or post-graduate research students to undertake scholarly research which provides and/or promotes learning and education in Greek language, culture or history, whether in Greece or Australia.

The 2016 round of the Nicholas Anthony Aroney Research Fund has been awarded to a diverse group of researchers who all strive to encourage Greek studies. The recipients include Professors Eric Csapo and Peter Wilson, Professor Richard Miles, Ms. Anastasia Nicéphore and Dr. Ted Robinson.

Professors Eric Scapso and Peter Wilson endeavor to extend the scholarship on Greek drama through their project ‘Theatre Outside Athens’. Their inquiry will focus on the cultural, political and economic impacts of Greek theatre in Greek city-states and beyond.

Professor Richard Miles is continuing his research into the impact that Greek culture had on the Maghreb region of North Africa. His investigation will focus on the permeation of the Greek language, architecture and artistic motifs in the Maghreb.

English PhD student, Anastasia Nicéphore will ruminate on truth and the real in her research on ‘PlatĪ‰n’s (Plato’s) Reality: Baudrillard’s Nostalgia’.

Last, Archaeologist Dr. Ted Robinson will create a single digital platform which will bring together topographical and historical records of Gaggera Hill, part of the archaeological park in the Greek city of Selinous. He plans on creating a detailed, three-dimensional digital plan of the Gaggera Hill from acquired excavation data, as well as his own excavation plans. The outputs of this research will have an immense impact on the academic scholarship as well as the community and tourist experience of the Archaeological Park of Selinious.

For further information please email

Faculty Cross-disciplinary Research for Social Impact Support Scheme

The FASS Cross-disciplinary Research for Social Impact Support Scheme is a new initiative for 2015-2016. This scheme will be built upon with further local and university-based strategies to foster working across disciplines both within and beyond our faculty.

Taking part in this scheme are the interdisciplinary researchers Dr. Cynthia Hunter, Dr. Wendy Lambourne, Dr. Alana Mann, Dr. Aim Sinpeng and Dr. Rebecca Suter.

Anthropologist and Sydney School of Public Health Senior Lecturer, Dr. Cythia Hunter is exploring increased pig production in Timor Leste and West Timor as an answer to the wicked problem of regional food insecurity and malnutrition. By investigating the way pig husbandry is integrated into the lives of men, women and children, this project will provide new and important information about gender role distribution around pig production and consumption.

Dr. Wendy Lambourne from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies returns to the source by evaluating the first countries considered by the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission in 2006. She will assess whether peacebuilding theory was successfully translated into practice in Burundi and Sierra Leone. This research promises to have a positive impact on future peacebuilding policy and practice.

Media and Communications Senior Lecturer Dr. Alana Mann is leading a team of interdisciplinary food studies researchers from across the University to interrogate food security in Sydney’s inner city. In order to ensure Sydney’s sustainability the team will deliver data on urban food access, community-based food activities and food relief organisations to inform the development of a ‘resilient, secure, sustainable, and socially inclusive’ food system.

Dr. Aim Sinpeng is investigating the discrepancies with Wikipedia’s “neutral point of view” found specifically in the entries of Southeast Asian Wikipedia Communities. Combining her background in government and international relations and her research partners IT specialty, she will expose the gender and political biases found in Wikipedia’s Southeast Asian communities. She will recommend practical ways to deal with this disparity, for example by empowering women and individuals from developing countries to contribute to open source platforms.

Dr. Rebecca Suter, Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies has teamed up with Professor Timothy Gill from the Sydney Medical School to compare Japanese and Australian cultures of soft drink consumption as a case study to inform nutrition and health policy.