SLAM announce new Head of School

16 July 2018

New Head of School Professor Umberto Ansaldo
New Head of School Professor Umberto Ansaldo

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Umberto Ansaldo as the new Head of School for the School of Literature, Art and Media (SLAM) in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Hailing from Italy and fluent in seven languages, Professor Ansaldo has previously held positions at the National University of Singapore, the University of Amsterdam and most recently, the University of Hong Kong where he was the Chair of Linguistics and Head of the School of Humanities in the Faculty of Arts.

Professor Ansaldo is passionate about education innovation and multidisciplinary research that has real world impact, factors that attracted him to the University of Sydney and specifically SLAM.

"The school is perfectly positioned at the heart of what the faculty and the University at large aim to achieve in these areas," said Professor Ansaldo.

"The school comprises a unique cluster of disciplines which places it in an excellent position to produce interdisciplinary research of great impact beyond academia and to develop new degrees with transformational potential for our students."

Some of his biggest achievements include transforming the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong to become the leading program in the region and top 10 in the world, while also significantly improving the gender balance.

He is also incredibly proud of his involvement in the Talking Brains exhibition at CosmoCaixa Museum in Barcelona.

"It was the culmination of a joint project between linguists, curators, and multimedia artists. A fantastic interactive exhibition that showcases the best of our current knowledge on language and the brain, its workings as well as their evolution, to a general public of primarily kids and parents. This to me is one of the bright future developments of academia: 'artscience'," he says.

When discussing what he is most looking forward to in his new role as Head of School, Professor Ansaldo reveals that he is excited about meeting new colleagues and helping them achieve their career goals and maintain a work-life balance, as well as engaging with students.

"I am very keen to meet our students and be inspired by their ideas, wishes and dreams, which I hope to be able to incorporate in the future developments of our school."

Professor Ansaldo joins the University on 16 July 2018.