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Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre

Turning great ideas into landmark outcomes
We use innovative and collaborative approaches to problem solving within the humanities and social sciences and beyond.

About us

The Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre (SSSHARC) develops and supports a diverse range of research.

We provide our researchers with innovative platforms to approach and solve problems, such as pop-up research labs, huddles, ultimate peer reviews and retreats.

Our research projects are focused on solving problems of real-world and theoretical significance. They range from looking at how we address inadequate infrastructure, governance and public knowledge as climate change brings longer and more intense heat waves to transformations in law and society arising from new biosciences and biotechnologies and finding ways to end racism.

We strive to promote the value of the humanities, arts, and social sciences research through multidisciplinary collaborations. For example, we are currently working with the University of Sydney Nano Institute to bring our approach to nanotechnology research and development.

SSSHARC has two main aims: 

  • to provide innovative forms of support for research by the University of Sydney humanities, arts and social sciences academics, students, and colleagues, beyond business as usual in internal research funding
  • to establish SSSHARC as a research centre of international standing in the humanities and social sciences.

Our research is motivated by problem solving using humanities and social sciences concepts and methods. We tap into a degree of intellectual depth that is unique to the 168-year history of research in humanities and social science at the University of Sydney and aim to provide clarity in conducting and communicating our research to ensure the efficacy of our work.

  • Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes – a global network that leverages the multiple perspectives of its membership on the state and future of the humanities to develop innovative models for international collaborative research and pedagogy. 

  • Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres – aims to connect humanities researchers and centres, both within the Australasian region and globally, and to promote relationships with cultural institutions and sector representative bodies in the wider community.

Research projects

Supporting and cultivating collaborative research

View the list of our current funded research projects (2017-18)

Our people

SSSHARC comprises academics and researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and welcomes visitors and researchers in various disciplines from throughout Australia and around the world.

Professor Nick Enfield, Director

Meet our 2018 Fellows and their projects. 

  • Dr Fiona Gill: Human being to human body: Identity, memory and humanity in the display of and interaction with human bodies
  • Dr Jonathon Hutchinson: Mapping and measuring Australian visual cultures across YouTube
  • Dr Aim Sinpeng: Social media analysis of Islamic State online propaganda in Australia
  • Associate Professor Andrew Wait: Worker trust of management and delegation of decision-making authority

Find out more about our projects.

Our events

We hold and participate in lectures, symposiums and conferences to showcase our work.


Psychological Science of Buddhist Meditation (with a Tibetan Buddhist Perspective)
31 January

Reflecting on Refugia: a new transnational polity in the making
6 February


Death justice: activism and advocacy following contested death

19 November 

Expanding the circle of regard for truth - SSSHARC launch

21 November 

Desire, deviation, (bio)diversity: Queer natures from Darwin to del Toro

21 May 

What does it mean to think of nature as queer? Moving from Darwin and the 19th century Darwinian feminists to Guillermo del Toro’s recent film The Shape of Water, this talk examines various conceptions of queer natures to consider how desire, deviation and (bio)diversity can propel queer environmentalisms.

Listen to the podcast.

Brave new law! Legal personhood in the new biosciences

When: Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 August

Triple launch: Bioeconomics, biology and society, biolegalities

When: Tuesday 28 August, 5–6pm

Patent politics: Life forms, markets and the public interest united

Book talk with Shobita Parthasarathy

When: Wednesday 29 August, 1-2.30pm

Beyond life and death: Investigating cryopreservation practices in contemporary societies

When: Wednesday 12 September, 1–2.30pm