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New Arts and Social Sciences flagship themes to fix the future

7 March 2019
Relevant, timely and solution-focused research
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Annamarie Jagose has announced six flagship themes that humanities and social sciences research at the University of Sydney will become known for over the next few years.

Speaking ahead of a showcase event at the Faculty’s new $82m Social Sciences Building this evening, Professor Jagose said the research themes – organised under the umbrella rubric FutureFix – bring together talented researchers across diverse disciplines to address complex issues that affect the everyday lives of many people in Australia and across the world.

“We have a reputation for being Australia’s oldest and most comprehensive arts and social sciences faculty, but we are also very much geared for the 21st century,” Professor Jagose said.

“These research themes will allow us to harness the breadth and depth of our interdisciplinary strengths across the humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS) and address some of the most important problems facing society today.”

Six research themes were selected following a two-tiered competitive process that attracted high-quality applications from across the Faculty’s more than 40 disciplines.

“FutureFix holds open a collective space for a suite of projects already strongly underway in this, its first iteration:

  • a fresh take on housing affordability by focusing on asset-based capitalism and the new forms of inequality it insidiously engenders;
  • a reconsideration of what being human means from the rich seam where HASS meets the life sciences;
  • a reorientation of research protocols to ensure authentic partnerships and community-led research;
  • a policy-focused research project that centres on open economies like Australia’s that are not typically considered in much economic policy analysis;
  • posthuman reconceptualisation of justice via a multispecies lens;
  • and a HASS take on the opportunities and challenges of human/machine interactions – including automation, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, big data, next-generation internet, and social and mobile media networks – in relation to ethics and social inclusion.

“This is some of the work we will be best known for by 2021 – relevant, timely and solution-focused,” Professor Jagose said.

Arts and Social Sciences research with impact