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Australian Economic History »

Transformations of an Interdisciplinary Field

Authored by: Claire E. F. Wright
Publication date: 2022
In a time of pandemics, war and climate change, fostering knowledge that transcends disciplinary boundaries is more important than ever. Economic history is one of the world’s oldest interdisciplinary fields, with its prosperity dependent on connection and relevance to disciplinary behemoths economics and history. Australian Economic History is the first history of an interdisciplinary field in Australia, and the first to set the field’s progress within the structures of Australian universities. It highlights the lived experience of doing interdisciplinary research, and how scholars have navigated the opportunities and challenges of this form of knowledge. These lessons are vital for those seeking to develop robust interdisciplinary conversations now and in the future. ‘This previously untold story of economic history in Australia exposes the centrality of economic thought and scholarship to Australian intellectual and political life. Deftly positioning economic history in an innovative institutional, place-based and person-focused narrative, Claire Wright entangles economics with the history of education to produce a tale of university interdisciplinarity, influence and impact. Written with vitality and bursting with both data and anecdote, this book makes an exceptional contribution to the intersecting fields of history, economics and higher education studies.’ – Hannah Forsyth, author of A History of the Modern Australian University. ‘Few readers would expect to find a classical tragedy in the story of an academic field. Yet that is what Claire Wright shows us in this study of Economic History, as it has been practiced in Australia. She traces the field from legendary beginnings to triumphant growth to organisational collapse - and renaissance on other terms. Carefully researched and vigorously written, this book raises questions about disciplines and interdisciplinary fields, universities and markets, and social bases of intellectual work, that are relevant to all fields today.’ – Raewyn Connell, author of The Good University ‘Australia proved a pioneer in the study of economic history, nurturing a discipline with innovative data and understanding of material trends. Yet by the 1990s economic history departments closed as senior scholars retired and the field was subsumed by conventional economics. In this absorbing study, Dr Claire Wright challenges the conventional account. She is tough-minded about financial and institutional pressures on the field, but cautiously optimistic about the future. It is a mistake, she argues, to see institutional representation as the benchmark of influence. Instead, the interdisciplinary nature of economic history has encouraged new research and teaching across the humanities and social sciences. With close attention to individual scholars and their university departments, and a deep sense of the trajectory of the field, Australian Economic History: Transformations of an Interdisciplinary Field is an original and important contribution to Australian intellectual history.’ – Glyn Davis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University

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The Viṣṇu Purāṇa »

Ancient Annals of the God with Lotus Eyes

Authored by: McComas Taylor
Publication date: June 2021
Viṣṇu is a central deity in the Hindu pantheon, especially in his manifestation as the seductive cattle-herding youth, Kṛṣṇa. The purāṇas are sacred texts, which, as the Sanskrit name implies, are collections of narratives from ‘long ago’. The Viṣṇu Purāṇa is thus an ancient account of the universe and guide to life, which places Viṣṇu-Kṛṣṇa at the centre of creation, theology and reality itself. This text, composed about 1,500 years ago, provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the most important themes and narratives that constitute the Hindu imagination: the creation and destruction of the universe, the origin of gods and mortals, the peopling of the world, and the structure and conduct of ideal brahminical society. The Viṣṇu Purāṇa describes the trials of exemplary devotees, the existential struggles between gods and demons, and the exploits of legendary cultural heroes. It also contains many ecstatic songs of praise for the deity. The ever-popular accounts of Kṛṣṇa’s love games with the cattle-herding girls of Vṛṇdāvana, which have proliferated in literature, dance, song and visual arts over the millennia, are found here in authoritative form. This faithful yet fluent blank-verse rendering of this great Hindu classic is the first new English translation in nearly 200 years. It will be welcomed by the scholarly community, while remaining readily accessible to a general readership.

A Linguistic History of Italy »

Storia Linguistica d'Italia

Publication date: September 2020
Italy has a long and fascinating history that has been recorded since the earliest days of Rome itself: we know how politics, ideas, culture, art, architecture, music and much more, have developed over nearly three millennia. At the heart of the life of the peoples of the Italian peninsula and islands is their language. A Linguistic History of Italy tells the story of how the language spoken in Italy developed from Latin to multiple dialects, to the selection of Florentine for a national written language and how Italian became the common language of the entire nation. At each step on this amazing journey language intertwines with other components of Italian social life. The chapters of A Linguistic History of Italy take you through the history of Italian society, art, ideas and language. The chapters focus on the turning points in language history – when Latin ‘became’ Romance, when local dialects were first used in writing, when Florentine was selected as the national language for literature, when Italian became the ‘national language’ – and show how those moments only fully make sense when seen in a broader context. The text is written in both English and Italian, so you can improve your linguistic skills while immersing yourself in Italian culture. And the many images give a visual feast of Italian beauty through the centuries.
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Wiidhaa »

An Introduction to Gamilaraay

Authored by: John Giacon
Publication date: February 2020
The Gamilaraay language declined in use for many years after the colonisation of Australia. From around 1990, Gamilaraay people and others have been working to revive the language. This book draws on recent research into previous records and analyses of Gamilaraay and of the closely related, and better recorded, Yuwaalaraay. It provides an introduction to many aspects of the language including verbs, the case system and the extensive pronoun paradigm, in a format that students have found very helpful for the last 12 years. Please note: Readers will need to download and open the PDF files in the latest version Adobe Acrobat to access and listen to the sound files within the book. This textbook is used as course material in: Gamilaraay – an introduction to an Australian Indigenous Language INDG2003 and INDG6003

Multi-level Governance  »

Conceptual challenges and case studies from Australia

Publication date: November 2017
Important policy problems rarely fit neatly within existing territorial boundaries. More difficult still, individual governments or government departments rarely enjoy the power, resources and governance structures required to respond effectively to policy challenges under their responsibility. These dilemmas impose the requirement to work with others from the public, private, non-governmental organisation (NGO) or community spheres, and across a range of administrative levels and sectors. But how? This book investigates the challenges—both conceptual and practical—of multi-level governance processes. It draws on a range of cases from Australian public policy, with comparisons to multi-level governance systems abroad, to understand factors behind the effective coordination and management of multi-level governance processes in different policy areas over the short and longer term. Issues such as accountability, politics and cultures of governance are investigated through policy areas including social, environmental and spatial planning policy. The authors of the volume are a range of academics and past public servants from different jurisdictions, which allows previously hidden stories and processes of multi-level governance in Australia across different periods of government to be revealed and analysed for the first time.

Vocational Education and Training »

The Northern Territory’s history of public philanthropy

Authored by: Don Zoellner
Publication date: April 2017
This book represents the first consolidated history of vocational education and training in the Northern Territory. Not only does the story present a chronological account of events, people and institutions, it also offers an explanation of how the system actually works and this has application well beyond the Territory. The mix of historical accounting and operational analysis comes from a unique perspective. It is proposed that the best way to understand the behaviour of the government ministers who have responsibility for vocational training is to compare their decisions and actions with those of wealthy philanthropists.

Australian Clinical Legal Education »

Designing and operating a best practice clinical program in an Australian law school

Authored by: Adrian Evans, Anna Cody, Anna Copeland, Jeff Giddings, Peter Joy, Mary Anne Noone, Simon Rice
Publication date: February 2017
Clinical legal education (CLE) is potentially the major disruptor of traditional law schools’ core functions. Good CLE challenges many central clichés of conventional learning in law—everything from case book method to the 50-minute lecture. And it can challenge a contemporary overemphasis on screen-based learning, particularly when those screens only provide information and require no interaction. Australian Clinical Legal Education comes out of a thorough research program and offers the essential guidebook for anyone seeking to design and redesign accountable legal education; that is, education that does not just transform the learner, but also inculcates in future lawyers a compassion for and service of those whom the law ought to serve. Established law teachers will come to grips with the power of clinical method. Law students struggling with overly dry conceptual content will experience the connections between skills, the law and real life. Regulators will look again at law curricula and ask law deans ‘when’?

Reading Embraced by Australia »

Hiroshima Modules 1 and 2

Publication date: December 2016
Hiroshima Modules 1 and 2 provide a first-hand account of surviving Hiroshima's atomic bomb. This eText is the first volume of an advanced Japanese language comprehension series aimed firstly at improving Japanese language skills, and secondly at introducing readers to a first-hand account of Australia and Japan’s shared WWII and post-WWII history. Made up of two modules, this eText includes audio recordings of the text, movie files of recorded interviews with Teruko Blair and interactive comprehension quiz questions to help readers engage with the Japanese text. The story is drawn from war bride and Hiroshima survivor Mrs Teruko Blair's 1991 Japanese memoir, Embraced by Australia (『オーストラリアに抱かれて』), published by Asahi TV Press. Hiroshima Modules 1 and 2 take readers on a journey behind the eyes of then 20-year-old Teruko. Module 1 covers only a few days in Teruko’s life, in the lead up to the bombing, the horrific impact of the bomb and how she and her family just managed to escape the black rain. Module 2 continues on from Module 1, describing how Teruko and her family survived by managing to escape across the Ōta River to a friend’s farm. The story ends with the survival of all four children and both their parents, which is nothing short of miraculous.
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The Doubters' Dilemma »

Exploring student attrition and retention in university language and culture programs

Publication date: August 2016
This book explores the extent and causes of attrition and retention in university Language & Culture (L&C) programs through a detailed analysis of an institutional case study at The Australian National University (ANU). Using extensive data collected through student surveys, coupled with data mining of university-wide enrolment data, the authors explore the enrolment and progress of students in all ANU L&C programs. Through their detailed statistical analysis of attrition and retention outcomes, the authors reveal serious inadequacies in the traditional, and common, methodology for determining the extent of student attrition and retention in tertiary L&C programs. Readers are shown why a year-to-year comparison of students who continue or discontinue language studies using traditional statistical methodology cannot provide data that is sufficiently meaningful to allow for sound policy- and decision-making. The authors instead suggest a more valid, replicable methodology that provides a new approach potentially applicable to all disciplines and all student retention measures. The authors also demonstrate that the empirical data supports a new hypothesis for the reasons for attrition, based on students’ relative belief or doubt in their capacity to complete their studies successfully. By highlighting the importance of language capital as a factor in students’ concerns about their capacity for success, and hence in their decisions to stay in, or leave, a university language program, the authors show the importance of the ‘doubters’ dilemma’. By taking a rigorous approach to hypothesis building and testing around enrolment and attrition data, the authors provide valuable insights into attrition issues, and potential retention strategies, in L&C programs, which will be relevant to institutions, policy-makers and teaching academics.

A National Asset »

50 Years of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre

Edited by: Desmond Ball, Andrew Carr
Publication date: August 2016
This volume commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC). The Centre is Australia’s largest body of scholars dedicated to the analysis of the use of armed force in its political context and one of the earliest generation of post-World War II research institutions on strategic affairs. The book features chapters replete with stories of university politics, internal SDSC activities, cooperation among people with different social and political values, and conflicts between others, as well as the Centre’s public achievements. It also details the evolution of strategic studies in Australia and the contribution of academia and defence intellectuals to national defence policy.