Unspoken, unheard: when our languages fall silent, what do we lose with them?

Description

Faculty of Arts Dean's Lecture

Most of the world’s 7,000 languages are no longer being learned by children, and by the end of this century it is likely that three quarters of them will be lost. A quarter of the world’s languages are spoken in our region, yet language loss is running faster on this continent than on any other.

Every few weeks an old person is buried – in the book and volume of their brain was the last and often unsuspected repository of an entire language and the knowledge it enfolds.

What do we lose when we bury such a person, and what can we do to bring out as much of their knowledge as possible into a durable form that can be passed on to future generations? Drawing on fragile minority languages from around the world, this lecture examines some of the key areas of knowledge that will be lost with language death – of the natural world, of the possibilities of language and the human mind, of deep history, of how to decipher ancient scripts. I conclude by asking what we can do to safeguard the rich linguistic heritage of our region.

Nicholas Evans is Laureate Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Linguistics in the College of Asia/Pacific, Australian National University, and Director of the newly established ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.

When
Thursday, 21 May 2015, 6:30 pm

Where
Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, The University of Melbourne, Parkville 3010

Booking
Posted in Events, Languages and Linguistics

Advancing Australia – Macedonia Relations

Description

The Australian Institute of International Affairs (National Office) in collaboration with the Melbourne School of Government at the University of Melbourne and the United Macedonian Diaspora is pleased to host a public lecture featuring the Macedonia’s Foreign Minister, Nikola Poposki.

Nikola Poposki will focus on four key issues; the transformation and key achievements by the Republic of Macedonia since independence, the state of Australia-Macedonia Relationship and the need for policy innovation and co-investment, global challenges in an inter-dependent world and the role of Australia and Macedonia and the changing security situation in Europe with the emerging challenges to the international security environment following the recent terrorist attack on Macedonia by Kosovar mercenaries.

The Minister’s lecture, ‘Advancing Australia Macedonia Relations’ will be followed by a Q&A session.

When
Wednesday, 27 May 2015, 6:15 pm

Where
Prest Theatre, The Faculty of Business Economics Building, 111 Barry Street, University of Melbourne, CARLTON 3010

Booking
Posted in Events, Government

Moral Horizons: Australian Anthropological Society 2015 Conference, The University of Melbourne

Description

The 2015 annual conference of the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) will be hosted by the Anthropology Program at the University of Melbourne from 1-4 December. This year's conference "Moral Horizons" will address moral pluralities both within anthropological practice and in the rapidly evolving world the discipline researches.

We warmly invite all interested researchers to join us in Melbourne for the AAS 2015 conference. The AAS Distinguished Public Lecture will initiate considerations of the morality theme on the evening of the 1st, with the conference formally opening on the morning of the 2nd. Three days of scintillating keynotes, plenary sessions and parallel panels will follow, interspersed with a film stream and book exhibits, and closing with the conference banquet. We expect over 300 anthropologists to participate in this exciting program.

Conference theme

Anthropology's emergence at the intersection between colonial modernity and non-modern cultural traditions has always put it face to face with moral questions unique to its field of study. The various ways of negotiating the relation between cultural and moral relativism is perhaps one of the most important. But there are many others such as the morality of modernisation and capitalist development, the morality of racial classification and the morality of different forms of patriarchal domination. All are as the old as the discipline itself and have given rise to a particularly anthropological mode of confronting moral questions. While this engagement with morality began timidly, it has continuously grown to become far more explicit today. It can even be said that since the turn of the century it is one of the growth areas of anthropological research and reflection. More information…

Call for papers opens 11/05/2015 and closes 22/06/2015. More information…

Organisers

The Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) is the national representative organisation of Australian anthropologists. The Society seeks to advance anthropology as a professional discipline, promote its responsible use in the service of humankind, and support professional training and practice in anthropology.

Anthropology in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne is renowned for its global ethnographic reach. Current staff are conducting research in Latin America, Melanesia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. For more information please see the Anthropology and Development Studies web page.

Keynote speakers

  • Nancy Scheper-Hughes, University of California, Berkeley
  • Joel Robbins, University of Cambridge
  • Akhil Gupta, University of California, Los Angeles

Timeline

  • Call for papers: Open: 11/05/2015 Close: 22/06/2015
  • Early registration: Open: 10/08/2015 Close: 28/09/2015
  • Standard registration: 29/09/2015

Contact (Co-Convenors)

Email Paul Green
Email Catie Gressier

More information

For more information please see the Moral Horizons: Australian Anthropological Society 2015 Conference website.

When
Tuesday, 1 December 2015, 6:00 pm

Where
To be advised, The University of Melbourne

Booking
Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

Moving Beyond Docile Agency?

Description

This lecture focuses on female leadership in traditional Islamic educational institutions in Indonesia, particularly in the context of post-disaster and post-conflict Aceh recovery. Female agency and engagement is considered through the varying and unpredictable ways in which women create and negotiate space – ranging from rather conservative and closed environments to more open and progressive spaces of action – based on their personal experiences, opportunities to participate in ‘outside’ training and public life, and support networks.

However, there are challenges emerging from a patriarchal context and dominant discourses that promote a limited view of women’s leadership, roles and agency. While some women exercise their agency beyond the religious context by addressing issues that are relevant within the current local socio-political dynamic in Aceh, others choose not to involve themselves in politics/activism; opting for different avenues of agency through their networks, community rituals, or educational leadership.

Do these diverse modalities of female leadership indicate gendered agency beyond docility?

Dr Eka Srimulyani has a background in Islamic Education Studies and Gender Studies. Her research focuses on women in post-conflict and post-disaster Aceh, particularly regarding the agency of female leaders.

When
Thursday, 7 May 2015, 5:30 pm

Where
Theatre B, Old Arts Building, Ground Floor, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, 3010

Booking
Posted in Events, Social and Political Sciences

How do you run a government? Better yet, how do you fix a government? Sir Michael Barber

Description

In conversation with Sir Michael Barber

In his new book, How to run a government so that citizens benefit and taxpayers don’t go crazy Michael draws on his wealth of experience of working for and with government leaders the world over to present a blueprint for how to run a more effective government. Using contemporary cases from every continent and classic examples from history, he makes a compelling case that without significant improvements in delivery, trust in government will fall further.

Sir Michael Barber will be in conversation with Larry Kamener, Global Practice Leader for BCG and co-founder of the new Centre for Public Impact, (a foundation that provides a global forum for leaders to improve the impact of their ideas for citizens) and Professor Glyn Davis AC, Professor of Political Science and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Melbourne.

When
Monday, 25 May 2015, 5:30 pm

Where
Swanston Room, Melbourne Town Hall, Corner of Collins St and Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Booking
Posted in Events, Government

The Asymmetry of Good and Evil: The Barry Taylor and David Lewis Philosophy Lecture

Description

We do good to one another by bringing about welcome consequences and, in particular, by bringing about welcome consequences that are disposition-dependent. Thus we give one another respect by acting out of the beneficent disposition not to interfere in one another’s personal choices: by ensuring that we conform to standards of respect in our behavior. But while we do evil to one another by bringing about unwelcome consequences, these are rarely disposition-dependent: they do not require that we act out of a maleficent disposition or that we conform to standards of malice in our behavior. This observation helps to explain the Knobe effect whereby we ascribe intentionality more readily to presumptively bad actions than to good. Thus to help the environment requires acting out of a helpful disposition, ensuring that you conform to beneficent standards. To harm the environment requires only that you create an environmental cost, breaching those standards: it does not require that you act out of the disposition of an environmental vandal, ensuring that you conform to a vandal’s standards.

Philip Pettit is L.S.Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the ANU.

When
Tuesday, 12 May 2015, 6:30 pm

Where
Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, , The University of Melbourne

Booking
Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

Baba Amte Memorial Lecture: The Amnesias of Democracy

Description

The 2014 national elections and the 2015 Delhi elections, both of which delivered absolute majorities, have reinforced the public notion that Indian democracy is vibrant and unique, with the capacity to reinvent the polity. In the context of the Modi government’s performance over the past year, the media has focused on the need to maintain the ‘development’ agenda and avoid being sidetracked by communal issues.

Professor Nandini Sundar will argue that it is the framing of the ‘development’ agenda that most clearly illustrates the failures of Indian democracy. More specifically, in the context of the ongoing civil war in central India between Maoist guerilla and the Indian state, it is far from being a palliative or alternative to insurgency, Indian democracy – both in its procedural electoral aspects, and its substantive welfare aspects – may serve as an active tool of counterinsurgency and a means of evading accountability.

Nandini Sundar is Professor of Sociology at The University of Delhi.

The Australia India Institute is delighted to present this, its second Baba Amte Memorial Lecture.

Baba Amte (Murlidhar Devidas Amte, 1914-2008), was a social activist and champion of India’s lepers and outcastes. Born to a wealthy Brahmin family in Maharashtra, Amte came to be known as Baba, a nickname acquired in childhood. He trained and practised as a lawyer and became involved in the movement for Indian independence from Britain acting as a defence lawyer for leaders of the freedom movement imprisoned in the 1942 Quit India movement.

When
Tuesday, 7 July 2015, 6:00 pm

Where
Prest Theatre, G06, FBE Building, 111 Barry Street, Carlton VIC 3053

Booking
Posted in Events, Government

The 2015 Barry Taylor and David Lewis Philosophy Lecture

Description

We do good to one another by bringing about welcome consequences and, in particular, by bringing about welcome consequences that are disposition-dependent. Thus we give one another respect by acting out of the beneficent disposition not to interfere in one another’s personal choices: by ensuring that we conform to standards of respect in our behavior. But while we do evil to one another by bringing about unwelcome consequences, these are rarely disposition-dependent: they do not require that we act out of a maleficent disposition or that we conform to standards of malice in our behavior. This observation helps to explain the Knobe effect whereby we ascribe intentionality more readily to presumptively bad actions than to good. Thus to help the environment requires acting out of a helpful disposition, ensuring that you conform to beneficent standards. To harm the environment requires only that you create an environmental cost, breaching those standards: it does not require that you act out of the disposition of an environmental vandal, ensuring that you conform to a vandal’s standards.

Philip Pettit is L.S.Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Human Values at Princeton, and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the ANU.

When
Tuesday, 12 May 2015, 6:30 pm

Where
Theatre A, Elisabeth Murdoch Building, , The University of Melbourne

Booking
Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

More ANZAC Centenary Events

poppies

There are innumerable events and exhibitions happening around Australia to mark the Centenary of the First World War. For further information about events in your area, visit your State’s ANZAC Centenary website:

For information about events and exhibitions happening in and around The University of Melbourne, visit the University’s ANZAC Centenary website.

Our recommendations for events or exhibitions not to be missed include:

Posted in Uncategorized

Jessie Mary Vasey and the War Widows’ Guild of Australia

jessie

Jessie Mary Vasey (nee Halber), BA(Hons) , OBE, CBE, 1897 – 1966

When Jessie Mary Vasey’s husband, Major General George Vasey, sailed for the Middle East in 1939, she dedicated her energies to the war effort, becoming involved with the Australian Comforts Fund, and serving as secretary of the Australian Imperial Force Women’s Association.

Following her husband’s death in an aeroplane crash during the war, Mrs Vasey wrote to all Victorian war widows, urging them to attend a meeting to form a craft guild. From the humble beginnings of a craft guild teaching weaving and other handicrafts to members so that they could augment their inadequate pensions, the War Widows’ Guild of Australia was formed, with Jessie Mary Vasey elected as the inaugural president. It is ‘no mean destiny to be called upon to go on for a man who has laid down his life’, she declared.

Postage-stamp-JessieMrs Vasey campaigned for an increase in the war widows’ pensions, which were payable to former soldiers and their dependants and had remained unchanged from 1920 to 1943. In 1947 the pensions were increased, largely due to her efforts, as she lobbied politicians and organized rallies in order to have the war widows’ pension tied to the basic wage. An inspiring and relentless leader, Jessie Mary Vasey was appointed O.B.E. and C.B.E. for her services to war widows.

 

The Guild continues to promote and provide companionship, counselling and support for its 27,000 members. In 1988, the Board of the War Widows’ Guild of Australia decided to ensure the work of its founder, the late Jessie Mary Vasey, would be recognised for years to come. In a memorial well-suited to the War Widows’ practical founder, herself an Honours student in History at The University of Melbourne, the War Widow’s Guild of Victoria established the Jessie Mary Vasey Prizes in Women’s History, to be awarded on the recommendation of the Head of the History Department, to the best essay on a Women’s History subject submitted as part of any third or fourth year History subject by Bachelor of Arts students.

The recipient of the 2014 Jesse Mary Vasey Prize for Women’s History, Augustus Viola, reflects on what it means to him to receive this award and the experience of meeting the War Widow’s guild.

War Widows Guild State President Margaret Milne and 2014 Jessie Mary Vasey Prize recipient Augustus Viola

War Widows’ Guild State President Margaret Milne and 2014 Jessie Mary Vasey Prize recipient Augustus Viola

Earlier this year, I was honoured to be awarded the Jessie Mary Vasey Prize for Women’s History. The award is presented annually by the War Widows’ Guild of Victoria to 3rd year students, and provides extremely generous support and recognition for trainee historians.

The War Widows’ Guild was established by Mrs Jessie Mary Vasey following World War I as a support organisation for the thousands of Australian women left generally without income. Mrs Vasey led the Guild to become a major lobby group in Canberra, securing many crucial support measures for disadvantaged widows of the war. In the vein of Vasey’s work, the Guild maintains the Vasey Prize to encourage recognition of the experience and achievements of women in Australia and globally.

To receive the Vasey Prize is an honour, however it was eclipsed by its added perk: being invited to share tea and sandwiches with the Guild’s current board of management.

The Guild’s current board members (themselves widows of later 20th century conflicts) were uniformly inspiring. They continue the work of Mrs Vasey in providing housing and other means of support to Australian war widows.

The Guild represents the often forgotten cost of war, and is testament to the human capacity to endure and flourish in hardship, and to care for one another. At the ANZAC Centenary, it is fitting to recognise and applaud the work of the War Widows’ Guild.

Posted in Uncategorized