Object-based Learning and the Classics & Archaeology Collection


Object-based learning is an integral part of Dr Andrew Jamieson’s approach to teaching, forming a central educational element in course design and delivery. Andrew’s use of objects resonates with students, contributes significantly to learning, and is now becoming a major focus within the Faculty of Arts. In this presentation Andrew will discuss object-based learning and the Classics and Archaeology Collection. It will include reference to Mumymania exhibition currently on display at the Ian Potter Museum of Art.

With over 20 years of tertiary education experience Dr Andrew Jamieson, senior lecturer in Classics and Archaeology in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, and curator of the antiquities collection at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, has inspired thousands of students, and successfully engaged audiences in the wider community with his passionate lectures and enthusiastic public speaking style. Andrew’s approach to teaching and engagement is based on extensive fieldwork and excavation experience.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015, 4:00 pm

Multifunction Room, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Swanston Street

Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)


Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages was originally produced in 1922 and re-released in 2001. This silent film, written and directed by Benjamin Christensen, explores how superstition and confusion around physical and mental illness was historically associated with witchcraft.

A hybrid of documentary and fiction, this silent film explores the history of witchcraft, demonology and satanism. It shows representations of evil in a variety of ancient and medieval artworks, offers vignettes illustrating a number of superstitious practices and presents a narrative about the persecution of a woman accused of witchcraft. The film ends by suggesting that the modern science of psychology offers important insight into the beliefs and practices of the past.

This screening is part of the Witchcraft and Emotions Symposium - 'Witchcraft and Emotions: Media and Cultural Meanings' hosted at The University of Melbourne.

There will be a panel session and audience Q&A following the screening

Thursday, 26 November 2015, 7:30 pm

Singapore Theatre, Melbourne School of Design

Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

Doctrine and Life in Greek philosophy: The strange case of Zeno of Citium


Much of our information about the Greek philosophers stems from the encyclopaedic work on their lives and doctrines by Diogenes Laertius. This lengthy book is especially important for the information it provides about the founders of the new Hellenistic philosophies—not only what they taught but also how they lived. The most intriguing and puzzling biography is the one Diogenes tells concerning Zeno, the Cypriot merchant who immigrated to Athens and founded the philosophy there that came to be called Stoicism. Diogenes’ elaborate story about Zeno requires us to sift fact from fantasy and construct a plausible persona for this enigmatic and influential thinker.

Anthony Long, a native of Manchester England, is Chancellor’s Professor of Classics Emeritus and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy at the University of California Berkeley. Between 1961 and 2013 Long taught at universities in New Zealand, England and the USA, where he served as Professor of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1982 until his retirement in 2013.

This public lecture is part of an international colloquium convened at Queens College, called “The Placita of Aëtius: Foundations for the study of ancient philosophy”. The Master of Queens College, David Runia, is a Professorial Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies.

Thursday, 3 December 2015, 6:30 pm

Theatre B, Old Arts Theatre B, Parkville

Posted in Events, Historical and Philosophical Studies

Bridging Art, Science and Free Technology: Creative Citizen Participation in Indonesia’s New Democracy


This public lecture will be presented by multimedia artists Irene Agrivina and Tommy Surya, founders of the multiple award-winning House of Natural Fiber (HONF Foundation) media art community in Yogyakarta.

The lecture will focus on HONF's creative community, ideas and projects since its establishment in 1999. It will address HONF’s collaborations with academics and professionals in various fields. The art community uses scientific research and DIY (Do It Yourself) and DIWO (Do It With Others) methods to create public interactive works. It attempts to expand the conventional parameters of art, and offer effective solutions for pressing issues of contemporary life. In the lecture, HONF will present its latest project ‘GROW KITCHEN#2’. Based on the Javanese philosophical principles of Syekh Siti Djenar (1348-1439 AD) about the nature of life, science and creativity, this installation uses aquaponics and hydroponics systems, natural fermentation dye, DIY electronic circuits, DIY microbial fuel and algae fermentation to reflect on the origins of life, and to demonstrate that combinations of art, science and technology are possible.

Supported by the Macgeorge Visiting Speaker/Performer Award.

Monday, 16 November 2015, 12:00 pm

B120 Theatre, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton

Posted in Asia Institute, Events

Culinary Cinema


The film centers on a Spanish tapas bar and the love lives of the loosely interconnected people in the neighborhood surrounding the bar. Tapas (2005) is a mix of characters with individual plots that intertwined with one another. In a Barcelona suburb, a wife of a self-centered restaurant owner cannot take his husband’s unrealistic demand anymore and has decided to quit being a chef. And quit being his wife while she is at it. Meanwhile, a Chinese chef who knows kung fu is happy to take up the job vacancy (and the abuse). He is in Spain because he wants to be with his love. A lady who sells chickpeas – among other cooking ingredients – has been in a separation for two years and now being in a cyber relationship with a man from Argentina. Two young teenagers work at the same supermarket. One of them is obsessed with Bruce Lee and girls of different nationalities while the other one has fallen in love with the chickpea lady. Finally, there is an old couple with the woman selling drugs to the young and the man dying of lung cancer.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015, 6:00 pm

Theatre C, Old Arts , Parkville

Posted in Events, Languages and Linguistics

The Long Haul: Book Launch


The Long Haul offers a series of practical lessons on leadership and public life from the Honourable John Brumby's thirty years in politics. It gives insights into the challenges and opportunities Australia currently faces and argues for real political reform, a different future for our federation and strong leadership in a world in transition.

The book will be launched by the Honourable Julia Gillard, former Prime Minister of Australia.

The Honourable John Brumby was the former Premier of Victoria (2007 – 2010) and has immense experience in public life, serving for more than 10 years as Treasurer and then Premier of Victoria, 6 years as Leader of the Victorian Opposition and 7 years as Federal MHR for Bendigo during the period of the Hawke Government.

Since retiring from politics, Mr Brumby has accepted a number of Board positions as well as a joint appointment to both the Melbourne and Monash Universities as a Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow. In addition, Mr Brumby is a Member of the Business and Economics (B&E) Board, Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne and an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, also at the University of Melbourne.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015, 11:30 am

David P. Derham Theatre - GM15, The David P. Derham Theatre, Law Building, 185 Pelham Street

Posted in Events, Government

Greg Sheridan: In Conversation


Greg Sheridan: In Conversation When We Were Young and Foolish

Greg Sheridan, one of Australia’s most respected journalists, is Foreign Editor of The Australian. His recently released memoir, When We Were Young and Foolish, is an extraordinary look at the formative years of some of our most prominent and influential politicians.

By chance, Greg Sheridan's early life saw him become intimate friends and colleagues with a fascinating list of people who now make up Australia's political leadership. At university Tony Abbott was his best friend; he became close to Peter Costello as well as Labor figures Michael Danby and Michael Easson. As a young journalist on The Bulletin he became friends and colleagues with Bob Carr and Malcolm Turnbull. When he first joined The Australian he was posted to China and there he befriended another future leader, Kevin Rudd.

Joining Greg Sheridan in conversation will be Nicholas Reece, Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and introducing the evening will be the University’s Deputy Chancellor, Robert Johanson.

Robert Johanson has worked at Grant Samuel since 1993, is the chairman of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and chairman of the Melbourne University Fund, the Australia India Institute and The Conversation. Nicholas Reece has considerable experience in both politics and policy making having worked as a senior adviser to an Australian Prime Minister and two Victorian Premiers.

In this conversation Greg and Nicholas will discuss When We Were Young and Foolish and explore the volatile and often dangerous mix of foreign affairs and national politics.

Greg Sheridan is a foreign affairs journalist and commentator, and is Foreign Editor of The Australian. He joined The Australian in 1984 and worked in Beijing, Washington, and Canberra before starting his tenure as the paper's foreign editor in 1992. He specialises in Asian politics and has written five books on the topic. He is a frequent TV and radio commentator and a sought after speaker at international conferences.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015, 6:30 pm

Woodward Conference Centre, Woodward Conference Centre, 10th Floor, 185 Pelham Street

Posted in Events, Government

Democracy in Transition Conference – December 2015

Citizens are disengaged. Western liberal democracy is retreating. Progress on instituting democratic rights has stalled. This is the current environment, but what can we do about it?

Democracy cover image

MILAN, ITALY – 4 OCTOBER 2013: Students took to the streets to protest against Italian austerity claiming their future.

The Melbourne School of Government is hosting a conference to answer that very question. There is no better time than now to tackle these complex and divisive issues.

As Professor Mark Considine states:

“Young people in the West are telling survey companies they don’t think democratic institutions are all that impressive.  Business leaders want greater predictability. Autocrats and charismatics point to Malaysian, Singaporean and Chinese economic miracles and argue that this would not have been possible if they had to deal with Australia’s “excessive” democracy. One might think that all these lamentations would be generating a search for solutions. And so they are.  The results are not very convincing so far. Much like the failed attempt to create an Australian republic, lots of ink is being spilt admiring the problem and not much at all on a process for road-testing some prototype solutions.”

The Democracy in Transition conference goes beyond the challenges to present new insights, collaborative solutions, and the opportunity to pro-actively develop the discussion on the future of democracy. The conference is limited to 200 participants to encourage interaction and audience participation.

Speakers include: The Honorable Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, former President of the Democratic Republic of East Timor and leader of the resistance struggle for self-determination and the liberation of the East Timorese people; Sam McLean, former National Director of GetUp!; and Mukulika Banerjee, Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics and the Inaugural Director of the LSE South Asia Centre.

The Democracy in Transition conference is offering a special discount registration for University of Melbourne alumni. Find out more information here.

Please join us for this conference and help lead the debate on the future of democracy.

Posted in Uncategorized

Learning beyond the classroom

BA student Larnie Hewat reflects on the enriching experience of volunteer fieldwork in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

8173For Bachelor of Arts student Larnie Hewat, the opportunity to step outside the classroom proved enriching and eye opening. Larnie moved from Geelong to the University of Melbourne upon receiving a scholarship to International House college. A Bachelor of Arts allowed her to embrace her passion for social justice, studying the issues from a range of different perspectives and disciplines. She completed a double major in Sociology and International Relations and Politics, travelling to Yogyakarta, Indonesia in the pilot program for Community Volunteering for Change – Global as part of her degree. Larnie shares her reflections on the experience with ARTiculation.

About the program

I have a strong interest and passion for social justice having been involved in a number of programs and initiatives both throughout secondary school and during my time at the University of Melbourne. I also studied Indonesian language and culture throughout my secondary education, and so with everything considered, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in the program.

For six weeks we were based in Yogyakarta with SATUNAMA, a not-for-profit development organisation focused on engaging with communities to help empower them through training, advocacy and mentoring. Our placement was structured around fieldtrips to two different communities in Java. On each trip we engaged in focus group discussions and interviews with various community members, community groups, government officials and other stakeholders to gain an understanding of both the challenges and successes of the community.

In the first community there was an overwhelming issue with pollution; the result of no waste management services to the community and incorrect disposal of chemicals by the industrial fishing factories. The second community was in the process of cultivating their abundant natural resources of vegetables, herbs and spices, with the long-term goal of selling goods throughout Indonesia.

Larnie (third from left) and the Community Volunteering for Change - Global group.

Larnie (third from right) and the Community Volunteering for Change – Global group.

On each placement we stayed with a local family to further our understanding of life in the community. We engaged in a great deal of community consultation through one-on-one interviews as well as discussion-based focus groups. The evidence, information and anecdotes we collected from these conversations were the platform on which we compiled our reports and further research. After a few days spent in each village we returned to the Yogyakarta office where we each produced reports detailing our personal reflections on the experience and our recommendations for how to help address the issues faced by the communities. It was fascinating to observe how each participant in the group took a different approach and formulated different recommendations based on their various areas of study and experience.

The Highlights

The homestay experiences were definitely a highlight of the program. In Yogyakarta, we stayed in a family-run hostel, Homestay Heru. They were an incredibly welcoming and lovely family. The other guests at the homestay were studying Bahasa at the language schools nearby. Over communal dinners each night it was intriguing to learn more about the other guests and what had brought them to Indonesia. With a high turnover of guests, there were a number of Red Cross staff members, people from smaller NGOs, teachers from international schools, a journalist, VCE students from Melbourne and many more.

Integrating with the local communities was a highlight of the experience.

Integrating with the local communities was a highlight of the experience.

The homestays in the villages were also really memorable. In the community Gunung Kelir, I was warmly welcomed by my host family and was challenged to use my very limited Bahasa. We were asked to be a part of the family and get involved with daily life. This involved an early start to the day at 6:00am, to collect food for the goats (my lack of coordination was highlighted in my hopeless attempts to use a machete in the forest, however I did prove some entertainment for the family!), feed the goats, sweep the grounds around the house, clean up after our own breakfast (using water from the mandi, where the gold fish also swam), begin the process of making coconut sugar and prepare lunch. The manual work was mentally challenging as I struggled to speak a language I had not properly used since high school, but it also provided a great opportunity to get to know the family. The eldest daughter was also a university student, so it was intriguing to get to learn about her life and culture, and for her to learn about mine.

Extended learning

Having previously studied a few development subjects, it was really interesting and useful to be able to further enhance and build on the theory I’d learnt in a real life, practical environment. The semester after I returned I studied Critical Analytical Skills, which enabled me to learn the theory behind the research methods we’d carried out in practice while on placement.

For me this project was a really great opportunity to gain a new perspective on development, an area I’ve always been interested in pursuing. I learnt a great deal about SATUNAMA and the work they do, and was keen to learn more about the challenges they face. The project revealed to me a number of areas that receive little attention or resources, or are overlooked completely within the context of development in Indonesia, such as mental health and disability inclusivity. The experience definitely strengthened my passion to learn more these issues, and reflecting back on this now, specifically to learn more about challenges in the area of metal and physical health.

Advice for future students

My advice would be to approach this program with an open mind and willingness to learn. It is such a great opportunity to get out of the classroom and add a practical element to your degree, not to mention an incredible opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, meet new people and experience a new country and culture beyond the boundaries of a regular tourist. I would also strongly encourage students to try and learn some local language before going. Even simple greetings will be met with gratitude and go a long way towards breaking down barriers. I think this goes hand in hand with making sure you have at least a basic level of understanding of the country you will be working in, about any significant historical events, the political environment, the culture and specifically about the country’s approach to development, and any challenges it may be facing.

I am so grateful to have been a part of the Community Volunteering for Change program. It was, without a doubt, one of the greatest highlights of my time at the University of Melbourne.

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Larnie continues to volunteer with a number of organisations. She was part of the Oaktree Victorian Outreach team in 2014, helping to improve school facilities in rural Victoria. She also participated in the fieldwork subject ‘On Country Learning: Indigenous Studies’, a week-long intensive fieldwork subject taught by indigenous people in the Yorta Yorta community, learning about their history, struggle for land and racial equality. Larnie was presented with the Global Citizenship Award by International House, and traveled to Kenya in July 2015 to work at a children’s home where she had previously volunteered during a gap year.

Visit the Faculty of Arts website to learn more about the Community Volunteering for Change – Global program.

Posted in Uncategorized

Arts alumna appointed to Indonesian National Commission on Violence Against Women

Congratulations to Dr Nina Nurmila, who was recently appointed to Komnas Perempuan in Indonesia.

The vision of the Indonesian National Commission on Violence against Women is to create ‘a society in which social structures and relations, as well as social behavior are conducive to the creation of life that respects diversity, freedom from fear, threats or acts of violence and discrimination, so that each woman can enjoy her basic rights as a human being’. With this in mind, the Commission aims to provide conducive conditions to eliminate all forms of violence against women; to fulfil women’s human rights in Indonesia; and to maximise the efforts to prevent and overcome all forms of violence against women. Dr Nurmila, a Senior Lecturer at the State Islamic University (UIN) in Bandung, completed a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne in 2007. She joins the Commission with a wealth of knowledge about gender, gender-based violence, human rights, national and international laws and interpretation of Islam.


In Indonesia, human rights violations against women and other marginalised groups are common, explains Dr Nurmila.

‘Women’s rights are sometimes still not seen as human rights due to the insensitivity and invisibility of women as human beings”, she explains.

Through her involvement with the Commission, Dr Nurmila hopes that she can help to free women from discriminatory laws and work towards their complete protection from any violence, in both the public and domestic spheres.

Dr Nurmila’s studies at the University of Melbourne shed a new light on her understanding of Gender and Islamic Studies.

‘Studying in Australia taught me how to think critically, especially in relation to seeing injustice in unequal gender relation between men and women, and in reading religious texts, which are often used to justify women’s subordination’, she states.

Receiving an Australian Development Scholarship enabled Dr Nurmila to pursue her postgraduate studies in Australia. She reflects on the time fondly.

‘It was a wonderful time for me to be able to have access to such high quality supervision, excellent library facilities and postgraduate courses in the Faculty of Arts’, she says.

Since completing her studies at the University of Melbourne, Dr Nurmila’s doctoral thesis was published by Routledge as the book ‘Women, Islam and Everyday Life: Renegotiating Polygamy in Indonesia’, and from 2008 to 2009, Dr Nurmila taught at the University of Redlands, USA as a prestigeous Fulbright Visiting Scholar.

Alongside her work on the Commission, Dr Nurmila continues to explore issues of gender through her academic research, currently focusing on Indonesian feminism between the East and West between 1945 and 1989. As for the future, she aspires to be active in the UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, and would love to return to the University of Melbourne one day.

Posted in Uncategorized