I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Humanities Researcher

This blog is designed as a space for reflection on research in the humanities in Australia.

Its first and most practical point of orientation is the process of applying for research funding, especially through the Australian Research Council. The prime audience for the blog will be researchers in my own department of English, and perhaps also the Faculty of Arts at the University of Melbourne. The application process is time-consuming and not a little arduous, so I thought it might be useful to chart the process of my own application in the next round, and my experience as one of the department's grant shepherds. I welcome comments and questions; indeed, I hope that posting questions and answers on the blog will help others who are putting applications together.

The second area the blog will focus on is more theoretical: the question of how researchers in the humanities can make their work available and accessible to communities of readers outside the academy. This topic has attracted a certain amount of interest over the last year or so, in various projects supported by individual universities or indeed the ARC itself, in the Humanities Writing Project, for example. I am experiencing a brief taste of this myself at the moment, as an essay collection on Australian medievalism is attracting a little publicity. But again, I welcome comments and reflections from others.

It is the nature of a blog is to be personal. I'm not sure yet how official or personal my voice will be... Or whether anyone commenting on this blog will write under their own name or a pseudonym... Watch this space!


rohina said...

This is really neat. You have to link to Chaucer's blog, though. :)


Enname said...

Wow, I haven't been over to blogger in a long time. They have changed things around.

I'm on the Roundtable list and in the Unimelb History department. Neat idea - considering as how I can never seem to get ARC funding given to me.

KLG said...

Brilliant idea. Great that you're using Blogger, too -- I might be able to be a bit useful!

Liz Conor said...

Blogs are fab,
I set one up a few weeks ago and posted 40 odd essays, published and unpublished, and then I have the URL attached to my email signature. These are tactics to get material read.
And they are entrancing, this one looks very swish. I find it hard to resist going back into writings to rework and refine, which seems to be a process of getting thoughts in order too.
Editing links to other sites is also very useful.

This also has lots of potential for research only staff who may not be around the department much but also seek collegial dialogue for their work.

If researchers are poking their heads in here to comment on ARC application processes then I can make a first offering - Stephanie inspired, many thanks.
I've drafted one page towards an application I plan to submit at the end of 2007 - good to start thinking ahead.

Here it is: do post thoughts, particularly on using a racially derogatory type to flag children and colonialism:

Project Title:

The Piccaninny: Colonialism and childhood in transnational and local colonial cultures.

100 word Project Summary:

This project is the first sustained cultural history of colonialism and childhood transnationally. It will draw on diverse cultural forms: kitsch home design, explorer literature, early settler lithographs, industrialised image production including film and photography, to investigate the intercolonial recurrence of the figure of the ‘Piccaninny’ as a visual and literary trope which was central to the processes of imperial expansion. The project will investigate the uses of the ‘Piccaninny’ in: colonial constructs of the ‘native’ as ‘childlike’; the ‘wildchild’ and globally recurring state policies of child removal and assimilation through education; the sexual and labour misappropriation of colonised children; the ‘halfcaste’ child within colonial constructs of racial difference and hybridity.

Aims and Background:

Aim: To trace the use of colonised children within the cultural processes of Imperial expansion and colonial state policies of assimilation.

Background: There are no histories of colonialism that concentrate on the experience and construct of childhood, yet the idea of the native child as most receptive to policies of assimilation, was key to imperial expansion around the globe. The ‘Piccaninny’ as a recurring trope has not been related to colonialism, nor historisised.

Significance and Innovation:

The impact of Indigenous child removal is yet to be fully understood. A study of colonialism and childhood would be innovative within the fields of cultural and visual studies and be taken up outside of the discipline by agencies working in Indigenous health and communities.

Approach and Methodology:

Conceptual Framework:
The interdisciplinary field of cultural studies provides a theoretical framework that houses the ambitions of the project. As a cultural history interested in the relationship between cultural forms and identity, specifically through the production of types such as the ‘Piccaninny’ this project will benefit from the attention of Cultural and Visual Studies to raced national identity within intercolonial globalised flows.

This project will investigate the relationship between the figure of the Piccaninny and Colonised childhood. It will develop a critical model to analyse the articulation of imperial power through colonial constructs of colonised children and the native as childlike. It will investigate the impact of state education of colonised children on government assimilation policies. The recurrence of the figure of the ‘Piccaninny’ in European colonies from the 15 Century suggest that childhood was significant in the colonial imagination and a comparative global study of the Piccaninny creates and portal into local contexts and differences in understandings of colonisation as a progression to adult nationhood.

National Benefit:
As an intercolonial comparative investigation this project will contribute to understandings of the specific Australian colonial context, it’s dependence on other colonial imaginations in its approach to the ‘childlike native’ and the ‘native’ child. It will address the historical omission of our indigenous history and the place of chidren within that past. It’s finding will serve to inform those working in Indigenous communities, education and policy.

Alexandra P said...

Stephanie, it's great to see you start a blog! I loved the subjects I took with (a couple of years ago now!): Medievalism in Contemporary Culture has stayed with me ever since, and I am now using bits of Chaucer's Prologue with my Year 8 students thanks to Chaucer and the Canon. I look forward to reading your musings!