The Centre for Critical Studies was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

The information in this website is therefore out of date but retained for archival and staff purposes.

Below is an archive of CCCS Public Lectures delivered in 2010, along with their original abstracts. Audio files are provided for lectures that were recorded. For further information on any of these lectures, please contact CCCS Admin.


Professor Margaret Barrett: 'Beginning as Creators: The Emergence of Creative Thought and Practice in Music', 25 March 2010

This presentation will examine the ways in which creativity has been defined and understood, outline the ways in which creativity has been taken up in education, and, argue that creative thought and practice in music begins in young children’s early musical play. The presentation will draw on a longitudinal study of young children’s invented song and music-making to illustrate the generative musical practices of children aged between 18 months and 5 years.


Professor Clive Moore: 'Tell It As It Is: Life Writing, History and International Diplomacy in the Solomon Islands', 22 April 2010

During 2007 and 2008, Professor Clive Moore edited the autobiography of Sir Peter Kenilorea, the Solomon Islands’ first Prime Minister and now Speaker of the National Parliament, produced in time for the thirtieth anniversary of Independence on 7 July 2008. Editing the autobiography of a Pacific statesman was an unusual exercise, which involves what is now called Life Writing, but also includes social, political and, in this case, religious history.  The project was generously sponsored by the Government of Taiwan, which meant that an extra level of diplomacy was involved.  In the process, Professor Moore got to know Sir Peter and his family, and was able to use his own thirty-five year knowledge of Solomon Islands in the process. The lecture will endeavour to grapple with the complex process of editing and, through it, understanding something of the Solomon Islands, forty years of the political process, and also the life of the father of the nation.

Introduction: Dr Mark Andrejevic [0.9 mb]
Lecture Part One [6.2 mb]
Lecture Part Two  [5.8 mb]
Lecture Part Three [6.4 mb]
Lecture Part Four [6.2 mb]

Professor Amareswar Galla: 'Heritage in Afghanistan: Nine Years After Bamiyan', 25 May 2010

Community building through ecomuseology and sustainable heritage development as tools in poverty alleviation has taken on a new dimension in the 21st Century. Bamiyan Buddha to the Bamiyan Ecomuseum; Ustads as carriers and transmitters in Safeguarding Intangible Heritage; promotion of cultural diversity where ethnicity is about reconciliation, the challenges in Afghanistan are numerous but the possibilities are heartening for those who believe in world peace. Intercultural dialogue, intergenerational ethic and conflict resolution take on a new meaning even as the dust hardly settles down from frequent bomb blasts. Hopes and aspirations impregnate the lives of people stoically rebuilding neighbourhoods. This lecture provides comparative perspectives on heritage and peace building from four different countries based on the past fifteen years of the speaker’s firsthand knowledge in Afghanistan, East Timor, South Africa and Vietnam.


Professor Paul Turnbull: 'History in the Wake of the Web', 19 August 2010

Much has been said of late about history in the wake of the web. Many commentators have speculated whether the proliferation of cheap and easily useable interactive "social networking" softwares heralds a democratization of history, in which unknown or neglected histories will now be told, and many things we have complacently believed about trends and events shaping our world will be more impartially and beneficially.  Others have voiced concern that the web could easily see our knowledge of the past fall casualty to the ease with which claims and counter-claims about past human experience can be made with little means of discerning their accuracy. 
This lecture will aim to survey and offer some reflections on recent commentary as to the virtues and potential dangers of using networked digital media to make history.   It will do so from the perspective of a historian who has worked with computing and networked communication technologies since the late 1980s, and has examined how computers have been used by historians for what is now just over sixty years.  By conclusion, the lecture poses the question whether portraying the fate of history in web-based media in what amount to utopian or dystopian terms (as has often been the case) is accurate, helpful, or really that much different from how earlier innovations in media technology have been greeted.
Introduction: Professor Graeme Turner [1.4 mb]
Lecture Part One [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Two  [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Three [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Four [4.8 mb]
Professor Bridget Griffen-Foley: 'Voices of the People: Audience Participation in Australian Radio', 16 September 2010
John Laws, arguably Australia’s longest-serving and most successful commercial radio talkback host, labelled his program and his genre ‘dial-in democracy’. Amongst the mellifluous tones of Laws and ‘Andrea’, the gravelly rasps of Brian White and Derryn Hinch, and the impatient injunctions of Alan Jones and Howard Sattler have been the voices of countless ‘ordinary’ Australians. This lecture considers how voices of ‘the people’ have been heard in Australian print media outlets, led by the Bulletin, since the nineteenth century, and on Australian radio since the 1920s. It moves from letters to the editor to confessional magazines, Community Singing to radio clubs, programs like Voice of the People to Australia’s Amateur Hour, and, of course, talkback radio. Along the way, it reflects on issues such as the flow of ideas and influences between Britain, the United States and Australia; the ways notions of the public and the community have been deployed by commercial radio managements and interpreted by broadcasting regulators; and how listeners and callers, like some regular writers of letters to the editor, can emerge as media identities in their own right. Inspired by Bridget Griffen-Foley’s major new book, Changing Stations: The Story of Australian Commercial Radio (UNSW Press, 2009), this lecture suggests that the history of participatory media in Australia began long before the emergence of reality television and the spread of the Internet.
Introduction: Professor Michael Bromley [1.4 mb]
Lecture Part One [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Two  [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Three [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Four [4.8 mb]
Professor Graeme Turner: 'The Humanities and the University in Australia', 14 October 2010

Over the last two decades we have seen successive governments downgrade the value and importance of higher education in Australia. The Rudd government may have temporarily arrested the steady decline in the funding environment, but there remains much to be done to keep our higher education system operating at an international standard. A most worrying long term trend has been the steady instrumentalisation of higher education – a focus on vocational and professional outcomes as the primary purpose of its teaching programs, and a privileging of industry partnerships in research funding. The controversy over the restructuring of the Gillard government ministry is among the more recent indicators of this trend, as the initial removal of portfolio titles which explicitly mentioned education and research was seen as signalling an alarming narrowing of the presumed function of higher education. 

In this kind of context, the humanities disciplines have been especially disadvantaged. Many research funding programs and many of the national research strategies exclude the participation of the humanities, and the case for a humanities education is looking increasingly vulnerable as the broader function of education seems no longer to be recognised, let alone advanced, by government.  In this lecture, drawing on many years of working between the university sector, government and other peak organizations dealing with the humanities, Professor Turner will discuss what he describes as a crisis for the humanities disciplines as they struggle to maintain their distinctive presence in Australian universities today.

Introduction: Professor Gay Hawkins [3.1 mb]
Lecture Part One [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Two  [4.6 mb]
Lecture Part Three [5.1 mb]
Lecture Part Four [5.7 mb]


Professor Daniel Miller: 'Facebook: From Cool to Kula', 2 December 2010
Because Facebook was originally launched as a means for students to connect with each other, the assumption has been this is a cool youth-oriented but also relatively shallow new media. Today with 500 million users across the world, and with the most rapidly expanding demographic amongst older users we have to appreciate that these origins may tell us little about how Facebook will evolve in the future. This paper starts from an ethnographic study of the way Facebook impacts upon the population of Trinidad and why so many people spend several hours a day on Facebook. It shows how this represents a challenge to key assumptions in Social Science about modern life, kinship and community. It ends with a theoretical account of Facebook as culture based on studies of the Kula ring in New Guinea.

Introduction: Professor Graeme Turner [1.5 mb]
Lecture Part One [5.0 mb]
Lecture Part Two  [5.2 mb]
Lecture Part Three [4.5 mb]
Lecture Part Four [4.8 mb]