|NEWSLETTER NO. 39 SPRING 2009|
|THE EDWARD A. CLARK CENTER FOR AUSTRALIAN
& NEW ZEALAND STUDIES
|THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN|
The 2009 joint meetings of ANZSANA and AAALS took place at the University of Calgary 26-28 February. Fifty scholars, divided almost equally between ANZSANA and AAALS, attended, with 35 papers presented and discussed.
Special presentations included a poetry reading by Alan Wearne, and a discussion of Alberta's environmental policies by the Hon. Ted Morton, Alberta's Minister for Sustainable Resource Development. Dick Teare, one of ANZSANA's staunchest hands, presented a paper reviewing the 1980s confrontation he witnessed between New Zealand and the U.S. over the issue of US nuclear-equipped naval vessels' access to New Zealand ports – a confrontation that still affects US-NZ relations. John Hayton, who heads the International Education program at Australia's Embassy in Washington, gave an overview of the program and was a provocative participant throughout.
At ANZSANA's business meeting, Rhonda Evans Case reached the end of her successful two-year presidency, and Greg Brown, who is affiliated with CANZ at Georgetown University, was elected to succeed Rhonda. Both associations deliberated about next year's joint meetings and it was decided to hold them in Washington, probably in February. Finally, during the meetings the AAALS's John Schekter collected A$750 in donations for wildfire relief efforts by the Red Cross and RSPCA in Victoria.
Harvard Chair Holders Announced
This year the Clark Center marks the 20th anniversary of its founding in 1988-89, and this is the 39th issue of our semi-annual Yacker – the first having appeared in Fall 1989. Those of us involved in the Center's creation remember, as though it were yesterday, the gala opening ceremony, presided over by Prime Minister Bob Hawke at a sumptuous Texas Hill Country ranch on a summery evening capped by a hellacious midnight Texas thunderstorm. Ten years later, after Penn State's Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, headed by the illustrious Henry Albinski, closed, the Clark Center added New Zealand Studies to its program in another ceremony, presided over by the former New Zealand Prime Minister and then Ambassador to the U.S., the Right Hon. Jim Bolger.
It is perhaps appropriate to review some of the Center's research accomplishments during these two decades, and this Yacker issue contains two additional pages that do this. But the pages do no justice to the many close colleagues who have been so central in the Clark Center during all these years. First among them is Desley Deacon, now Professor of History at the A.N.U., without whose presence, dedication, and energy the Center would never have come into existence. During the two years before the Center was established and then for a dozen succeeding years, Desley contributed her deep knowledge of Australia to projects that consumed the 1990s, and to welcoming the hundred or so Australians who visited in those years. Also present at the Center's creation was our dear colleague, Robert Ross, who for a dozen years edited the AAALS journal Antipodes and gave the Center much visibility in the humanities. Frank Poyas, a lover of all things Australian, was an early and energetic staff member. Since 1993 Frances Cushing has been my indefatigable assistant and close friend. Without her there would have been only disarray. As many know, Frances has also been a spark plug in ANZSANA during all its years. Her husband, Bob Cushing, who was on the A.N.U. faculty during the 1970s and 1980s, has consistently taken an interest in the Center, contributing ideas and being pivotal in our large research project on Australia-US trade relations before the 1994 Free Trade Agreement.
Dr. Pam Ryan has been another major contributor to the Center. In particular, Pam and her two research organizations, Issues Deliberation Australia and Issues Deliberation America, made Center participation in the imposing "deliberative polls," enumerated on the additional pages, possible. For several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Dr. Ross Terrill was a Visiting Professor in Government at UT-Austin, teaching Australian Politics and contributing to the Center in many valuable ways.
Several UT-Austin faculty members have been inveterate supporters: Prof. Roger Louis, a distinguished historian and leader of the Faculty Seminar in British Studies, to which numerous Australian and New Zealand scholars and diplomats have spoken; Prof. Don Graham in the Dept. of English, who has inculcated in UT students a lively interest in Australian literature and film; Prof. Robin Doughty in the Dept. of Geography, whose concerns with environmental issues Down Under have broadened our research compass; Prof. Gary Freeman in the Dept. of Government, who has twice led research projects on immigration policies; the late Prof. Roy Mersky, who headed the Tarleton Law Library and fostered Center relations with the School of Law. Two other especially warm friends and supporters have been Grace and Tain Tompkins since their affiliation with the Center early in the 1990s
The Center has consistently benefited from the support of top-level UT-Austin administrators. First among them has been Dr. Bill Livingston, who cleared the way administratively for the Center's creation and secured enduring university support of it. Dr. Bill Cunningham, president of UT-Austin when the Center came into being, solicited three endowments that have been crucial for Center activities. Dr. Tom Staley, director of the famous Humanities Research Center during all of the past 20 years, has graciously provided the Center with office space and hosted several of its conferences.
During this 20th anniversary year, the Dean of Liberal Arts, Prof. Randy Diehl, has reviewed the Center's place in the College of Liberal Arts and wider University. I’m delighted to report that the Dean has endorsed the Center's continuation. This coming September I will start a 3-year phased retirement program during which I will continue to direct the Center. However, Dean Diehl has committed the College to recruiting one or more scholars who will in due course replace me and drive the Center forward during its next twenty years.
Cassandra Pybus Returns to UT-Austin
Professor Cassandra Pybus, from the Dept. of History at Sydney University and Fellow of the Australian Research Council (ARC), will be in residence during May and June. She spent three months in Austin during 2008 and returns to direct several History graduate students in archival research this summer under the aegis of an ARC grant. The Clark Center and Dept. of History are jointly supporting her return visit.
Rhonda Evans Case in Austin
In collaboration with the Clark Center, the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice in UT-Austin's School of Law brought Rhonda Evans Case to the Rapoport Center’s spring speaker series. Evans Case, who holds a Ph.D. from UT-Austin's Department of Government, is currently on the faculty of East Carolina University, and for the past two years she has been president of ANZSANA. Her Rapoport presentation dealt with the legal representation of refugees in South Australia, one of her current research projects.
Twenty Years of Australian & New Zealand Research
The Edward A. Clark Center was created by UT-Austin during Australia's 1988 Bicentenary Year, and it reflected ties between UT-Austin and Australian academe dating back to the World War II period. For example, C. Hartley Grattan, the American doyen of Australian history, was a member of the Department of History during the 1960's and 1970's, bringing to the University his 25,000-volume library of everything published in Australia between the 1930's and late 1960's. In launching the Center, the University honored President Johnson's Ambassador to Australia during the difficult Vietnam War years by giving his name to it. Here is a brief review of the Center's principal research projects during these twenty years.
Nations of Immigrants
A collaborative project with the Bureau for Immigration Research in Melbourne, headed by John Nieuwenhuysen, that enlisted teams of Australian and American specialists to compare the two countries' immigration flows and policies during the 1980s and early 1990s. The result was a well-received book, edited by Gary Freeman in UT-Austin's Dept. of Government and James Jupp at the A.N.U., published by Oxford University Press in 1993.
The Challenge of NAFTA: Australia, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand in the World Trade Regime.
Directed by Prof. Higley, Bob Cushing, and other UT-Austin colleagues in collaboration with the PMC and DFAT departments in Canberra, this major project between 1991-1993 produced a book assessing and advocating a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the U.S. It was one of the first scholarly investigations to do so.
Australia Deliberates about a Republic
A large collaborative project between the Clark Center and Issues Deliberation Australia, headed by Dr. Pam Ryan in Adelaide, with the guidance of Prof. Jim Fishkin at UT-Austin. It involved a nationally televised "deliberative poll" of a statistically representative group of 350 Australian citizens at Old Parliament House in October 1999, a month before the Republic Referendum.
Australian Deliberates about Aboriginal Reconciliation
A second deliberative poll, also led by Dr. Pam Ryan, of a representative sample of Australian citizens and a focused sample of 60 Aboriginal Australians, held at Old Parliament House in February 2001. Dr. Ryan produced a feature length film, Without Prejudice, depicting the poll and extensive consultations with Aboriginal Australians that preceded it.
Australia Deliberates about Muslims and Non-Muslims
A third deliberative poll, utilizing the same techniques as the preceding two, held in March 2007 at Old Parliament House under Dr. Ryan's leadership, with the Clark Center in a supporting role.
The Evolving Role of Australia's Judiciary
A project examining how High Court and other appellate judges perceive their roles in the evolving constitutional system. Supported by Center funds, Jason Pierce, a UT-Austin doctoral student in Government and a Fulbright Fellow at the ANU School of Law during 1999-2000, conducted in-depth interviews with more than 100 senior jurists. His dissertation became the basis of a controversial book, Inside the Mason Court Revolution: The High Court of Australia Transformed, published by Carolina Academic Press in 2006. Jason is now Assoc. Prof. of Political Science at the University of Dayton and he was president of ANZSANA during 2005-07.
Homeland Mobilizations of Ethnic Diasporas in Australia
A project studying the efforts of Balkan homeland governments to mobilize political support among Croatian, Serbian, and Macedonian communities in Melbourne and Sydney as Yugoslavia’s broke up in the 1990s. It was conducted by Greg Brown, a doctoral student in Government at UT-Austin, some of whose findings appeared in the Australian journal, People and Place. Greg is now a staff member of CENTRA Technologies in Washington, D.C. and the current president of ANZSANA.
Anti-Discrimination Regimes in Australia and New Zealand
A project focusing on claims that Human Rights and other conventions signed by both countries reduce their sovereignty when dealing with indigenous peoples and constitute important constraints on political elites. Rhonda Evans Case, a doctoral student in Government at UT-Austin, conducted the study and her forthcoming book expands upon it. Rhonda is now Asst. Prof. of Political Science at East Carolina University and has been the immediate past president of ANZSANA.
The Plight of the Albatross
Conducted by Prof. Robin Doughty, a member of UT-Austin's Geography Dept., this project, supported by the Center, studied manifold infringements on the magnificent trajectories of albatross birds, which nest periodically in Tasmania. Doughty earlier conducted and published a study, also supported by the Center, of environmental consequences stemming from Australia’s dissemination of eucalyptus trees around the world.
Nations of Immigrants: Australia and the United States Compared
Working again with teams of American and Australian specialists, the Center has most recently collaborated with John Nieuwenhuysen, now at Monash University, to assess immigration flows and policies during the fifteen years since they were first compared in the early 1990s. A book reporting the results will appear shortly from Edward Elgar Publishers.
The Center has been involved in numerous other projects during the past twenty years. One examined the US-Australia Alliance during the Bush and Howard years. Another was an ANU-based study of anti-elitism in Australia. Under Desley Deacon's leadership during the 1990s, the Center paid much attention to issues of gender in Australia and the U.S. The Center gave much support to Sydney University's creation of an American Studies Centre early in the 1990s, and it now seeks to assist the newly created U.S. Studies Centre in Sydney. It has been participated in various other initiatives taken by Australian and New Zealand universities, such as the ANU's Parliamentary Internship program and the International Australian Studies Assn. It has helped bring student exchange programs between UT-Austin and ten Australian and three New Zealand universities into existence. Throughout these twenty years, it must be added, the Center has profited enormously from contacts and collaborations with a very large number of individual Australian and New Zealand scholars across the humanities and social sciences.