|NEWSLETTER NO. 30 FALL 2004|
|THE EDWARD A. CLARK CENTER FOR AUSTRALIAN
& NEW ZEALAND STUDIES
|THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN|
A few days after Greg's defense, Rhonda Evans Case defended her dissertation on "The Politics and Law of Anglo-American Antidiscrimination Regimes, 1945-1995." Although Rhonda's dissertation deals with all of the main Anglo-American countries, its core charts the development of an ideology of antidiscrimination and the conditions under which political elites in Australia and New Zealand institutionalized the tenets of that ideology, as well as the laws and institutions that flow from it, between the 1960s and the 1990s. The Australian and New Zealand analyses in Rhonda's dissertation derive from more than a year's research in Canberra and Wellington, also supported by the Clark Center. John Higley supervised Rhonda's dissertation. This spring she is Lecturer in Government at UT.
It may not be out of place to say that the Clark Center likes to think that it played a modest role in the agreement's gestation. During 1991-92 the Center conducted an extensive study of NAFTA's likely implications for Australia, New Zealand, and the world's trade regime. Because the U.S., Australian, and New Zealand governments all recognized that NAFTA could have significant ramifications for their trilateral trade relations, they supported the Center's study handsomely. The US Dept. of State seconded one of its senior diplomats, Tain Tompkins, to the Center and UT-Austin for a full year. Tompkins had earlier been Counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Canberra. The Australian Dept. of the Prime Minister and Cabinet seconded a gifted public servant, Michael Sutton, to the Center for 18 months. And the New Zealand government funded visits to Austin by a half dozen of its leading trade officials and advisors.
In October 1992 the Center hosted a major conference in Austin, which was attended by several scores of trade specialists and trade officials from the three countries, to assess NAFTA's implications for Australia and New Zealand. An edited volume of conference papers, published separately in Australia and the U.S., was one result and it quickly sold out.
At the time of this project and conference, the possibility of a free trade agreement between Australia and the U.S. was discounted, even staunchly opposed, by most Australian officials and scholars, with their New Zealand counterparts being more ambivalent. But in the course of the two years that they worked on the subject, the project's Clark Center leaders – Robert Cushing, Michael Sutton, Tain Tompkins, a leading American trade specialist, Sidney Weintraub, and myself – concluded that an Australia-U.S. free trade agreement was sensible and, from an international trade system perspective, possibly inevitable. Following the end of our project, several of us made this view as widely known as we could. In the fullness of time – ten years – relevant political leaders and many trade specialists in Australia and the U.S. came to the conclusion that we had reached.
While we at the Clark Center have no illusions that this happened because of our early spadework, the scholars who participated in our project are entitled to bask, at least a little, in the glow of the free trade agreement’s implementation.
During the early 1990s Don Graham, J. Frank Dobie Professor of American Literature at UT, participated in a faculty exchange program that the Clark Center operated with Sydney University. While teaching in Sydney for a semester, Don made many friends in Sydney's literary circles, one of the closest being the well-known writer, Michael Wilding. Don was fascinated by Australia, and the impressions he formed and knowledge he gained have fueled his popular UT undergraduate course on Australian Literature and Film ever since.
Now Don has put some of his impressions of Australia and Sydney in fictional form, at the same time honoring Michael Wilding. Don’s short story, "The Voice on the Verandah," which depicts a scholar not unlike Don visiting a Sydney literary conference in the mid-1990s, appears in a 2004 festschrift: Running Wild: Essays, Fiction and Memoirs Presented to Michael Wilding, published by the Sydney Association for Studies in Society and Culture. Don's story has also been published in Best Stories Under the Sun, a volume edited by Michael Wilding and David Myers for Central Queensland Univ. Press (2004).
Reciprocating this Australian literary hospitality, Don is associated with a Texas-centered volume, Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande (W.W. Norton, 2003), which is dedicated to Michael Wilding and another Australian writer, Lyndy Abraham.
In collaboration with Mark Darby and the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, the Clark Center will host a June 27-29, 2005 pre-departure briefing about Australia for 16 secondary and post-secondary educators from across the U.S. who will travel to Australia for a Fulbright Seminar during July. The educators will spend three days at the Center in Austin and then depart directly for Sydney and Canberra. The Center's briefing will consist of presentations by scholars affiliated with the Center about Australia's history and politics, its education system, and Australia-U.S. relations, as well as get-acquainted dinners and social events.
Professor Roy Mersky, Director of the Tarlton Law Library and the Jamail Center for Legal Research at UT, spent the bulk of summer 2004 in Australia. His trip was supported in part by the Clark Center. Professor Mersky traveled to Darwin to participate in the Australasian Law Teachers Association. He also visited several members of the judiciary and academic law communities around the country, and he met with the U. S. Ambassador, Thomas Shieffer at the Embassy in Canberra. The Queensland Supreme Court Librarian, Aladin Rahemtula, hosted Prof. Mersky in Brisbane and introduced him to many members of The Court and honored him at a Court ceremony. Prof. Merksy also accepted an invitation to write a foreword for the latest volume in a series of biographies of Australian Supreme Court Justices, which was published in November 2004.
Professor Jane Maxwell, a faculty member in UT's School of Social Work, has recently completed a Fulbright Research Fellowship at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety, which is located at Queensland University of Technology. Working with Professor Jeremy Davey at the Centre, Professor Maxwell studied drug use by long-distance truck drivers in Queensland. She also attended a conference on Alcohol and Other Drugs held in Fremantle, W.A. Passing through Canberra in early November, Jane watched the US election returns at the US Embassy and reports that "it was interesting, to say the least" to be with Australians watching President Bush's re-election.
Detailed information about accommodations and a Conference registration form will be posted in the near future n the Association’s web site, www.utexas.edu/depts/cas/anzsana/
Recent Visitors to the Center
Kerry Bothwell, New Zealand Embassy
Kathleen Kelly, Honorary Consul for New Zealand
John Wood, New Zealand Ambassador to the U.S.
Brendon O'Connor, Griffith University
YACKER Is published in the fall & spring by The Edward A. Clark Center for Australian & New Zealand Studies,
Harry Ransom Center 3.362
The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713-7219
Telephone: 512/471-9607 Fax : 512/471-8869 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Newsletter was not printed with state funds.