Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
cas masthead cas masthead
Rhonda Evans Case, Director HRC 3.362, Mailcode F1900, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-9607
Yacker globe Yacker logo
NEWSLETTER NO. 19         SPRING 1999
THE EDWARD A. CLARK CENTER FOR AUSTRALIAN STUDIES
THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

 

Clark Center to Help Australia Deliberate on Republic Referendum
The Clark Center is helping to organize a national deliberative democratic poll in Australia that will take place immediately before the republic referendum, which is scheduled for late in 1999. Developed by Prof. James Fishkin, chair of UT-Austin's Government Department, the poll is a technique for bringing a statistically representative cross-section of a population together for intensive deliberations on an issue of national significance, such as the republic questions.


Under the leadership of Dr. Pam Ryan, Research Associate of the Clark Center, plans for assembling roughly 300 Australian citizens, from all parts of the country and all walks of life, in Old Parliament House on 22-24 October are in place.  A random sample of 1200 Australians will be surveyed by Newspoll in early September about their views on the republic issue. At the end of these telephone interviews, each respondent will be invited to come to Canberra six weeks later to participate in the Old Parliament House conclave, with travel and accommodation costs covered by the organizers.

A half dozen national polls that Prof. Fishkin has conducted in Britain and the U.S. indicate that about a quarter of those invited will actually be able to attend. Experience to date is that those who attend are statistically quite representative of the initial 1200-person sample. Once invited, each participant will receive briefing materials concerning issues posed by the referendum.

The citizens who assemble in Old Parliament House six weeks later will engage in alternating small group and plenary sessions that enable them to deliberate on the issues under the guidance of trained moderators and pose questions to panels of experts and advocated for the contending sides. The plenary sessions are to be televised by ABC-TV, with a special session taped by Channel 9 for broadcast on its widely-viewed Sixty Minutes program the following Sunday evening.

At the end of the weekend's deliberations, the citizens will again respond to the survey they initially underwent by telephone. Changes in their views about the republic referendum can plausibly be regarded as how the entire citizenry would think if all voters could have engaged in the deliberations. The poll's aim is not to predict or otherwise influence the referendum's outcome, but, rather, to provide the participants - and through their televised deliberations the wider citizenry - with an opportunity to inform themselves about the issues.

During late April and early May, Drs. Ryan, Fishkin, and Higley, plus another UT-Austin specialist on deliberative polling, Dr. Bob Luskin, met with a bevy of organizations who will cooperate in staging this large and complex event: Newspoll, The Australian, the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU, the Hawke Center at the University of South Australia, ABC-TV and Channel 9, the leaders of the

"Yes" and "No" committees and organizations formed to contest the referendum, former prime minister Bob Hawke who is serving as a key advisor for the event, and a dozen other public figures who will be instrumental in staging the poll.

Pam Ryan has formed an organization called Issues Deliberative Australia to serve as the poll's principal engine. She has formed an advisory committee consisting of equal numbers of prominent supporters and opponents of the republic proposal who will examine and approve all aspects of the process to ensure that it is balanced and fair to each side.

A news conference to announce and explain the undertaking was held on May 3rd  in the New South Wales Parliament House. In addition to Clark Center faculty, Bob Hawke, Malcolm Turnbull, Kerry Jones, and Prof. Francis Castles of the ANU, spoke at the conference, which attracted considerable media coverage.


Jason Pierce Receives Fulbright Award to Australia

One of the two initial Center participants in the ANU's Parliamentary Internship Program, Jason Pierce, has won a Fulbright Award to conduct dissertation research on the changing roles of the Australian judiciary, especially the High Court. 

Prior to his September arrival at ANU, where Pierce will be a visiting scholar in the Law School, he will present a paper on the Australian judiciary at a major London conference on the comparative study of legal systems.

During April he presented a paper on the High Court at the Chicago meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association. This followed a similar paper he presented to the ASANA meeting in Austin.

Pierce's initial exposure to Australia was made possible by a DETYA grand that enable the Clark Center to intensify its graduate-level program at UT-Austin.

The receipt of a Fulbright Award and the various papers Pierce has presented illustrate clearly what stems from seed grants by Australian funding agencies.



Two UT Graduate Students Chosen as Parliamentary Interns

As in the preceding two summers, two UT-Austin graduate students in Government will be inters in the Parliament of Australia, under the auspices of the Australian National University during June and July.

Greg Brown, whose strong interest in Australia's ethnic politics derives from two years of work in Melbourne's suburbs, has been assigned to the office of the shadow minister for immigration.

Rhonda Evans Case, who holds a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is interested in the constitutional and political issues surrounding the republic referendum, has been assigned to the office of the shadow attorney-general.

 


Director's Report
I am writing this in the jet-lagged wake of a week's trip to Australia with Center and UT-Austin colleagues to lay plans for the deliberative democratic poll on the republic issue that we expect to mount in October (see above).  This is easily the Center's largest and most exciting undertaking yet, and it is an auspicious way to begin our second decade of work in Australian Studies.


As in many other Center ventures, our deliberative poll effort enjoys the enthusiastic support of numerous Australian scholars and leaders, most notably our steadfast friend, Bob Hawke. But across the board - especially in the advisory group that Pam Ryan has assembled to ensure a balanced treatment of the referendum issues - many Australians are giving generously of their time and energy. In addition to Bob Hawke, our helpers on the "Yes" side include Malcolm Fraser, Barry Jones, Ian Sinclair, Malcolm Turnbull, and Natasha Stott Despoja (who very kindly visited the Center in early April). On the "No" side we are being assisted by Don Chipp, Kerry Jones, Leonie Kramer, "Digger" James ACM, Julian Lesser ACM, and Phil Cleary. With this caliber of assistance, how can the effort fail?

We also note in a later item the Center's hosting of the large and enjoyable ASANA Annual Conference in February. Another complex undertaking on which we worked for many months, the conference was a success due in large measure to the ideas and organizational skills of Frances Cushing, the Center's indefatigable administrative assistant, and to the efforts of Lisa Murphy at the Australian Education Office in Washington, DC.

The more strictly academic work of the Center continues to flourish. As visiting professor during the spring semester, Ross Terrill taught a sparkling course in "Australian Politics and Society," which energized many undergraduates. Don Graham's third successive edition of his course, "Australian Literature and Film," was again over-subscribed this semester. Several doctoral students in the Government Department are moving into the dissertation phase of their work on Australia, notably Jason Pierce who has received a Fulbright Award for this purpose. Two more students are in these days headed to Canberra as ANU Parliamentary Interns, and we have just finished arranging a student exchange program with the University of Western Australia, bringing to seven the number of exchange programs that UT-Austin has with Australian universities.

I would like to note that during my recent trip to Australia I was happy to find our long-time friend and colleague, Henry Albinski, settled into the Government Department at the University of Sydney where he is already working hard to strengthen American Studies there. Having devoted much of his career at Penn State University to the promotion of Australian Studies, Henry is now working the other side of the street.

Finally, the current academic year has been the third and last year of generous support by Leila Clark Wynn, her family, and the Straddlefork Foundation for our publication of Antipodes. We have greatly appreciated this invaluable help in continuing what I'm sure you'll agree is a vital cog in Australian Studies.

----- John Higley                                                          

 




ASANA Helps Clark Center Celebrate 10th Anniversary
As the major even in its tenth anniversary celebrations, the Clark Center hosted the Annual Conference of the Australian Studies Association of North America (ASANA) in Austin during the last weekend in February. A special feature was the participation of several officers of the International Australian Studies Association (InASA), as well as the president of the European Association for Studies on Australia (EASA), Prof. Xavier Pons from the University of Toulouse in France.


With more than sixty American, Australian, Canadian, and Mexican scholars in attendance, this was the largest ASANA conference to date. Papers were presented in six sessions that dealt with citizen identities, political issues, foreign and trade policies, literature, ecology, and issues of law and legal institutions. Two special sessions on Canadian-Australian relations and the progress of Australian studies in Mexico were also held.

On Sunday morning, many ASANA members joined with the InASA and EASA representatives to assess the state of Australian Studies worldwide.

The annual conference dinner was held - on a superb moonlit Texas night - in the enchanting Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, with the dinner's highlight being an entertaining and provocative keynote address by Tim Flannery, this year's holder of the Harvard Chair in Australian Studies. At the dinner, Robert Ross gave a moving eulogy for Joseph Jones, the American pioneer of Australian literary studies who passed away just few weeks before the ASANA conference.

A new slate of officers to guide ASANA during the next two years was elected to the annual business meeting. Kim Nossal (McMaster University) replaces John Higley as president, Hoyt Edge (Rollins College) replaces Angie Sauer (University of Winnipeg) as vice-president with Angie moving to the post of secretary-treasurer, while Francine McKenzie (University of Toronto) and Richard Teare (Georgetown University) join the ASANA board, with Higley remaining on the board as immediate past president.

It was agreed that next year's conference will take place in Ottawa, probably in early March, and a call for papers will be issued this September.



UT-Austin Law School's Focus on Australia Expands
During the past several years, scholarly traffic between the School of Law at UT-Austin and various law faculties in Australian universities has increased greatly.

Roy Mersky is currently visiting professor at the ANU School of Law. Jennifer Hill, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney, taught a seminar on contemporary issues in corporate theory at UT's Law School in the spring 1999 semester. Professor Hill is a leading corporate law scholar in Australia, with interests also in institutional investment and corporate theory. She visited the University of Virginia Law School in the fall 1998 semester.

Patrick Keyzer, Senior Lecturer in the law faculty at the University of Technology-Sydney, spent six weeks at the UT Law School doing research on the role of amicus curiae in American appellate courts. Keyzer is an expert on Australian constitutional law and media law, and is at work on a study of the role of non-party participants in appeals in Canada, the United States, and Australia.

George Williams of the Australian National University gave a paper at UT's Law School in April on rights of indigenous peoples under the Australian constitution. Williams, an expert on Australian constitutional law and human rights, is a member of the Law Faculty at ANU, but has been on secondment to the Law Program at ANU's Research School of Social Sciences for the past three years. He was a visiting scholar at Columbia University for the spring 1999 semester.

Denis J. Galligan, a native of Australia, now at the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at Wolfson College, Oxford, taught two courses on legal theory at the UT Law School in the Spring semester.

Two UT Law students, Susan Stith and Richard McLeod, attended Australian universities in 1998-99. Stith attended the University of Sydney and McLoed the University of New South Wales. In 1999-2000 three UT law students will be studying at the University of Sydney, and Jon Heining and Jason Hyde will be at the University of New South Wales.

It is fair to say that the UT-Austin Law School has become a major North American locus for the study of Australian legal institutions. Most of the credit goes to Roy Mersky, who has virtually commuted between Austin and Australia in recent years advising Australian law libraries as well as being a catalyst for the growing ties between the UT-Austin Law School and its counterparts in Australia.


AACC Adds Higley to Board
Following a luncheon presentation by Dr. John Higley on Australian political developments to the Australian American Chamber of Commerce in Houston last November, Neville Henry, president of the organization, invited him to serve on the AACC's Board Advisory Committee.

This committee consists of business and professional people who have contributed to the Chamber. Dr. Higley is glad to accept the invitation. A main aim of the Clark Center is to strengthen ties to Texas companies that deal with Australia, and participation in the AACC's work should help to achieve this aim.


FACULTY PUBLICATIONS
John Higley:
"Elites."  Encyclopedia of Political Revolutions. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quartely Press, 1999: 153-155.

"Elites and Transitions." In Dilemmas of Transition: the Hungarian Experience.  Eds.A. Braun and Z. Barany. Boulder, CO: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999: 20-35.

Clark Center on the move
With Center support during May and June, Dr. Robin Doughty, UT-Austin Geography Department, will initiate research on the East Asian Flyway, the Australian terminus of which is in the vicinity of Broome. His book on the spread of eucalypts worldwide will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press later this year.

Also with Center support, Dr. Don Graham, J. Frank Dobie Professor of American Literature at UT-Austin, will present a paper at the annual Association for the Study of Australian Literature conference in Sydney during the first week of July. His wife, Dr.Betsy Ber5y, UT-Austin English Department, will also attend the conference.

Dr. Norval Glenn, a UT-Austin sociologist who is a leading authority on the study of families, will be in Australia to lecture on family issues as a guest of the Australian Catholic University of Melbourne during late July and early August.

Drs. James Fishkin, John Higley, and Bob Luskin, all of the UT-Austin Department of Government, will return to Australia during early August and again in October to help Pam Ryan mount the deliberative democratic poll on the republic referendum.

Dr. Robert Ross, Center Research Associate and Editor of Antipodes, attended the Conference of the European Association for Commonwealth Language and Literature Studies in Tubingen, Germany, 6-11 April. He chaired one of the sessions and in a session devoted to the literature of the diaspora he presented a paper: "Dissolving Boundarie - The Fiction of Chitra Bannerje Divakaruni." On his return from Europe, he attended the 14th Annual Conference of the American Association of Australian Literary Studies in Park City, Utah.


A tribute to Joseph Jones, a pioneer Australianist
When Joseph Jones died in January at the age of ninety, he left behind him a rich legacy as a scholar and a tireless promoter of Australian literature.  For the past forty years or so he was involved in the study and teaching of Commonwealth literature, but his special field of interest was always Australian.  He once wrote that "The literary sun no longer rises just east of London and sets just west of New York."  He was one of the first members of the academy who acknowledged the emergence of what he called "World-English" and the way it would redefine literary production.  In an article in the June 1988 Antipodes, Joseph recalled receiving a Fulbright to New Zealand in 1953 -- an experience he said that "changed a career very much for the better."  This first extended stay and subsequent trips to Australia and South Africa introduced him to the new literatures.  And he set about studying, collecting, teaching, writing, compiling, and editing in the field during his long tenure at The University of Texas at Austin, which he joined in 1936.  His was a life well-lived -- and his work lives on.

 


Antipodes Features New Fiction
The June 1999 issue of Antipodes will feature a selection from Frank Moorehouse's new novel, which is scheduled for publication in 2000. It is a sequel to his 1994 book about the League of Nations, Grand Days.

This issue's cover art holds special interest. The oil painting of Newcastle was done around 1818, by the convict artist Joseph Lycett, who was also an expert forger. The work is in the Newcastle Region Art gallery's collection.


Clark Center Visitors
Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, deputy leader of the Australian Democrats, visited during the month of April to consult on arrangements for the deliberative democratic poll connected to the republic referendum.

Dr. Toni Makkai, Australian Institute of Criminology, gave presentations on Australian drug policies to relevant Texas State agencies during April and May 1999.

Dr. Malcolm Waters, Professor of Sociology and Executive Provost at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, has been a visiting professor at UT-Austin during the spring semester 1999. He has been accompanied by his wife, Dr. Judith Homeshaw, a political scientist at the University of Tasmania.

Dr. Marie-Lousie Ayres, Australian Defence Force Academy Library, consulted during april with UT's Australia bibliographer, Ronda Rowe, to discuss an institutional subscription to the AUSTLIT database.


Website to check out ---
Clark Center:
http://www.utexas.edu/depts/cas
This site is now maintained by Ronda Rowe, Australia bibliographer in the UT-Austin Library system.

American Association of Australian Literary Studies and Antipodes:<br>
http://www.australianliterature.org

International Australian Studies:<br>
http://wwwaustudies.org


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: yacker@www.utexas.edu
Website: www.utexas.edu/depts/cas/
This Newsletter was not printed with state funds.
bottom border