|NEWSLETTER NO. 35 SPRING 2007|
|THE EDWARD A. CLARK CENTER FOR AUSTRALIAN
& NEW ZEALAND STUDIES
|THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN|
It was agreed that the joint meetings in 2008 will be hosted by the Clark Center in Austin, and the dates set for the meetings are February 28 to March 1 (2008 being a leap year). The Clark Center has already made a block booking for quite sumptuous, but still affordable, accommodations in Austin's Double Tree Guest Suites Hotel, where most of the meetings will take place. Details about next year's meetings, together with a Call for Papers, will be circulated early in the fall.
At the beginning of 2007 Jason Pierce set up a website for ANZSANA at www.anzsana.org. Up until now, ANZSANA has not had a free standing web address, but has used the Clark Center's website, with thanks to Ronda Rowe, the Australian subject librarian at UT-Austin, for maintaining it, so this is a useful new venture for the association. Both the Clark Center and CANZ at Georgetown will be linked to the ANZSANA website. The Clark Center will continue to add information regarding call for papers, conference locations, and programs, but the main location for information regarding ANZSANA conference will be its new website.
Whither American & Australian Studies? This would be a stocktaking colloquium co-organized with the International Assn. Of Australian Studies, of which Kate Darian-Smith at Melbourne Univ. remains president, and UT-Austin's Department of American Studies. After robust expansions during the 1960's, 70s and 80s, both fields appear to be experiencing uncertainties about their future directions. The colloquium, which might take place in Austin a day or two before next February's ANZSANA and AAALS meetings, would compare and contrast how American and Australian Studies are faring and how they might buttress each other across the Pacific.
Population Growth in the U.S. and Australia. To perhaps be held in collaboration with Bob Birrell's Centre for Population Studies and John Nieuwenhuysen's Institute for the Study of Global Movements, both at Monash University , this would entail a conference looking at the pressing question of population size and environmental sustainability in the two countries. It is significant that the US population recently passed the 300 million mark with nary a public comment about the question of maximum population size, a silence that would b unimaginable in Australia where the Big Dry is now so constricting.
Australians in the United States. The National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash, directed by David Dunstan and David Heeson, is interested in possibly launching a mapping and survey of the more than 70,000 Aussies now employed in the US.
The Australian-U.S. Alliance after Bush & Howard. To be held in spring 2009, once a new US administration has taken office and made it's most important appointment, this conference would perhaps pick up where the recently published study of "the other special relationship," organized by Dickenson College, the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, and Griffith University (see item below), leave off.
These are a few undertakings that deserve further consideration. On a lighter note, probably my most important discovery out in Australia these past couple of weeks was the Garrison Keillor and The Prairie Home Companion are scheduled to broadcast from Australia and then New Zealand later this year. Now that will be a serious confrontation of American culture with the countries down under!
Before arriving in Canberra , a third of the participants believed that Muslims make Australia a worse place in which to live, but after their deliberations this proportion dropped to 7 percent. Beforehand, likewise, 44% believed that Muslims threaten the Australian way of life, but this decreased to 21% after deliberating on the issue. Similarly, 44% of the participants believed initially that Muslims have a negative impact on Australia 's security, but only 23% held this view after the weekend's discussion. It was apparent that the deliberations increased citizens' knowledge about Australia 's Muslims significantly: beforehand 70% of the participants were unable to say accurately what proportion of the Australian population is Muslim, but by the end of the conclave 95% were able to give the correct estimate, which is less than 2%.
The gathering was covered extensively by Australian media, and several international specialists in public opinion research came to Canberra to observe this latest instance of Pam Ryan's illustrious deliberative polls about issues of major concern to Australia .
Plans for the Centre's initial operations are firming up. In addition to appointing a Director, advertisements of three professorial chairs, each of which will eventually be augmented by the appointment of one or two Senior Lecturers/Lecturers, will soon be issued. The three chairs will be located in the fields of US politics and foreign policy, US business and legal systems, and American society and culture. Starting with Australia’s 2008 academic year, the Centre and Sydney University (of which the Centre will be an integral part) will offer a M.S. program in US Studies involving eight courses spanning the fields represented by the chaired professors. A preliminary "summit meeting" of Australian scholars who conduct research and teaching on US affairs, augmented by a handful of prominent US-based scholars, will be held in Sydney late this fall. Also planned for the fall are a national opinion survey to examine Australians’ perceptions of the U.S. and a Classic American Film Festival held in collaboration with UCLA. Further details about the Centre can be found at www.sydney.edu/us-studies
John Higley. "Elite and Leadership Change in Liberal Democracies." Comparative Sociology, 6 (1&2): 6-26 (with Jan Pakulski)
John Higley. "The Relationship’s Political Aspects: An American Perspective." In The United States and Australia: The Other Special Relationship, eds. D. Stuart and J. McCausland, US Army War College, 2006: 145-60
Frances Cushing, Clark Center Research Associate, was the Content Advisor for Teens in Australia, 2007, part of Compass Point Books’ series Global Connections that looks at the "challenges, pastimes, and customs of teens around the world".
Recent Clark Center Visitors
Sally Bolton, AEI Los Angeles
Krista Northrup, AEI Los Angeles
Professor Cassandra Pybus, University of Sydney
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
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