Seminars

In 2010, CCG hosted a fortnightly lunchtime seminar series exploring issues such as migration and intercultural relations; international relations; Asia-Pacific regionalism; Asian culture and society; the politics and culture of the Middle East; issues surrounding governance, democracy and citizenship at a global, national and local level.

Citizenship and Globalisation Seminars

Contextualisation of international development principles to difficult contexts: a case study

Mr Anthony Ware - School of International & Political Studies, Faculty of Arts and Education 
Thursday 25 March 2010

Abstract:
Myanmar is a poor developing country with significant humanitarian needs, but international assistance is limited and restricted due to the political situation. Analysis of new primary data collected through interviews both within Myanmar and across the region sheds light on the implementation of principles of best-practice by International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) operating within the country. This data highlights the adaptations INGOs make to widely-held development principles, ideas and approaches in order to become effective in this difficult context.  Forty-seven interviews were conducted with key individuals from INGOs, UN organisations and local NGOs. As there is no definitive list of best-practice principles for project-based INGO development interventions, a list is compiled from responses during the interviews. The adaptations made by INGOs to the context of Myanmar are discussed with reference to organisational self-assessments of effectiveness, in terms of the way they work in local communities (participation, equity, sustainability, context sensitivity and active citizenry), and the way they work with civil society, NGOs, donors and officials (partnerships, capacity building, advocacy, rights-based approach and accountability).


Producing the market for alcohol: The Victorian Example

Dr Grazyna Zajdow - Assoc Head of School (Teaching & Learning), School of History Heritage and Society, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 8 April 2010

Abstract:
This paper explores the way that the state of Victoria in the late 20th century, in common with other advanced liberal regimes, produced the space for a free market in alcohol. From the mid 1960s, a series of Royal Commissions and inquiries recommended the progressive dismantling of regulations related to the availability of alcohol in the state. This culminated in the 1985 Nieuwenhuysen Inquiry in alcohol regulation which was given the specific mandate to produce the conditions for what has been termed the 'Night Time Economy'. This paper will trace some of the historical, cultural and economic changes which have happened and how these changed can be understood as an example of providing the space for a global market in alcohol.


Desiring and designing a happy multicultural city: cultural politics of emotion and the management of cultural diversity in Melbourne

Dr Masa Mikola - Visiting Fellow, Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
Thursday 6 May 2010

Abstract:
'Security is the enemy of walled-up and fenced-off community,' says Zygmunt Bauman (2001) in his work on community (and feelings that are shaped around it) and seeking safety in an insecure world. We miss community because we miss security and even though the world is ever less promising in finding the quality crucial to happy life, community remains stubbornly missing. 
The seminar will address the desire for community and the conditions for as well as the outcomes of the 'community talk' in the context of the politics of multiculturalism and the management of cultural diversity in Australia. It will explore the spatial (physical and symbolic) attempts elucidating this desire in a couple of public spaces in Melbourne and the ways in which the spatial city initiatives and narratives along with the cultural politics of emotions work to construct a happy multicultural society through 'fencing off' real strangers and reproducing a linear rationale. It will do this by thinking about construction of a multicultural city through elimination of the feeling of intimacy and eradication of distance which is necessary for intimacy to be engendered.


Immigration detention, executive control, and punishment

Ms Amy Nethery - Research Assistant, Centre for Citizenship & Globalisation, Faculty of Arts and Education and Casual Academic, Institute of Koorie Education and School of International and Political Studies, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 13 May 2010

Abstract:
The Australian constitution provides that immigration detention, as a form of administrative detention, cannot be punitive. A number of High Court cases have challenged the constutionality of immigration detention on the grounds that the conditions of detention are in fact punitive. To date, the courts have not upheld these challenges. Yet a vast number of testimonies from former detainees claim that their experiences of detention were punitive. How should we respond to these testimonies? Should we dismiss them as being irrelevant, as the High Court has done, or can we use them to further our understanding of the social and political function of immigration detention? This paper explains why political scientists should take seriously the subjective experiences of immigration detainees.


Secessionist Movements in World Politics

Dr Costas Laoutides - Lecturer In International Relations, School of International and Political Studies, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 27 May 2010

Abstract:
This paper introduces a preliminary discussion on the institutional structures of secessionist movements. Although there have been typologies of secessionist conflicts with regard to causes, ideology and resolution, the literature on secession so far has overlooked the structural character of secessionist movements. One of the repercussions of such an omission is that we often put under the same roof movements with different institutional structures that tend to reflect different approaches towards separatism. In addition, a study of this nature could reveal the process of deliberation and action by secessionist movements leading to specific political outcomes – especially apropos the use of violence and their envisaged solution(s) to their claims.


Multicultural Articulations in Cinema: A Comparative Analysis of some Contemporary Australian, Canadian, and South African Films

Professor Boulou Ebanda de B'béri -Founding Director, Audiovisual Media Lab for the Studies of Cultures and Societies and Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, Department of Communication, University of Ottawa, Canada
Thursday 3 June 2010

Abstract:
This seminar explores the politics of representation in three specific film traditions: Australian, Canadian and South African. We shall practically trace and comparatively analyze the following key-topics: (1) Cultural history in Australian, Canadian and South African Cinemas; (2) Thematic similarities and differences in Australian, Canadian and South African Cinemas; and (3) The politics of multicultural representation in Australian, Canadian and South African Cinemas. Indeed, the seminar mobilizes several Cultural Studies perspectives, which shall allow us to investigate the process of cultural history, cultural memory and political representation in film, as well as to tackle the issues of colonial gaze and contemporary practices of identity. Though not a film theory seminar but rather a comparative analysis on the politics of representation in three distinct, multicultural cinemas, this seminar will allow us to understand how cultural identities and multicultural processes of representation are problematized in cinema and have become naturalized in these three film traditions.


Containing Iran : The Neo-Conservatives and the Obama Approach

Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh- Deputy Director, National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, Melbourne University
Thursday 17 June 2010

Abstract:
When President Barack Obama made an offer of direct talks with the Iranian regime, he did not expect his overture to be interpreted as a betrayal of the democracy movement. But events following the June 2009 election, which has deepened internal rifts within the Islamic regime and have highlighted a clear schism between the regime and large sections of the population, have presented the Obama administration with a difficult choice. Talking to the regime could be seen as condoning its brutal crackdown on dissidents, while opting for sanctions could serve to bolster support for the embattled regime. Neither option is attractive or would advance US interests in Iran.
The present hard-line leadership in Iran, however, has effectively limited US options by its belligerence. Tehran's failure to accept a compromise deal brokered by Russia and European powers on its enriched uranium has forced the United States to consider sanctions. This is a delicate move as sanctions need to be severe enough to act as a deterrence for the regime; serious enough to persuade Israel that the world is taking the Iranian threat seriously; but not too severe as to handicap an already ailing Iranian economy and hurting the general population. Finding the balance is not an easy task.

Obama's Iran policy appears to be in transition. While the initial overtures focused on engagement, more and more the administration has been forced to take on a more combative tone regarding Iran's obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency. This experience tends to support the neo-conservative critics of Obama, who dismiss the engagement policy as misguided and utopian. The underlying assumption about the congruence of Iranian national interests in the region with that of the United States, which had informed the policy of engagement, is rejected by the neo-conservative commentators. The neo-conservatives have argued that rational calculations do not govern Iranian behaviour; ideology does. The behaviour of the hard-line leadership in Iran to-date, tends to give credence to such criticism.

As a result, the Obama administration is facing growing pressure at home and also in Iran to take a less accommodating position on Iran. This policy shift risks blurring the line separating Obama from his predecessor. What is more, the Bush experience with Iran suggests that a harsher policy does not guarantee success.


In-Between Days - Exploring Indigenous Articulation in Oceania

Dr Steve Tupai Francis - Movement Relations & Advocacy, Australian Red Cross, Australia and Visiting Fellow, Centre for Citizenship & Globalisation, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 24 June 2010

Abstract:
In this paper I want to test the boundaries of the insider/outsider dichotomy that is often assumed in the articulation of indigeneity and anthropology. I want to explore the debate that flows from this interaction with reference to the inevitable collision and collusion of authenticity, power and representation. Clifford (2001) once asked "How should differently positioned authorities (academic and non-academic, Native and non-Native) represent a living tradition's combined and uneven processes of continuity, rupture, transformation, and revival?" (Clifford 2001:480). Referring to my own experiences as a Tongan born in Australia, I want to explore how constantly moving "between" can offer possibilities for a more inclusive and collective Pacific anthropology.


What can we expect first year tertiary students to know and think about the 'good citizen'?

Dr Warren Prior - Visiting Fellow, School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 22 July 2010

Abstract:
Citizenship education has a long and troubled history in curriculum development in Australia. Over the past two decades in particular, both sides of government have allocated vast amounts of funding in an attempt to shape what it means to be a citizen of Australia. The current National Curriculum, to be rolled out from 2011, is but the latest systemic approach to citizenship education.

This seminar will very briefly analyse the recent history of citizenship education and will consider research in to stakeholder perceptions of the 'good citizen' in Australia as a component of the development of curriculum policy. Major landmarks in citizenship education will be discussed, including the perceived tensions by some policy makers between citizenship and globalisation and the national assessment in civics and citizenship education with consideration given as to how this recent policy might impact on the understandings, skills and dispositions of beginning tertiary students.

Teaching and learning issues about the difficulties of assessing student dispositions will also be briefly discussed.


Humanity or Justice?

Associate Professor Stan van Hooft - School of International and Political Studies, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 26 August 2010

Abstract:
This paper reflects on a critique of cosmopolitanism mounted by Tom Campbell, who argues that cosmopolitans place undue stress on the issue of global justice. Campbell argues that aid for the impoverished needy in the third world, for example, should be given on the Principle of Humanity rather than on the Principle of Justice. This line of thought is also pursued by "Liberal Nationalists" like Yael Tamir and David Miller. Thomas Nagel makes a similar distinction and questions whether the ideal of justice can even be meaningfully applied on a global scale. The paper questions whether this might be a false dichotomy in that both principles could be involved in humanitarian assistance. It will explore the distinction between the Principle of Humanity and the Principle of Justice by way of grounding each principle in an ethics of caring. Drawing on the thought of Axel Honneth, it will then show that the ethics of caring cannot be so sharply distinguished from the discourse of justice and of rights and that, as a result, the Principle of Humanity and the Principle of Justice cannot be so sharply distinguished either. Caring is fundamental to both of them. There are not two ethical systems here but only one. It is because we care about others as human beings (Principle of Humanity) that we pursue justice for them (Principle of Justice) and the alleviation of their avoidable suffering. Because cosmopolitanism is motivated as much by considerations of humanity as it is by considerations of justice its scope is as global as humanity itself.

Associate Professor Stan van Hooft's book on Cosmopolitanism has been shortlisted for the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for research in Ethics.


Cultural Identity and National Heritage in Tunisia

Prof. Taher Ghalia - University of Tunisia & Director, National Bardo Mueseum Tunis, Tunisia
Visiting Fellow, CCG & CHCAP 
Tuesday 7 September 2010

Abstract:
Forged by its three thousand years of history, Tunisia is a melting pot of civilizations and cultures as testified by its archaeological remains and collections. Today, this legacy from antiquity is not yet fully recognized and claimed by the majority of Tunisians who assume that there is no continuity between antiquity and the ancient Arab-Islamic culture. This lack of understanding of their origins is the result of a historical process dating back to the period of the French Protectorate (1881-1955) when the question of national identity was acute.

The Tunisian educational curriculum was torn between a commitment to modernism and to Arab Islamic culture with the former as the main tool for integration sought by the authorities of the Protectorate and the latter as a form of resistance. After independence the nationalist political discourse developed by Bourguiba highlighted a Tunisian identity based on the legitimacy of the struggle for independence and stripped of any reference to a rational historical process. Since the 1990s a new political discourse has been established whose main axes are the place of Tunisia within the Mediterranean with reference to its history and its past there and its multiple membership of the Arab-Islamic world.

This new direction is being developed through the ideological discourses in textbooks and through the re-interpretation of archaeological heritage sites and museum collections which are being used to help anchor a Tunisian cultural identity marked by openness, authenticity and tolerance of cultural diversity. The power of this ideology is at the heart of a shift in the cultural identity that characterizes contemporary Tunisian society, based on managing the tension between a modernity based on Western culture and the legacy of the Islamic culture.


Baghdad Bureaux: An Exploration of the Inter-Connected World of Fixers and Correspondents at the BBC and CNN

Ms Colleen Murrell - Senior Lecturer, School of Communication & Creative Arts, Faculty of Arts and Education
Thursday 9 September 2010

Abstract:
Post-war Iraq is so dangerous that Western television correspondents have been forced to change their modus operandi and rely more heavily on locally-hired fixers. This paper asks if the virtual absence of overseas reporters from Iraq's streets has led to a less authentic news gathering role. Conversely it may have delivered a more nuanced form of editorial and logistical task-sharing. This research draws on interviews conducted in 2007-8 with 20 foreign correspondents, two senior news managers and five fixers. It employs Bourdieu's analysis of cultural capital as a framework to examine the exchange of different forms of power and expertise between the players. Where trust is now at the forefront of this news gathering relationship, this research deconstructs the methods by which fixers are recruited and deployed. A comparison is made between the news production techniques of foreign correspondents who employ fixers for short term purposes and the correspondents from the Baghdad bureaux of the BBC and CNN.


Occupation and Human Dignity

Dr Adel Yousif
Thursday 7 October 2010

Abstract:
Dr Adel Yousif is an academic staff member at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University. Adel is a third generation Palestinian refugee born in Iraq. Following immigration to Australia, he obtained Australian Citizenship and achieved an academic career in Food Science and Nutrition. In his lecture, Adel will describe the events that lead to his family's eviction from their land and consignment to the role of refugees with no nationality as well as the effect of occupation on the everyday life and human dignity of the occupied. The lecture will provide a first hand point of view of a person who has been delegated to the role of being a stateless refugee.


Transatlantic Publishing and the Anti-Slavery Debate, 1840s-1850s

Prof. Claire Parfait
Thursday 18 November 2010
Time: 12pm - 1 pm
Venue: C2.05 (Arts & Education meeting room)

Abstract:
This paper explores the publication and reception of anti-slavery literature in the United States, Britain, and France in the 1840s and 1850s. It highlights the significant differences between slaves narratives and the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin in terms of publication, distribution, and reception. The difference also applied to the trajectories of these works: slave narratives crossed the Atlantic but did not generally cross the English Channel into France. Uncle Tom's Cabin did, and was a resounding success and publishing phenomenon in the US, Britain and France. Both types of texts (fiction and nonfiction) participated in the fight against slavery, but to different degrees, and this can be accounted for partly by their publishing histories. The analysis of the reception of H.B. Stowe's novel in the US, Britain, France and a few other countries provides intriguing insights into the representations each country had of itself and of the others. The novel also represents one of the first examples of "global" literature.

Special Guest Seminars

Cultural Identity and National Heritage in Tunisia

Prof. Taher Ghalia University of Tunisia & Director, National Bardo Mueseum Tunis, Tunisia
Tuesday 7 September 2010
Time: 12pm - 1 pm
Venue: C2.05 (Arts-Ed Meeting Room)

Abstract:
Forged by its three thousand years of history, Tunisia is a melting pot of civilizations and cultures as testified by its archaeological remains and collections. Today, this legacy from antiquity is not yet fully recognized and claimed by the majority of Tunisians who assume that there is no continuity between antiquity and the ancient Arab-Islamic culture. This lack of understanding of their origins is the result of a historical process dating back to the period of the French Protectorate (1881-1955) when the question of national identity was acute.

The Tunisian educational curriculum was torn between a commitment to modernism and to Arab Islamic culture with the former as the main tool for integration sought by the authorities of the Protectorate and the latter as a form of resistance. After independence the nationalist political discourse developed by Bourguiba highlighted a Tunisian identity based on the legitimacy of the struggle for independence and stripped of any reference to a rational historical process. Since the 1990s a new political discourse has been established whose main axes are the place of Tunisia within the Mediterranean with reference to its history and its past there and its multiple membership of the Arab-Islamic world.

This new direction is being developed through the ideological discourses in textbooks and through the re-interpretation of archaeological heritage sites and museum collections which are being used to help anchor a Tunisian cultural identity marked by openness, authenticity and tolerance of cultural diversity. The power of this ideology is at the heart of a shift in the cultural identity that characterizes contemporary Tunisian society, based on managing the tension between a modernity based on Western culture and the legacy of the Islamic culture.


Virtue and Right: The Plight of the Non-Virtuous

Dr Liezl Van Zyl Senior Lecturer, Philosophy and Religious Studies Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand
Thursday 16 September 2010
Time: 3.00 pm - 4.20 pm 
Venue: C2.05 (Artsed Board Room) at Melbourne Burwood Campus and via Video Conference to jb2.107, Geelong campus at Waurn Pounds
Deakin University, Australia

Abstract:
Virtue ethicists have long been under pressure to show that, despite its focus on character, it is able to provide an account of right action. In response to this, Aristotelian virtue ethicists – most notably Rosalind Hursthouse – have defined an act as right if and only if it is what a virtuous agent would characteristically do in the circumstances. In this paper I discuss two closely related objections to this criterion, both of which relate to the actions of the non-virtuous. The first is that virtue ethics fails to provide correct action guidance and assessment in cases that involve non-virtuous agents, for in some cases a non-virtuous agent should not do what a virtuous person would characteristically do. A second objection is that virtue ethics altogether fails to provide action guidance and evaluation whenever the agent, through previous wrongdoing, finds herself in circumstances in which a virtuous person cannot be. 

Dr Liezl van Zyl's aim is to defend Hursthouse's account of right action against these objections. She will do so by first drawing attention to the different senses in which the concept 'right action' can be used, namely as referring to(a) the act that ought to be done and (b) a good or excellent action. Where (a) is the relevant sense of right action when seeking action guidance, (b) is relevant when assessing an action. Dr Liezl van Zyl will then argue that if we understand 'right action' in the second sense, then Hursthouse's criterion does allow us to accurately assess the actions performed by non-virtuous agents. Finally, when it comes to providing action guidance, Dr Liezl van Zyl agree that the criterion is inadequate, but argue that this problem can be avoided by viewing it solely as a means of action assessment while turning to the virtue- and vice-rules (v-rules) for action guidance. 

Bio:
Liezl van Zyl is a senior lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. She teaches papers in moral and political philosophy, aesthetics and applied ethics. Her main research interests are virtue ethics and applied ethics, and her focus is on questions that arise when trying to apply virtue ethics. She is the author of Death and Compassion: A virtue-ethical approach to euthanasia (Ashgate, 2000), as well as numerous journal articles.

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