Deakin salutes research luminaries

Six researchers have received Deakin's highest honour - Alfred Deakin Professorships.

Pozible projects lift-off

Deakin's latest round of crowd-funding projects have all reached their goals.

Unexpected angles from UK thinkers

Two UK visiting professors bring new perspectives to the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention.

Seminars and Workshops

The Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention warmly invites you to the third event in its seminar series:

 

Thursday 16 October 2014
2.00 pm–4.00 pm
Theatre Room
Deakin University Melbourne City Centre
Level 3, 550 Bourke St
Melbourne 3000

RSVP: elizabeth.braithwaite@deakin.edu.au
Thursday 9 October 2014
Afternoon tea will be served.

 

Dr Ben Eltham
Anzac in Modern Memory: Memory and Forgetting in the Creation of a National Myth
 
Anniversaries spur remembrance. As the 100th anniversary of the landing of the troops of the Australian Imperial Force at Gelibolu in Turkey approaches, interest in the Great War and Australia's role in it has reached unprecedented levels. In this brief discussion of a much larger project, I will canvass the fascinating cultural studies of the Anzac myth a century after the first landing. Why has Anzac and Gallipoli come to occupy such a central place in Australian national life? Why has Anzac come to assume the dominant place in Australian cultural policy in 2014? And what have we forgotten along the way?

This talk will foreshadow the themes and development of a monograph on the topic, for publication in 2015.


Image: Pte Richard Alexander Henderson, with a donkey, assisting a wounded soldier from the front line at Anzac. Public domain.

 

Dr Emily Potter
Considering the Problem of Non-indigenous Australian Belonging
The fraught question of belonging in a post-colonial context is one that has haunted non-indigenous Australia since European settlement. It is also a question that oscillates between a repressed and highly visible position in public debate, riven with complex histories that equally shift in and out of popular view. The "longing to belong" of non-indigenous Australians is a common refrain in Australian post-colonial criticism, with this longing contingently positioned in relation to a more authentic, or legitimate, Indigenous belonging. This paper will seek to understand this longing – or what I will call "the problem of belonging" – and its expression in two ways. Firstly, as a state of signification that is indicative or representative of various things, from the micro to the macro, from the way in which Anglo-Celtic Australians feel about their history, to the "unsustainable" inhabitation of the Australian environment. This kind of articulation of non-indigenous belonging-as-problem dominates available ways of thinking and interrogating what it means to be a non-indigenous person living in Australia today. And it is an inadequate and ultimately un-generative way of thinking about the problem of belonging. The paper’s second way of coming to the "problem" seeks an alternative to these traditions of thinking and representing non-indigenous Australian belonging. This approach considers belonging (and its negation) not as a signifying state but as a practice, or performance – as a reality that is constantly being enacted. Belonging or not-belonging, in these terms, is a force that moves things and has effects, but it is not a realisable condition. This distinction will be drawn out via a discussion of several literary texts that, the paper will argue, are particularly insightful for understanding the challenge of thinking about non-indigenous belonging. In part this is because, as signifying structures, literary texts are crucial to the composition of a problematic non-indigenous belonging that speaks through its representative capacities to certain historic, material or personal forces that are responsible for the thing that is the problem of belonging.


Image: "Remember me", bikepath, North Fitzroy, Melbourne. Photograph by Emily Potter.

 

Previous Seminars

CMII's seminar series continues to draw a wide audience. The second seminar was held on Friday 19 September 2014 at the Deakin University Melbourne City Centre. Two papers were presented:

The Good, the Big and the Global:  Using Big Cultural Data to Understand the Diffusion of Film

Dr Bronwyn Coate

This paper/presentation focused on two studies, each connected with the Only at the Movies, ARC funded project. Both studies involve different aspects entailed from the diffusion of film across the globe and draw on a unique dataset of global showtimes covering over 68,000 films screened throughout 48 countries resulting in a database of over 190 million records.

This big cultural data set on screenings has been combined with other data sources including box office, as well as general demographic and economic data to facilitate the construction of ranking tools as a means of using simple quantification techniques to convey important aspects of what is contained within the rich data used.

The first study explores the so-called “cinemabilty” of cities as centres for film. Research undertaken as part of this has resulted in the development of the cinema cities index website http://www.cinemacities.com/ . The second study focuses on what it is that makes a film successful in the first place, and challenges the traditional reliance on looking at revenue generated at the box office in isolation to other factors, including the spread or reach of a film as well. 

Dr Mirjana Lozanovska

Pleasure in Reading Tradition

This paper examined architecture as performative space, firstly, as an interface between movement, temporality and physical configuration, and secondly, through signification, reading and representation. Drawing on field-work, its starting point was the observation of a vernacular church interior in the village Zavoj, Republic of Macedonia, during the Day of the Holy Mother, in which ceremony, incense, song, liturgy and prayer, were mixed with geometry, volume, surface and iconography; and further animated through the movements of women’s bodies going about their rituals.

If we call this mixture an “atmosphere” through which architecture is moved beyond its material enterprise, how can it be understood and read? Architectural representation alone, as plan, section and elevation, is insufficient since its focus on form and geometry presents a clear separation from atmosphere and other traces of activity. Field-work data was framed as a dialectical relationship between, on the one hand, an “architectural frontier” of plan and elevation and, on the other, the “textual data” of stories, legends, and histories

 

The first of the Centre for Memory, Imagination and Invention seminars, held on Friday 8 August at the Deakin University Melbourne City Centre, was a great success. The presentations were:

Dean Brandum (PhD completion seminar)
Evaluating Film Viability via the DWA Method

Between 1964 and 1972 Michael Caine had twenty films released in the city of Pittsburgh, USA. His first of the period went, unheralded, directly into suburban theatres and drive-ins. As did his last. In between he had quickly become a major star in the United States but then found his boxoffice allure diminishing, mirroring the fate of British cinema at the time.

Dean's presentation investigated this career trajectory through DWA (Difference from Weekly Average) evaluation methodology. The measurement is one that, instead of the conventional practice of comparing the performance between concurrent releases in different venues, utilises an accumulating percentage-based performance evaluation against the other films screened within the same venue in the calendar year. In the case study of this actor, the outcomes find that Caine's films were released into venues of inappropriate size within Pittsburgh and were an unsuitable inclusion into the fare consumed by those venues' regular audiences.

Prof Deb Verhoeven and Dr Alwyn Davidson
Show Me the HuNI!

This presentation explored the questions: What is HuNI and why would I use it?

HuNI is a new research and discovery platform developed by and for humanities and creative arts scholars.

HuNI combines data from many Australian cultural websites into the biggest humanities and creative arts database ever assembled in Australia. For two years, Deakin University and 12 partner public institutions have been working to pool their resources in order to improve opportunities for Australian research. HuNI data covers all disciplines and brings together information about the people, works, events, organisations and places that make up the Australia's rich cultural landscape. HuNI also enables researchers to work with and share this large-scale aggregation of cultural information.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

17th October 2014