Exploring 3D printing pozibilities

Successful crowd funding for project to explore 3D printing in primary schools.

HuNI pot of cultural data launched

A new platform will provide a hive of activity for humanities and creative arts researchers.

Deakin salutes research luminaries

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

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 fifth event of its seminar series:

Friday 12 December 2014
10.30am to 12.30pm
Theatre Room
Deakin University Melbourne City Centre
Level 3, 550 Bourke St
Melbourne 3000
RSVP: elizabeth.braithwaite@deakin.edu.au
Morning tea will be served.

Two papers will be presented:

Prof Lyn McCredden

Australian Failure

Australia has recently mourned the passing of its former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam - a giant, an icon, an achiever of much, especially if you are left-leaning politically. If you're not, then Gough was an abject failure, especially economically, who deserved to be dismissed from Government. And even if you loved Gough, many supporters agreed that he was not a good economist, that he failed on many fronts, that his idealism covered over a multitude of weaknesses.

It seems that many of Australia's iconic figures and historical self-reflections are nests of failure, and even abjection: many heirs of convicts now claim convict heritage as a badge of honour; Gallipoli was a lost battle; the founding of white Australia is more and more being seen as the site of genocide and racial horrors; "the dominant note of Australian scenery" is "Weird Melancholy", according to the nineteenth century writer Marcus Clarke (1993: 45); and Australia as a colonial nation is geographically depicted as "the Antipodes", the distant place, of which Obama recently said, in a speech on terrorism and the Ebola threat: " ... the chaos that ISIL was creating in the region ... will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States, Europe, and far-flung countries like Australia that have already seen terrorist networks trying to infiltrate and impact population centers on the other side of the world" (see Sink).

My question for this paper is concerned with some literary representations of failure, which seem to be proliferating amongst our contemporary writers.


Clark, Marcus. 1993. "Preface to Adam Lindsay Gordon's Sea Spray and Smoke Drift" in Michael Ackland (ed.) The Penguin Book of Nineteenth-Century Australian Literature. Ringwood, Penguin: 43-46.

Sink, Justin. 2014. "Obama to Virtually Meet with World Leaders on ISIS and Ebola." The Hill. Web. Available online - Accessed 19 November 2014.

Dr Kristine Moruzi

Empire and Girls' Print Culture

Girls' print culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries presented the colonies in favourable terms. Not only did the colonies offer opportunities for improved health, employment, and marriage prospects, but they also - particularly in British texts - signified a natural, less constrained world for girls. British and colonial writers depicted attractive heroines throughout the colonies and promoted the ties of imperialism to develop a universalised colonial girl who was interchangeable throughout the empire. Although these girls strongly identified as national subjects, they also saw themselves simultaneously as British.

This paper will explore the extent to which colonial girls read British girls' fiction, how that fiction generated imagined pictures of colonial girlhood, and the ways in which those representations were both national and imperial. It will then contrast these ideas of girlhood with those produced and published in the colonies to explore the differences in how local writers depicted the colonial girl's future role within the nation.

This seminar will also include the launch of Colonial Girlhood in Literature, Culture and History, 1840-1950, which is edited by Dr Kristine Moruzi and Dr Michelle J. Smith.

Previous seminars

CMII was proud to present its fourth seminar, on Thursday 13 November 2014 at the Deakin University Melbourne City Centre.

Dr Patrick West presented his paper entitled "Flows and Catchments: Place-Based Knowledge, Well-Being and the Creative Arts"

Flows and Catchments is a CMII Affiliated Research Group (ARG) designed to improve the well-being of the communities Deakin University serves in South-Western Victoria through innovative creative arts activities that immerse themselves in the distinctive landscapes of the region. Through locally specific artistic practices and wide-ranging historical, methodological and cultural enquiries, the group strives to nourish the health of communities through creative and reflective engagements with the places out of which communities grow. In all its activities, Flows and Catchments acknowledges the Indigenous owners of the land. Since 2011, the project has worked with community bodies such as the Warrnambool Art Gallery, Melbourne Water and, most prominently, the Lake Bolac Eel Festival. The Eel Festival is an Indigenous-themed celebration of community, well-being and the creative arts. Its partnership with Flows and Catchments over three years has carved out a significant contribution as a place-based, creative arts project for community well-being. In 2012, the festival and Deakin University won the Australia Business Arts Foundation's (AbaF) Regional Award (Victoria). In 2013, that success was repeated with a Creative Partnerships Australia Regional Award (Victoria). These awards recognise the distinctive nature of the Flows and Catchments-Eel Festival partnership as an enduring, influential and creative contribution to community well-being.

This paper presented a range of Flows and Catchments projects including plans for future work.

It also included the launch of Flows and Catchments 1: Place, the first of what is hoped will be an ongoing series of chapbook publications in thematic areas relevant to Flows and Catchments.

Flows and Catchments

Dr Patrick West and Professor Clare Bradford at the launch of Flows and Catchments 1: Place.

Digital Humanities Seminars with Prof Melissa Terras

CMII was thrilled to host two seminars on Thursday 30 October, given by Melissa Terras, Professor in Digital Humanities at University College London. In the morning, Prof. Terras met with Children's Literature scholars in an animated and entertaining discussion about Melissa's project on representations of academics in children's literature. Visit Melissa's blog about the project.

This was followed by an exceptional presentation on "Digital Humanities as Public Engagement: Building Digital Links between Heritage and the Crowd" in which Melissa spoke about three projects being run through University College London: the Transcribe Bentham Project, QRator, and Textal. Melissa spoke of how public involvement in these projects has demonstrated a shift in Digital Humanities, towards a more participatory environment, and she discussed the ramifications this shift has for research, and for those undertaking Digital Humanities projects.

No one in the vastly appreciative audience present, which included people from a wide range of areas within Deakin as well as external academic guests, will ever be able to look at Jeremy Bentham in quite the same way again.

Melissa Terras

Professor Melissa Terras presents "Digital Humanities as Public Engagement: Building Digital Links between Heritage and the Crowd".

Seminar Series

CMII's seminar series continues to draw a wide audience. The third seminar was held on Thursday 16 October 2014 at the Deakin University Melbourne City Centre, and two papers were presented:

Dr Ben Eltham
Anzac in Modern Memory: Memory and Forgetting in the Creation of a National Myth

This paper discussed 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?

The talk foreshadowed the themes and development of a monograph on the topic, for publication in 2015.

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. 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 sought to understand this longing - or "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. The paper's second way of coming to the "problem" sought an alternative to these traditions of thinking and epresenting 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.

CMII's 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.

Pleasure in Reading Tradition
Dr Mirjana Lozanovska

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.

4th December 2014