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Intangible Cultural Heritage across borders: Laws, structures and strategies in China and its ASEAN neighbours

Two PhD scholarships available in the School of Law

Two PhD scholarships are now available in Deakin University's School of Law. The scholarships are related to the Australian Research Council Discovery grant project 'Intangible Cultural Heritage across borders: Laws, structures and strategies in China and its ASEAN neighbours'.

These research projects bring together usually separate discourses in United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and other international organisations about intangible cultural heritage. They examine Asian case studies to show how international principles and concepts are locally implemented. Different terminologies and interpretations of 'rights' under international conventions have underpinned cross-border conflicts about cultural and intellectual property claimed by neighbouring countries and communities for tourism and development purposes. The research projects analyse the legal, institutional, political and cultural reasons for such conflicts and develops practical proposals for promoting international reconciliation and enhanced international cooperation in heritage protection.

Project 1: The International Legal Framework for Intangible Cultural Heritage (1 scholarship available)

This research project will be examining the legal framework for intangible cultural heritage protection as it is currently being developed at the international level by institutions such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and others. The focus will be on existing international conventions and their implementation as well as on current negotiations of further agreements and proposals in the academic literature.

Project 2: Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection in Indonesia and Malaysia (1 scholarship available)

This research project will look at the implementation of international models for the protection of intangible cultural heritage in the national laws of Indonesia and Malaysia and how such models are interpreted at both the national and community level. Depending on the qualification of the successful applicant, there may be an opportunity for fieldwork in one of the countries that is being studied.

Application period/Closing date

Applications will remain open until suitable candidates are appointed.

Value and benefits

  • A stipend of $25,392 per annum tax exempt (2014 rate)

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements, be enrolling full-time and must hold a Bachelor's degree with Honours (first class) or a Master's degree with a substantial research component, or equivalent, in law.
  • Excellent knowledge of Indonesian and/or Malay expected for Project 2. Fluency in one of these languages is desirable.
  • Additional qualifications in another relevant disciplines (i.e. Asian Studies, anthropology, sociology, history, environmental studies, heritage studies etc.) and/or an interest in legal developments in Asia will be an asset.
  • Applications are open to Australian citizens or permanent residents, New Zealand citizens or international applicants.

Terms and conditions

Please refer to the terms and conditions (PDF, 351.8 KB)  of award.

How to apply

Please refer to the Apply for a research degree webpage for application information.

Further information

Please contact Professor Christoph Antons by email or phone 03 9244 6998.


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