SYNAPSE Trans-Disciplinary Approaches to the Past seminar audio series launch

10th October 2019

Today marks the launch of our new SYNAPSE Trans-Disciplinary Approaches to the Past seminar audio series. The lectures were recorded through the year with the purpose of increasing accessibility in the field of transdisciplinary research into the deep history of our region. These seminars are presented by the School of Culture, History & Language in the College of Asia & the Pacific at the ANU.

The SYNAPSE seminars were developed as flagship events for the School to facilitate ongoing interaction among researchers across a range of disciplines, including linguistics, genetics, anthropology, archaeology, history and ecology. Associate Professor Chris Ballard, Dr Bethwyn Evans and Professor Nick Evans have coordinated the series during 2019. Chris Ballard argues that the breadth of this seminar series reflects long-standing research ambitions within CHL and elsewhere at ANU:

The goal of the Synapse series is really to stimulate and promote conversations and thinking across a series of disciplines in which the ANU has established strength, each of them engaged in tackling questions about the deep history of our region – but answers to many of these questions are going to require collaboration across multiple disciplines.

The recorded presentations were given by CHL colleagues and guest speakers from Australian and international universities, including key research collaborators from the Max-Planck Society. A correspondingly diverse audience at each of the seminars contributed to a wide-ranging cross-disciplinary conversation that is expected to extend into 2020.

The first episode in this SYNAPSE Trans-Disciplinary Approaches to the Past lecture features guest speaker Professor Stephen Levinson, an Emeritus Director of the Language and Cognition Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Professor Levinson’s research focuses on language diversity and its implications for theories of human cognition.

Speakers in upcoming episodes include Professor Gabriele Bammer (ANU); Associate Professor Chris Ballard (ANU); Associate Professor Stephen Leslie (Melbourne Integrative Genomics); Professor Nick Evans (ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language); Russell Gray (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History); Professor Amina Mettouchi (Berber Linguistics at the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE), and CNRS LLACAN); Dr Bethwyn Evans (ANU); and Distinguished Professor Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts (ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage). With topics ranging from language, history, food, geography, evolution and culture, there is something for everyone. The nine episodes will be released over the next few months, one each fortnight.

Visit for more or follow the hashtag #synapsechl

Updated:  7 July 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, Culture, History & Language/Page Contact:  CHL webmaster