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CHL takes great pride in its diverse, learned and hardworking team of academics, and this year, the School saw a total of nine academic promotions—all incredibly well-deserved and commendable achievements. Congratulations!
We caught with all the wonderful academics who earned their success in 2021 to ask them how they felt about this achievement and what it means to them.
Dr Carol Hayes
After completing one year of Rotary Exchange in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, Dr Carol Hayes completed her BA Hons degree at the University of Sydney. Her undergraduate studies included two years of study in Japan with the assistance of a Rotary International Foundation Scholarship, during which time she studied at both the International Christian University in Mitaka, Tokyo and Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. Her 1996 PhD research into the poetry of Hagiwara Sakutaro, included two years as a research student in the Comparative Literature and Culture Department of the University of Tokyo in Japan, funded by a Mombusho Postgraduate Research Scholarship. After a few years working as a translator and interpreter in Tokyo, working primarily for the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry, she began her career as an academic, and has worked at both ANU and the University of Durham, UK.
Carol's areas of expertise are Japanese Language and Cultural & Literary Studies, with a focus on cultural production and language teaching methodologies and practice, with a strong interest in academic staff professional development in L&T.
Carol's research focuses on cultural production including literature, film and popular culture and craft. Her research interests include modern Japanese poetry, the portrayal of social/cultural issues in literature and film, how Japan has been represented in Australia and the impact of Japanese creative arts on crafting practice around the world. Carol’s research also includes Japanese language teaching methodologies and practice, particularly e-Teaching and e-Learning with a focus on flexible, online learning, student motivation and Japanese language acquisition, and professional development for academic staff in the Learning and Teaching space.
“The most wonderful thing is I got this promotion on an education agenda, which is not an easy road, and it means a lot. Helen Sullivan has been really supportive, helping me articulate what academic staff professional development means in the education space. I am proud of the way I’ve been able to embed and encourage others to think about how Asian ways of knowing can inform the citizens we want to educate in a soft power way. I am glad to have brought literature back to the table; there should be another mode of delivery with obscure texts that are so old and isolated in their usage. It is incumbent on us to know what global citizens want as an outcome of study; I am proud to be a woman who is challenging the patriarchal narrative. To reinvigorate the discussion around what a global citizen should be has been a privilege.”
Professor Katerina Teaiwa
Katerina is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist of Banaban, I-Kiribati and African American heritage born and raised in Fiji. She is Associate Professor (Professor from January 2022) of Pacific Studies and Deputy Director - Higher Degree Research Training at CHL.
She is the founder and convener of the Pacific Studies teaching program at ANU 2007-2015, Head of Gender, Media and Cultural Studies, founder of the Pasifika Australia Outreach Program, and co-founder and co-chair of the ANU Family Friendly Committee.
Katerina's commentary on Pacific issues has been published in The Conversation, Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Inside Story, New York Times, the ABC, Foreign Affairs and Australian Outlook. She has been a consultant with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, UNESCO & DFAT on cultural policy and sustainable development, and Austraining International and ANU Enterprise on cross cultural and development training for Australian Volunteers International. In 2020, she joined the Board of New Zealand’s Pacific Cooperation Foundation.
Katerina also has a background in contemporary Pacific dance and was a founding member of the Oceania Dance Theatre at the University of the South Pacific. She is currently a practising visual artist with an ongoing research-based exhibition "Project Banaba" originally commissioned by Carriageworks, Sydney, and curated by Yuki Kihara.
“I've been at ANU for 14 years, and what I'm most happy about is getting to full Professor by forging my own transdisciplinary Pacific pathways and helping make space for others to choose creative research, service, leadership, and undergraduate- teaching-inspired routes for themselves.”
Dr Eve Chen
Dr Eve Jingwen Chen received her PhD in Linguistics at Monash University, Australia. She primarily conducts research in Sociolinguistics and Cultural Linguistics but is also experienced in the field of Applied Linguistics. Her main research interests include language and cultural conceptualisations, multilingualism and translanguaging practice, culture-oriented language education, and Chinese Englishes—especially Cantonese-influenced Englishes. Her current research examines cultural conceptualisations underlying Cantonese figurative language with a focus on Cantonese cultural cognition contextualised in the developing ideologies in contemporary China. Dr Chen is now a lecturer and convenor of the Cantonese language courses at CHL.
“'Identity' is a central theme in sociolinguistics. A few of my multiple identities are a Cantonese person, a huge foodie, a Lego enthusiast, and an early career linguist, and I am equally proud to be all of them. I am very grateful for having been promoted to level B. It is an acknowledgement of my efforts and dedication, and more importantly, it is a recognition of my career potentials by experienced and senior colleagues. I am excited about this new journey and ready for the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Dr Yanyin Zhang
Yanyin’s research interests and publications include second language (English and Chinese) acquisition and pedagogy. She has published in a variety of prestigious international journals and edited books such as Language Learning and John Benjamins.
“The promotion means acknowledge of my work and contribution to education, research, service at ANU to date. It also means a long way in my professional life ahead.”
Dr Stuart Bedford
The fieldwork focus of Dr Stuart Bedford’s research over the last 20 years has been the islands of Vanuatu, in the southwestern Pacific. Research issues that have been addressed at both a local and regional level have included origins, timing and strategies of colonisation, settlement pattern, levels of social interaction, cultural transformation, environmental impact and human responses to natural disasters. Other areas of interest include the archaeologies of Empire, Colonialism and Contact. His current research is focused on the archaeology of Malakula in the north of Vanuatu and the archaeology of the islands of southern Vanuatu. The Malakula project is funded by Max Planck (Jena) (it started as an ARC funded Future Fellowship) and titled Investigating monumentality in Melanesia: the archaeology of ritual architecture on the islands of Malakula, Vanuatu. The aim of this project is to inject renewed impetus into understanding general processes of social transformation in the wider Pacific. It focuses on the archaeology of monumental and ritual architecture, cultural manifestations long recognised as indispensable in identifying prehistoric sociopolitical change. The study will provide rare comparative data from the Melanesian region, namely the islands of Malakula in Vanuatu, which can then be assessed against the long-established models of socio-political change generated for much of Polynesia and to a lesser extent Micronesia. Contemporary concerns such as population growth, land and food security are also addressed.
Dr Bedford noted that he was both pleased and relieved to be promoted. “I started my academic career relatively late, PhD (ANU) in 2000 at 39 and a research position at the ANU through ARC grants from 2005. So if you do the maths there is not a lot of time left for promotions!!”. He also emphasised that his research and associated recognition including the promotion has not happened in a void and would have not been possible without the support of various institutions and people who have supported him over many years. This includes the Australian National University, The Max Planck Institute, The Australian Research Council, colleagues at the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and the many Vanuatu Cultural Centre Fieldworkers in the islands he has collaborated with over more than two decades. “I would like to put in a special plug for ANU’s Visiting Fellows, some of whom are the most esteemed in their field, who were supportive and welcoming when I first arrived and have been supportive throughout. Much of the serious detail I learnt about Pacific archaeology happened in the Fellows gardens listening to and debating with many of these supposed retirees. It has been a privilege to be associated with these people”.
The only disappointing feature of his career so far has been the lack of time (and finances) to indulge in one of his hidden passions, Peugeots of the 1950s through to the 1970s. “The very first day in 1995 when I walked on to the Campus I was mostly struck by a mint 1967 Peugeot 404. Turned out it belonged to Brad Pillans. a fellow obsessive and departmental staff member. My first car in Canberra, bought in 1997, was a 1980 Peugeot 504 station wagon sold to me by Brad. As is the case with most academics I have a long list of things to do. Mine are not all academic, fairly high on the list is the renovation of my garaged 1970 Peugeot 404 ute”!
In the field 2016; Kava ceremony before heading off into the interior of Malakula Island to visit sites associated with an historic punitive expedition
1980 Peugeot 504 loaded up with family and furniture on a roady following PhD submission in 2000
Dr Ying Xin Show
Dr Ying Xin Show is a postdoctoral fellow at ANU Malaysia Institute and teaches at CHL. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Center for Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (2018-2019), visiting researcher at KUNCI Cultural Studies Center, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2018) and adjunct lecturer at the Chinese Department of University of Malaya (2017–2018).
Outside academia, Ying Xin worked as assistant editor at the online independent news portal Malaysiakini in Kuala Lumpur from 2015 to 2017. She co-founded Rumah Attap Library & Collective, an independent cultural studies library and community-building space in KL. She is also a translator working in Chinese/Mandarin, English and Malay language. Her broad interests range from 20th-century Asian history, movements and literature to contemporary politics and society. She is particularly interested in exploring the history and culture of migration, decolonisation and the impact of the Cold War on Asian societies through literature and arts. Her PhD thesis compared contemporary Anglophone and Sinophone Malaysian literature on issues related to the politics of national identity, ethnicity and language.
“As an early-career academic, this is my very first promotion. So this is how it feels to be rewarded : ) My two years at the ANU throughout the pandemic time have been surprisingly rewarding. Despite facing bushfires, hailstorm, lockdowns, WFH, online teaching, hybrid teaching and various challenges, I am so privileged and grateful to be in Canberra in the company of remarkably supportive mentors and colleagues in CHL, who have more confidence in me than I do of myself. The past two years were crucial for me to reset my research and teaching after a few years out of academia, so this recognition could not come at a better time. I look forward to contributing more to researching and teaching in the field of Asian literature, culture and society. But before that... a campervan holiday first. Happy holidays everyone!”
Dr Ben Shaw
Dr Ben Shaw is an archaeologist and the Lecturer in Evolution of Cultural Diversity within CHL. Ben’s research is geographically focused on Papua New Guinea where he has undertaken extensive fieldwork over the past 12 years across many island, coastal and highland regions. He has also worked in Australia, New Zealand, and French Polynesia. Ben’s research spans the full length of human history from colonisation through to historic contexts. His major interest is the interplay between past climates, environments, and human behaviours. Specifically, using multidisciplinary approaches to understand how cultural and technological adaptations contributed to the emergence of complex human diversity in the Asia-Pacific region, and globally.
His research is centred on modelling human adaptations to ecosystems which vary over time (Late Pleistocene to Historic contexts) and space in the Australasian and Pacific Island regions, with a focus on the highland, lowland and island landscapes of New Guinea. Fieldwork is aimed at locating and excavating archaeological sites which expand existing records through a detailed geomorphological landscape approach. Ben has an interest in the interdisciplinary engagement of regional and global research questions that require modelling of diverse datasets and meta-analytic assessment to address complex problems with modern human adaptive behaviours.
“What this promotion means to me is the opportunity to become more involved in the development and management of the programs designed to train archaeological students in the skills they need to work in the real world, both with local communities wherever in the world they work, and with clients as cultural heritage professionals. The promotion is also recognition that I am contributing to a field that I am truly passionate about.”
Dr Shameem Black
Dr Shameem Black’s work uses critical and creative approaches to analyse globalization, culture, and gender in twenty-first-century fiction and popular culture in English, with particular attention to India, South Asian diasporas, and the cultural work of English in Asia. In all of her research, she is concerned to understand the possibilities and tensions of cosmopolitan encounters in our twenty-first-century world. Shameem’s current work builds on these theoretical questions of cross-cultural encounters by exploring them through the lens of popular culture from India. Tracking the imaginative life of yoga, a cultural practice that has gained popularity in many parts of the world, I analyse how such cultural practices create new meanings for Indianness in the context of international migration, expanding capitalisms, histories of violence, and aspirations for cross-cultural engagement.
“I joined CHL eight years ago, when my kids were toddlers in the hallways, and I would get lost in Baldessin, let alone in Coombs. CHL has given me amazing opportunities to pursue academic life in ways that are much more free, experimental, and (let's be honest) fun than I have ever had in my life. So it's great to look back on all of the ideas, projects, and friendships that have grown in that time, and to look forward to new experiments in years to come. Although I have to catch my breath every 300 meters, I learned to mountain bike in recent years and love it. Also, courtesy of my nine-year old, I know more about 4WDs than you probably think!”
Dr Jane M Ferguson
Dr Jane Ferguson is an anthropologist with research interests in social and cultural anthropology, Asian cultural studies, air transportation and freight services, and historical studies. She has carried out ethnographic fieldwork on Shan ethno-nationalism, done archival and oral history research on Burmese cinema, and has published on Burmese rock music and unpopular culture. She is also the Editor of the Journal of Burma Studies, and Chair of the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies. Jane also happens to be a guitar player known for her entertaining performances at Kioloa!
We look forward to more amazing and path-breaking work from these achievers and from all our CHL academics, as always. Here’s to more success stories in 2022!