Our distinctiveness lies in our direct engagement with Asian and Pacific societies on fundamental questions of identity and meaning. By emphasizing the resonances of past and present, our research work forms an essential link between the College of Asia and the Pacific and the societies it studies. A vigorous historical research presence in the College provides a temporal perspective on current developments in the Asia and Pacific region, contributing to the deep understanding of contemporary political, social and economic processes.
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CHL Anthropology has a long and proud tradition of scholarly excellence and leadership in research on the diverse cultures and people of Asia and the Pacific in particular. Our scholarship and teaching is deeply anchored in long-term ethnographic research and the foundations of social and cultural theory. We are committed to cutting-edge, intensive debate on current research in the Asia-Pacific region and we maintain extensive international links with leading scholars in the field. In addition to permanent members of staff, our large group of PhD students make important contributions to our dynamic and engaged research culture.
Gender, Media and Cultural Studies
We investigate the everyday power of culture, media, and gender. Through creative experiments, new technologies, and political protests, people across Asia and the Pacific have been rethinking the significance of traditional practices and longstanding gender roles in sometimes disruptive ways. This interdisciplinary program brings together the best of many approaches to help us understand major changes in the region. We offer students flexible and imaginative tools, comparative breadth, and the opportunity to engage with key issues of our time.
The discipline of Linguistics at CHL is concerned with the study and documentation of languages in the Asia and the Pacific. The research and documentation of under-described languages in this region is vital to understanding the radically diverse structures of both human language and human thought, and has wider implications for the understanding of human social interactions and cognitive processes. Research on linguistic diversity is increasingly important and is connected to such diverse fields such as psychology, anthropology, computer science, education and language teaching.
Archaeology and Natural History
We are a unique multidisciplinary unit, integrating environmental scientists and archaeologists to uncover patterns in human behavior, cultural development and environmental change through millennia across this vast region.As a highly active research unit we provide PhD students with opportunities for exciting and ground-breaking projects. Current and recent PhD projects in the Department span topics such as rock art in Southeast Asia and Australia; climate change and the abandonment of islands; the lifeways of the earliest Australians; fire and the Australian environment; and the protection of Aboriginal heritage sites endangered by climate change.