ANN: 2017 Visiting Fellowships, The Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University

Greta Hawes Discussion
April 30, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Indigenous Studies, Social History / Studies, Social Sciences





The Humanities Research Centre (HRC) was established in 1972 as a national and international centre for excellence in the Humanities and as a catalyst for innovative Humanities scholarship and research within  the  Australian  National  University. As a core part of its mission, the HRC welcomes visiting fellows from around the world. The HRC interprets the ‘Humanities’ generously. As well as supporting scholarship in traditional Humanities disciplines, its visiting fellowship programs encourage and support interdisciplinary and comparative research both within and beyond the Humanities. As members of the scholarly community at the HRC, visiting fellows make valuable contributions to its intellectual life, and to the intellectual life of the broader university community.



The theme for 2017 is ‘The question of the stranger’. Full details may be found below. This theme is not intended to constrain, but, interpreted imaginatively, to foster collaboration between scholars from diverse fields and backgrounds.

Visiting fellows are awarded grants to cover travel (up to $AUD3,000) and accommodation in Canberra. While we particularly encourage applicants working on projects connected to the annual theme, some fellowships will be awarded outside of this theme. One non-thematic fellowship will also be offered in partnership with the Australian National University’s Gender Institute.  

Fellowships are from 6 to 12 weeks, with preference given to periods of longer duration. (Shorter and longer periods of tenure may be considered in special circumstances.)

All visiting fellows receive an office within the Centre, access to its facilities, and to the resources of the ANU library and the National Library of Australia. Residence in Canberra also offers enviable access to national and indigenous archives and to a variety of the nation’s cultural institutions. Fellows are encouraged to forge connections with other Australian universities and the HRC can assist in their negotiating assisted travel within Australia.



Applicants must have an institutional affiliation with a University or with an equivalent research organisation, and generally have at least a higher research degree or equivalent professional experience, research, and publications. The HRC aims to appoint fellows engaged in innovative research of a high calibre, and to select a mixture of early career scholars as well as more established researchers, and to achieve a gender balance.

Applications for 2017 fellowships are due 30 April, 2016.

For full details of the application process and eligibility requirements, please visit our website:

Informal enquiries should be addressed to the Head of the Humanities Research Centre, Prof. Will Christie (


Annual theme: The question of the stranger         

‘The cluster of words describing those who are (or who are made to seem) different from us (whoever ‘us’ is)—the foreigner, the alien, the stranger—has been critical in the articulation of how we live after 9/11’.

So wrote David Simpson in the study from which we take our theme for 2017.  The theme asks us to look at the way individuals and cultures have understood, represented, and dealt with strangers in their intellectual, linguistic, legal, cultural, and artistic traditions; the way the dialectic of the familiar and the foreign has become the very condition of understanding and organisation in the world we have created for ourselves to live in. The question of the stranger not only reaches back to the oldest human culture and earliest human imaginings, it also presents (arguably paradoxically) with a special urgency today, in the so-called ‘global’ age we currently inhabit. ‘Its ramifications are legal, ethical, and indeed comprehensively human’, writes Simpson: ‘who is welcomed and who is turned away? Who is a friend and who is an enemy? Who deserves the protection of the law and who is outside it? At what point does the working norm give way to the exception, and who gets to decide?’ Over the last 350 years, we have witnessed an Enlightenment project of cosmopolitan universalism that sought to overcome the conditioned estrangement of religion, race, gender, and country of origin by way of reason, science, or sympathy, break down in protracted war, cultural misunderstanding, ‘scientific’ racial stereotyping, and the birth of often aggressive forms of racism and nationalism. Indeed, it is precisely because we are everyday forging more and more global connections with peoples once geographically distant and culturally alienated that we need to engage with the question of the stranger as it continues to inform human thought and feeling and their critical and creative expression.



Contact Info: 

Dr Greta Hawes,

Humanities Research Center,

Australian National University

Contact Email: