Sydney scholars receive honour for achievement in the humanities

20 November 2019
The Australian Academy of the Humanities has elected two University of Sydney researchers and practitioners as fellows and has welcomed a University leader to their council this week.

The new Fellows, from the University’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and Sydney Conservatorium of Music were honoured for their distinguished contributions to their disciplines and to society:

Professor Chris Hilliard is a Professor of twentieth-century British cultural and intellectual history in the Department of History. Professor Hillard has also written on New Zealand history, especially on the place of literature, historical writing, and ethnography in colonial culture. He is currently writing a book about censorship in modern Britain.

ARC Research Fellow Dr Myfany Turpin, musicologist and linguist of Australian Aboriginal song, working in semantics, ethnobiology and song-poetry.  Her research interests include the relationship between language and music, especially of lesser-known cultures; and identifying ways to support the continuation of endangered languages and performance arts. Dr Turpin’s current project is focused on Central Australian Aboriginal songs and how these were used as the principal means by which knowledge was transferred in Australian Aboriginal societies.

Professor Hilliard and Dr Turpin are among 25 new Fellows elected to the Academy of the Humanities in Australia this year.

In addition, the Academy announced this week that Professor Duncan Ivison, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Political Philosophy, has been elected as one of four new fellows to their council.

“In our 50th anniversary year, I am honoured to welcome the new members of our Fellowship, elected in recognition of their distinguished achievement in the humanities disciplines and their contribution to Australian cultural life,” said President of the Academy Professor Joy Damousi in a statement.

“They demonstrate the richness and diversity of the humanities in Australia today.”

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Professor Annamarie Jagose congratulated the elected scholars.

“It is fantastic to see two of our colleagues recognised for their achievements in the humanities disciplines and their contributions to Australian cultural life,” she said. “And a particular pleasure to see Chris recognised as a world-class historian whose diverse research projects coherently demonstrate that a persistent attention to overlooked social subjects and seemingly trivial archives yield rich dividends in the history of ideas.”

Sydney Conservatorium of Music Head of School and Dean, Professor Anna Reid said: “Myfany’s research into Aboriginal song-poetry and Arandic languages has positioned her as a rare expert. As such she has greatly contributed to the nation’s cultural tapestry providing an invaluable and significant understanding to this area.”  

The Australian Academy of the Humanities are the national body for the humanities in Australia, championing the contribution that humanities, arts and culture make to national life.

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