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International Australian Studies Association (INASA) 2012 Biennial Conference

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Border Breach: Australia & The Global Circulation of Ideas

Melbourne, 5 - 7 December 2012

Download the program (PDF)

InASA 2012 Conference Prizes 

International Australian Studies Association (InASA) is pleased to announce that Taylor and Francis are sponsoring two conference prizes, one for best paper and the other for best postgraduate paper, of a subscription to Journal of Australian Studies  (JAS). The Journal of Australian Studies is the journal of the InASA. JAS is a fully refereed international quarterly which publishes scholarly articles and reviews on Australian culture, society, politics, history and literature. The editors are particularly interested in multi and interdisciplinary work.

Borders obstruct through a variety of guises - geopolitically, between disciplines, across publics and counter publics. The 2012 InASA Conference will explore the conditions under which borders are breached and enforced. Attention to the transnational circuits of information, technologies, bodies and ideas is increasingly seen against the discontinuities, lapses and blockages that characterize the growing political preoccupation with border security, internet restriction and the trafficking of people and animals. Mobility itself is racialised and subject to the countervailing forces of disparate regimes of gender, class and sexuality. Security, sovereignty and secrets are pitted against protest, asylum and leaks.

Despite Australia's economic buoyancy throughout the Global Financial Crisis, largely through its resource boom and exports markets to China and India, the nation remains anxious about its borders, and much else besides. The extradition of Wikileaks frontman Julian Assange, the decline of the Murdoch media empire, the loss of servicemen in Afghanistan, the detention of tourists for drug trafficking in Bali, the drowning of dozens of asylum seekers-all point to the ongoing dilemmas of Australia and Australians' relationships with the region and the world. At home, the decline in the standard of debate around the critical issues of climate change, the place of Indigenous Australians in the Federal Constitution, and local versions of the Occupy movement have reignited debate about the way Australians see themselves and imagine their future. At times fretful and fearful, on other occasions Australia and Australians seem exultant and ascendant.

The 2012 InASA Conference, jointly hosted by Monash University's History Department and the National Centre for Australian Studies, will provide a forum for much needed complex analysis and discussion around these issues through its theme: Border Breach. The conference is designed to encourage reflection on both Australian effects in transnational circuits of meaning and ideas, but also the inherently interdisciplinary and global nature of Australian studies. The movement of ideas and people across Australian borders is mirrored in the academy, compelling an immensely productive, constantly shifting context for thought and contention that this Biennial InASA conference will showcase.

Panels and papers will address the following themes, in terms of contemporary debates and historical/cultural perspectives:

• Debate: climate change, corporate accountability and democracy
• Mobility: migration, diasporas, refugees and trafficking
• Difference: citizenship and multiculturalism
• Economy: trade, ethics and counterpublics
• Finance: crisis, trade barriers and sovereignty
• Security: resistance, protest and hacking
• Communication: cyberactivism, media empires, citizen journalism
• Land: resource, territory and place
• Indigeneity: interventions, global and local connections

We also hope to encourage discussion of the future of Australian studies itself. In its 25th year, how is Australian Studies changing to embrace new areas of scholarship such as cultural and media studies, to project Australian research and teaching beyond our borders and the challenge to engage beyond the academy? How might research in Australian studies engage with the broader national debate, through the media, in public policy and in the new national curriculum?

Keynote Speakers

Susan Ryan
The Hon Susan Ryan, AO, Discrimination Commissioner (Aging) with the Australian Human Rights Commission. Up until her appointment as Commissioner, she had been Women's Ambassador for ActionAid Australia and chaired the Australian Human Rights Group since 2008. She had also chaired the Australian Human Rights Act Campaign Inc. since 2005. From 1975 to 1988, Susan was Senator for the ACT, becoming the first woman to hold a Cabinet post in a federal Labor Government. She also pioneered extensive anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation, including the landmarkSex Discrimination Act 1984 and the Affirmative Action Act 1986. As Minister for Education Susan inaugurated Australian Studies.                        
Adrian Franklin
Professor Adrian Franklin, Reader of Sociology at the University of Tasmania, and specialist in 20th century culture and sociology, with interests in consumption, consumerism and consumer society, nature, tourism and leisure studies. He is a presenter on the ABC's Collectors and author of A Collectors Year, followed by Collecting the Twentieth Century, which was published by University of New South Wales Press in partnership with the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. His latest book, City Life, was published in May 2010. He also writes a regular column in the Hobart Mercury newspaper and COLLECTORS magazine.
Kim Scott
Kim Scott's ancestral Noongar country is the south-east coast of Western Australia between Gairdner River and Cape Arid. His cultural Elders use the term Wirlomin to refer to their clan, and the Norman Tindale nomenclature identifies people of this area as Wudjari/Koreng. The author of That Deadman Dance and Benang, both of which won the prestigious Miles Franklin Award, Kim is also an Associate Professor at the Centre for International Health at Curtin University. Kim has been a member of several state education committees, most recently as chair of the WA Education Department's 2006 Literacy and Numeracy Review Task Force's Writing in the Upper Primary School Working Party, served on state and national arts boards, and judged a number of national writing competitions. Kim has been a cultural awareness workshop leader at BHP Billeton/Nickel West's Ravensthorpe mine site, a writer-in-residence, visiting scholar (Trinity College, University of Melbourne) and invited guest at numerous national and international writing and cultural festivals.
Gillian Whitlock
Gillian Whitlock is ARC Professorial Research Fellow in the School of English, Media and Art History at the University of Queensland. Her current research includes life writing and post colonialism with an emphasis on contemporary Australian writing. Gillian's ARC Fellowship (2010-2014) focusses on the archives of asylum seeker letters held in the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland. Her most recent papers on asylum seekers and on the posthuman can be read in Trauma Texts and Biography Fall 2010. She is
currently writing a book on Postcolonialism and Life Narrative for the Oxford series on Literature and Postcolonialism.

Registrations - Open to 30 November 2012

Registrations are now open via our Monash Ecart

Registration Costs:

Early Bird (to 15 November 2012)

Normal Registration (from 02 October to 30 November 2012)

Conference Dinner (optional) - 7pm Thursday 6 December 2012 @ Kelvin Club

Registration terms and conditions: Refunds (less a 20% admin fee) are available up until 2 weeks prior to the conference.  Requests for refunds should be made in writing to by 21 November 2012.

About the Conference

The conference will be held at the Monash University Caulfield Campus with the welcome & first keynote lecture held at the State Library of Victoria.



Melbourne visitor information

Also visit for reviews & recommendations.

Apps to help plan your visit:


Associate Professor Christina Twomey History Department & Dr Tony Moore, Director, National Centre for Australian Studies, Monash University.

Conference Committee :

Sponsored by the National Centre for Australian Studies and the History Department with support from the Faculty of Arts at Monash University.


Image Courtesy:
Photo: Tanja Milbourne