The HRC interprets the ‘humanities’ generously, recognising that new methods of theoretical and empirical enquiry have done much to break down traditional distinctions between the humanities and the social sciences, creative arts and ‘non-traditional’ research practices, natural and technological sciences, and the ‘real worlds’ external to the university.
The Centre encourages interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary (team-based), practice-based, translational, technology-facilitated, and comparative work, and seeks to take a challenging as well as a supportive and representative role in relation to existing discipline-based studies in Australia. One of its central functions is to bring to Australia scholars of international standing who will both provoke and be enriched by fresh ideas both within and beyond the academic community, and gain new networks and communities of practice in the process.
In this recorded lecture, Head of the HRC, Professor Kylie Message answers the question “What Is Public Humanities and Public Culture research and why are they important?”
Within the University, the HRC coordinates disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths in and across fields including but not limited to anthropology, archaeology, literature, history, art, design, film, philosophy and intellectual history, music, languages, linguistics, environmental and medical humanities, political science and international relations, Indigenous studies, art, and culture, as well as museums and public and digital culture and heritage.
Outside the University, the HRC collaborates with other Australian and international research centres and with libraries and other cultural institutions, such as the National Library of Australia, the National Museum of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, and the National Portrait Gallery.
The Centre’s commitment to the importance of the humanities in the public sphere is represented by its participation in key national and international networks, such as the Australian Academy of the Humanities (AAH), the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), The Australian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (ACHRC) and the Consortium of Humanities Centres and Institutes (CHCI).