Public Culture Network

Public Culture Network

The ANU Public Culture Network is led by Professor Kylie Message-Jones, Director of the HRC and Dr Katrina Grant, Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Digital Humanities Research.

The network supports researchers from a range of research centres, institutes, universities and organisations. People come from different disciplines and backgrounds. Some are already working together to build communities of practice across specific areas of research or social need, while others are new to this work, and keen to develop skills, ideas, and networks.

We support long-term, ongoing collaborations and short term ones convened around specific projects or current issues, and/or community-initiated research processes and goals. The Public Culture Network has a particular focus on facilitating workshops, talks, publications and projects in which researchers engage with cultural industries and the broader public to ensure that the humanities and social sciences take their place at the centre of civil society.

The Public Culture Network:

  • Generates critical mass focused on building networks, capacity, and shared resources to enable interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team and project work across institutional boundaries.
  • Enhances the profile and visibility of humanities research beyond the university sector by creating a coordinated platform for public engagement, impact, and mutually beneficial translational research and knowledge exchange.
  • Establishes and expands inclusive multi-disciplinary collaborative and team-based public programs.
  • Improves recognition within the traditional research sector (universities, funding bodies, and governments) of the value of knowledge produced through public-oriented research methods, processes and outcomes using humanities and social science methodologies.
  • Trains students and early career researchers in methods and approaches for public culture research, engagement and communication.

If you would like to be involved in this project in any way (as an individual researcher or on behalf of a university, organisation, or community), please email or

Current public programs and projects

Activism & Literature Book Club

An online monthly book club focused on discussing literature about social and political activism and protest. Discussion is casual and regular attendance is not required. Similarly, not having read the book (or whole book) does not preclude your participation. We'd love to hear your voice. This initiative is led by several undergraduate and postgraduate students. See the Eventbrite page to see upcoming books and register your interest

Public Lecture | Digital Humanities and cultural heritage partnerships

The Digital Humanities (DH) benefit from partnerships with cultural heritage institutions... but how can DH researchers and practitioners build partnerships that facilitate functional, sustainable and innovative collaborations? Dr Kristen Schuster will explore this question based on herwork with small archives and museums in the UK. Dr Kristen Schuster's exploration will highlight methods for developing sustainable projects that encourage students, teachers and practitioners to use Digital Humanities methods whilst developing digital tools and preservation workflows for cultural heritage collections. The talk will be followed by a QandA with Dr Katrina Grant, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Digital Humanities Research. Dr Kristen Schuster is a Lecturer in Digital Curation in the Department of Digital Humanities at King's College London. More information here.

Cultural Conversations: Ideas, Practice Networking breakfast series

Cultural Conversations brings together museum professionals, academics, and students in the ACT from the GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) sector at informal events to create space for deeper connections, to share ideas and practice relating to the museums and galleries sector. See recordings and reports on 2022 series here. The 2023 program will be available soon.

Collections in Conversation Podcast. Series 1 ‘The Timber Detective’

During 2023, the ANU Humanities Research Centre, ANU Centre of Digital Humanities Research and ANU Research Initiatives and Infrastructure joined forces to develop the Collections in Conversation podcast. This podcast is an experiment in using ‘narrative journalism’ to explore the extraordinary objects in ANU collections and incredible stories they can tell about Australia and its relationships across the world. These are the stories of the things that university researchers collect, preserve and study. The first series – The Timber Detective Agency – uses the ANU Xylarium as a lens to explore the stories hidden within the University’s Collections. The podcast examines the way collections can be used to tell stories and connect people and disciplines together in interesting and surprising ways. Listen to all three episodes via our website here.

Science, art and film are among the most powerful cultural institutions we have developed to understand, shape and envision our world. Come to these specially curated film screenings to discover what scientists think about the cultural meanings of science and explore what artists see in films about art. Presented by the NFSA, Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, and the HRC. See the 2022 program here, 2023 coming soon. 

Teaching and Professional Development

Masters of Digital Humanities and Public Culture

The Master of Digital Humanities and Public Culture enables students to develop high level skills in digital literacy and applied humanities. Students gain an understanding of how academic research is applied in broader society and are supported to develop communication skills across traditional and digital platforms aimed at both the academic and public spheres. Students will collaborate with researchers from across the ANU, and have the opportunity to engage with the national cultural institutions, the public and government sector, and international organisations in Canberra.

HRC-NMA Summer Scholars program

The scheme provides scholarships for students in the third or fourth year of an undergraduate degree or undertaking early-stage postgraduate program (normally Masters but including students enrolled in first year of PhD). Under the supervision of experts from the NMA and ANU, and using the resources of both institutions, scholars will research a project relating to the NMA or HRC’s research interests.

Also see:

Past Events

Public Lecture ‘Didactic blue, Humans and Machine Learning to See’, Dr Nicolas Malevé - November 2022

Presented by the HRC Public Culture Cluster in collaboration with the Computational Culture Lab, School of Art & Design. This talk considered John Berger’s (1972) famous assertion that “the relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.” If these relations are further complicated by developments in machine learning and computer vision, then how might we understand the ways in which images act in the world, and their effects?

PCN Partners

AMAGA - Australian Museums and Galleries Association

Centre for Digital Humanities Research

National Museum of Australia

ANU Collections

Further reading and other networks

“What is Public Humanities and Public Culture?” lecture

HRC public programs

ACHRC and programs

CHCI Public Humanities Network


Updated:  1 November 2023/Responsible Officer:  Head, Centre/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications