Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Yacker globe Yacker logo
NEWSLETTER NO. 38         FALL 2008
ANZSANA and AAALS Annual Meetings in Calgary
The North American academic associations for Australian Studies, ANZSANA and AAALS, will hold joint annual meetings from February 26-28, 2009 at the University of Calgary's Olympic Volunteer Centre. These meetings will extend the practice in which the two associations meet alternately in Canada and the U.S.. Their 2008 meetings were hosted by the Clark Center in Austin.

The 2009 meetings are being organized by Andrew Banfield and his colleagues at the University of Calgary and by the two associations' current presidents and program chairs, Rhonda Evans Case and Greg Brown for ANZSANA, and Theodore Scheckels for AAALS. The keynote speaker will be Iain Davidson, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of New England and current occupant of th Harvard Chair in Australian Studies. Other featured speakers will include the Australian author Alan Wearne and former US Ambassador Richard Teare.

ANZSANA's new web site address



Studying Australian Politics at UT-Austin

A year ago, Prof. Higley instituted an upper-division undergraduate course in Australian Politics for students majoring in Government.

 Higley will offer the course each fall semester during the next several years. Fifty students -- room capacity -- enrolled in the course's 2007 and 2008 editions, and each year several of the students have undertaken programs of exchange studies at Australian universities or traveled to Australia. Higley divides the course into three parts, the first of which spends a month traversing Australia's history with the aid of Stuart McIntyre's Concise History of Australia. The second part looks at Parliament and the constitutional system, federalism's workings, the party and electoral systems, and a range of policy areas such as health and welfare, indigenous people's affairs, feminism, business and industrial relations, the taxation system, etc. The course winds up with several weeks devoted to Australia's roles in international relations, especially the Australia-US Alliance and ties to Indonesia and China. The course enlists Australian scholars visiting UT-Austin for guest lectures that provide students with a closer sense of Australian political concerns.


Message from the Director
Back in mid-September, Peter Monaghan, who writes for The Australian, interviewed several of us about how Australian and New Zealand studies are faring in North America. His story appeared in The Australian's higher education section on September 17th and, judging from e-mails I received, it caught the attention of quite a few people.

Monaghan took reasonably accurate stock of the situation: perhaps 150 North America-based scholars in liberal arts and related areas giving attention to Australia and New Zealand; a substantial flow of students between universities here and there; ANZSANA and AAALS; Antipodes; the Harvard chair and two centers -- the Clark Center and CANZ at Georgetown. The new US Studies Centre at Sydney University, with which useful collaborations will hopefully occur, was also noted.

But it must be said that the North American picture has not changed in any major way for many years. There has not been any significant initiative or development in Australian and New Zealand studies for more than a decade -- at least none of which I am aware. Attendance at ANZSANA-AAALS meetings has been holding steady at 60-75 good souls, but efforts to increase the number have generally not succeeded, even though the two associations have been blessed with energetic leaders.  Quite a few participants at each year's meetings are itinerant Aussies or Kiwis who happen to be in North America or who travel to the meetings as one among several reasons they have for coming over. The meetings themselves have been enjoyable and stimulating, but if itinerants from Down Under are put to the side, it's difficult to avoid observing that there have been relative few new North America-based participants since the late 1990s. I guess I'm worrying about stagnation that, while pleasant and useful for those of us involved, is still stagnation. Or do I overlook something?

Alas, the apparently deep and long-lasting economic downturn is likely to pose further difficulties, making travel to meetings harder (the upcoming Calgary meetings will be a test) and research trips to Australia and New Zealand all the more prized. Are we facing a crisis? Maybe so, though I'm frankly at a loss as what to propose.

Dispelling my gloomy outlook somewhat, several issues of the handsome and sprightly Journal of Australian Studies, edited by Melissa Harper and Martin Crotty at U.Q. and with an editorial committee led by Kate Darian-Smith at Melbourne University, have just arrived. The Journal is a quarterly with a wide compass ranging from literary to media to social science topics. It indicates an active and large stable of Australian Studies scholars and I recommend looking at the Journal. With such active colleagues across the pond, the game is certainly not over.

---- John Higley                                                     



During October, the Clark Center transported a quintet of specialists on US immigration policy to meet with a counterpart team of Australian immigration specialists at Monash University's Research Centre in  Prato, Italy. The two-day workshop, for which papers were prepared in advance, climaxed a joint project between the Clark Center and the Institute for the Study of Global Movements, led by Prof. John Nieuwenhuysen at Monash University in Melbourne. The US researchers enlisted by the Clark Center were Professors Frank Bean (University of California, Irvine), Cara Wong (University of Illinois), together with Professors Gary Freeman, David Leal, and Stephen Trejo from UT-Austin.  John Higley, Director of the Clark Center, led the American team.

One of the first research projects conducted by the Clark Center after its founding in 1988-89 was a comparative study of Australian and US immigration patterns during the 1980s. That study resulted in a sold-out volume, Nations of Immigrants (Oxford University Press, 1993), edited by Gary Freeman and James Jupp (ANU). This year's project takes stock of changes in immigration flows and policies since Nations of Immigrants appeared.

The Prato workshop opened with an overview paper by Higley and Neiewenhuysen charting the massive increases in immigration to both countries, including the 500,000 illegal migrants who enter the U.S. annually. A pair of papers, by Frank Bean and by Graeme Hugo (Adelaide University), disaggregated these flows to show the pronounced immigration of Latin Americans to the U.S. (80%, nearly 60% from Mexico) and Asian immigration to Australia. The impact that these waves are having on US and Australian labor markets was next assessed in a pair of papers, by Stephen Trejo for the U.S. and by Prof. Santina Bertone (Victoria University) for Australia.

On the workshop's second day, US and Australian policies for integrating and assimilating new and large immigrant communities were examined by David Leal for the U.S. and Prof. Andrew Jakubowicz (University of Technology Sydney). This was followed by a discussion of policy convergence and divergence between the U.S. and Australia in papers by Gary Freeman and Prof. Bob Birrell (Monash University). The workshop concluded with papers by Cara Wong and James Jupp (ANU) pondering future multiculturalism, integration, or assimilation in the two countries.

Not least because of the excellent research facility that Monash University operates in Prato, the workshop was a distinct success, and the papers presented will appear in a volume to be published by Edward Elgar, edited by Higley and Niewenhuysen, in mid-2009.


UT Scholar Visits Australia and hosts New Zealand Librarian
Prof. Loriene Roy, in the School of Information at UT-Austin, recently spent two weeks in Australia, giving talks at libraries in New South Wales and the Northern Territory, where she also delivered the plenary address to the Australian Library and Information Association's biennial conference, held this year in Alice Springs.  During December, Prof. Roy is returning to Australia for the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference in Melbourne. In November she and her School of Information colleagues hosted Spencer Lilly, the Maori Services Manager at Massey University Library in Palmerston North.

Fulbright Alliance Scholar to be at Clark Center
Cameron O'Reilly, the 2008-09 Fulbright Alliance Fellow, will spend three months at the Clark Center and UT-Austin's Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, March to May 2009. Based in Sydney, O'Reilly is Executive Director of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia, which plays an important role in shaping Australia's evolving environmental policies. During his visit to the U.S. O'Reilly expects to have extensive discussions with the major energy companies in Houston, and to compare Texas's energy and environmental policies in Texas with Australia, given their parallel population sizes and energy-based economies. Cameron O'Reilly can be
reached by e-mail: Cameron O'Reilly

Recent Clark Center Visitors
Patrick Keyzer, Bond University
Roy MacLeod, Sydney University
Cassandra Pybus, Sydney University
Barrie Unsworth, former Premier of New South Wales

YACKER Is published in the fall & spring by The Edward A. Clark Center for Australian & New Zealand Studies,
Harry Ransom Center 3.362
The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78713-7219
Telephone: 512/471-9607 Fax : 512/471-8869 email:
This Newsletter was not printed with state funds.

  • Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

    The University of Texas at Austin
    300 W 21st St STOP F1900
    HRC 3.137
    Austin, Texas, 78712