Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
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NEWSLETTER NO. 29         SPRING 2004


UT Students Study in Australia & New Zealand
Among public and private research universities in the U.S., UT-Austin ranks third in the number of students who study overseas each semester. During 2002-03, the latest academic year for which figures are available, 1,654 UT students spent a semester or year enrolled in foreign universities. Only New York University and Michigan State University send more students abroad for study.
Taken together, Australia and New Zealand are the fifth most favored destination for UT students, with an average of 55 studying in them during each of the past three academic years.  Only Spain, France, the U.K., Italy, and Mexico receive larger numbers of students from Austin, and this is in part because the University administers its own study programs in those countries, which it does not do in Australia or New Zealand. Among the top ten destinations of UT students, Australia and New Zealand together outrank Germany, Brazil, Japan, and Costa Rica

Approximately 45% of all UT students studying abroad each year do so under the auspices of international provider programs run by other universities or organizations. Another quarter take advantage of reciprocal exchange programs, which UT operates with ten Australian and two New Zealand universities.  A fifth of students go abroad in special programs administered by the University.

As part of its continuing internationalization, UT-Austin has in the past year inaugurated a "Maymester" program, in which a score or more of students leave Austin immediately at the end of the spring semester to study in a regular UT course, taught daily by a UT faculty members for four weeks, at one of a variety of foreign universities.  A half dozen Maymester courses are being held this year at universities in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Morocco, and UT hopes to start one or more Maymester courses at Australian universities during the next year or two.

UT Law Library Director in Australia
Prof. Roy Mersky, Director of the Jamail Center for Legal Research in UT-Austin's Tarleton Law Library, will attend the Australasia Law Teachers Conference, July 8-11, in Darwin. While at the conference he will meet with the deans of Australian law faculties, and following the conference he will be in Adelaide to assist the federal judges there in building a law library. Later in his trip, which will extend through mid-August, Prof. Mersky will be at Bond University to consult about law library matters, and he will also visit the law faculties and libraries at A.N.U., LaTrobe University, U.T.S., U.N.S.W. and Sydney University.


Message from the Director
I want to pay tribute to a treasured co-worker and friend in the Australian and New Zealand Studies vineyard. I refer to Dick Teare, who is retiring from the directorship of Georgetown University's Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies at the end of June. Dick's retirement will bring to a close six years of tireless and highly successful efforts to build the Georgetown center into a main US locus for teaching and research about the two countries. He has been equally tireless and successful as a driving force behind the consolidation and expansion of ANZSANA. Indeed, Dick has graciously consented to continue in office as ANZSANA's president for another year, despite now laying down his Georgetown cudgels.

Dick took the reins of the Georgetown center in 1998, which was a troubled time for Australian and New Zealand Studies in this country. The highly active center at Penn State, led so splendidly by Henry Albinski for many years, was closing. ASANA, as it was then called, was embryonic and heavily dependent for its financial survival from year to year on the support of John Wells and Penny Amberg at the Australian Embassy. ASANA and AAALS were at sixes and sevens about each other's activities and merits. The Australian Government had just raised more than a few hackles by announcing, without consulting affected centers and programs, a multi-million dollar endowment for the Georgetown center. Dick's appointment to head the Georgetown effort was, consequently, viewed skeptically by many. 

In short order, Dick and his highly competent and charming assistant, Grace Tompkins, won everyone over. They reached out to scholars across the U.S. and Canada, they quickly became sparkplugs in the ASANA effort, Dick persuaded Monash University and then the Group of Eight universities in Australia to establish chairs for visiting Australian scholars who then traveled extensively in the U.S. and Canada to lecture and consult on research issues, and they did an enormous amount to boost the profile of Australian and New Zealand Studies inside the Washington Beltway.

As Dick now retires for the second time - he first retired from the Foreign Service with the rank of Ambassador in 1998 - he can do so knowing that he has done yeoman work to transform the face of Australian and New Zealand Studies in North America. Thanks in largest part to his efforts, ASANA, which under his guidance became ANZSANA, has held a series of vibrant annual conferences, including the memorable conference he and Grace hosted at Georgetown in 2001. Next year ANZSANA will for the first time meet at Harvard, concurrent with AAALS, and this intermingling of the two associations is also in largest part Dick's doing.  He and Grace have given the Georgetown center, which was at best a fledgling effort back in 1998, a strong trajectory, making it a beehive of activity.

Most of all, Dick Teare has through his warmth, dry wit, perceptive insights, and unfailing collegiality and fellowship been the lynch pin of Australian and New Zealand Studies in the U.S. and Canada during these past six years. On behalf of the Clark Center and his many colleagues around the continent, I thank him for his great good work and, personally, for the close and rewarding friendship that he and I have had. May Dick's retirement be a long and happy period in his life.
John Higley

The Plight of the Albatross
Inhabiting and flying great distances over the world's southern reaches, the Albatross is one of the wild animal species that live mostly beyond the reaches of any single nation. Using Antarctica and its outlying islands as its primary nesting places, the Albatross flies thousands of miles to Tasmania, Easter Island, and the southernmost parts of South America in search of food. As is the case with so many other animal species, the welfare of the Albatross is now under threat, and one of the problems in averting further threats to it is the bird's lack of "citizenship" - no nation has a clear responsibility for ensuring its welfare.

A scholar in UT-Austin's Department of Geography, Prof. Robin Doughty, is launching a study of the Albatross's distinctive geopolitical status. His specific focus is what Australia and New Zealand are doing to, in effect, give the bird some of the citizenship it now lacks. Prof. Doughty will travel this fall with Clark Center support to Tasmania and the farthest small islands of New Zealand to consult with biologists, government administrators, and non-governmental associations in order to study and contribute to the evolving program for saving the Albatross.

Doughty is not a stranger to Australia, having written a well-received book about the environmental consequences of eucalyptus trees being exported by Australia throughout much of the world. He is also the author of eight other books, three of which have focused on birds: Mockingbird (1987), Whooping Crane (1989), and Purple Martin (2001).

Prof. Doughty will be in Melbourne and Tasmania from mid-September to mid-November and then in New Zealand until just before the holiday season. For those who want to learn more about his Albatross study, Doughty's e-mail is:


Ross Terrill Sparks Taiwan Debate
Ross Terrill's book about The New Chinese Empire has received much attention in Taiwan and the P.R.C. during the past few months. To mark his book's translation into Chinese, Ross was in Taiwan during May, and while there he engaged in a televised discussion with President Chen Shui-bian about his book's implications for Taiwan's relations with the mainland.  President Chen's attention to Ross's book brought his analysis of developments in China to the forefront in Taiwan's ongoing and often enflamed consideration of its cross-Strait relations with China. Inevitably, President Chen's interest in the book caught the attention of the Beijing officials who superintend the PRC's tense exchanges with Taiwan. 

Also a close observer of Australian affairs and of US-Australia relations, Ross Terrill has been affiliated with the Clark Center during the past several years and has taught courses on Australian politics and US foreign policy toward Asia in UT-Austin's Dept. of Government. He will again teach one of these courses during the July-August session of UT's summer program. 


ANZSANA/AAALS Conference at Harvard in 2005
Harvard University will host the 2005 annual conferences of the Australian and New Zealand Studies Association of North America, ANZSANA, and the American Association of Australian Literary Studies (AAALS). ANZSANA alternates its annual conferences between Canada and the U.S., and this past February a well-attended conference was held at the University of Toronto.

The Harvard conference, which is scheduled for April 29-30, 2005, will be the first at which ANZSANA and AAALS meet together. The two associations will organize separate panels, but at least one joint session will take place and there will be a single conference dinner and keynote speaker. It is anticipated that the gathering at Harvard's central location will number upwards of 100 scholars and graduate students working on Australian and New Zealand topics, and on North American relations with the two countries.  Calls for papers will be issued in August and September this year.


Clark Center Travels
Frances Cushing, the Center's administrative associate, will be in Australia for most of the coming September.
John Higley will participate in a Council of International Education & Exchange (CIEE) team that will evaluate the Australian Studies programs at  Melbourne, LaTrobe. Macquarie, and Sydney universities during the week of October 10


Recent Clark Center Visitors
Matthew Birney, Shadow Minister for Telecommunications, the Parliament of Western Australia.

Ann Curthoys, Professor of History at A.N.U. and visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Georgetown University.

John Docker, Australian writer and social critic.

Corrine Manning, project officer of the Australian Studies program at LaTrobe University.

Steven Pennels, chief of the state politics section of The West Australian

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

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