Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

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NEWSLETTER NO. 45         SPRING 2012
Rhonda Evans Case to be Interim Clark Center Director
The College of Liberal Arts at UT has appointed Rhonda Evans Case, Assoc. Professor of Political Science at East Carolina University (ECU), as interim director of the Clark Center for 2012-13. Rhonda will replace John Higley, who retires in May after directing the Center since its founding in 1988-89. Rhonda will be on leave from ECU while in Austin and will teach courses on Australian Politics and International Human Rights Law for the Dept. of Government. During 2012-13 the College will consider the Center's future and appointment of a new director.
Rhonda is well known to scholars and graduate students working on Australian and New Zealand affairs. She is the immediate past.president of the Australian and New Zealand Studies Assn. of North America (ANZSANA), a position she held for four years, and she has been a visiting fellow at several Australian and New Zealand universities. With a primary interest in international law and comparative politics - she holds both a J.D. and a Ph.D.- Rhonda has published on the two countries' courts and legal professions and has directed projects comparing them with Canada, the U.S., and the E.U. She will begin her interim directorship during August and will likely travel immediately to Australia and New Zealand to explore collaborations with the Clark Center. She can be contacted at
ANZSANA & AAALS Meet in Toronto
ANZSANA and AAALS held their 2012 meetings at the Delta Chelsea Hotel in Toronto 16-18 February. A score of scholars and another score of graduate students attended the meetings and presented some thirty papers. The conference dinner was held in pleasant surrounds on the Univ. of Toronto campus and featured a fascinating talk on Australian art by Chris McAuliffe, Melbourne University, this year's holder of the Harvard Chair. Jolm Higley was presented with a gift commemorating his service to ANZSANA since 1993. In the absence of ANZSANA president Patty O'Brien, the business meeting was chaired by vice-president Gregg Flynn, McMaster University, At it, Higley retired from the Board and Dave Snow, Univ. of Calgary, was appointed vice president to assist with organizing the 2013 meetings, which are likely to be held in Washington in mid­ February. Check for further information.  

This is my 45th Yacker during the past 23 years (along the way I missed one). It's also my last, because I retire from UT and the Clark Center a few days after this issue goes into the mail. Perhaps I sho:uld take the opportunity to reflect a little on the Center's trajectory and from its vantage point where Australian and New Zealand studies in North America have been and may be headed.
My time as director of the Center divides pretty evenly into two periods.' The dozen years following the Center's creation in 1988 were a time of seemingly boundless growth, in Australian and New Zealand studies. Hemy Albinski's center at Penn State was thriving; a Chair in Australian Studies existed at Harvard; and terrific support by UT President Bill Cunningham and Senior Vice President Bill Livingston enabled Desley Deacon and me to mark Australia's Bicentenary in 1988 by founding the Center with three endowments the UT leaders secured for it. Governments in Canberra, Wellington, Washington and Ottawa were highly supportive of A-NZ studies in those years. In 1990 the new Clark Center won a large US Information Agency grant to exchange ten faculty members between UT and Sydney University, and both the Clark and Penn State centers benefited from grants and encouragement by the Hawke. and Keating governments. Meanwhile, the High Commissions in Ottawa helped create a center at U.B.C. in Vancouver, and the U.S. Education (Fulbright) Foundations, US embassies and USIA staffs in Canberra and Wellington were eager to help. An American Studies center was created at Sydney Univ., another at Flinders Univ. was already active, and collaborative projects between the North American centers and .sundry A-NZ ones - for example, the Bureau for Immigration Research led by John Nieuwenhuysen in Melbourne-flourished, as did student exchange programs with, in UT's case, ten A-NZ universities.
Meetings to brainstorm and launch projects were hosted by the embassies in Washington, especially during Penny Amberg's term as Cultural Affairs officer at the Australian Embassy and then Jane Hardy's term as the Embassy's Congressional Liaison officer. In 1993 Henry Albinski, Kim Nossal, myself and others met at Penn State anci founded ANZSANA, with AAALS and Antipodes having been founded by Robert Ross and. his literary colleagues a few years before. Robert edited Antipodes for a dozen years at the Clark Center. ANZSANA met for the first time in Vancouver in 1994, while AAALS held annual meetings in New York and other salubrious locales. Together the two assqciations regularly attracted more than a hundred scholars and students to annual meetings.
Throughout the 1990s the traffic of Australian and New Zealand scholars, government officials, politicians, business leaders, journalists and many others to the Clark and Penn State centers was intensive. The 1990s were, in short, a time of intellectual optimism and financial support for Australian .and New Zealand studies in North America. Symptomatic was the (somewhat crazed) aspiration of one Australian embassy officer to induce literally dozens of American and Canadian universities to create centers and programs for Australian studies! 'For the Clark Center the period climaxed when its '4' dedicated supporter and research associate, Pam Ryan, mounted deliberative democracy polls on the Republic referendum and Aboriginal Reconciliation between 1999 and 200I,, both polls held in Old Parliament House and bringing hundreds of Australian citizens to Canberra.
The Australian and New Zealand studies "fever" began to abate, at least in my experience, around that time. The interest of Australian and New Zealand governments shifted toward Asia; the Internet intensified and decentralized trans-Pacific academic relations dramatically; budget constraints forced Penn State and UBC to close their centers; the Australian government concentrated its support in Washington with a multi­ million dollar grant to Georgetown University. For these and other reasons, some of us who had worked to near exhaustion during the 1990s began to drift into scholarly activities having little to do with Australian and New Zealand. In my case, I chaired the large Government Dept. at UT for five years and the international Research Committee on Political Elites for ten. Frances Cushing, the Center's indefatigable administrator, helped me keep the Center alive, but if truth be told, with lessened energy and optimism.
It may be navel gazing, but my sense is that the trajectory of Australian and New Zealand studies in North America parallels the Clark Center's. Attendance at annual ANZSANA and AAALS meetings (now joint) has shrunk pretty steadily and consists quite conspicuously of "old dogs". University and government funding for research and travel is certainly not what it was during the 1990s. There are of course bright spots: Harvard has infused its Chair in Australian Studies with energy during the last few years; a dynamic U.S. Studies Centre in Sydney, now in its fifth year, offers possibilities for collaborative work; Australian and New Zealand universities and government agencies and their North American counterparts are hyper-active in fields such as energy, climate change, immigration and other policy areas and are eager to engage in comparative projects. Yet attention to core areas of the liberal arts - politics, history, literature, sociology, fine arts- has waned. Like the Western world as a whole, Australian and New Zealand studies are transiting from a happier period to a grimmer one. Serious upheavals ru1d setbacks lie ahead or are occurring, and our research and teaching will ignore or downplay them at much cost. The need to focus on trans-Pacific dilemmas and ominous cha.n, ges is urgent.
I give my deepest thanks to Yacker 's readers and to the colleagues and friends with whom I've been privileged to work during the past 25 years. We had many good times, and I cherish my memories of them.
                                                                                                                     --- John Higley
Fryer LibrariyAward to D'Arcy Randall
D'Arcy Randall, aUT-Austin factflty affiliate of the Clark Center has received a major award from the Fryer Library at Univ. of Queensland to organize archives ofUniv. of Queensland Press covering the period in the 1980s and early 1990s when D'Arcy was QUP's fiction editor. Supported by the Clark Center, D'.f\.rcy arrived in B1isbane in late May for three months of research that will lead to a memoir about her fiction editing years at QUP. 'While in Australia, D'Arcy also intends a case study of how the Canberra­ based women's writing group, known as the "Seven Writers", functioned so successfully during the 1980s and•1990s. D'Arcy will be in residence at the Fryer Library through most of August. Her e-mail:
Loriene Roy to teach at Victoria Wellington. University
Another UT-Austin faculty affiliate of the Center, Prof. Loriene Roy in the School of Information, will be Adjunct Professor of Information Management at Victoria University Wellington 2012-2014.
Recent Visitors
Brenda Machosky, University of Hawaii, returned during May to collect further material on the Australian writer Iris Milutinovic for an article by Dr. Machosky in Antipodes
Robert Woodruffe, Fulbright Fellow from Melbourne, to consult about the US presidential election
John Higley and Jan Pakulski. "Pareto's Theory ofElite Cycles." Pp. 111-130 in Vilfredo Pareto: Beyond Disciplinary Boundaries. Joseph V. Femia & Alasdair J. Marshall, eds. Surrey U.K.: Ashgate, 2012.
Elite Foundations of Social Theory and Politics. A Festschrift honoring Jobn Higley. Special issue of Historical Social Research 37(1). Cologne, Germany 2012, 366 pp.

  • Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

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