School of Arts

Grants and projects

Collaboration between Australian and Japanese Historians of the Pacific War

Michael Sturma received an Australia-Japan Foundation Grant in the 2016-17 round. His project focuses on World War II naval history, and in particular the transport of Allied prisoners of war from Singapore to Japan. Central to the project is collaboration with Hiroyuki Shindo, a senior fellow at the Centre for Military History, National Institute of Defence Studies in Tokyo. Together, they are integrating Australian and Japanese historical perspectives on the Pacific War.

Deployment of Curriculum Design Principles in the Development of Arts Capstone Units

This project is and Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Extension Grant funded in 2013, lead by Dr James Trotter and Professor Michael Sturma. The project was completed in March 2015.

The project has fostered an awareness of capstone units within the School of Arts, University-wide and across institutions. Dissemination of the project has taken place at a number of levels ranging from face-to-face meetings with future capstone unit coordinators to University-wide workshops.

Young People and Wellbeing

Associate Professor Ingrid Richardson led Murdoch University’s bid to be one of the university partners in the $27 Million national Young and Well Collaborative Research Centre, which is using new and emerging technologies and methodologies to improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing. One of the projects is developing storytelling tools and applications across a range of mobile and web-based platforms as a way to increase reach, connectedness, self-reflection, self-efficacy, resilience and wellbeing amongst vulnerable young people. Another project is involving young people in the creation of professional video games as an avenue to increase their wellbeing and self-efficacy.

Indian Ocean and SE Asian global economy projects

Ethno-historian Professor Jim Warren is principal investigator based at Murdoch's Asia Research Centre in a $2.5million Canadian grant through McGill University that will investigate four major historical issues of significant contemporary resonance in the ‘Indian Ocean World’ (IOW), a geographical zone running from China to Africa:

  • origins and development of Chinese maritime trade in the IOW
  • rise, expansion and influence of Islam in the region
  • Africa-IOW economic relations
  • impact of human-environmental dynamics on IOW economic and social activity

Southeast Asia’s global economy, climate and the impact of natural hazards from the tenth to the twenty-first centuries

Professor Jim Warren also leads a team of Australian and international academics, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students on an ARC Linkage project with the WA Maritime Museum to undertake the first broad investigation of the impacts of climate-related and other natural hazards on the economy, society and history of Southeast Asia from the tenth century to the present. The investigation aims to determine the significance and influence of climatic trends and natural hazards on the history and development of economies and societal systems in Southeast Asia, and to trace and reconstruct spatial, temporal and social patterns in vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate variability and natural hazards.

To meet these aims, the project will address the following key questions: How did climatic trends and natural hazards affect the course of Southeast Asia’s global economy, increasing human population, and social and cultural institutions of various societies? How did the impact of natural hazards affect the capacity of Southeast Asians to respond to such destructive forces?

ARC Professorial Fellow Vijay Mishra

Professor of English Literature at Murdoch Vijay Mishra has held an Australian Research Council Professorial Fellowship since 2010. He is working on a very large project which involves examining in great detail the Salman Rushdie papers deposited in the Emory University Archive. The project should lead to the publication of a major reference text entitled ‘Rushdie Annotated’. During the Hilary Term, 2013, Professor Mishra was the Christensen Professorial Fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford University.

Japanese War Criminals

In collaboration with researchers at Monash and ANU, Murdoch’s Professor Sandra Wilson is investigating the repatriation and release of Japanese war criminals after World War II. Releases were negotiated between Japan and the nation that had convicted the prisoner. The project provides new understandings of the emergence of Southeast Asian states in regional diplomacy and of Japan's re-emergence as a regional power.

Creative Writing projects

Dr Simone Lazaroo has a grant from the Department of Culture and the Arts, WA, to research and write a collection of short stories The collection as a whole will explore issues of globalisation, travel (Western and Eastern), migration, consumerism, ownership, loss, aging and individuals’ struggles for meaning and identity at the juncture of cultures.

She will undertake research for some of these stories during her European Commission supported Erasmus Mundus Fellowship at the University of Oviedo in Spain, where some of her short stories will be published in a bi-lingual edition by KRK Ediciones. Lazaroo’s Australia Council Literature Board-funded novel Lost River: Three Albums will be published by University of Western Australian Publishers in early 2014.

Historical Thinking and Curriculum Renewal

OLT Extension Grant: Historical Thinking: Curriculum Renewal at Murdoch

Professor Michael Sturma and Associate Professor James Trotter lead this project involving a series of seminars with all staff who teach in the History course, which will focus on how best to embed Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs). A central element will be structuring the curriculum in a way which scaffolds the development of TLOs over a three-year undergraduate course.

The project will entail developing assessments which support and demonstrate the achievement of discipline Learning Outcomes. Following the recommendations of the Historical Thinking project, this will involve more opportunities for the critical analysis of primary sources, as well as the inclusion of visual and “new media” sources. In the final phase the project will include the dissemination of lessons learned through this process to cognate disciplines at Murdoch University and from other universities in Western Australia.

Connecting Radiation Affected Communities World-wide

Associate Professor Mick Broderick with Associate Prof. Robert Jacobs of Hiroshima City University was awarded (¥11,000,000 A$150,000) for a Japanese funded, Kaken-hi study The Global Hibakusha Project (2011-14) exploring the social and cultural connection between radiation exposed communities around the world. The project is the first to comprehensively explore the role of nuclear colonialism as a cold war phenomenon through the cultural and historical narratives of victims, from disposed indigenous peoples whose lands were contaminated to military personnel and civilians adversely affected by decades of atmospheric nuclear testing.

To date the team have visited or liaised with groups exposed to radiation in Japan, Nevada and the Marshall Islands, Kazakhstan and northern Siberia; Maralinga, Emu and the Montebellos in Australia and Kiribati; Algeria and French Polynesia; and China’s Lop Nor. The project is facilitating hibakusha (bomb affected) communities in sharing their stories inter-generationally using web 2.0 and social networking and as well as between hibakusha groups world-wide.

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