The Australasian Consortium of Humanities Researchers & Centres (ACHRC) is the peak representative body for Humanities research centres and institutes in Australia and New Zealand. In 2014, the ACHRC established a portfolio dedicated to promoting Humanities-based research, and to cascading peak body, state-of-play knowledge. One of our most successful member initiatives is ‘Humanities in the Regions’, which acknowledges that research in the humanities is different in regional universities than it is in Group of 8 universities. For almost a decade now, the aim of Humanities in the Regions has been to build research capacity, connectivity, strength, and engagement for the Humanities in regional Australia.
Community of Practice
In 2022 and 2023, in response to the pressures on HASS in regional Australia and an emerging, shared understanding that Covid was not just a public health crisis but also a public education crisis, Humanities in the Regions’ annual events evolved into a monthly Community of Practice which meets online.
Recognising the need to move beyond rhetoric to action and data, this community of practice shifted strongly into an advocacy role, initiating a large-scale research, multi-member initiative to strengthen Humanities in Regional Australia.
In 2023, in addition to an article in Overland we contributed two submissions to the Australian Universities Accord in response to their Discussion Paper (April 2023) and Interim Report (September 2023). These contributions were workshopped with our Community of Practice, informed by Cognos and QILT data, underpinned by desktop literature review, and conducted with the assistance of our Research Assistant Jade Croft and our ECR member Dr Wayne Bradshaw.
The Community of Practice is currently working on an ambitious project that puts regional higher education equity, diversity, and inclusion at its heart. Aligning with the stated ambitions of the Universities Accord, this project aims to deliver on the transformative capacity of regional higher education for one of this nation’s most diverse and disadvantaged cohorts: regional HASS students. In so doing we aim to position SHAPE education (Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Environment/Economy) alongside STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) as an equally necessary, valuable, transformative, and vocational pathway for regional Australians and their communities.
Our three-pronged research project focuses on valuing, enhancing, and strengthening humanities, social sciences, and arts education in regional Australia through a series of member-led studies that aim to: 1. measure the value of humanities, arts, and social sciences for regional Australia and regional Australians 2. enhance the efficacy and impact of HASS education for the most diverse and disadvantaged cohort in Australian higher education to equip them as change-makers for their communities now and in the future, and 3. strengthen the connections between HASS graduates, STEM fields, and the world of work.
Join us for a one-day long symposium at CHASS, the Congress of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences on Wednesday, November 29 at the University of Sydney as we present our current program of work, workshop our research papers in process, and plan the next steps of our research journey and advocacy.
Draft Program Wednesday 29 November 2023
CHASS University of Sydney
10-11am Humanities in the Regions: Our Journey So Far
11am-noon Presentations/Workshopping of Papers
noon to 1pm Lunch
1pm to 2pm Presentations/Workshopping of Papers
2pm-3pm Where to From Here? Planning the Next Steps
For more information, please contact Victoria Kuttainen
2021 Humanities in the Regions: Humanities From the Regions – The Distinctive Edge, hosted by Associate Professor Victoria Kuttainen at James Cook University
2020 Humanities in the Regions: The Two Cultures in Dangerous Times, hosted by Associate Professor Victoria Kuttainen at James Cook University.
2019 Humanities in the Regions: Renewal – Regional Humanities Research in the 21st Century, hosted by the Centre for 21st Century Humanities and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle.
2018 Humanities in the Regions: A collaboratory exploring the nexus of humanities research partnerships beyond academia, hosted by the Centre for Colonialism and its Aftermath, at the University of Tasmania.
2017 Humanities in the Regions: Impact, Engagement and Connectivity, hosted by the School of Humanities at the University of New England.
2016 Humanities in the Regions: Hosted by the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts, at the University of Wollongong. With the support of the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Regional University Network, Federation University Australia, and the University of Wollongong.
2015 Humanities in the Regions: Building Capacity Through Connectivity and Knowledge, hosted by the University of Southern Queensland’s Toowoomba campus.
Dr. Victoria Kuttainen
Associate Professor in English and Writing
James Cook University
Dr. Tully Barnett
Senior Lecturer in Creative Industries