Research Centre Activities: Before and during COVID-19

Visiting Scholars:

Professor Annie Clarke arrived for the first half of her visit in early February. During her visit, Annie mentored Research Centre team members and attended the team retreat, including leading a workshop on history and archaeology. Annie provided lively contributions throughout the three days of the retreat. All things going well, Annie will be returning for her second visit in October.

Associate Professor Bruce Buchan was a Visiting Scholar in March. During his brief visit, Bruce presented ‘Failed or Unfinished? On The Fragments of Colonial History in Scotland’s Enlightenment’ at the School of History Seminar. The seminar and follow-up conversations were rivetting. Bruce will be back when circumstances allow.

Both visitors were supported by the Research School of Social Sciences (RSSS) Visiting Scholars Program.

Annual Retreat

The Centre and Laureate program’s Annual Retreat was held at the National Library of Australia from Tuesday 18 until Thursday 20 February. We had a full three day program with a different focus each day:

  1. Themes, interdisciplinarity and collaborations.
  2. Review of progress and meeting project deliverables.
  3. The future, planning of the next three years.

Collaborating Scholars Shirleene Robinson, Mary Anne Jebb, Maria Nugent, Annie Clarke and Duncan Wright joined the team for a morning tea on the Tuesday, followed by a discussion of transdisciplinary opportunities for collaboration.


  • National library experts Shirleene Robinson and Mark Piva ran an oral history training workshop.
  • RSSS Visitor Annie Clarke led a workshop on archaeology and deep history.
  • The review of the project’s outcomes for 2019 showed that we had achieved significant milestones.
  • Mike Jones led a workshop on digital humanities and digital history which was followed after lunch by a discussion on data training and the project’s data management plan.
  • Tabs Fakier gave us an introductory tour of the Centre website and the team discussed branding and social media.

On the final day, we undertook planning for the next three years of the Centre and Laureate program, with many debates and discussions on theoretical and methodological considerations interwoven throughout.

It was a very productive retreat which highlighted the high quality work being undertaken and planned by all members of the team.

Re. Website
The Centre will soon launch its website. Its release will be announced on Twitter and Facebook in the near future. Look out for that.

The World Today

As with colleagues in Australia and around the world, the Centre has had to adjust to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the circumstances of working in a virtual environment.

We have had to postpone many key activities – lectures, collaborative workshops, conference presentations, field trips and much else. We are all working from home, and are readjusting our schedule for a much changed research environment.

The team is continuing with projects, activities and initiatives as much as possible, and moving to online environments.

We will keep you posted about some new initiatives soon. And we do hope you can join us.