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Dr Hedda Askland

Lecturer

School of Humanities and Social Science

Exile and identity

University of Newcastle researcher Dr Hedda Haugen Askland examines the deep-rooted forces behind home, identity and belonging in exile and refugee communities.

Hedda AsklandSocial, political and environmental change affects the way people perceive themselves, their community and nation Dr Askland, a lecturer in anthropology and sociology, is uniquely positioned to understand these shifting identities and perceptions in refugee communities.

Trained as an anthropologist, whose 2010 PhD involved an ethnographic study of East Timorese living in Australia, Dr Askland worked for five years in a research position at the University of Newcastle's School of Architecture and Built Environment before returning in 2014 to University's School of Humanities and Social Science.

This chameleon-like nature of her career to date has seen her work on interdisciplinary projects across a range of themes including creativity, architectural practice, mega-construction, identity, cultural heritage, natural disasters and resilience. Through this thematic diversity, Dr Askland's interdisciplinary adventure has remained focused on social science theory and qualitative research methods, in particular ethnography.

Dr Askland's anthropological research concerns the themes of social change, development, exile, diaspora, identity, conflict and war. "I have always wanted to use my anthropological training to contribute to contemporary understandings of human culture and society, and how changes to people's environments influence their sense of belonging and sense of self," said Dr Askland.

A central theme of her research is the ways refugee and diaspora communities experience and relate to violence and radical political change in their home country.

Her interest in this phenomenon grew when she was working in East Timor in 2006, having completed a Candidata Magisterii degree from the University of Bergen, Norway, majoring in social anthropology, and a Masters of Social Science from Newcastle. Her PhD began as a study of how young East Timorese were taking part in the process of nation building.

When political conflict and communal violence erupted two months after her arrival, she was called home and switched her focus to the East-Timorese community living in Melbourne.

Dr Askland had expected this hitherto politically active community to respond strongly to the unfolding crisis in Timor-Leste, but instead many people washed their hands of their homeland.

"During the Indonesian occupation, the campaign for independence played a big part in defining the community and their refugee identities. A lot was based on the idea of returning home, but when eventually return became a possibility not many of them did so," she said.

"My publications look at that process and try to understand the emotions that arose in the context of the crisis and how they signal a new sense of attachment."

Her research shows that many migrants have a shifting sense of engagement with their country of origin. It's about more than having become familiar with their host country – it's part of the ongoing dialogue between the self, the ancestral home, and the lived realities of everyday life, influenced by circulating stories within the community from those who have returned.

"This work has application to other migrant communities in the sense of how we understand the complex social webs – local, translocal and transnational – that inform their practice and daily lives, how we deal with what's happening to them, how we help them find or maintain a sense of self," said Dr Askland.

Her emerging research synthesises her past work on refugees, social change and development with her experiences from architecture. For example, her study of the effects of natural disasters on built heritage informs her current interest in how people connect to their surroundings, and how those connections can be threatened by natural disasters, climate change and displacement.

"In my role as a lecturer in anthropology I feel I have come back home, but with the added advantages of what I have learned about research and interdisciplinarity," she said. "I run easily to the bus every morning."

Exile and Identity

Exile and identity

Dr Hedda Haugen Askland examines the deep-rooted forces behind home, identity and belonging in exile and refugee communities

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Career Summary

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Anthropology/Sociology in the School of Humanities and Social Science. I have previously worked as a Research Fellow at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, where I was employed in a research capacity since completing my PhD in July 2009. I hold a Candidata Magisterii (Can.Mag.) degree from the University of Bergen, Norway, majoring in social anthropology, and a Masters of Social Science and a PhD (Sociology/Anthropology) from The University of Newcastle, Australia. I am a past recipient of the highly competitive L. Meltzers Høyskolefond (2001, 2002) and the Commonwealth Government funded International Research Scholarship, and in 2007 I won The University of Newcastle School of Humanities and Social Science Publication Prize. For my PhD, I conducted an ethnographic study of East Timorese living in Australia, specifically focusing on how political unrest and national crisis affect exiles’ experiences of self, community and nation. Both my past and present research have been published in books and international refereed journals, and presented at international conferences.

Research Expertise
My research background is in the field of social and cultural anthropology. Through my postgraduate studies (Master of Social Science (research) and PhD) I have explored issues related to migration, diaspora, exile, home, community, identity and belonging. Whereas my Master thesis considers the question of a particular group of young East-Timorese exiles in the immediate aftermath of the Indonesian occupation and explores the impact of the Australian Government's immigration policies on the situation of this particular group of asylum seekers, my PhD focuses on issues related to the broader diasporic community. My PhD thesis, entitled 'East Timorese in Melbourne: Community and Identity at a Time of Political Unrest in Timor-Leste', considers how political unrest and national crisis affect exiles’ experiences of self, community and nation. It is an ethnographic study of East-Timorese expatriates’ lives after the realisation of independence in East Timor that aims to improve the understanding of the ways in which expatriates and diaspora communities experience and relate to violence and radical political change in their home country. My key professional interests surround issues related to forced movement, exile, democracy, conflict resolution, development, and political, social and environmental change. Through my research, I have gained an in-depth understanding of complex issues related to nationbuilding, migration, immigration policy, communal structures, violence and unrest, and challenges related to policy and practice in developing countries. My emerging research blends my past work on social change and development with the themes of resources, environmental change and resilience. I have a strong interest in the question of ethnographic field research and, more particularly, methodological and ethical issues related to doing research in volatile communities and with vulnerable groups. My research expertise also incorporates the themes of creativity, architectural education and design practice. In the period 2010-2014, I worked at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, where I managed a two-year ALTC project that explored the question of creativity in the context of design and architecture education. This project considered the question of creativity in architecture and design and questioned how creativity, as an aspired learning outcome of the design disciplines, can be assessed. As part of my work at SABE, I was also part of two interdisciplinary teams that worked on research project that considered (a) the themes of cultural built heritage, resilience and natural disasters, and (b) ethnography, architectural practice, creativity and management.

Teaching Expertise
Social and Cultural Anthropology Indigenous People in the Contemporary World Social Science Research Methods Social Change and Development. 

Collaborations
As part of my work at the School of Architecture and Built Environment, I worked in a research team with members from a number of universities, including: RMIT University, Deakin University, the University of Tasmania, Monash University, and Queensland University of Technology. I have also worked as part of multi-disciplinary teams based at The University of Newcastle, which included the disciplines of anthropology, indigenous studies, architecture, construction management, architectural history and design.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Master of Social Science, University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Diaspora and exile
  • East Timor
  • Ethnography
  • Identity
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • SOCA1020 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • SOCA3850 Indigenous Peoples of the Contemporary World
  • Social anthropology
  • Social change and development
  • Youth

Languages

  • Norwegian (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
160899 Sociology not elsewhere classified 50
160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology 50

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2014 -  Membership - Sydney Southeast Asia Centre Sydney Southeast Asia Centre
Australia
1/01/2010 - 31/12/2011 Membership - European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)
United Kingdom
1/01/2005 -  Membership - Australian Anthropological Society (AAS) Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)
Australia
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Askland HH, Ostwald M, Williams AP, Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney, 355 (2012) [A3]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Williams AP, Ostwald M, Askland HH, Creativity, Design and Education: Theories, Positions and Challenges, Australian Learning & Teaching Council, Strawberry Hills, NSW, 199 (2010) [A2]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald

Chapter (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Askland HH, Ostwald M, Williams AP, 'Assessing creativity: Revisiting the literature', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 1-16 (2012) [B1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2012 Askland HH, Williams AP, 'The challenge of teaching creativity', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 29-46 (2012) [B1]
2012 Askland HH, Ostwald M, 'Assessing creativity: Academic and student perceptions', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 47-62 (2012) [B1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2012 Ostwald M, Askland HH, 'Models and matrices', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 63-80 (2012) [B1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2012 Ostwald M, Askland HH, 'Assessment regimes: Patterns of creative evaluation in architecture and design', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 81-100 (2012) [B1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2012 Askland HH, 'Reflective journal review', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 255-270 (2012) [B1]
2012 Askland HH, Ostwald M, Williams AP, 'Overarching issues, strategic considerations and practical responses: Final thoughts on assessing design', Assessing Creativity: Supporting Learning in Architecture and Design, Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, Sydney 289-298 (2012) [B1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2011 Williams AP, Gu N, Askland HH, 'Virtuality - Offering opportunites for creativity', Design Creativity 2010, Springer, London 183-190 (2011) [B1]
Co-authors Ning Gu
Show 5 more chapters

Journal article (11 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Askland HH, 'East Timorese in Australia: Affective Relations, Identity, and Belonging in a Time of Political Crisis', ASEAS : Österreichische Zeitschrift für Südostasienwissenschaften, 7 199-216 (2015)
DOI 10.14764/10.ASEAS-2014.2-5
2014 Askland HH, 'Circulating Stories: East Timorese in Australia and Questions of Post-Independence Identity', Oceania, 84 105-120 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1002/ocea.5051
2014 MacKee J, Askland HH, Askew L, 'Recovering cultural built heritage after natural disasters. A resilience perspective', International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 5 202-212 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1108/IJDRBE-09-2012-0032
Co-authors Jamie Mackee
2014 Askland HH, ''It was all about independence': loss, division and rejuvenation amongst the East Timorese in Melbourne', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ANTHROPOLOGY, 25 321-336 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/taja.12107
Citations Web of Science - 1
2014 MacKee J, Askland HH, Askew L, 'Recovering cultural built heritage after natural disasters: A resilience perspective', International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 5 202-212 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1108/IJDRBE-09-2012-0032#sthash.4CS1Q23V.dpuf
Co-authors Jamie Mackee
2014 Askland HH, Awad R, Chambers J, Chapman M, 'Anthropological quests in architecture: Pursuing the human subject', Archnet-IJAR, 8 284-295 (2014) [C1]

In this paper, we explore what architectural practice and, more specifically, the architectural research domain, may gain from the theoretical and methodological premise of anthro... [more]

In this paper, we explore what architectural practice and, more specifically, the architectural research domain, may gain from the theoretical and methodological premise of anthropology and ethnography. The paper explores a historical link between anthropology and architecture as academic disciplines, arguing that the disciplines are aligned through anthropology's search for understanding the conditions of humanity and architecture's role in forming these very conditions. We do not intend to explicate the individual disciplines but are interested in the crossover between the two and, more specifically, what insights anthropology and ethnography may offer to the discipline of architecture. We consider the relationship between anthropology and architecture, as both a research domain and a profession, and question how anthropology-as an approach to research more so than a discipline-can contribute to the advancement of architectural practice and research.

Co-authors Ramsey Awad, Michael Chapman
2014 MacKee J, Askland HH, Askew L, 'Recovering cultural built heritage after natural disasters. A resilience perspective', International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, 5 202-212 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1108/IJDRBE-09-2012-0032
Co-authors Jamie Mackee
2013 Askland HH, 'My Life as a Chameleon: Finding the Anthropological Self through Interdisciplinary Collaboration', Collaborative Anthropologies, 6 244-267 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1353/cla.2013.0021
2013 Askland HH, Gajendran T, Brewer G, 'Project organizations as organizational fields: expanding the level of analysis through Pierre Bourdieu's Theory of Practice', Engineering Project Organization Journal, 3 116-126 (2013) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/21573727.2013.768986
Co-authors Graham Brewer, Thayaparan Gajendran
2011 Williams AP, Ostwald M, Askland HH, 'The relationship between creativity and design and its implication for design education', Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, 5 57-72 (2011) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2007 Askland HH, 'Habitus, practice and agency of young East Timorese asylum seekers in Australia', Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 8 235-249 (2007) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/14442210701516561
Show 8 more journal articles

Conference (17 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Foulcher NC, Gu N, Askland HH, 'The perceived effect of digital design technology on student learning in architectural technology', Across: Architectural Research through to Practice: 48th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association, Genova (2014) [E1]
Co-authors Ning Gu
2012 Askland HH, Gajendran T, Brewer GJ, 'Project organisations as organisational fields: An exploration of construction projects through Pierre Bourdieu's Theory of Practice', Working Paper Proceedings. Engineering Project Organizations Conference, Rheden, The Netherlands (2012) [E1]
Co-authors Thayaparan Gajendran, Graham Brewer
2012 Mackee J, Askland HH, Askew L, 'Maintaining place: Resilience as a means of protecting cultural built heritage in the face of natural disasters, a theoretical overview', RICS COBRA 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada (2012) [E1]
Co-authors Jamie Mackee
2012 Jones WM, Askland HH, 'Design briefs: Is there a standard', Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Engineering & Product Design Education, Antwerp, Belgium (2012) [E1]
Co-authors Wyn Jones
2012 Gajendran T, Askland HH, Dainty A, Brewer GJ, 'Cognitive interests, epistemological space and aspirational identity: How does identity form part of construction?', Conference Proceedings Joint CIB International Symposium of W055, WO65, WO89, W118, TG76, TG78, TG81 and TG84: International Congress on Construction Management Research, Montreal, Canada (2012) [E1]
Co-authors Thayaparan Gajendran, Graham Brewer
2011 Ostwald M, Askland HH, Williams AP, 'Assessing creativity as an aspired learning outcome: A four-part model', Conference Proceedings 45th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Architectural Science Association, Sydney, NSW (2011) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2011 Askland HH, Williams AP, Ostwald M, 'Teaching creative design: A challenging field', Proceedings of the Desire'11 Conference: Creativity and Innovation in Design, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2011) [E1]
DOI 10.1145/2079216.2079237
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2011 Askland HH, Williams AP, Ostwald M, 'Finding common ground: A disciplinary approach to creativity', Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE2011), London (2011) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2011 Askland HH, Ostwald M, Williams AP, 'Assessing creativity: Proposition', Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (EPDE2011), London (2011) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2011 Williams AP, Ostwald M, Askland HH, 'In search for unity: Finding a disciplinary approach to design creativity', Proceedings of IASDR2011, 4th World Conference on Design Research, Delft, The Netherlands (2011) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Askland HH, Ostwald M, Williams AP, 'Changing conceptualisations of creativity in design', Proceedings of the DESIRE'10 Conference: Creativity and Innovation in Design, Aarhus, Denmark (2010) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Williams AP, Ostwald M, Askland HH, 'The design studio, models of creativity and the education of future designers', Proceedings of the DESIRE'10 Conference: Creativity and Innovation in Design, Aarhus, Denmark (2010) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Williams AP, Ostwald M, Askland HH, 'Assessing creativity in the context of architectural design education', Conference Proceedings. Design & Complexity: Design Research Society International Conference, Montreal (2010) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Askland HH, 'Fighting for the homeland: East-Timorese refugees and the reproduction of locality in exile', Crisis and Imagination. EASA 11th Biennial Conference. Conference Programme and book of abstracts, Maynooth, Ireland (2010) [E3]
2010 Askland HH, Ostwald M, Williams AP, 'Creativity and design: An educational dilemma', On the Edge. Conference Papers of the 44th Annual Conference of ANZAScA, Auckland, NZ (2010) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Williams AP, Askland HH, Ostwald M, 'Changes in students' attitudes toward architectural education', All Ireland Symposium on Built Environment Education. Abstracts and Papers, University of Ulster, Ireland (2010) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
2010 Askland HH, Williams AP, Ostwald M, 'From ambiguity to complexity: Conceptualising creativity in the context of formal design education', Conference Proceedings: The First International Conference on Design Creativity (IDC2010), Kobe, Japan (2010) [E1]
Co-authors Michael Ostwald
Show 14 more conferences
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 7
Total funding $104,423

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20152 grants / $64,923

Intergenerational attitudes of changing land use$49,923

Funding body: NSW Department of Primary Industries

Funding body NSW Department of Primary Industries
Project Team Doctor Hedda Askland, Doctor David Farrugia, Doctor Meg Sherval, Doctor Julia Coffey, Doctor Steven Threadgold, Doctor Michael Askew
Scheme Research Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1401491
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS
UON Y

Newcastle Youth Studies Group - Theoretical Innovations and Challenges in Youth Sociology: One day symposium$15,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Doctor Steven Threadgold, Professor Pamela Nilan, Doctor Julia Coffey, Doctor David Farrugia, Doctor Hedda Askland
Scheme Strategic Networks Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2015
Funding Finish 2015
GNo G1500904
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20141 grants / $15,000

Network for Youth Research Outside the Northern Metropole$15,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Professor Pamela Nilan, Doctor Steven Threadgold, Conjoint Professor Andy Furlong, Doctor David Farrugia, Doctor Julia Coffey, Doctor Hedda Askland, Doctor Lena Rodriguez
Scheme Strategic Networks Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1400957
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20124 grants / $24,500

Structures of Architectural Practice: an ethnographic study of six design practices in Sydney.$10,000

Funding body: NSW Architects Registration Board

Funding body NSW Architects Registration Board
Project Team Doctor Michael Chapman, Doctor Hedda Askland, Mr Ramsey Awad, Associate Professor Lindsay Johnston, Professor Lawrence Nield
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200828
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - State
Category 2OPS
UON Y

Structures of Architectural Practice: an ethnographic study of six architectural design practices in Sydney$10,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Michael Chapman, Doctor Hedda Askland, Mr Ramsey Awad
Scheme Linkage Pilot Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1201026
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

New Staff Grant 2012$3,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Hedda Askland
Scheme New Staff Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200558
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Australian Anthropological Society Conference 2012: Culture and Contest in a Material World, The University of Queensland, 26 -28 September 2012$1,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment
Project Team Doctor Hedda Askland
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200931
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Current Supervision

Commenced Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2013 Going Digitally Native: An Ethnographic Study of Digital Technology in Architectural Education
Architecture, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment
Co-Supervisor
2012 Dimensions of 'Displacement': Cosmological (Dis)continuities for Central African Refugee Women in Resettlement
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
2012 Consuming the 'Other' to Heal the Self: Seeking Indigenous Amazonian Plant Medicine Ritual to Heal Western Maladies
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts
Co-Supervisor
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Dr Hedda Askland

Position

Lecturer
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email hedda.askland@newcastle.edu.au
Phone (02) 4921 7067
Fax (02) 4921 6933

Office

Room W344
Building Behavioural Science
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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