The Centre for 21st Century Humanities is focussed on three key themes of e-research, impact, and crossing disciplines. Our vision is that by 2020 the University of Newcastle will be known for a significant concentration of excellence in the humanities to complement its distinction in science, engineering and medicine.
21st Century Humanities research centres and groups
The Centre for the History of Violence is a world-first collaboration that applies new historical knowledge to advance humanity's understanding of violence. Members of the Centre explore every aspect of the history of violence, including concepts of violence, representations of violence, questions of interpersonal violence and issues of political and cultural violence.
The Centre for Literary and Linguistic Computing (CLLC) was established to continue the development and application of statistical and computing tools for the analysis of (literary) texts.
The University of Newcastle is home to linguistics scholars with expertise in documenting diverse endangered languages, and in diverse theoretical and applied areas of research.
The Early Modern Women Research Network (EMWRN) is an Australian-based network of scholars which aims to bring the often institutionally-isolated scholars of early modern women's writing into dialogue with others in the field, both within Australia and internationally. EMWRN regularly meets at major conferences, sponsoring panels and symposia, often in conjunction with other early modern networks.
Purai is an exciting research initiative to integrate global and transnational analytical perspectives and frameworks with research on Indigenous and diaspora studies, and other related topics of race and society.
The Centre for Social Research and Regional Futures (CSRRF) provides innovative research services and new social perspectives to benefit industry, the community and government.
The humanities focus on the context for human activity at the widest level. They have a particular contribution to make to advancing the study of humanity and its cultures in partnership with the social and natural sciences, and with engineering and biomedicine. The Centre for 21st Century Humanities brings together emerging areas of the humanities where the University of Newcastle has significant strength, namely:
- Digital humanities, where humanities scholarship engages directly with digital technologies
- The history of violence, which initiates a new field (Violence Studies) and offers exceptional opportunities for working across disciplines;
- Social research services in the areas of primary industry development; generational health issues in rural areas; risk and engagement for major projects; and local government shared learning frameworks;
- The materialist history of the book and of women's writing; and
- Language theory, documentation and application, focusing on endangered languages in our region.
Our expertise in this area includes work in online research collections, language analysis and digital mapping. We believe the combination of the deep understanding of culture in the humanities combined with digital tools and materials has applications outside academic disciplines. We are interested in developing partnerships with agencies and businesses in tourism, defence, and publishing, with Indigenous corporations and Land Councils, and with anyone who needs to deal with large amounts of written material.
Within the academy, we are pursuing new opportunities including applying methods from computational stylistics to analyse large collections of historical documents. Network analysis has applications across all our fields, from Napoleon to Stalin, and from 16th century English women writers to the 21st century workplace. Geographic Information Systems, helping see data in spatial terms, applies across the board. Visualisation through statistics and new presentation techniques can bring striking new insights in all corners of the humanities.
People everywhere are interested in history, in language, in ideology. This is where the humanities have scale and impact. The humanities can contribute to Newcastle as a creative city, adding an element of historical and cultural knowledge to the mix, through events and displays and through entrepreneurship.
These pathways will link the work of the 21st Century Humanities to the wider public and thence to policy debates and government initiatives.
There are exciting opportunities for new insights through deep collaborations between the humanities and disciplines from health, bio-medicine, science and engineering. Centre members already have projects of this kind underway and the Centre is providing funding to incubate new ventures.