Connecting the humanities with industry

Pitchfest 2018 was held on Thursday 23 August 2018 and involved six Centre for 21st Century Humanities members pitching their projects to an audience of Newcastle industry representatives.

View the presentations (PDF 2.8MB) delivered at the event. If you would like to partner with the Centre on one of these projects or donate funds towards the Centre's work please contact Prof Victoria Haskins via email C21CH@newcastle.edu.au.

The pitches

Project 1: Colonial Frontier Massacres Map

Lead: Professor Lyndall Ryan

This interactive online map documents massacres that occurred in Australia from 1788-1960 and stemmed from an ARC funded project investigating ‘Violence on the Australian Colonial Frontier’. Stages one and two of the project are complete and document over 250 massacres. Stage three will include Western Australia, extend the time period to 1960 and bring the map up to at a stable state of completion. This project will fund further research needed to uncover the full extent of the violence on Australia's colonial frontier, with the final tally of massacres expected to be twice the amount so far.

Funding: $75,000

Project 2: Certified Corethics - The App

Lead: Melissa McCabe

The app seamlessly connects sourcing agents and consumers with ethical goods. Buyers want to know where the product has come from, end to end, supported by metrics that reflect the environmental and social impacts. Our logistics co-ordinator ensures buyer satisfaction from factory to store and our in-country content and marketing specialist not only works inside our projects but also acts as our “ethical” reporter. He ensures we empower our customers with knowledge, transferred directly from our textiles project in Bali, straight to the app. Certified Corethics, the app, will make ethical buying easy, enjoyable and empowering and will enable global change.

Funding: $75,000

Project 3: Preserving an endangered Torres Straits language

Lead: Dr Bill Palmer

This project will document the highly endangered Kala Lagaw Ya language of the Torres Straits, preserving it for future generations.  We will take on the endangered situation of Kala Lagaw Ya by sending a PhD student to work with the community to document and describe the language, and prepare materials that the community can use to help maintain the language. These will help children become literate in their own language as well as English, preserve the language and the traditional knowledge enshrined in it for future generations, raise the status of the language, and help reverse the language’s decline.

Funding: $94,787

Project 4: Deep Time 2.0 - Preserving heritage in property development

Lead: Dr. Amir R.Moghadm.M

Deep Time 2.0 is a virtual reality platform and comprehensive data collection and management solution that lets people interact with historical sites, even after the process of site transformation. The challenge between heritage preservation and property development has been one of the major issues in our modern world. Historical artefacts are often found in connection with development. However, these findings aren’t easily available to the public due to lack of consistent approach in information management. Deep Time 2.0 solves this by providing a central, easy to use platform where heritage information can be uploaded and then visualised. Our solution preserves the historical context so that the present or future users can even experience being at the site at the time of excavation or examine it as an interactive hologram in virtual reality.

Funding: $510,000

Project 5: Kawa Translation Hub

Lead: Dr Bill Pascoe

Kawa maps the history of world poetry in any language. Anyone can contribute a translation of a poem, gradually accumulating a world map of the history of poetry. Kawa uses an innovative digital platform to present poetry, drawing out the multiple meanings and nuances of possible interpretations that are not possible in print. This collaborative platform will engage readers and writers in translation as a kind of 'slow reading', and enable translators or anyone learning a language to practice and provide examples of work in small achievable amounts.

Funding: $10,000

Project 6: Future of Humanity

Lead: Professor Hugh Craig

This symposium would bring together a panel of speakers including Professor Nick Bostrom of the Future of Humanity Institute (Oxford) to discuss how the humanities can contribute to a better future for humanity and to managing existential risks to humanity such as artificial intelligence, nuclear war, catastrophic climate change, and systemic global inequity of opportunity.This symposium would bring to Newcastle a public discussion of important topics, creating an opportunity to share the thinking of experts, form opinions, contribute insights and develop a plan for local action. In addition to Professor Bostrom, speakers would be drawn from the fields of critical computer science, environmental humanities, the history of violence, political science, development studies, and gender studies.

Funding: $18,200