HCCI research

Sometimes the questions we ask are beyond the expertise of any one scholar. Through collaborative research projects, the cluster for Historical, Cultural and Critical Inquiry draws upon multiple disciplines in order to open new horizons in humanities research.

Research networks and projects

Centre for the Study of Violence

The Centre for the Study 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.

Future of Madness Research Network

The Future of Madness Network aims to bring established, emerging and future scholars together at the University of Newcastle to provide a community of interest in the future of madness studies. The group aims to present the next generation of scholarship in madness studies and play host to visitors and internationally recognised scholars, whilst becoming a magnet for new postdoctoral and postgraduate research and attracting ARC fellowships and grants in the wider field. A strong focus will be placed around: the histories of mental illness; mental health; institutions; post-institutional care; community psychiatry; colonial, national and global mental health; methodologies and approaches to interdisciplinary scholarship in mental health care; trauma studies; health and wellbeing; and, critical disability studies.

Global Newcastle Research Network

Newcastle is Australia’s leading regional centre, one of Australia’s oldest cities, the world’s busiest coal port and the hub of urban services including high level health care and tertiary education for the residents of the Hunter Valley – Lake Macquarie – Central Coast Region. It has achieved this status through a long history of nurturing connections with markets, homelands and cultures around the globe. The Global Newcastle Research Network examines these transnational connections through historical studies of the broad international networks of people, knowledge and goods in which Newcastle has played a part.

Wine Studies Research Network

Wine studies research is a humanities and social science-based field at University of Newcastle. Cross-discipline collaboration in this field includes scholars from history, social science, business and tourism.

Centre for 21st Century Humanities

The Centre for 21st Century Humanities is focussed on three key themes of e-research, impact, and crossing disciplines. Our vision is for the University of Newcastle to be known for excellence in the humanities to complement our distinction in science, engineering and medicine. The Centre hosts a number of projects led by HCCI historians, such as:

  • The Dictionary of Newcastle Project involves the development of a digital Dictionary of Newcastle. It will bring the city’s historical archives into an online format with reliable online, searchable source of historical knowledge on Newcastle's past as it relates to coal and other forms of employment and culture.
  • The Waiting for Equality Project: Telling LGBTIQ+ Stories about Marriage Equality in Newcastle and the Hunter project fosters inclusion of the University EDI priority area of ‘people of diverse genders or sexual identity’. Funded by the Copley Bequest, the team interviewed LGBTIQ+ subjects and collated material on Australia’s marriage equality debate, postal vote and subsequent victory. It produced a touring public exhibition and public lecture series documenting LGBTIQ+ experiences that was first staged at Watt Space Gallery over the summer of 2019-20 and in mid-2020 a version of the exhibition was hosted by the Maitland Regional Art Gallery. The digitisation of the complete exhibition is available here: gallery.newcastle.edu.au/pages/Equality.

Recent Australian Research Council Funded Projects

  • Dr Kate Ariotti has been awarded $379,405 (2020-24) funding for her ARC DECRA project, Between Death & Commemoration: An Australian History of the War Corpse. The objective of the project is to investigate what happened, and happens, to the bodies of Australian military personnel when they have died on active service. The project will examine how factors including the conduct of the war, the different contexts in which military personnel were involved, and advances in forensic technology have affected Australian policies and practices regarding the recovery and treatment of the corpse.
  • Professor Victoria Haskins has been awarded $191,437 (2020-22) for her ARC Discovery Project, Ayahs and Amahs: Transcolonial Servants in Australia and Britain 1780-1945, that looks at female domestic care workers from India and China who travelled to Australia and elsewhere during the period of British colonialism.
  • Professor Philip Dwyer and Associate Professor Hans-Lukas Kieser (with Professor Joy Damousi; Professor Mark Edele; Associate Professor Frances Clarke; Professor Peter Gatrell; Associate Professor Rebecca Plant; Dr Reto Hofmann) have been awarded $448,000 (2020-24) for their ARC Discovery Project, Aftermaths of War: Violence, Trauma, Displacement, 1815-1950. This project aims to investigate the cultural, social and psychological aftermaths of wars between 1815 to 1950 from a comparative, transnational perspective. By connecting the displacement of people, the brutalization of warfare and the trauma associated with it, this study will offer a broader and more complex understanding of the experience of civilians and combatants in the wake of armed conflicts.
  • Associate Professor Hans-Lukas Kieser has been awarded $158,991 (2022-24) for his ARC Discovery Project, The ‘Peace’ of Lausanne (1923): Genesis, Legacies, Paradoxes. This study aims to revisit the foundation of the modern Middle East by investigating the still valid 1923 Peace Treaty of Lausanne. Through a combined analysis of the Treaty's prehistory, protracted negotiations and paradigmatic impact, it will reassess the Conference's and Treaty's role in Modern History.
  • Dr. Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen (with Prof Noah Riseman, Dr Tristan Moss, Dr Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen, Dr Alana Piper) has been awarded $264,435 (2021-24) for their ARC Discovery Project, A Century of Sex and the Australian Military, 1914-2020. This project aims to explore how the Australian military and its members have dealt with sex and sexuality. Through uncovering policy, health and disciplinary files, as well as medical literature, civilian police, newspaper and court records, the project intends to analyse how the Australian military evolved its approach to members’ sexual and intimate relations, and the consequences military life had for individuals’ sexual and romantic partnerships.
  • Dr. Ümit Kurt has been awarded $369,424 (2022-24) funding for his ARC DECRA project Global Patterns of Mass Violence: Ottoman Borderlands in Context, 1890-1920. This project examines the transformative dimensions of mass violence committed against the minorities of the Ottoman Empire – Armenians, Assyrians, Yazidis, and Greeks – and the historical impact and consequences of the Empire’s violent history on the Balkans and the Levant (Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon).

Other networks

We also coordinate with resource organisations that help us enrich the city of Newcastle and Hunter region’s cultural heritage.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.