Professor John Makeham will join the University on 1 March 2016.
Professor Makeham will bring with him substantial international experience in teaching and research at universities across Australasia and East Asia, including appointments at Victoria University of Wellington, University of Adelaide, National Taiwan University, Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Australian National University.
In 2005, Professor Makeham was awarded the Joseph Levenson Book Prize (Asian Studies Association, US). Last year, he received the Special Book Award of China which was acknowledged by the Chinese government for his published scholarship on China. In 2009, he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in recognition of his contributions to the study of Chinese intellectual history.
He has wide experience serving in senior academic roles, including Head of the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Adelaide; Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Asian Studies, ANU; Head of Department of Religion and Philosophy and Head of Department of Chinese Studies, School of Culture, History and Language, ANU.
Professor Makeham has published research on cultural and political nationalism, intellectuals, identity, and the creation of modern academic disciplines, intellectual history, social history, archaeology, the environment, gardens, classical scholarship, textual scholarship, religion, logic, hermeneutics, comparative philosophy, Buddhist thought, and Chinese philosophy. This research ranges from the classical to the contemporary periods.
By working in collaboration with a broad range of scholars who have an interest in China, Professor Makeham is enthusiastic about the opportunities his new role at La Trobe will provide for the Centre and the University. By harnessing and coordinating existing expertise, he aims to enhance and promote the calibre and quantum of China Studies research drawn from across the University.
"The China strategy is a core part of the university's decision to make Asia a focal point of its internationalisation," Professor Bisley said.
"The appointment of Professor Makeham is a centrepiece of this strategy, in which La Trobe aims to become a leading centre for the study of China."
Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, Professor Tony McGrew, extended a warm welcome to Professor Makeham and said his appointment was an exciting one.
Leah Humphrys, 03 9479 5353