Executive Dean's Lecture Series

Want to engage with world renowned academics? And discover surprising facts from ancient civilisation to modern day society? This year the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences showcases its academic strength by offering a range of public lectures hand picked by the Executive Dean, Professor Tim Murray. For more information about these lectures see the calendar of events below.

Past lectures - Please note these lectures have now closed

8 Aug 2013 | Humanitarian Paradoxes: Treating Family and Sexual Violence in Papua New Guinea

medecins-sans-holly-wardlow-la-trobe-university-lectureA free public lecture presented by Dr. Holly Wardlow (Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of Toronto) as part of The Joel Kahn Anthropology Lecture, 5:50pm for a 6:00pm start.

This lecture discusses the Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) project in Tari, Papua New Guinea which has now been running for four years. The lecture will focus on the paradoxes that emerge when an organisation specialising in emergency medical humanitarianism in war and disaster zones, expands the scope of its influence and concern and sets up a project in a place like Tari where there is nowar or disaster, but instead chronic, endemic interpersonal violence. This lecture will provide a gentle critique of the projectand an exploration of the limits of the humanitarian vision.

Registration for this event has closed. To join the waiting list, please contact Olivia Blackburn o.blackburn@latrobe.edu.au or 9479 2776.

2 Sep 2013 | Site of Possibility: Place-making in regional Australia

bendigo-lecture-neil-fettling-la-trobe-universityA free public lecture presented by Associate Professor Neil Fettling, Director, La Trobe Art Institute as part of the 2013 Bendigo Lecture.

This lecture will provide a philosophical framework for the newly established La Trobe Art Institute and its mission to establish important connections to place. A site of possibility is a lived landscape, where identity and purpose create distinctiveness that suggests a dynamic regionalism open to reinterpretation and reuse.

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9 Sep 2013 | In Depression and War: Australia and the United States, 1929-1945

hoover-dam-bernard-bailyn-lecture-la-trobe-universityA free public lecture presented by Professor Tony Badger (Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge University and the Master of Clare College, Cambridge) as part of The Bernard Bailyn Lecture in North American Studies.

The war was a great stimulus to progressive politics in Australia, but acted as a conservative check on liberal aspirations in the United States. The lecture explores the differing reactions to external threats to the homeland, examines why the war did not have the same generational impact in Australia as it did in the US, and assesses the long-term impact of the war on Australian perceptions of both Britain and the United States.

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12 Sep 2013 | Bronze Age Transformations of the Mediterranean World: A Perspective from the Countryside

Hayyat-temple-Allen-Archaeology-Lecture-la-trobe-universityA free public lecture presented by Professor Steve Falconer (La Trobe University) as part of The Annual Allen Archaeology Lecture.

Professor Steve Falconer studies the rise and collapse of urbanized societies in the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East, turning particular attention to the interactions of small agrarian villages with their larger social, political and natural environments. He utilizes settlement pattern, ceramic, faunal and metallurgical data to characterize rural life during the periodic development and abandonment of the region's earliest polities and their regional economies. Professor Falconer has directed excavations at a series of Bronze Age farming and herding settlements in in Jordon and currently co-directs excavations on the island of Cyprus. Before joining La Trobe University in 2012, Steve was Professor of Archaeology at Arizona State University.

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6 Nov 2013 | The creativity collapse: Why creativity in the arts and sciences is declining and why you should care

agnes-heller-lecture-professor-peter-murphy-james-cook-university-la-trobe250x166A free public lecture presented by Professor Peter Murphy (Professor of Creative Arts and Social Aesthetics and the Head of the School of Creative Arts at James Cook University) as part of The Agnes Heller Sociology Lecture.


This lecture will discuss the cultural and social forces driving this desertification of the imagination. There will also be time for discussion on how these issues could potentially be rectified and a Q & A session.


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14 Nov 2013 | Rethinking life through art


Oron-Catts-La-Trobe-University-creative-arts-lectureA free public lecture presented by Oron Catts (Founding Director of SymbioticA, The University of Western Australia) as part of The 2013 Creative Arts Lecture.


This lecture will discuss how artists are helping us to rethink what life is and methods employed to deal with life as both a raw material and an ever contestable subject of manipulation. Looking at all levels of life from the molecular to the ecological, Oron Catts will address the need to develop a new cultural language when words seem to be no longer appropriate.


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