Review of ANU Humanities Research Centre

Terms of referenceHRC Review Recommendations


The ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences will be undertaking a review of the ANU Humanities Research Centre on 7 May 2014. The review is a periodic review that occurs to all ANU academic centres in accordance with the ANU policy on Reviews of Academic and Central Administrative Areas This will be the third review undertaken of the Humanities Research Centre since its establishment in 1972.


The Humanities Research Centre forms part of the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences at The Australian National University and is a national and international centre for excellence in the Humanities and a catalyst for innovative Humanities scholarship and research within the ANU. It promotes advanced research in the humanities through its Visiting Fellowship Program, and a range of conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia that it hosts under an annual theme.

The Centre encourages interdisciplinary and comparative work, and seeks to take a provocative as well as supportive role in relation to existing humanities studies in Australia. It aims to give special attention to topics and disciplines which stand in need of particular stimulus in Australia. One of its central functions is to bring to Australia scholars of international standing who will provoke fresh ideas within, and beyond, the academic community.

The HRC now sits within the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, CASS, as an autonomously defined Centre. Threaded through the Centre programs are disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths in literature, history, art, film, philosophy, critical theory, Enlightenment and Romanticism studies, Postcolonial Studies, Environmental Humanities, and indigenous heritage, art and culture. The HRC collaborates with Australian and international research centres, libraries and other cultural institutions and continues to advocate the importance of humanities in the public sphere through its participation in key national and international networks.

Terms of reference

The review panel will examine and evaluate:

  1. Whether the HRC continues to be positioned as a centre of excellence for innovative and cross-collaborative Humanities scholarship and research, at home and abroad;
  2. The effectiveness of the HRC in promoting and enabling educational activities, including graduate teaching programs and workshops, that interacts with students and leading scholars in the Humanities, with demonstrated benefits;
  3. How effective the programs and linkages of the HRC are; locally, nationally and internationally, in attracting visitors, adjuncts and students to the HRC that contribute to the future sustainability of the Centre and to a stimulating Humanities environment at the ANU in general;
  4. The continued relevance of the HRC and its programs to achieving the strategic objectives contained in ANU by 2020 and the CASS Operational Plan;
  5. The appropriateness of the governance and organisational structure of the HRC within the ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences to achieve its overall strategic objectives and maintain long term sustainability;

Panel Members

  • Professor Paul Pickering, Director, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, ANU (Chair)
  • Professor Paul Eggert, ARC Professorial Fellow, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, UNSW
  • Associate Professor Denise Ferris, Head, School of Art, ANU
  • Professor Jacqueline Lo, Head, Centre for European Studies, Research School of Social Sciences, ANU
  • Professor Catherine Travis, Head, School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics, ANU

Reporting & Secretariat Arrangements

The review panel will present its final written report to the Vice-Chancellor.

The secretarial support for the review panel will be provided by the Executive Officer, Research School of Humanities and the Arts, Ms Suzanne Knight. Secretarial support will include organisational arrangements for the review; prior preparation of data and other required information about the HRC; and minute taker for the review.


In undertaking the review, the panel will invite written submissions from interested stakeholders. These submissions should address the terms of reference listed above, and should be received by the secretariat at

The Committee will meet to hear submissions from individuals or groups on 7 May. We would prefer that written submissions also be made by that date. However, in developing our report we will accept written submissions received no later than Friday 15 May. The Committee reserves the right to invite individuals to make a submission and/or contact individuals to seek clarification of submissions that they have made.

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Updated:  10 December 2014/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications