Imagining our future: science fiction and climate change | A conversation with Emeritus Professor Andrew Milner


LLCL Honours student wins conference presentation award

Nalanda Robson, Honours student in Japanese Studies, has received the ‘best presentation’ award at the International Conference for Undergraduate Research.
Nalanda presented the findings of her Honours research project on retirement migration from Japan to Chiang Mai, Thailand. The award comes with the prize of a free trip to Fukuoka, Japan.
Congratulations to Nalanda on her success. 


Godzilla’s lost nuclear past: Dr Jason Jones

You might remember Godzilla demolishing San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, or Matthew Broderick defeating the monster in New York, but what do you know about Godzilla’s nuclear past?

The original Godzilla film tackles the threat of the atomic age and nuclear weapons, it’s about Japan being drawn into war again, and about people living with the constant threat of bombs and destruction. Godzilla, or Gojira, was one of the first films to show the full extent of the devastation that Japanese civilians experienced when the United States dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. 

30 Godzilla films have been produced since Ishirō Honda’s 1954 Japanese science-fiction original. In that time, the monster’s story has morphed from a nuclear allegory into a Hollywood cliché – but recent events show that our fear of nuclear catastrophes is far from over. Wikipedia searches for ‘Godzilla’ spiked following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, showing that the monster’s power as a window into post-war attitudes about the dangers of nuclear radiation still rings true today.

729px-gojira_1954_japanese_posterDr Jason Christopher Jones
 of Monash’s Japanese Studies program has been interested in Japan since he was a child. His inspiration? Video games. In his youth, everything was text based, and in order to know what was happening in the game, he had to learn to read it in Japanese. Dr Jones recently spoke to us about how the Godzilla films reflect Japan’s experience of nuclear tragedies, just one of his particular areas of research. 

Jason joined Monash University in 2015. He is a lecturer in Japanese Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, and researches wine manga, Godzilla and themes of cultural exchange and adaptation. In addition to his research, he is an active translator and interpreter.

Listen to our interview with Dr Jason Jones on Godzilla’s lost nuclear past:

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South Asian Diaspora International Researchers’ Network

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LLCL Honours student recognised in prestigious international awards programme


LLCL Honours student recognised in prestigious international awards programme

Honours student in Literary Studies, Calvin Fung, has received a High Commendation in The Undergraduate Awards (UA), a global, pan-discipline academic awards programme designed to identify leading creative thinkers through their undergraduate coursework. 

Calvin has been invited to attend the UA Global Summit in Dublin this November, where he will rub shoulders with some of the brightest undergraduate students from around the world. His trip to Dublin is partially funded by the Faculty of Arts.

Calvin says of his success: ‘I am delighted to be given this opportunity. I owe a lot of my achievements to the teachers at Monash who have supported and inspired me.’

Please join us in congratulating Calvin on this outstanding achievement.


Monash Chinese Studies students awarded study scholarships in language competition


LLCL Honours Information Session 2016

*Presentation slides from the session now available! Click here to download (PDF)

Information session for all students contemplating Honours in 2017 or 2018 in Asian Languages, English as an International Language, European Languages, Linguistics or Literary Studies

What is Honours? What would I gain? How and when to apply. Honours and study abroad? Q&A with Honours coordinators and current/former Honours students

When: 12:00-12:45 pm, Wednesday 14 September

Where: Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium (12 Ancora Imparo Way, Clayton campus)



Celebrating 50 years of Japanese at Monash

JSC garden 20152016 marks the 50th anniversary of Japanese studies at Monash University. The teaching program in Japanese began in 1966 with one staff member, the late Jiri V. Neustupny, foundation Professor of Japanese and a pioneering figure in the field of Japanese language education internationally. Over the past 50 years, the program has developed an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research in Japanese studies. 
Today, Monash University operates one of the largest and most diverse Japanese studies programs in Australasia, with a vibrant community of MA and PhD candidates and around 1000 students enrolled in undergraduate Japanese studies units each year. Many Monash Japanese studies alumni are active in teaching and academic research on Japan, whilst numerous others have pursued successful Japan-related careers in business and government.  
Monash has also been the home of the Japanese Studies Centre since its founding in 1981 as a hub for coordination and enhancement of Japanese studies research and teaching in Victoria and across Australia.
We invite all current and former members of the Monash Japanese studies community to join us at a conference on 14-15 October to celebrate this important anniversary. 
Former students and staff members of the Monash Japanese program: Would you please consider sending a message of support or short reflection on your own experiences at Monash?
These messages will be collated and shared with other members of the Monash community via a message wall online and at the conference. 
Please include your name and affiliation, and the years that you were at Monash. 


Two MITS students undertake an internship with international organisation CCAMLR


Two students in the master of Interpreting and Translation Studies have recently had the opportunity to work alongside in-house professional translators at the CCAMLR headquarters in Hobart. CCAMLR, the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is an international organisation which operates in 4 official languages: English, French, Russian and Spanish. Paola Aparicio and Janneth Santafe (English-Spanish translation students) had the opportunity to work under the supervision of in-house translators and to learn about translation operations and services in a multilingual institution.

The CCAMLR, which currently has 25 members, was established by international convention in 1982 with the objective of conserving Antarctic marine life. This was in response to increasing commercial interest in Antarctic krill resources, a keystone component of the Antarctic ecosystem and a history of over-exploitation of several other marine resources in the Southern Ocean.

The Translation and Interpreting Studies program and the students are really grateful and thankful to the whole CCAMLR team for such a wonderful opportunity.

For further information about CCAMLR:


Internship opportunity with SPC in New Caledonia for MITS student


One student in the master of Interpreting and Translation Studies has recently gained in-house experience as a translator working at the headquarters of a multilingual international organisation based in New Caledonia.

French-English translation student Fleur Heaney had the opportunity to work at the Pacific Community (SPC) with the organisation’s in-house team of interpreters and translators. The SPC, based in Noumea, is a bilingual (French-English) international organisation founded in 1947 that works in public health, geoscience, agriculture, forestry, water resources, disaster management, fisheries, education, statistics, transport, energy, human rights, gender, youth and culture to help Pacific Island people achieve sustainable development.

Under the guidance of several experienced staff members at SPC, Fleur had the opportunity to follow and observe interpreters in action, and also to learn more about the work and the roles of translators and revisers who operate in an international organisation.

The Translation and Interpreting Studies program and the student are really grateful and thankful to the whole SPC T&I team for such a wonderful opportunity.

For further information on SPC:



Research Interview: Jason Jones

A video interview with Dr Jason Jones, lecturer in Japanese Studies at Monash University. Jason talks about his research in the sub-genre of wine manga and the Japanese fascination with French wine, as well as giving us a window onto some of his current and future research projects.

For more information about Jason’s research and teaching, visit


Dr Maya Hess (Red T) and Ms Linda Fitchett (AIIC)

Joining forces: The quest for protected-person status for linguists in conflict situations
Project leader at AIIC – The International Association of Conference Interpreters


Professor Sandra Hale, UNSW AUSIT national president

The need for specialist legal interpreters for a fairer justice system




Dr Bert Peeters, Griffith University

Cultural linguistics and cultural linguistics: Applied ethnolinguistics in search of a home

visitors-Bert-Peeters-02Cognitive linguist Ronald W. Langacker wasn’t talking about cultural linguistics (which didn’t exist yet) when, in 1994, he saw the advent of cognitive linguistics as “a return to cultural linguistics”. It is important to distinguish between the use of a label to identify a broad field of scientific endeavour and the use of the same label to identify a much more narrowly defined framework within that field. cultural linguistics saw the light of day in 1996, but it was not until 2007 that it became really prominent thanks to the work of Farzad Sharifian, who further increased its interdisciplinary base and replaced Gary B. Palmer’s references to imagery with references to cultural conceptualizations. The latter are the analytical tools cultural linguistics uses to examine aspects of cultural cognition and its instantiation in language; they include cultural schemas, cultural categories, and cultural metaphors. Instances of these exist in all the languages of the world. Oddly enough, the term cultural value appears to be shunned in cultural linguistics, where it is used rather sparingly. This raises the question of whether any bridges can be built between cultural linguistics, on one hand, and applied ethnolinguistics, on the other. applied ethnolinguistics is a by-product of the natural semantic metalanguage approach; it was developed without reference to either cultural linguistics or cultural linguistics and makes prolific use of the term cultural value, which it sees as absolutely fundamental to its endeavours. Closer inspection reveals that cultural linguistics does acknowledge the importance of cultural values: even though the term is not used in a technical sense, cultural values are captured in the cultural conceptualizations that speakers draw on. Thus, detailed study of culturally specific schemas, categories, and metaphors may lead to a better understanding of the cultural values that are upheld in particular language communities. In spite of this more or less hidden similarity, there appears to be little prospect for an eventual amalgamation of the two frameworks. Rather, it is argued that lessons can be learned and small adjustments made on both sides, in the interest of overall clarity, and that applied ethnolinguistics finds its home in the broader field of cultural linguistics, where it is hoped it will be able to provide a useful methodology for the study of language and cultural values.

Bert Peeters (PhD 1989, ANU) is an adjunct associate professor at Griffith University. He also holds an honorary appointment at the Australian National University. Previously employed at the University of Tasmania (1989-2006) and at Macquarie University (2007-2013), he recently (2015) guest-edited a special issue of the International Journal of Language and Culture (edited by Farzad Sharifian) on language and cultural values. He is currently working on a monograph focussing on French; its aim is to show how evidence for previously identified French cultural values can be found in the language, and how observation of the language can help the cultural outsider recognize and explore previously unidentified values or values that are only superficially known. Other work includes Diachronie, phonologie, et linguistique fonctionnelle (1992), Les primitifs sémantiques (ed., 1993), The lexicon-encyclopedia interface (ed., 2000), Semantic primes and universal grammar (ed., 2006), Tu ou vous: l’embarras du choix (ed. with N. Ramière, 2009) and Crossculturally speaking, speaking cross-culturally (ed. with K. Mullan and C. Béal, 2013).


Professor Martina Ghosh-Schellhorn, Saarland University, Germany

Virtual Life-Worlds: British Government Houses in Transcultural Perspective

visitors-Martina-Ghosh-SchellhornThis presentation will concern a fresh approach to visualizing cultural heritage in a Transcultural Anglophone Studies (TAS) context. In collaboration with Artificial Intelligence experts, we have undertaken research into the material history of Empire so as to re-visit received historiographies with an aim to revising them in the light of contemporary analytical tools. The focus is on British Government Houses in transcultural perspective.

What was it like to live in a British Government House? I would like to use TAS’s xml 3D virtual model of Government House Calcutta (1803—) to demonstrate the advantages of using computer technology to support research into the field of colonial architecture by incorporating into it evidence of the various life-worlds found here. Besides taking a virtual 360o tour of the building and its grounds, we will also be zooming in to one of its most representative interiors, the Throne Room. Accompanying us on our tour are a selection of the epistolary, autobiographical, as well as pictorial materials left us by the former incumbents of the House, the objects that they chose to be surrounded by, and the current use to which this still-functioning edifice is being put.


Monash Chinese Studies students win first and second places in language competition

Tristan McCarthy and Sean-Hyatt
Tristan McCarthy and Sean-Hyatt

Two of Chinese Studies’ students, Sean Hyatt and Tristan McCarthy, recently won the first and second places respectively at the 15th “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Language Proficiency Competition for Foreign University Students.

The competition was held at La Trobe University on the 21st May 2016, and the Monash students were competing against other contestants from the University of Melbourne, Deakin University, La Trobe University and RMIT University.

Sean and Tristan’s speeches and performances were highly praised by the judging panel and the audience. Apart from their speeches in Mandarin, Sean played the role of an Australian tour guide promoting Australian lifestyle, such as sports, entertainment, and education to the Chinese tourists, whilst Tristan recited a classical Chinese poetry written by one of the greatest Chinese ancient poets.

As non-Chinese background students, Sean and Tristan started their learning of Chinese language from the unit ATS1001-Chinese Introductory with Monash Chinese Studies Program. Sean is currently studying Arts (majoring in Chinese) and Tristan is studying Aerospace Engineering with the Faculty of Science (he has already completed a Chinese major in 2015).

Assistant Lecturer in Chinese Studies, Hui Xu, said she was proud of the students and the Chinese Studies team, and she thanked the teachers and staff who had helped train and support the students in their years at Monash.

This July Sean and Tristan will travel to Changsha (capital city of Hunan Province, China) where they will compete in the final stage of this competition as representatives of all Victorian universities.

Find out more



Objects in Translation: A Conversation with Curators and Historians

A World of Things: Exchange and Material Culture in the First Global Age, 1500-1800.
Robert Wilson Annual Lecture 2016.

Date/Time: Mon 02 May – Tue 03 May / 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: National Gallery of Victoria.

We are often told that we live in an age of globalization, one of growing homogenization of consumption, increasing communication and cultural and economic integration. Yet the study of material culture suggests that today’s global connectedness is not new. The early modern period (c. 1500-1800) can be seen as the ‘first global age’ as contact between different parts of the world intensified.


Monash Asian Studies Debate Competition

In 2016, the DAV, in conjunction with the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University, will run a debating competition open to students from Years 10-12. The topics will focus on contemporary issues relevant to Asia.

The competition will consist of three preliminary rounds, held on Saturday 14 May from 10am-4pm, and a final held on a weekday later in May. Training sessions introducing the subject matter will be held in the weeks before the competition at Monash University, Clayton Campus.

Preliminary rounds will take place in Building B, Monash University, Caulfield Campus, Sir John Monash Drive, Caulfield East (campus map).

The topics for the preliminary rounds will be:

Round 1: That Japan should acquire nuclear weapons
Round 2: That Australia should publicly criticise China’s treatment of human rights activists, regardless of the effect on its economy
Round 3: That Indonesia should introduce a one-child policy

Speaking times will be 5-7 minutes. Schools may enter up to two teams in the competition, mixed age group teams are allowed. Registration is charged at $55 per team.

A flyer can be downloaded here.

Please complete this form to register.

Registered students are invited to a training session on Wednesday 27 April in the G23 lecture theatre at 49 Rainforest Walk (Monash College building) at the Clayton campus of Monash University. The session will run from 5 PM to 7 PM.

Registrations must be received by 5pm Friday 22nd April.

If you have any enquiries about the competition, please email or the DAV office.