School of Philosophical, Historical & International Studies

  • Monash researcher wins esteemed history scholarship Mia SpizzicaA prestigious scholarship supporting archival history has been awarded to PhD candidate Mia Spizzica. Ms Spizzica received the grant for her exploration of pre-war Italian migrants during the Second World War. Her research focuses on how the migrants were affected by Australia’s internment policies throughout the war. The scholarship was conferred by the National Archives
  • Monash Philosophy on ABC Radio: What is it to dream? IMAGE: PUZZLING, OPAQUE AND OFTEN BIZARRE: AN ENCOMPASSING PHILOSOPHICAL TREATISE OF DREAMING HAS PROVED AS ELUSIVE AS THE TARGET ITSELF. LINK TO LARGER IMAGE. (DREAMING BY MOYAN BRENN/FLICKR.COM/CC-BY-2.0)Dreams—we all have them, even if we do forget them. But what are they exactly? Aristotle gave it some thought. And they certainly became serious business for Rene Descartes who, for a while, lost his epistemic equilibrium over the very idea. Understandable, as dreaming brings up a bunch of deeply philosophical matters that remain largely unresolved—from the
  • Film screening: The Maelstrom, part of Translating Pain conference Translating PainThis week, Monash is hosting the Translating Pain Conference, which will explore how pain, a universal human experience, often eludes description, definition and translation. As part of of the program, Monash is hosting a screening of The Maelstrom : A Family Chronicle – Film Screening. Following the screening of The Maelstrom: A Family Chronicle (Peter Forgacs,
  • Out of Israel: Ausraelis re-invent the diasporic identity Ran Poratby Ran Porat, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies (SoPHIS) Approximately 15,000 Israelis live in Australia, mostly in Melbourne and Sydney. Almost all of them are Jews and they constitute around 12% of the 120,000-strong Australian Jewish community. Yet several factors and recent developments give “Ausraelis” (Australian-resident Israelis) an importance that outweighs their numbers. The first
  • The ethics of ‘gifted’ genes: the road to Gattaca? Julian Savulescuby Julian Savulescu Recent research out of the UK has identified a genetic “general academic achievement factor”. Using identical twin studies, they found achievement across a wide range of academic subjects was influenced by many of the same genes: This shared genetic influence is, to a large extent, independent of intelligence This means that it’s largely
  • MAI-Australasian Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy (ASACP) 2015 Conference ImageMonash Asia Institute and Monash University  have the pleasure of hosting the Australasian Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy  (ASACP) 2015 Conference ASIAN PERSPECTIVES ON MIND, ACTION and CULTIVATION Is it possible that by engaging Western and Eastern philosophy, we can reach a new understanding of the nature of reality, mind, and human action? This conference explores these and other questions and presents
  • Political rhetoric makes a parody of remembrance Bruce-Scatesby Bruce Scates Narratives of nationhood too often blind us to the futility of Gallipoli – and World War I. Gallipoli. Few campaigns of World War I promised so much and delivered so little. Australian and New Zealand troops never took the high ground of the peninsula. An Allied fleet never forced the Dardanelles. There was no
  • Get literate in myth, religion and theology Constant Mewsby Constant Mews Myth and religion are terms re-entering public debate in Australia. Certainly, myth is a notion still often used in a pejorative sense, to evoke a fantastical story that serves to legitimate particular interests. Yet – as retellings of the Gallipoli story reveal – there is a growing awareness that any community, whether a
  • Lecture Series by Professor David Engel: The Holocaust in Changing Retrospect Engel-pic1Don and Sonia Marejn Lectures presents a three part lecture series by Professor David Engel (NYU) in 2015, who is visiting the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation in March as a visiting scholar. This series will look at how new new research can alter the way the Holocaust is understood. Lectures: Anne Frank’s Family: Between Europe and America Monday 9 March,
  • ‘Drought-proofing’ Perth: the long view of Western Australian water Dr-Ruth-Morganby Ruth Morgan When he visited Perth in 2012, Arizona water specialist Robert Glennon remarked: “I expected a dry city on the driest continent would be at the cutting edge of water conservation and instead I’m hearing stories about groundwater wells in everyone’s backyard and everyone has a lush lawn.” Had he known the state’s water
  • Victorian Model United Nations comes to Monash vic-mun-logoMonash University is hosting the Victorian Model United Nations (VicMUN 2015) this year. The model conference will run from Wednesday 11th February – Friday 13th February, and is held at Clayton Campus. There will also be social events every evening of the conference, where participants will be able to mingle and network with delegates from all
  • Illusion aids understanding of autism bioethicsNew research could lead to a better understanding of how the brain works in people with autism. There is an enormous disease burden from autism, and little is known about the cognitive processes involved. Researchers from Monash University and Deakin University looked at new theories of autism that focused on the way in which the brain combines
  • Australia, a place of belonging and pride – and some telltale fractures 54f52a167c90fa6581dcee58c14d2aa9_n (1)by Andrew Markus Every year, come January 26, Australia Day revives the annual dialogue around notions of national identity, our values and what it means to be Australian. It’s an opportune time to reflect on the findings of Australia’s largest national survey of attitudes to our way of life, cultural diversity and social cohesion. The Scanlon Foundation’s
  • Monash social scientists recognised e5066db0fde367be2016e31eabc2ebac_nFour Monash social scientists have been recognised for their distinguished achievements and exceptional contributions by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA). Professor Bruce Scates from the National Centre for Australian Studies, Professor Alistair Thomson from the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Professor Lisa Cameron from the Monash Centre for Development Economics, and
  • Public lecture: Can morality be manipulated? Julian SavulescuA world leader in practical ethics will discuss human moral limitations and their impact on some of the greatest problems of the 21st century at a free Monash event next week. Guest speaker Professor Julian Savulescu, will argue that climate change, terrorism and global poverty are the result of limitations in human decision-making at a public
  • Monash on ABC’s ‘The Philosopher’s Zone’ rob-sparrow-smAssociate Professor Rob Sparrow, currently part of Monash’s School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, recently joined a discussion with Jai Galliot and Brent Franklin on ABC’s ‘The Philosopher’s Zone’. ‘A Space Mess’: “The Virgin Galactic tragedy over the sands of the Mojave is a reminder that a new space race is on in earnest. Unlike
  • Continuity and change: Australian opinion in a time of stress and fear 1fec0480bcb21669640501955e0b1805_nby Andrew Markus The report on the 2014 Scanlon Foundation Mapping Social Cohesion surveys, released on Wednesday, finds both continuity and change. On attitudes to asylum seekers, for example, there is a large measure of continuity. While there has been some weakening of strongly held views, those supporting eligibility for permanent settlement for boat arrivals remain
  • Immigration and multiculturalism get the tick Social CohesionStrong public support form Australia’s immigration intake, and the benefits of multiculturalism are two of the findings of the 2014 Mapping Social Cohesion Report, released today. The report, by Monash University’s Professor Andrew Markus from the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies and produced by the Scanlon Foundation, is Australia’s largest study of social cohesion, attitudes to
  • Antidepressants may be no better than a placebo, so why take them? 97cd626968d026b639f0ef4a23c93464_nby Paul Biegler Seventeenth-century Oxford scholar Robert Burton’s lifework,The Anatomy of Melancholy, weighs in at a door-stopping 1,400 pages. But his cure for the “Black Choler” of depression came down to just six words: “Be not solitary, be not idle.” Writing today, he might add: “And maybe take a placebo.” Placebos are sham treatments that work even
  • First prize for SOPHIS student in ‘3 Minute Honours Thesis’ competition A Cusin_internInternational Studies honours student Alannah Cusin has taken first prize in the Arts Faculty’s recent ‘3 Minute Honours Thesis’ competition, which saw students from across the faculty racing against the clock to explain their thesis topics in 3 minutes. Alannah’s thesis, entitled ‘Remembering Dismemberment: The Politics of Memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ examines the politics of
  • ‘Medieval’ makes a comeback in modern politics. What’s going on? Clare Monagleby Clare Monagle and Louise D’Arcens According to Hansard, in the parliament of John Howard’s first term of government the adjective “medieval” was used eight times. In the following term, however, it cropped up 46 times. What happened? Why did our members and senators suddenly need to describe things as medieval? What happened was 9/11. The spectacle
  • Glimpses of Indigenous empowerment emerge from archives Baldwin Spencer seated with the Arrernte elders, Alice Springs, Central Australia, 1896.European colonisation is portrayed mostly as an era of brutal subjugation of Indigenous peoples, but new studies show the cultural engagement may not always have been quite so one-sided. Monash University historian Professor Lynette Russell is leading a project that is investigating the vast archives generated by an early 20th-century expedition to Australia by members of
  • Internship Opportunity: Australian Embassy in Berlin admin-ajaxThe Australian Embassy in Berlin is calling for applications from undergraduate students, postgraduate students or recent graduates expressing an interest in undertaking an internship at the Embassy.  The Internship will cover the period January – March 2015.  Applications for this period close on Sunday, 14 September 2014. A copy of the Embassy’s announcement may be accessed
  • Monash becomes WHO Collaborating Centre for Bioethics bioethicsMonash University’s Centre for Human Bioethics will play a key role in how the world responds to infectious diseases – including public health emergencies of international concern such as the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Officially designated as a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Bioethics, the Centre will support WHO in awareness-raising and capacity-building activities
  • Take time out to to hear Monash authors in conversation Literary-Studies It is scarcely possible to pass an hour in honest conversation, without being able, when we rise from it, to please ourselves with having given or received some advantages. Samuel Johnson, 1750 It has sometimes been lamented that the Clayton campus has not developed as a place where people regularly come to relax and enjoy themselves, in
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