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Curtin University of Technology
South Asia Research Unit


Exchange Programs

Australia-India Council Australian Studies Fellowships (2003): A consortium of Australian universities has been appointed by the Australia-India Council to implement the new Australia-India Council Fellowships in Australian Studies. Through the joint efforts of the South Asia Research Unit and the Australian Studies Centre, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin and La Trobe University will assume prime responsibility for the administration of this project and, along with Monash University and the University of Queensland, will participate in hosting the Visiting Fellows. It is intended that these fellowships will target both established Indian academics and postgraduate students from Indian tertiary institutions with a strong interest in Australian Studies. In 2003, up to six Fellowships will be made available to Indian scholars. Each fellowship will cover the air-fare between India and Australia, internal travel and a reasonable allowance for a stay in Australia of up to three months.

From 1992 to 1996 SARU managed the DEET-funded Australia-India exchange program for the School of Social Sciences which brought to Australia scholars from:

International and Institutional Cooperation

Electronic Access to Seminal Documents: rare, colonial, post-colonial: The world is ensnared in the legacies of 19th-century colonialism. Whether in international relations (e.g., the borders of Afghanistan) or critical theory (Edward Said and followers), the 'colonial project' affects our lives. Yet many seminal documents from which 'the colonial' grew are rare and seldom read, even by researchers. Using experience developed and used in earlier projects, this research project will identify a dozen such seminal documents from the British experience in South Asia, digitise them, index them, give them contextual notes and put them on the Web to enhance the access and understanding of Australian and international scholars. Chief investigator Professor Robin Jeffrey (La Trobe University), with associate investigators Professor John McGuire (Curtin University), Dr. Tim Allender (University of Sydney), and Professor Howard Brasted (University of New England) have received ARC LIEF Grant funding for 2003 for the project. The documents can be viewed at: Digital Colonial Documents.

Internationalising South Asian Scholarly Data: The successful bid for ARC (RIEF Grant) funding for Internationalising South Asian Scholarly Data will consolidate the links with Professor Lewis Lancaster and the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) Team at the University of California, Berkeley, and develop new relationships with scholars around the globe. In this project, researchers from Curtin, La Trobe, Monash, and New England will combine to create a facility that will help researchers working on South Asia to utilise data in highly productive ways. The bringing together of two initiatives: SouthAsiaNet and ECAI will provide an internationally streamlined technology that integrates South Asian scholarly data, and creates the means whereby data, not normally accessible, will be made available to scholars across the Internet from a common front-end software.

Globalising production and local impacts: changing business practices, labour organisation and local environments in export-oriented aquaculture in Bangladesh: This project has received a Large ARC Grant (for 2001-2003). Chief investigator Dr Bob Pokrant, with associate investigators Professor Peter Reeves (National University of Singapore) and Marilyn Rock will examine the impact of export-oriented aquaculture on business, labour, and the environment in Bangladesh. As Bangladesh's second highest foreign exchange earner, aquaculture is tied closely to global changes in consumer demand for cultured prawn products. These changes have involved the introduction of more intensive production methods, the emergence of new work forces in production, processing and marketing, and changes in local land and aquatic environments. The project combines an historical and multi-sited ethnographic approach to understand how globalising strategies are shaping how work, production and environment are being discursively, politically and economically linked and transformed in Bangladesh.

South Asia: Renovating the National Collection: in 1996-97 SARU was Curtin's representative in the consortium which received Australian Research Council Research, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (RIEF) grants worth $525,000 which supported the 'South Asia: Renovating the National Collection' project. This project has resulted in the construction of the South Asia Resources Database, and an extensive acquisition program designed to fill identified gaps in the national collection and made possible a visit of nine Australian librarians to South Asia to provide the basis for collaboration with South Asian colleagues. Curtin, through SARU, was the leader of the 1996 program and will continue for the next 5 years to support the continuation of the development of the Database which will be sited at Curtin. SARU is now exploring possible links with the proposed United States' South Asia Database.

From its inception SARU has been involved in the editorial board of the Asian Studies Association's 'South Asia Publications Series' and from 1996 it has been coupled with the South Asian Studies Association on the editorial board for the series on 'Contemporary South Asia' published by Sage in New Delhi (and also the UK and US).

Since 1993 SARU has been Curtin's representative on the consortium of 8 universities which is responsible for The National Centre for South Asian Studies which is headquartered in Melbourne.


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