5 December 2012

Three University of Queensland academics specialising in cultural studies, theatre history and music were among 22 leading scholars elected this month as Fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Professor Gay Hawkins, Professor Veronica Kelly and Dr Samantha Owens were elected by their peers to the Academy, which is dedicated to advancing excellence in the humanities to benefit the nation.

UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Høj congratulated the new UQ fellows.

“This is one of the highest honours available for achievement in the humanities in Australia,” Professor Høj said.

“It also reflects the esteem in which they are held by their peers in Australia and internationally.”

The Academy has more than 500 elected fellows who are leaders and experts in human behaviour and culture.

With the three additions to the Academy, UQ’s Faculty of Arts now boasts 25 fellows, including:

• Emeritus Professor P Almond
• Professor D Carter
• Emeritus Professor C Condren
• Associate Professor A Corkhill
• Associate Professor H M Creese
• Emeritus Professor P M Cryle
• Professor F B D'Agostino
• Emeritus Professor R Elson
• Emeritus Professor R Fotheringham
• Emeritus Professor N Gottlieb
• Professor G Hawkins
• Emeritus Professor J Hay
• Emeritus Professor I Hunter
• Professor V Kelly
• Emeritus Professor M Lattke
• Professor C Moore
• Emeritus Professor J Moorhead
• Professor T O'Regan
• Dr S Owens
• Professor G Turner
• Associate Professor J Whitehorne

The Academy’s areas of research includes: archaeology; Asian studies; classical studies; cultural and communication studies; English; European languages and cultures; history; linguistics; philosophy, religion and the history of ideas; and the arts.

Gay Hawkins

Professor Gay Hawkins is a Professorial Research Fellow and the Director of UQ’s Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies.

Her current ARC project ‘The skin of commerce’ investigates the role of plastic packaging in the construction of food security, waste and consumer activism in Australia.
Professor Hawkins continues to play a key role in developing Australian cultural studies. From her first book,From Nimbin to Mardi Gras: Constructing Community Arts (1993) to her latest, Plastic Water (forthcoming) Gay has madesubstantial and original contributions to cultural theory and policy, both in Australia and internationally.

Her other books, Culture and Waste (edited with Stephen Muecke, 2002) and The Ethics of Waste (2006), explored the cultural and ethical significance of waste and contributed to the formulation of a culturally informed environmental politics.

Her other well-known publications include: Packaging water: plastic bottles as market and public devices (2011), Bottled Water Practices: reconfiguring drinking in Bangkok households (2011), and The SBS Story: The Challenge of Cultural Diversity (2008, with Ien Ang FAHA and Lamia Dabboussy).

Veronica Kelly

Professor Kelly has crafted a distinguished career as a researcher of nineteenth-century and contemporary Australian Drama. She was recently awarded a prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship, allowing her to research British-Australian Cultural exchange through live performances during 1880 – 1960.

For decades, Professor Kelly’s intellectual endeavours have focused on lass, gender, imperial and ‘Australian’ identifications, both through theatre as an industry and as modelled by popular theatrical stars.

She has made a valuable contribution to the scholarship of Australian theatre and drama by founding and editing (with Professor Richard Fotheringham) the journal Australasian Drama Studies in 1982. Professor Kelly’s current research activities include the Ausstage database, a unique resource for researchers.

Her publications include The Empire Actors: Stars of Australasian Costume Drama 1890s-1920s (2010); Impact of the Modern: Vernacular Modernities in Australia 1870s-1960s (2008, with Professor Robert Dixon); The Theatre of Louis Nowra.

Samantha Owens

Dr Samantha Owens is a senior lecturer in musicology and an Associate Investigator with the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions.

She has also been one of the first writers in English to provide published information on music in the largely neglected German genre of the Singballett.

In addition to holding aHumboldt Fellowship, Dr Owens has been awarded fellowships at the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel and at Clare Hall, the University of Cambridge.

Her publications include Music at German Courts, 1715-1760: Changing Artistic Priorities (2011, co-edited with Barbara M. Reul and Janice B. Stockigt); and Johann Sigismund Kusser, Adonis (2009).

Dr Owens also lectures in music history, historical performance practice and musicological research methodology, and is a baroque oboist.

Media: Belinda Berry, 61 7 3365 3439.