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ADI congratulates three new DECRA Fellows

ADI congratulates three new DECRA Fellows

From Australian coastlines to the Middle East, three new projects led by ADI researchers cover ancient history to modern-day digital practices. These three new projects have been awarded funding under the ARC DECRA scheme, a component of the Discovery scheme that is awarded to promising early career researchers.

Among successful ADI researchers was Dr Dara Conduit with her project ‘Digital authoritarian practices and the 21st century autocrat’.  The project will examine the emerging digital practices of authoritarian regimes, particularly in Syria and Iran, to generate new knowledge on authoritarianism. It seeks to understand whether ‘digital authoritarianism’ is a new and distinct phenomenon, or simply a shift of offline authoritarian practices into the online space. The project will produce a new understanding of technology’s impacts on autocratic agendas and generate data that supports effective national security policy.

Dr Jason Gibson also won funding, for his project ‘After the return: understanding re-engagements with Aboriginal collections’. Investigating the dynamic ways that repatriated cultural collections are re-integrated back into the lives of Aboriginal individuals and communities in Central Australia, this will be the first systematic study of the mid- to long-term consequences of repatriation.

Dr Gibson’s project aims to discover how repatriation policies and practices might be better developed, implemented and resourced. The project is designed to provide significant benefits to Indigenous communities and wider Australia through the elevation of Indigenous perspectives and the production of community resources. It will also benefit the museum sector by developing insights into the effects of repatriation and enable the design of new policy frameworks.

The third DECRA recipient is Dr Billy Griffiths, with his project ‘Shadow continent: submerged histories from Sahul’. This project will investigate the cultural and environmental histories of Australia’s drowned coastlines and what they reveal about past and future sea-level rise in the Australian region.

Drawing on scientific understandings of the ancient continent of Sahul, it expects to generate new knowledge about environmental change and people–sea relationships. The project will enhance capacity to build disciplinary collaborations in the fields of history, heritage and archaeology and establishing the first historical overview of Sahul. It will also provide recommendations to protect and manage Australia’s underwater cultural heritage and advance public knowledge of Australia’s deep human history.

These 3-year projects will begin in 2022 and promise to deliver significant knowledge to key areas of political science, history and heritage, and museum studies.


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