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An Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Project (2015-2020) based in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Social Sciences, of The Australian National University

Project Leader & Laureate Fellow: Matthew Spriggs. Postdoctoral Fellows: Emilie Dotte-Sarout & Hilary Howes



In histories of world archaeology the Pacific and Island Southeast Asia are essentially absent. This project seeks nothing less than to create a new sub-field within Pacific archaeology: the serious study of its history from its beginnings in the speculations of early European and American explorers on the origins of Pacific peoples, to its growth spurt and professionalisation following World War II.

The Laureate project has as a long-term vision to establish the ANU as a world centre for the study of the history of Pacific, Southeast Asian and Australian archaeology, and as a major centre for the history of archaeology more generally. The Laureate Program is the necessary springboard for this wider aim.

CBAP personnel currently consist of the Laureate Fellow, the two Postdoctoral Fellows, a Project Manager/Research Assistant, four PhD scholars, and two associate researchers, as well as a wider international network of project associates.

We are seeking suitably qualified postgraduate students to join the CBAP team. While we would entertain any PhD topics that relate to the wider aims of the Project, we are particularly seeking students to undertake research on the following two topics:

  •  Ÿ The history of the use of ethnographic analogies derived from the Pacific in European and American archaeological explanations and their continuing salience today despite challenges to their appropriateness.
  •  Ÿ The history of archaeology in Papua New Guinea and its contribution to Australian imaginings of that former colonial territory and its people.

We would encourage potential students to contact us about these topics and to consider applying for Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) or other relevant scholarships to be taken up at the ANU. Contact Matthew.Spriggs@anu.edu.au in the first instance. Outstanding domestic and New Zealand students are eligible to apply for APA scholarships commencing in 2017, with a deadline for applications of 31st October. APA scholarships are worth $26,288 per year and the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Arts and Social Sciences provides extra support for fieldwork. This is augmented by dedicated CBAP funding for fieldwork, conference attendance and other support from ARC and ANU sources. Suitable backgrounds for pursuing these topics would be in archaeology, history, heritage and museum studies and other related fields. More information on scholarships available to national and international students can be found in the ANU 2017 Post-Graduate Student Guide.


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