Humanities Academy President will head ACU’s new Humanities Institute

Professor Joy Damousi FASSA FAHA has been appointed as the Director of ACU’s new Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences.

One of the country’s most distinguished historians and public intellectuals, Professor Damousi is an outstanding leader in the humanities in Australia and internationally.

She is the President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, President of the Australian Historical Association, and has previously served as the chair of Humanities and Creative Arts panels for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts.

Professor Damousi is an award-winning scholar of memory and war, the history of emotions, and migration history in relation to refugees, humanitarianism and internationalism.

Her research has attracted over $5 million in competitive ARC funding. In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship to study the history of child refugees in Australia and Australia’s international role in refugee and migration issues throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Professor Damousi’s scholarship has been recognised with a number of awards, including the Ernest Scott Prize for Freud in the Antipodes: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in Australia (2005). Twice shortlisted for the NSW Premier History Awards for her books The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (1999) and Colonial Voices: A Cultural History of English in Australia 1840-1940 (2010), Professor Damousi was also recently shortlisted for the Ernest Scott Prize for her monograph, Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia's Greek Immigrants After World War II and the Greek Civil War (2015). 

Professor Damousi has co-edited international volumes on the history of emotions (Bloomsbury) and history of violence (Cambridge University Press). She serves as board member of leading journals, including Gender and History, and holds advisory and committee positions on public libraries, museums, archives, and funding bodies.

Professor Damousi joins ACU from the University of Melbourne, where she has been Professor of History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies in the Faculty of Arts. She brings extensive research leadership, scholarly excellence, and public engagement to the role of Director of the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences.

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