Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies

Identity area

Type of entity

University unit

Authorized form of name

Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Research School of Pacific Studies

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1948 -

History

The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies was established in 1948 as the Research School of Pacific Studies, changing its name in 1994. It is Australia’s pre-eminent centre for research and postgraduate training in the Asia-Pacific region, with one of the largest concentrations of expertise in the world. Priority areas for research are Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Southwest Pacific. Research is multidisciplinary and is focused on anthropology, archaeology, economics, history, human geography, international relations, linguistics, political science, resource management and strategic defence studies. In 1947 New Zealander Raymond Firth, an anthropologist who had published widely on the Pacific and Southeast Asian region, was invited by the Interim University Council to act as the Academic Advisor for Pacific Studies with the hope that he would take on the job as Foundation Professor. Firth’s initial plans for the School of Pacific Studies were that it would have an emphasis on human studies and be concerned mainly with the Pacific Island territories for which Australia was responsible. In contrast to this, proposals put forward by Sir Frederick Eggleston to the Academic Advisory Committee, before Firth’s appointment, called for a school that was to also have an Asian focus and concentrate on political problems in the Pacific. In 1949 Firth resigned from the Academic Advisory Committee, deciding not to make the move permanently to Australia from England, giving Eggleston the opportunity to substitute a broader scope for the School including India, Southeast Asia, China and Japan. In mid-1949 Firth was persuaded to resume his role as Academic Advisor and made the initial appointments of chairs to Siegfried Frederick Nadel (Anthropology and Sociology), Walter Russell Crocker (International Relations), James Davidson (Pacific History), and Oskar Spate (Geography) and the appointments of Readers W.E.H. Stanner (Comparative Social Institutions) and C.P. Fitzgerald (Far Eastern History). Further departments were added: Economics (1960), Linguistics (1968), Prehistory (1969), and the New Guinea Research Unit (1961). The Geography Department reformed as two departments in 1968: Biogeography and Geomorphology, and Human Geography. Its name was changed to the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies in 1994, to reflect the balance of research activity in the School which had shifted significantly from the Pacific towards Asia.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

research; teaching

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

Directors
• Acting Director, Professor Raymond Firth: 1951 - 1952
• Dean, Professor Siegfried Nadel: 1952 - 1956
• Dean, Professor Oskar Spate: 1956 - 1957
• Dean, Professor James Davidson, 1957 - 1960
• Sir John Crawford: 1960 – 1967
• Professor Oskar Spate: 1967 – 1972
• Professor Anthony Low: 1973 – 1975
• Professor Wang Gungwu: 1975 – 1980
• Professor Gerard Ward: 1980 – 1993
• Professor Merle Ricklefs: 1993 – 1998
• Professor James Fox: 1998 – 2006
• Professor Robin Jeffrey: 2006 – 2008
• Professor Andrew MacIntyre: 2009 -

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

ANU Department of International Relations (1949 -)

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hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1949 - ?

Description of relationship

Related entity

ANU Division of Society and Environment (c 1991 - c 2006)

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hierarchical

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ANU Division of Pacific and Asian History (1949 -)

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hierarchical

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ANU Development Studies Centre (1975 - 1985)

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hierarchical

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ANU Department of Linguistics (1968 -)

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hierarchical

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ANU Department of Human Geography (1968 - 2009)

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hierarchical

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ANU Department of Anthropology and Sociology (c. 1949 -)

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temporal

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1949 - ?

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Related entity

Low, Donald Anthony (1927 - 2015)

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associative

Dates of the relationship

1973 - 1974

Description of relationship

Director

Related entity

Crozier, Dorothy Felice (1918 - 2001)

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Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1952 - 1973

Description of relationship

Related entity

Spate, Oskar Hermann Khristian (1911 - 2000)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1951 - 1976

Description of relationship

Professor of Geography 1951-1967; Director 1967-1972; Department of Pacific History 1972-1976

Related entity

Templeman, Ian (1938 - 2015)

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associative

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Crawford, John Grenfell (1910 - 1984)

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associative

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Ward, Ralph Gerard (1933 -)

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associative

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Davidson, James Wightman (1915 - 1973)

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associative

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Description of relationship

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Institution identifier

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Maggie Shapley 13 February 2013

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