2010 Research Fellows

Dr Ruth BalintProject: The Immigrant and Postwar Australia

Ruth Balint

The Immigrant and Postwar Australia

This project aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the ways in which audiovisual media participated in Australia’s post-Second World War mass immigration program.

Ruth is currently a Lecturer in the School of History and Philosophy, University of New South Wales. She is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and author. Among her current research interests are: Immigration to Australia from Eastern Europe in the post-Second World War era, and Documentary and the possibilities for historical knowledge of the audiovisual archive.

Dr David Lawrence

Dr David Lawrence

Completing the Circle: ‘reading’ the story behind a century of images from the Torres Strait and the Fly River 1898-1998.

1 February-30 April

The aim of this project is to analyse a century of images, both film and photographic, from the Torres Strait and the Fly River region and to document the historical, social and political narrative behind those images in the NFSA collection.

David is a Visiting Fellow at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University. His book Gunnar Landtman in Papua: 1910-1912, a study of the Finnish anthropologist who made the most significant study of Kiwai-Papuan culture, has just been released by ANU E-press.

Professor Anne Boyd

Professor Anne Boyd

KABBARLI – a collaborative opera on Daisy Bates.

1-28 March

Anne is preparing an experimental music theatre piece/opera linking Indigenous and non-Indigenous urban perspectives on the legendary and highly contentious figure of Daisy Bates (1863-1951). This will be performed at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2011 as part of its centennial season called ’101 Composition Projects’.

Anne is Pro Dean (Academic) Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. She is a composer, author and lecturer in music. She is the subject of the award-winning feature documentary by Bob Connolly, Facing the Music (2001) which she will introduce during her residency at the NFSA.

Associate Professor Mick Broderick

Associate Professor Mick Broderick

Critical Masses: repurposing the Maralinga atomic test archive for in situ augmented reality, serious games and digital tourism

1-26 November

This is a multi-disciplinary pilot project that aims to graphically represent and mediate the histories, spaces and narratives concerning former nuclear installations within central Australia. Mick is Associate Professor of Media Analysis and Research Coordinator in the School of Media, Communications and Culture at Murdoch University.

He is an author, curator and media maker.

Robert Cettl

Mr Robert Cettl

Always an Other? Representations of Disability in Australian Film

5 April-28 May

The project involves an analysis of Australian feature film from the early 1970s to the present day for its representation of disability and disabled people. The project is informed by the growing politicisation of the Disability Movement and seeks to apply the union of film and disability study, begun in the USA by such figures as Professor Paul K Longmore, to the distinctiveness of Australian Film Culture.

A qualified librarian and archivist, Robert is an Adelaide-based experimental filmmaker and freelance author whose latest work of film scholarship is Terrorism in American Cinema, the first analytical filmography of terrorism as a genre (published in the USA by McFarland & Co. Inc). His work on disability and film study was awarded a 2009 Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability Trust Grant through Arts-SA.

His research interests include the history and aesthetics of Erotic Film.

Dr David Goodman

Dr David Goodman
5-9 April 2010


Professor Susan Smulyan
1-30 June 2010

The Stories of Mary Marlin and Australia’s Hybrid Radio Broadcasting

This is a collaboration by Australian historian David Goodman with American scholar Susan Smulyan looking at the hitherto unexplored, but important, connections and differentiations between US and Australian radio. Examining the classic American radio series of the 1930s, The Story of Mary Marlin, the authors will investigate 'the retro-fitting of American-created content for performance by Australian actors on Australian radio stations’. With just a few word changes, place names, slang, holidays and courtroom procedures, situations and listeners could instantly be transported from the USA to Australia. The authors propose to examine some 500 scripts of The Story of Mary Marlin in the NFSA collection.

David is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Melbourne. He is an award-winning author, his book Radio’s Public: The Civic Ambition of 1930s American Radio will be published by the New York division of Oxford University Press. His biding research interest is in the history of US and Australian radio.

Professor Susan Smulyan

Susan is a Professor in the Department of American Civilization at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. She has three degrees, including a PhD in American Studies from Yale. Susan has written widely on American Popular Culture, and early US radio broadcasting. Her current interests include: media history, particularly radio, from a transnational perspective; popular culture; and advertising.

The collaboration between David and Susan began when she taught as an Arts Faculty Visiting International Scholar at the University of Melbourne in early 2009. They are now keen to extend their initial research and collaboration by looking at this intersection between the Australian and US commercial radio systems.

Dr Lesley Speed

Dr Lesley Speed

Make us Smile: Australian Comedy film’s early peak and its challenges to cultural values in the 1930s

28 June-16 July

This project examines Australian feature-length comedy films produced from 1931 to 1940, the first decade of Australian talking films. It aims to expand knowledge of the genre’s significance in Australian cinema, and to explore and qualify the notion that recent decades of Australian comedy owe little to film development before the Second World War. 'The fact that Australian comedies of the 1930s have received little attention from film scholars indicates the nationalist prejudices of much Australian film scholarship (which) frequently denigrates comedy as a “low” or lightweight genre, when in fact it can draw positive attention to and challenge ideas of cultural value.’ Lesley plans a book outcome for her NFSA research.

Lesley is a lecturer in Humanities (Film and Literature) at the University of Ballarat. Among her other research interests are: the representation of youth subcultures and social difference in film; contemporary Hollywood cinema; cultural value and popular value; screen comedy in Australia, the USA and in the UK.

Ms Virginia Fraser

Women as producers, entrepreneurs and technicians in the first 20 years of Australian cinema

1 – 30 June 2010

This project draws attention to the considerable role women played as proprietors, entrepreneurs, producers, directors, writers, technicians and innovators in the development and promotion of Australian film in its first two decades.

After nearly 20 years of jointly producing films and art work, in 2004 Virginia Fraser produced her MA thesis, 'Collaboration, Attribution and Figure of the Artist’, which took a close look at unstable attributions that changed over time.

A peer reviewer for Dictionary of Australian Artists Online, Virginia is also an artist, video-maker and writer.

Dan Torre

Mr Dan Torre

Process and Pragmatism in Early Australian Animation Productions

11 October-17 December

The aim of this project is to investigate early Australian animation and to contextualise its development into the broader context of international advancements in animation production. Having conducted close to 50 interviews with Australian animators, he hopes that a comprehensive history of Australian animation may emerge from his NFSA research.

Dan is a lecturer at RMIT University, Melbourne. He has submitted his PhD thesis, 'Processing the Animated Documentary’, to the University of Melbourne. Dan is a director, curator and documentary filmmaker. Among his research interests are the theory and production of Animation, Australian Animation, New Media, Digital Cinema, Early Media and Documentary Process Philosophy.


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