Distinguished Australian Academics Appointed Visiting Professor in Australian Studies, University of Tokyo
Leading Australian scholars Professor Rodney Smith and Professor Nicholas Brown have been appointed to the annual Visiting Professor in Australian Studies position at the Centre for Pacific and American Studies (CPAS), University of Tokyo, for 2023–24 and 2024–25 terms respectively.
Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Chair of the Selection Committee and Executive Dean of the College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania, said the appointment of leading scholars in Australian Studies to the prestigious University of Tokyo ‘plays a pivotal role is essential to developing Australia-Japan relations and educational exchanges’.
About the appointees:
Rodney Smith (2023-24) is a Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. His research and teaching at the University of Tokyo will extend his previous work on the Australian political party system by comparing the challenges faced by long-established major parties in Australia and Japan, and their contemporary responses.
Professor Smith is the first political scientist to take up the Visiting Professor of Australian Studies this century and he aims to use it to strengthen connections between Japanese and Australian scholars in the social sciences. He said, ‘it will provide an exciting opportunity to introduce Japanese students to the ways in which Australian political values, institutions and processes have shaped policy responses to the critical challenges of our time, such as climate change, aging populations, new technologies, the legacies of colonialism and regional security’.
Nicholas Brown (2024-25) is a Professor in the School of History at the Australian National University. His research and teaching at the University of Tokyo will build on his existing expertise in Australian and international history, examining the history of Australian and Japanese efforts in building multilateral cooperation in the Pacific and beyond.
Professor Brown aims to use the appointment to strengthen connections between Japanese and Australian scholars, using his links with policy and government to highlight common issues of how nations adjust to economic, social, political and strategic transition. He said, ‘my time in Tokyo will offer a rich opportunity to deepen my appreciation of the Japanese perspective on these processes, to explain something of the Australian experience of them, and to contribute to an appreciation of points of intersection. These are very much matters of histories informing the present’.
The Professor of Australian Studies position at the University of Tokyo is supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation (AJF), and the selection process managed with assistance from the International Australian Studies Association (InASA). Applications for the 2025-26 and 2026-27 terms for the Visiting Professorship will open in mid-2024.