I thought as it had been quite a while since my last blog post, I would share an update about my research project. As with the last few posts the Covid-19 pandemic continues to hang around like a dark shadow over my project…Unfortunately, I have still not been able to go overseas to carry out any more research. I had planned to go to Australia but this has not happened and is not likely to happen for the foreseeable future. The last I heard the Australian government was not planning on opening up the country to non-Australian citizens or permanent residents for the rest of 2021…So, the original plan for my research project has essentially had to be put on hold.
However, I have tried to be creative in finding other ways to work on my research project 🙂 A prominent example of this is an overview article that I wrote based on the wonderful material that I was able to gather from my research trip to the United Kingdom last year, specifically at the British Library and the National Archives of the UK. I actually submitted it to a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary journal: the Journal of Australian, Canadian, and Aotearoa New Zealand Studies (JACANZS) (that I am the Editor-in-chief of) and I am pleased to say that after a double blind peer review which was handled by Dr. Ali Clark (as well as the whole editorial process) of the Editorial Board of the journal, it has been accepted for publication and it will be appearing in the inaugural issue of the journal in June 2021 🙂
I have also presented two conference papers online about my research project. The first was at the Korean Association for Canadian Studies Annual Conference in December 2020. This was the first time that I ever presented at a KACS Annual Conference and I really enjoyed the experience, especially the warm and friendly welcome from other participants 🙂
And the second was at the International Australian Studies Association (InASA) Biennial Conference at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in February 2021. In contrast to the KACS Annual Conference, this was the fourth time that I presented at the InASA Biennial Conference (having attended my first one in 2012, on that occasion in person at Monash University in Melbourne) and enjoyed it as always 🙂
My paper was received well at both conferences! People thought my project was exciting, ambitious, and well-designed. Some people also gave some useful feedback, in particular other types of sources that I could consult until I was able to carry out my major archival research overseas. One excellent suggestion was consulting Trove in Australia and Papers Past in Aotearoa New Zealand for newspaper articles. This was something that I had already actually started doing, but it was good for it to be reaffirmed by others 🙂
Something I mentioned during my two conference papers was that one of the blessings/curses of academia is that there are always other things you can work on, if you have to stop working on something for some reason. So, I have several other projects to keep me busy until people are allowed to travel again without having to quarantine. This includes the publication of the inaugural issue of JACANZS in June 2021, which I am very excited about 🙂 And I am also working on an edited collection with Dr. Iain Johnston-White on A History of the British World: New Voices and Perspectives, in which I also have a scholarly book chapter, as well as co-writing the introduction and conclusion. My Studies in Transnationalism book series with Peter Lang Publishing is due to have another volume published this month on Rethinking the Australian Dilemma: Economics and Foreign Policy, 1942-1957 by Dr. Bill Apter, which will be an excellent edition and I am very much looking forward to seeing in print 🙂 And there are also two other book proposals under review for the series (one of which is for my co-edited collection above), which I hope will also be published later this year.
I have been invited to give a seminar paper online on my last research project ‘The end of the British World and the redefinition of citizenship in Australia, Canada, and Aotearoa New Zealand, 1950s-1970’ in Australia in May. I have also had another proposal to give a paper about my current research project accepted at the Nordic Association for Canadian Studies (NACS) Biennial Conference which is due to take place at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark in August 2021, which will be the first time that I have ever presented at a NACS Biennial Conference as well. I am also waiting to hear back about proposals that I submitted to several other conferences, including the New Zealand Historical Association Biennial Conference, which will be taking place at Massey University in Palmerston North, Aotearoa New Zealand in November 2021.
So, I hope by my next update that the first article from my research project will be published, I will have several other forthcoming conference papers, and the situation with future travel will be clearer and so I can hopefully start to make some plans for research trips. Most importantly I am grateful for my health which should certainly not be taken for granted during these pandemic times.