"Looking Back to Look Forwards"

10th - 14th December 2012


The Australian Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona, Spain, and The Centre for Peace and Social Justice of Southern Cross University, Australia, coordinate this international science seminar. The Australian Studies Centre has been committed to organising congresses in Spain and Australia together with a range of Australian academic institutions since 2000. The Centre for Peace and Social Justice hosted the 2006 international congress Landscapes of Exile: Australia Once Perilous Now Safe at Southern Cross University together with the Australian Studies Centre, and the international congresses Food for Thought (2010) and Pacific Solutions (2011) at the University of Barcelona.


About a hundred professionals, mostly scholars and some literary authors and visual artists, are personally invited by the organizing team to participate in Looking Back to Look Forwards, catering for contributions that look with a critical eye to the past to draw lessons for the future within the widest scope of Australian or other subject matter. The primary objective of the event is to exchange and share research by Spanish, Australian and other international scholars and teams in the field of Australian Studies, especially from a Postcolonial and Cultural Studies perspective. We also encourage topic-related contributions from outside these confining parameters so as to cater for academic plurality. The theme Looking Back to Look Forwards aims to group together a variety of related lines of research, emphasise the interdisciplinarity of Cultural and Postcolonial Studies, and cater for scholars and professionals in the fields of Humanities and Social Sciences.


The 2012 event aims for interdisciplinary communication with a programme ranging from Environmental and Sustainability Studies to Creative Writing. In previous congresses, in which the Australian Studies Centre actively participated, the following subjects were addressed: Oral History, Prison Population Studies, Ecology, Geology, Film Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Theology, Spanish Civil War Studies, Ethnology, Archaeology, Indigenous Studies, Whiteness Studies, Queer Studies, Refugee Studies, Health Science, African Studies, Human Rights, Climatology Studies etc.


As is usual with the congresses organised by the ASC, Looking Back to Look Forwards is devised as a small but serious and select event, without parallel sessions so that a maximum audience is guaranteed for each single session, within a continuous interdisciplinary context. The Aula Magna of the university building is therefore the venue chosen for all sessions.

The congress format is a mix of 60-minute key notes (45 min lecture by a specialist plus 15 minutes of debate); 75-minute panels with three 20-minute presentations and 15 minutes of debate, the preferred format; 95 minute panels with four 20 minute papers and 15 minutes of debate and 90-minute round tables with four 15-minute papers and 30 minutes of debate. Contributors are kindly asked to compose their own panels and round tables and present their abstracts in a coordinated way. A more detailed theme sheet will be made available in mid January 2012 and put up on the web site.



The convenors: 


Dr Susan Ballyn (UB)

Dr Martin Renes (UB)

Prof. Baden Offord (SCU)


Conference Secretary:

Dra Isabel Alonso (UB)


The Centre of Australian Studies

University of Barcelona




The Centre for Peace and Social Justice,

Southern Cross University


UPDATED: 17/02/2012