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Leading SCU academic wins Tokyo University appointment


Zoe Satherley
1 June 2010
Dr Baden Offord, a Lismore-based leading Australian humanities scholar, has been appointed as the Chair of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo.

A highly awarded academic, Associate Professor Offord is co-director of the Southern Cross University Centre for Peace and Social Justice and lectures in cultural and Australian studies in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.

His 10-month appointment as Visiting Professor in Australian Studies, Centre for Pacific and American Studies, starts on October 1 this year. The only other university Chair in the field of Australian Studies is at Harvard University in the US.

Professor Offord said the Chair “offers a wonderful opportunity to include Japan in my current study of higher education, pedagogy, and global citizenship. I also plan to do research on Australia-Japan relations through an investigation of the impact and effects of the sister city relationship between Lismore and Yamato-Takada.”

The competitive and highly prestigious annual appointment has been awarded to leading senior scholars of international repute across the humanities and social sciences since the late 1980s.

Funded by the University of Tokyo, the position is strongly supported by the Australia-Japan Foundation and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in recognition of the importance of the Australia-Japan relationship.

Dr Offord’s role will include teaching undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Tokyo and developing research in collaboration with Japanese scholars, as well as contributing to institutional links between Southern Cross University and the Japanese university sector.

He will also be involved in high level engagement with Australian Studies scholars and networks throughout Japan.

“I see my appointment as a huge endorsement of the teaching and research we do at Southern Cross University in the arts, humanities and social sciences,” said Professor Offord.

Photo: Dr Baden Offord, who has just been appointed Chair of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo.