ECDI Update: December 2021 activities

This is a monthly update about the Evolution of Cultural Diversity Initiative (ECDI) activities and upcoming events.




  • ​For the Summer Scholar project on the Massim region of Papua New Guinea, Jeremiah and Jay have been exploring language contact from different perspectives: reassessing small-scale case studies of contact-induced language change; and undertaking broad-scale comparison of vocabulary for evidence of layers of loan words. Following a workshop with Ben Shaw, we have extended our research questions to test linguistically some of the hypotheses of social contact between Austronesian and non-Austronesian speakers based on the archaeological evidence.
Summer scholars meeting with Bethwyn Evans on zoom to discuss project


Workshops & Conferences

Festival of Indigenous Languages, Endangered Languages Project 
14 – 23 January, 2022 
Join the virtual gathering to celebrate the start of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2023. Save the date, more details to come. 

Indigenous Research Discovery Workshop – State Library of Queensland 
22 – 25 February 2022 
The Indigenous Research Discovery Workshop (Tuesday 22 February – Friday 25 February 2022) is a five-day workshop experience giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants an opportunity to research and discover collections that support their language journey, and possibly with other members of their language group. The workshop is aimed at language workers and community members who are currently working/have an interest in traditional languages and are supporting language revival programs in communities. State Library staff provide personalised assistance and guidance over the course of the workshop. Contact Olivia Robinson for more information. 

Deep Histories of Oceania
joint ANU-French workshop series, 2020-2021, funded by an Australian-French Association for Research and Innovation (AFRAN) Initiative Grant.



PhD Fellowships 2022, The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS)  
Deadline: 7 January 2022 
The IMPRS for Language Sciences invites applications for THREE fellowships, two of which that are funded by the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and one by the Language Development Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. The goal of the scheme is to enable young researchers to pursue interdisciplinary research projects in the language sciences, supervised by leading scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics and its partner institutes at the Radboud University – the Centre for Language Studies and the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour. Find more information and apply here

MindCORE Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, The University of Pennsylvania  
Deadline: 10 January 2022 
MindCORE seeks to recruit outstanding postdoctoral researchers for our Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral Scholars. Housed within the School of Arts and Sciences of the University of Pennsylvania, MindCORE is an interdisciplinary effort to understand human intelligence and behavior. Designed for individuals who have recently obtained a PhD degree in psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, computer science or other cognitive science discipline, the MindCORE Fellowship is a springboard for young researchers as they establish their own research program. Fellows are also encouraged to pursue collaborative research with faculty working across disciplines at Penn. Find more information and apply here

Indigenous Knowledge Fellow, University of Melbourne 
Deadline: 21 January 2022 
This position presents a unique opportunity for a mid-career or senior Knowledge Holder, Traditional Owner, and/or Ceremonial Leader to work as a Fellow of the Indigenous Knowledge Institute at the University of Melbourne. Reporting to the IKI Director, as an IKI Fellow, you will be supported to develop and undertake a focused two-year program of research to realise your vision for advancing Indigenous knowledge scholarship and exchanges. Find more information here

Hank Nelson Memorial Endowment 
Deadline: 30 April 2022 
The Hank Nelson Memorial Endowment was established by family and friends of the historian Hank Nelson to honour his memory and his commitment to Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Endowment now offers the third Hank Nelson Prize, of AUD$1000, for the best PhD thesis submitted by any student, internationally, on any aspect of PNG’s history or society. Find more information here and make a submission here.  




Ballard, C. 2021. Transmission’s end? Cataclysm and chronology in Indigenous oral tradition. In Ann McGrath and Lynette Russell (eds) The Routledge Companion to Global Indigenous History. London: Routledge, pp. 571-602.

Bromham, L., Dinnage, R., Skirgård, H., Ritchie, A., Cardillo, M., Meakins, F., Greenhill, S. & Hua, X. 2021. Global predictors of language endangerment and the future of linguistic diversity. Nature, Ecology & Evolution.

Long, K., Schneider, L., Connor, S., Shulmeister, N., Finn, J., Roberts, G., Zawadiszki, A., Enge, T.G., Smol, J., BallardC., Haberle, S. 2021. Human impacts and Anthropocene environmental change at Lake Kutubu, a Ramsar wetland in Papua New Guinea. PNAS118(40): 

Unpublished reports

2021 Facilitator’s Final Report: UNESCO Training Workshop on ICH in Emergencies, Philippines May-July 2021. Report for UNESCO, Paris.

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