ECDI Update: March 2023 activities

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


Mornington Peninsula Field School

After 2 seasons the 1850s-1860s stables and storerooms are taking shape. You can see the base of the walls, the cobbled floor, and underneath the stone walls that were pushed over are the underfloor areas of several rooms. After next year Parks Victoria want to keep it open and they will use bits and pieces from the interpretive signs the students are preparing for their assignments at the moment.




Upcoming SYNAPSE Seminars:

  • The global variability and recurrence of kinship terminology – Sam Passmore – Monday 27 Mar, 2pm AEDT – register via Eventbrite
  • Flow piracy and percolation in a hydropower watershed: interceptions of Indigenous languages in upland Laos – Nick Enfield  Monday 17 Apr, 2pm AEST – register via Eventbrite

The seminar series will be held monthly in-person and via zoom. All available seminars for registration can be found on our Eventbrite collection.

Previously recorded seminars are available on our YouTube channel:

Please also share our upcoming seminars with your networks.

Statistics Boot Camp
Sam Passmore is assisting in a Statistics Bootcamp held for ANU PhD and MPhil students. Students will have the opportunity to develop a Data Analysis Plan (DAP) to structure the quantitative parts of their projects, starting from outlining the problem, right down to a skeleton outline of results. Applications are open until 20 April.   

Vanuatu Fieldschool July 2023 – Peeling back the layers in Melanesia: Archaeology, heritage and history in Vanuatu
This is a heads up to advise you that the ANU Vanuatu fieldschool is happening again in July 2023. More detail is coming soon but start planning for it now. The fieldschool will be investigating a newly discovered colonising settlement on Efate Island, in central Vanuatu. This phase relates to what is known as the Lapita period, beginning some 3000 years ago. Initial investigations at the site indicates that settlement in the area continues for at least 1600 years following later pottery traditions recorded across the site. Preliminary excavations have confirmed that huge mound features at the site represent midden dumping by large numbers of people over a short time. They compose of shellfish, bone, pottery and other discard. The fieldschool will investigate these mounds and the wider landscape, defining the period of initial arrival and tracking transformation in material culture and settlement over time. We expect to recover substantial collections of Lapita and later pottery, terrestrial faunal remains including extinct species along with abundant fishbone and shellfish. Visits will be undertaken to other important sites on Efate, including the Roi Mata UNESCO World Heritage site and the National Museum. The fieldschool is coordinated by Stuart Bedford (


Seminars, Workshops, Conferences

ANU Anthropology Seminar Series
Program for 2023 is now available. Seminars will be in person and via zoom unless stated otherwise.

Linguistic Futures reading group
Once a month the linguistic futures reading group we will be reading papers which have an eye on the future of the language sciences with a special focus on comparative approaches to language. The group will be held on the first Wednesday of every month in the Engma room (3.165) in the Coombs Building from 11am to 12noon. All are invited to attend, research students are especially encouraged to come along. Any questions contact

Asia Pacific Week Conference, Australian National University
19-22 June 2023
The theme for this year is “First light: emerging opportunities and new beginnings.” The delegates will delve into current crises affecting the region, guided by our eminent and cutting-edge panellists. Students will also enjoy a series of non-formal, practical events planned for fun and learning through doing. For more information contact

International Symposium on Bilingualism 14 – Diversity Now 
26-30 June 2023

The 14th International Symposium on Bilingualism will take place on 26-30 June 2023 at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. The theme of the conference is Diversity Now. The United Nations General Assembly has declared the period between 2022 and 2032 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to draw attention to the critical status of many Indigenous languages across the world and to encourage action for their preservation, revitalisation, and promotion. ISB14 especially encourages submissions of work involving lesser-studied bilingual communities and interdisciplinary work examining bilingualism across cultures, societies, and the life-span. 

We invite abstracts for two categories of submissions: individual papers and posters. Find more information here 

2023 LSA Institute – Linguistics as Cognitive Science: Universality and Variation
19 June-14 July 2023

The Institute will offer 88 courses, including introductory and advanced courses. The theme for this Institute is “Linguistics as Cognitive Science: Universality and Variation”. It will be hosted by the Department of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, from June 19 to July 14. It will be a great opportunity for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students to deepen their expertise, explore new topics, and interact with an amazing community of students and professors from many colleges and universities. You can find information about the 2023 Institute and the courses here.  

Sixth Workshop on the Languages of Papua (WLP6)
17-19 July 2023, Sorong, Papua Barat Daya, Indonesia 
Papers to be presented will be on “Papuan” (ie. non-Austronesian) languages spoken in eastern Indonesia, the greater New Guinea region, and the Solomon Islands. Also papers concerned with the Austronesian languages spoken in the same areas, including the contact varieties of Malay, as well as Tok Pisin and Solomon Islands Pidgin. More information here.


Job/Funding Opportunities

Research Fellowships, Macquarie University
Deadline: 26 April 2023
The purpose of the Macquarie University Research Fellowships (MQRF) Scheme is to support researchers within three years of the award of their PhD who have an outstanding track record (relative to opportunity) and/or who show evidence of excellent research potential. More information



Peter Hiscock and Kim Sterelny (in press) “The Red Queen in Australia” Journal of Anthropological Archaeology.  

Kim Sterelny (in press) “Niche Construction, Cumulative Culture and The Social Transmission of Expertise” Palaeoanthropology.   

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