ECDI Update: April 2023 activities

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


Grambank shows the diversity of the world’s languagespress release 19 Apr 2023 – project involving ECDI’s Sam Passmore and Nick Evans




Upcoming SYNAPSE Seminars:

  • Ancestral remains and pershonhood in the Southern Massim – Simon Coxe – Monday 3 July, 2pm AEST – register via Eventbrite
  • When ordinary processes lead to extraordinary outomes – Carmel O’Shannessy  Monday 31 July, 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.

Tok Pisin Lunches

Our informal Tok Pisin lunch gatherings bring together anyone interested in the language or in Papua New Guinea. If you’re happy to forget about English for an hour and chat in Tok Pisin instead, just come along. Your proficiency level doesn’t matter. Just bring your coffee, or lunch, or just yourself! We catch up every Thursday at 12:30pm in the barbecue area to the left of Menzies Library.


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

Endangered Languages project
Deadline: 10 May 2023
Applications for ELP’s summer 2023 internships are open for those passionate about supporting language revitalization. More information here.

Postdoctoral research position, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Applications are open: review of applications will begin 20 April 2023 and will continue until a suitable candidate is selected

The Technological Primates Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig is seeking qualified applicants for a post-doctoral research position to study tool behavior in non-human primates. This is a full-time position for 2 years to start as soon as possible. The position is based in Leipzig, Germany. More information here.



Adeleye, M., Haberle, S., Hopf, F. Harris, S. & McWethy, D. 2023. Insights into the indigenous-managed landscape in southeast Australia during the Holocene. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany

Shaw, B. (In Press). The human history of the Pacific Islands. In Rehren, T. and Nikita, E. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Archaeology, 2nd Edition. London: Elsevier Science & Technology.

Shaw, B. and Connaughton, S. P. (In Press). Life after Lapita: The diversification of regional cultural identities in the Western Pacific Islands. In Fitzpatrick, S. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Island & Coastal Archaeology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Skirgard, H., Haynie, H., Blasi, D., Hammarstrom, H., Collins, J., Latarche, J., Lesage, J., Weber, T., Witzlack-Makarevich, A., Passmore, S., Chira, A., Maurits, L., Dinnage, R., Dunn, M., Reesink, G., Singer, R., Bowern, C., Epps, P., Hill, J., … Evans, N., Gray, R. (2023). Grambank reveals the importance of genealogical constraints on linguistic diversity and highlights the impact of language loss. Science Advances, 9(16).

Email to be added to our mailing list

%d bloggers like this: