Re-encountering the Archive: The Hancock Lecture

AAH News Academy

Since 1993, the Academy’s Hancock public lecture series has provided outstanding early career humanities researchers the opportunity to showcase their work to a broader audience.

The Hancock Lecture honours its namesake, Emeritus Professor Sir (William) Keith Hancock KBE FAHA (1898—1988). Sir Hancock was a Foundation Fellow and the first President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

In 2019, the 9th Hancock Lecture will be given by early career researcher Associate Professor Clint Bracknell from the Kurongkurl Katitjin Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research and WAAPA, Edith Cowan University. The lecture – Maaya Waabiny: Mobilising Song Archives to Nourish an Endangered Language – will explore how technology can be leveraged to enhance the revitalisation of Indigenous languages and culture.

He will speak on his work on rebuilding repertoire and increasing opportunities to gather, sing, speak and develop resources for the near-endangered Noongar language and song in the south coast region of Western Australia.

The 9th Hancock lecture is the curtain raiser event for our 50th Symposium – Humanising the Future – and will be held 5pm-7pm Wednesday 13 November 2019 in Brisbane.

Clint is one in a distinguished line-up of researchers to have delivered the Hancock lecture over the last 25 years, many of whom have gone on to become Fellows of the Academy.

The very first Hancock Lecture – Charlotte Brontë’s paintings: Victorian women and the visual arts – was given by (then) Associate Professor Christine Alexander FAHA. Christine showed how an analysis of Charlotte Bronte’s early artworks can modify our view of the Bronte story and of early nineteenth-century amateur art in general.

The other lectures in the series are:

Traditionally the Hancock Lecture was held every three to four years. Commencing 2020, the lecture series will occur annually. All the Hancock Lectures are available to view on our website, and we warmly encourage you to take a look through this varied and vital record of outstanding scholarship. The lectures show the breadth of research undertaken by humanities early career researchers in Australia and are an apt reflections of Sir Keith Hancock’s own wide range of creative achievements.


This is the fourth installment of ‘Re-Encountering the Archive’. This initiative, in which we share selected research and writing from our Fellowship on a range of issues, is designed to showcase past scholarship that still resonates powerfully with contemporary debates and challenges facing the nation.