Interdisciplinary and Cross-Cultural Research (ICCR)

ICCR Program intro

 A Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Program

The Interdisciplinary and Cross-Cultural Research (ICCR) HDR program offers a unique opportunity to explore new modes of research, as well as use traditional scholarly methods, to provide innovative insights into the different ways that cross-cultural relations, histories and public and applied humanities are constructed and represented.

Through its supportive environment the ICCR program encourages new modes of research while it also supports traditional scholarly methods of inquiry. The program is led by internationally renowned scholars from across the ANU Research School of Humanities and the Arts (RSHA).

A unique opportunity

We offer expert supervision within and across a range of disciplinary boundaries including but not limited to heritage and museum studies, digital humanities, public history, biography, visual anthropology, art history, musicology, literature, and the visual arts.

You will be encouraged to adopt an interdisciplinary and comparative perspective in your research. Expert advisers are available from across the university and a range of national cultural institutions located in Canberra including the National Museum of Australia, the National Library of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

By undertaking research in the ICCR program you will be able to take advantage of intellectual and multimedia collaborations and have opportunities to be involved in the production of exhibitions, colloquia and multimedia projects, as well as to undertake short, practical internships. The program provides unique opportunities for research training in the context of collaborative team research, in partnership with cultural institutions and industries.

    Off-campus study

    The program also caters for students who wish to be based off-campus. For Melbourne-based students regular seminars are held at ANU House.

    The ICCR program offers:

    • The opportunity to work with staff members, adjunct faculty, post-doctoral fellows and visiting academics – all with international reputations in a range of disciplines. The RSHA has very active Visiting Fellows and Conference programs, both of which attract significant numbers of international scholars annually.
    • Opportunities to present work-in-progress in a number of forms, including conferences, seminar series, and workshops.
    • Involvement in a structured programme of education in humanities research, including a specialised interdisciplinary theory and method course (HUMN9001), a first year conference and a thesis writing group.
    • Office space with computing facilities and access to state-of-the-art multimedia facilities.
    • Participation in occasional visiting scholars’ programs and master classes.
    • Access to some of the most extensive library and archival holdings in Australia and in some of the best cultural institutions in Australia including the National Library of Australia and specialist collections in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, National Film and Sound Archives, the National Museum of Australia, the Museum of Australian Democracy, the Australian War Memorial and the National Archives of Australia.
    • Students are eligible for fieldwork support and scholarship holders receive an allowance for thesis preparation.

    Apply to the ICCR Program


    Please send us an email if you are interested in this program.


    Prior to preparing an application for admission, prospective students should contact the ICCR Convenor, Dr Alexandra Dellios and consult the CASS PhD and MPhil applications in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences page. The website provides detailed information to assist in the application process and proposal preparation.

    For applicants interested in incorporating a creative component into their thesis, such as an exhibition or digital work the ANU offers the Thesis by Creative Works. This is developed in conjunction with the potential supervisor.

    HDR Coursework requirements

    All ICCR candidates commencing a PhD or MPhil are required to complete 24 units of coursework (Masters level courses) or 12 units of coursework (PhD level courses).


    1. HUMN9001 (6 units) + two or three postgraduate courses (the remaining 18 units) as agreed with the Chair/Supervisor
    2. HUMN9001 (6 units) + HUMN9002 (6 units)

    The course HUMN 9001 Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Theories and Skills is required for ICCR candidates. The remaining 18 units are to be agreed upon with the supervisory panel. HUMN9001 is based on a participatory learning model and features guest seminar leaders drawn from among the RHSA’s faculty members, fellows and adjunct professors, as well as faculty located in other programmes across the University. It begins in mid-April and will run for approximately 7 weeks.

    The course HUMN9002 Interdisciplinary Research: Frameworks, Connections &Dissemination is designed to pair with HUMN9001 Interdisciplinary Humanities Research: Methods, Theories and Skills. It is based around a schedule of research seminars (minimum 10) selected by the PhD candidate.

    First Year Conference

    The first-year HDR student conference, typically held in between September to November every year, is the event when all first year ICCR students present their Thesis Proposal Review.

    Read Details of the Thesis Proposal Review and other key HDR milestones.

    Financial support

    Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Stipend Scholarships are available for both domestic and international students. The deadline for international student applications is 31 August. Domestic students must apply for admission by 31 October. In addition to these, the ANU offers a range of other scholarships.

    Students are entitled to a fixed amount of funding to support their research. Funding may be used for fieldwork, to attend academic conferences and other presentations, or other research activities as approved. Applications should be developed in consultation with and approved by the principal supervisor. Amounts over an agreed figure must be approved by a Prescribed Authority within the School. Students should contact the relevant administrative staff within their centre or school for information on how to apply.


    Dr Alexandra Dellios
    HDR Convenor
    Interdisciplinary and Cross-Cultural program
    Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, RSHA, CASS
    T: +61 2 6125 5889

    Dr Lan Tran
    HDR Program and Student Coordinator
    School of Archaeology and Anthropology, RSHA, CASS
    T: +61 2 6125 4812
    F: +61 2 6125 1285


    Given the broad nature of the program it is possible to select suitable supervisors from across the university. Advice on selecting prospective supervisors may be sought from the convenor. Possible supervisors include:

    • Dr Jilda Andrews
    • Dr Kate Bowan (cultural musicology, music and politics, intangible heritage, Australian music history, music and international relations)
    • Dr Adele Chynoweth (curatorial and related studies; museum studies; Australian history [excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history]; access to justice; drama and performance studies; social change)
    • Professor Will Christie (British and Irish literature, comparative literature, literary theory, biography)
    • Dr Alexandra Dellios (migrant cultural studies, Australian history, heritage and cultural conservation, oral history, memory studies)
    • Dr Anna Edmundson (Museum Studies,  Curatorial And Related Studies, Visual Cultures, Social And Cultural Anthropology,  Historical Studies)
    • Dr Cressida Fforde
    • Emeritus Professor Bill Gammage (Australian history, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History and Environmental Knowledge, Pacific history)
    • Dr Katrina Grant (digital art history, Baroque Art, set design and visual culture of theatre)
    • Dr Maya Haviland (social and cultural anthropology, museum studies, Pacific cultural studies, visual cultures, curatorial and related studies)
    • Dr Margaret Kiley
    • Dr Amanda Laugesen (US and Australian cultural and intellectual history, social and cultural history of war, history of the book, cultural studies)
    • Dr Melissa Lovell (social policy, political theory and political philosphy, race and ethnic relations, Australian government and politics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander policy)
    • Professor Kylie Message (museum studies, cultural studies, social activism and protest movements)
    • Professor Desmond Manderson (law and society, cultural studies, poststructuralism, art theory and criticism)
    • Emeritus Professor Howard Morphy (studies of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander society, social and cultural anthropology, visual cultures, multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural studies, biography)
    • Dr Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller (digital humanities, Web science, Linked Data, museum studies, Middle Eastern and African history and languages)
    • Professor Paul Pickering (historical studies, British history, biography, public memory)
    • Professor Laurajane Smith (critical heritage studies, memory studies, politics of heritage)
    • Emeritus Professor Ken Taylor (cultural heritage management, landscape heritage)
    • Dr Caroline Turner (art history, Asian cultural studies, museum studies, multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural studies)
    • Dr Yujie Zhu (politics of heritage, cultural tourism, social memory, material culture, heritage and religion)
    • Dr Sean Perera (Multicultural, Intercultural And Cross Cultural Studies, Comparative And Cross Cultural Education, Teacher Education And Professional Development Of Educators, Education Assessment And Evaluation, Communication And Media Studies, Migrant Cultural Studies)

    For locating other possible supervisors see the ANU Researchers website.

    Current ICCR Research Students include:


    Browne, Kieran. Computing Culture: a humanities approach to artificial neural networks.

    Catt, Emily. Cultural diplomacy in the Keating years: Asian Australian dialogues and the visual arts.

    Chiu, Tzu Yu. Museum as a public sphere: exploring the potential of the City Museum.

    Dixon, Renee. Developing a crowdsourced digital LGBTIQ archive: a new methodology to challenge knowledge hegemonies and hierarchies of normative archive practices.

    Edelstein, Ian.  Interrogating myths, misconceptions and propaganda in South African history. A radical re-appraisal of the Sharpeville Massacre and the legacy of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe using theatre and virtual history as constructs.

    Findlay, Gavin. Theatre as ecosystem: combining tangible and intangible heritage through a digital humanities approach to the Splinters Theatre archive.

    Lamb, Karina. Objects can speak: Indigenous language and the object in Australian and New Zealand museums.

    Macnicol, Douglas. A cultural history of violin pedagogy, ca 1780 – 1880.

    Neale, Jodi. Converging domains: An ethnographic biography of Doris Eaton.

    Sturrock, Angela. Stopping the boats: the discursive legitimisation and normalisation of Australia’s refugee and asylum seeker policies.

    Viray, Bryan Levina. Commemoration as Intangible Heritage: Performing Collective Memories of the Fil-Am War, Philippines.

    Clark, Alexander. Implementing the Australian Curriculum in Music: an initial study assessing its praxial potential in secondary schools in Canberra (2020)

    Harrison, Andrew. Sounding out the past (2020)

    Kinsman, Martha. 'Different but Equal': The Rise and Demise of the TAFE Teachers Association of Australia 1964 - 1992 (2020)

    Menzies, Isa. Horses for Discourses: a critical examination of the horse in Australian culture (2020)

    Wensing, Emma. Crafty Commemoration: Vernacular responses to the Centenary of World War One (2020)

    Zhang, Lansheng. The Spirit of Individualism: Avant-Garde Art in Shanghai 1979-1989 (2020)

    Robertson, Christopher. From Ruskin to Aalto: Prophets with a Message (2017).

    Updated:  10 April 2018/Responsible Officer:  RSHA Director/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications