TV Nation: What The Wire, House of Cards, and Girls can teach us about America

29 October 2014

The telly. Most of us switch it on to switch off. We watch it to "decompress." To unwind after work. Sometimes we even indulge in a little "trash." Commonly understood, television is an unserious and unintellectual medium. Something trivial, it serves as a diversion. Yet, such a view discredits both TV and its viewers, since each is capable of serious commentary. As the French Philosopher Jacques Derrida never tired of pointing out: what a society marginalises says a lot about what it holds centremost. Therefore, the idea that television comes after or apart from work, that it stands outside serious social and political inquiry, could tell us a lot about the political and social institutions it supposedly reflects.

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US Trivia Night at the Manning Bar

28 October 2014

Think you know America? Can you list all 43 presidents in order? Do you know all the House of Cards characters? From politics to pop culture and history to Hollywood, get your friends together and take on the US trivia challenge for your chance to win a $100 bar tab and other great prizes!

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New Orleans as Subject: Beyond Authenticity and Exceptionalism

18 September 2014 - 20 September 2014

An international conference bringing together leading international scholars to question what lies beyond New Orleans’ exceptional history and authentic culture. Organised by lecturer Thomas Adams and featuring a presentation from lecturer Aaron Nyerges, the conference brings together scholars in anthropology, English, history, media studies, and political science to situate studies of New Orleans within larger global patterns and cross-cultural comparisons.

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Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Putin

8 September 2014

At a time when the world is coming to grips with tragic fate of MH17, and looking for answers, it is more important than ever to discuss how to deal with Vladimir Putin and the Russian regime. This Festival of Dangerous Ideas event is a broad discussion with Russian journalist and activist Masha Gessen and Centre research associate Tom Switzer, looking at how to approach Vladimir Putin and his regime.

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2014 Future Cities Program - Study Tour

6 September 2014 - 13 September 2014

The Future Cities Program was developed to assist leaders of both regional and metropolitan cities in New South Wales in meeting the challenges of building liveable and sustainable communities. The Study Tour is an integral component of the Future Cities Program, with the learnings gained and contacts formed creating a lasting partnership between the participating cities and our American partners. The focus for the 2014 Study Tour will be revitalisation of districts and neighbourhoods within cities, and also sustainable and workable transport management. In 2014, the Future Cities Program will travel to San Francisco and New York City and surrounds.

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Value Capture as a Method of Funding

14 August 2014

Local government councils throughout Australia are struggling to pay for the increasing demands for services, maintenance and renewal of existing facilities, and new infrastructure investments required to keep their cities productive and attractive places to live, work and play. In order to address this issue, a number of state and local government agencies are investigating the application of value capture methods to help fill the rising funding gaps in their transport infrastructure and urban renewal programs.

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The coming technology revolutions in Asia from Silicon Valley

6 August 2014

In this public forum The Honourable Jeffrey Bleich, former US Ambassador to Australia, will talk about how the rising middle classes in Asia will have the opportunity to take advantage of certain new disruptive technologies that could give them tremendous economic power. Drawing from Silicon Valley examples, he will discuss how technology might fundamentally change the trajectory of the region as well as challenge certain cultural norms.

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Pop West

24 July 2014 - 25 July 2014

Most of us have a sense of belonging to a region or nation that’s physically beyond our capacity to experience it firsthand. Yet, as Benedict Anderson describes in Imagined Communities, a host of media creations and communication technologies overcome that distance and integrate us into a coherent political entity like a nation. The Pop West research project will analyse a range of popular media–film, music, radio, television, storytelling, maps and novels–to explore how different political formations come to popularise and understand their own wests.

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The Anglo-American special relationship since 1945

17 July 2014

In 1940, Winston Churchill called for a special relationship between the United States and the British Empire and Commonwealth. He called for one again whilst speaking in Fulton, Missouri on the 5th of March 1946, the same speech in which he described the ‘iron curtain’ dividing Europe. Has there in fact been an Anglo-American special relationship since 1945? If so, what is it? Has it benefitted either country? And if it exists, will it continue to do so? Join Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at University College London Kathleen Burk for a discussion on the Anglo-American special relationship.

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Can you create liveable cities without planning controls? Lessons from Denver, Colorado

24 June 2014

Planning reform is a key part of making New South Wales number one. Strategic, integrated, and effective urban planning is a critical part of the state's economy, society, and environment. As we seek to improve the integrity and performance of the planning system in NSW, it is worthwhile to consider lessons from our Trans-Pacific neighbour. Join us for this public forum where you will hear from American urban design and planning expert, Peter Park.

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Next »


Melissa Grah-Mcintosh

Closing the gender gap

Director of the Centre's Women in Leadership initiative Melissa Grah-McIntosh discusses the upcoming International Dialogue on Women in Leadership and why gender equality remains an important issue for the US, Australia, and the world.

Rodney Taveira

The Wire and American television

Centre lecturer Rodney Taveira discusses the cult television show The Wire, what it reveals about American culture and how television offers a window into contemporary issues in the US.

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