About ASRN


What Does ASRN Stand For?

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In the world of acronyms, here is a new one for us to learn: Australian Studies Regional Network.

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In spring 2007, an initiative to organise the scattered community of Australian Studies scholars in Hungary and the neighbouring countries was launched—via email—in Debrecen. Responses to my enquiries whether colleagues see a rationale in such a network were overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Since then, ASRN members met on two occasions (Debrecen, June 2007, and Veszprém, Nov. 2007) and have agreed to come together again in Budapest, Sept. 2008. The Network can now boast of links to colleagues in Debrecen, Budapest, Veszprém, Pécs, Szeged, Prešov, Brno, Klagenfurt, Cluj, Novi Sad, Zagreb, Niš, and Opole.

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So far, we have been concerned with setting up the Network: defining its fields of activities, establishing channels of communication, and identifying tasks (projects) for the future. According to its mission statement:

The Australian Studies Regional Network (ASRN) aims to become a hub of scholarly and scientific partnerships in Hungary and the neighbouring countries. We envisage our role as a disseminator of information for academic research, coordinator of joint projects in study, teaching and research, and facilitator of an increased awareness of Australia and the Asia-Pacific in our region.

We communicate electronically, and have created a website <www.australianstudies.hu>, to be launched in February 2008. The website displays news and stories, schedules events, advertises projects, stores the profiles of individuals (academic and non-academic) and institutions, and of visiting lecturers. It also stores the titles of published works by members, and the titles of graduate and postgraduate theses, as an appetiser for future student work.

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Future generations is a priority focus for ASRN. One of our long-term projects aims to train teachers of English at the secondary level to introduce some Australian content into the curriculum. For this, we will provide help in the form of language class exercises and lesson plans (shared on the website, open-access after registration), and summer courses. Other than general training, intensive summer courses will be an avenue for specialised study for early-career and already-established researchers as well.

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We envisage that future meetings shall be accompanied by conferences or symposia, so that we can share and publish our academic research. Rather than a substitute for already well-rooted EASA conferences and other national associations’ assemblies, we aim to bring their often distant locale closer to us, keeping such events confined-in-number and local-in-relevance, and use them, biannually, to bring Australia into the limelight of home institutions, related companies and educational media.

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There is already a demand from our membership to publish the Network’s academic output. Launching a refereed electronic journal seems a distant realisable possibility, for which the technology, expertise, and enthusiasm are already given. Time, energy, and funding, however, are not yet there, which will have to be steadily raised by the joint efforts and results of ASRN members and supporters.

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ASRN wishes to thank the Australian Embassy in Budapest, QBE Atlasz Insurance Co., and the Institute of English and American Studies at the University of Debrecen for their assistance in establishing a website and promoting our cooperation at various Australia-related events. We also thank members and their institutions for their active participation so far and in the future. www.australianstudies.hu

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Gabriella T. Espák

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University of Debrecen, Hungary