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Dr Tom Murray, Macquarie University

Ustinov College

October - December 2017

Tom Murray is a Senior Lecturer and Australian Research Council

Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Media, Music,

Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University. His

research interests concern the capacity of screen media to open

new ways of understanding in cross-cultural environments, the

aesthetic and narrative structures of storytelling and sense-making

more generally, and the methods by which particular narratives

impose social meaning and sustain authority. This interdisciplinary

research explores themes of memory, history, colonialism,

‘otherness’ and place.

Dr Murray’s work has been internationally recognised by scholars,

screen practitioners, and the screen industry. His films have

appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious festivals including

the Sundance Film Festival and IDFA Amsterdam and he has

presented his research as a Transnational Media History visiting

fellow at the University of Hamburg, visiting fellow at the University

of Potsdam, and numerous other institutions and international

conferences. His major screen works include

Dhakiyarr vs the



In My Father’s Country

(2008) and

Love in Our

Own Time

(2013). His work in the area of Indigenous history has

earned him the NSW Premier’s History Award, shortlisting for the

Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Awards, and

other awards and commendations. As a screen director his work

has been awarded the Australian Directors Guild Award for Best

Direction in a Documentary, and as a research scholar his work

has been recognised by the awarding of an Australian Research

Council DECRA Fellowship, and the 2014 Australian Academy of


Max Crawford Medal,

Australia’s most prestigious award

for achievement and promise in the humanities.

His current book and film projects examine the structures of

colonial power imposed upon an Australian Indigenous soldier

who participated in WW1 and was studied as part of race-based

social science experiments conducted in German POW camps

between 1915-1918. The project looks at the conjunction of art,

science and politics, as manifest in times of war and as applied to

the life of a particular individual. While at the IAS, Dr Murray will

also be pursuing the production of a short screen work on local

mythological narratives, particularly those relating to social anxiety,

‘otherness’, and serpents.

Dr Pascal Nicklas, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Trevelyan College

January - March 2018

Pascal Nicklas is a literary scholar working on Empirical Aesthetics

in the Medical Centre of Mainz University. The main focus of his

research has been for several years the structure of adaptations.

Any adaptation – be it biological or cultural – involves a structural


One of the most important aims of his research has been a wider

understanding of what adaptations are: there has been work on

intercultural functions leading to a collection of essays edited with

Oliver Lindner:

Adaptation and Cultural Appropriation

(de Gruyter,

2012). The focus on media, politics and culture produced a special

issue of the journal


(OUP) with Eckart Voigts dealing with

Adaptation, Transmedia Storytelling and Participatory Culture


2013). With Dan Hassler-Forest, he edited a volume on

Politics of

Adaptation. Media Convergence and Ideology

(Palgrave Macmillan,

2015). The empirical and neuro-scientific aspect of his work has led

to an interest in the cognitive poetics of literary adaptation looking

into the structure and poetics of repetition and ‘(Neuro)-Aesthetics

of Adaptation and the History of Rhetoric’ (with Arthur M. Jacobs) in

a special Issue of

Poetics Today

(38.2, 2017).

Dr Nicklas is Research Group Leader at the Institute for Microscopic

Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University Medical Center

of Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, where he is also

Privatdozent at the Faculty of Philosophy and Philology teaching

Comparative and English Literature. After his studies in Frankfurt,

Durham and Paris, he took his PhD on 18th century literature in

Frankfurt before moving to Leipzig University to do his habilitation

in Comparative and English Literature. He has worked in Leipzig,

Potsdam, Berlin (Humboldt), Vienna and Bayreuth. His interest in

Adaptation Studies led him into the field of Empirical Aesthetics.

He is a member of the Research Focus of Media Convergence,

the Research Centre on Translational Neurosciences, and the

German Resilience Centre Mainz. He is co-operating closely with

researchers in Frankfurt, Utrecht, Oxford and Berlin.

Currently, he is working on structures of Deep Reading and

Resilience. This new project continues his interest in adaptation

because resilience is an effect of adaptation. At the same time,

this research opens up new avenues into the understanding of

the cognitive-affective perception and processing of aesthetically

pleasing rhetorical and poetical structures.

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