Down Under by the Potomac

The Australian New Zealand Studies Association of North America (ANZSANA) comes to Washington from February 25 - 27, 2010 for its annual conference. Held at the Key Bridge Marriott it promises to be an interesting time for all who attend. Conference presenters come from around the globe, featuring scholars from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and of course the US. And certainly, winter demands a break. Washington has been beaten up by the snow, and even Ambassador Kim "Bomber" Beazley has succumbed to the perils offered up this season. For the price, $125, I can think of no better way to get your fix of Australian and New Zealand studies.

If the price does not tempt you, a quick review of the program certainly will. A feature of this year's conference is its comparative nature. Kim Nossal examines justifications for international stabilization missions by examining the cases of Australia and Canada. Victoria Haskins takes a comparative view of state intervention in indigenous affairs in both Australia and the US. Dave Snow considers the implication of a Federal Republic in Australia for Canada. John Higley focuses on ruling elite successions both Australia and the US. The democratization of the judiciary in Canada and New Zealand is compared. James Canfield does a compartive analysis of recent federal elections in the US and Australia. David Rovinsky examines revisions of citizenship tests in Australia and Canada. Fiona McKenzie turns our gaze to the world of international agricultural negotiations and compares Australia and New Zealand's approaches. Finally, Rainer Knopff and Andrew Banfield complete the comparative adventure with their examination of inter-institutional dialogue between courts and legislatures in both Canada and Australia. By the end of the conference it's likely that attendees with feel a bit like Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof..., "on the other hand...."

I'm personally looking forward to Patty O'Brien's paper on Errol Flynn in New Guinea. I've heard snippets of the paper, but I want to hear the whole thing.

Of course, I haven't even mentioned our sister association, the American Association of Australian Literary Studies annual meeting. Held alongside the ANZSANA conference it promises to be equally interesting and stimulating. Some of the AAALS papers include such titles as: “From Bronco Panels to Bull Buggies: Cattle Raising in the Kimberley” by Jim Hoy, Emporia State University. Susan Carson presents her paper "The Greatest Harbour in the World’: Sydney Harbour as a contested space in Australian culture." These are just a few of the papers at the AAALS conference.

I hope you will come along and join us 'down under' by the Potomac. By then the snow should have melted, and if it hasn't the conference will certainly help deliver you to warmer climes.