Research in the Department is focused on the nexus between language and culture. Our research in language, communication and culture has been rated at ‘performance above world standard’ in the Australian Government’s 2012 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) evaluation. Additionally, our research in the sub-disciplines of language studies and literary studies received a rating of ‘performance at world standard’. 

Areas of focus:

  • historical and linguistic description of languages
  • literary productions in specific languages and of individual writers and in the context of intercultural interactions
  • Applied Linguistics, such as corpus based approaches to language teaching, computer-mediated communication in second language acquisition an general language teaching methodology
  • impact of globalisation, migration and (post)colonialisation processes on cultural identities
  • cultural productions and socio-political issues, such as Transitional Justice and Human Rights, in the Australian, Asian, European, Latin American and Pacific contexts

Current research projects 

Projects are focused in the following fields:

Impact of globalisation and migration process on cultural production

Multi-cultural identities in transition: case studies of migrant identities in Australian and German Literature

Dr Ulrike Garde (in collaboration with Dr Anne-Rose Meyer, Universität Hamburg)

The project applies an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural approach to the problem how migration as topic and experience shape the creation of cultural identities. It focuses on Australian and German literature, theatre, film and media as aesthetic reflections of cultural and social developments. (MURDG $21,900)

Voices from the fringe of a multicultural society: Feridun Zaimoglu's "Kanak Sprak"

Prof Martina Möllering (in collaboration with Prof Ortrud Gutjahr, Universität Hamburg)

The project analyses the concept of 'Kanak-Sprak' [Wog-Speak], employed by Feridun Zaimoglu, a prominent - and somewhat notorious - new German writer, who started transforming hybrid forms of Turkish-German into a highly stylised language form, thus, triggering a very public discussion on issues of language and identity in a multicultural society. (MURDG $18,750)

Multicultural Narrative and Croatian Community: A transdisciplinary project about history, narrative, social and cultural changes in transitional Croatian Australian Community

Dr Boris Skvorc, Mr Luka Budak

This interdisciplinary project represents a case study of historical developments, narratives, social and cultural changes in the Croatian Australian community by 

  1. Positioning of the community narrative within the realm of Australian multicultural environment; 
  2. Recognising trends in community demographics and evolving patterns of transitional space, that is, links between 'second homeland' and Croatia; and 
  3. Laying the foundation for further interdisciplinary projects with internationally based investigators.


The Development of the Western Variety of Ukrainian under Soviet Rule (1945-1991) and since the Independence of Ukraine (1991 - )

Dr Halyna Koscharsky (in collaboration with A/Prof Geoffrey Hull, University of Western Sydney)

The Ukrainian vocabulary is not fully unified because for centuries there have been two parallel varieties of the language: a Russian-influenced variety in the east and a Polish-influenced variety in the west. Since independence (1991), the eastern variety has prevailed as the standard. However, most Ukrainian communities abroad (including those in Australia) remain strongly attached to the western variety. Given the practical problems caused by this split, especially in the Australian educational context and with new migrants from Ukraine, there is an urgent need for researchers to describe accurately the current state of the language at home and abroad. This project is funded under the Macquarie University External Collaborative Research Grants Scheme ($11,200).

The Role of Reunion Creole in the Linguistics Ecology of Nineteenth-Century Saint-Louis and the Implications for the Development of Tayo

A/Prof Karin Speedy

This two-year project aims to shed greater light on how a French Creole language emerged in one particular village in New Caledonia and nowhere else in the Pacific by examining the linguistics ecology of Saint-Louis in the 19th century. It also aims to determine the extent to which Tayo owes its existence to the presence of Reunion Creole speakers in the 19th century contact situation. Situated within the context of current debates ("superstratist", "substratist", "universalist" and "creativist") in the field of Creole linguistics, this project will examine the question of whether the notion of "generations" of Creoles can be upheld or whether Creole languages in a contact situation are simply part of the "feature pool" along with all the other languages spoken in the contact situation. In addition, it will investigate the role of (imperfect) second language acquisition of "appropriation" and the notion of a "target" language as factors in the development of Tayo. The findings that shall emerge from this aspect of the research may be applicable to other contact languages. A more in-depth understanding of the social and linguistic factors at play in this particular contact situation will thus advance our knowledge as to the way in which speakers of mutually unintelligible languages living in a contact situation select linguistic features from the "feature pool" of linguistic resources available to them in order to "create" a new community language. This is a question of prime interest in creolistics today. (MURDG $34,918)

Croatian Studies Centre

The Croatian Studies Centre's periodical publication is the peer-refereed multidisciplinary journal Croatian Studies Review (CSR) which was founded in 1997 and is published once a year in collaboration with the University of Split, Croatia. 

The Journal focuses on issues dealing with Croatian culture, language, linguistics, history, art, literature, migration, identity, transnational and postcolonial studies, Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian minorities in European countries (Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Italy) and Croatian communities in European and other countries.

The Journal has an international editorial board and is listed in the Ulrich periodicals index and on Hrčak (Portal of scientific and scholarly journals in Croatia) and CEEOL (Central and Eastern European Online Library) databases of scholarly journals, where the articles are available for free download. CSR is published in English in order to enable the Centre's research to be available to Croatian and non-Croatian speaking readers.

Macquarie Japanese Studies Centre

In 1995 Macquarie University became the first recipient in Australia of the Tokyo Foundation Fellowship Grant of US $1.5 million to establish the Nippon Foundation Fund for Japanese Education (NF-JLEP), one of the first of such Funds to be established worldwide. The grant came to Macquarie in recognition of the contributions and achievements in the field of teaching advancement in Japanese language and culture and in Japanese teacher education.

The Centre was established to develop new teaching development initiatives. From its inception, the Centre has been a leader in providing the community with innovative and high-quality teaching of Japanese language and culture.

Visit the Macquarie Japanese Studies Centre website

HDR research project

 HDR candidates and completions

Rodrigo AcuñaVenezuelan Foreign Policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean: The Bolivarian Revolution's Attempt to Unify a Region and Challenge U.S. Hegemony (1999-2012).A/Professor Estela ValverdeCompleted
Cintia Agosti

The Literary Cafés in Buenos Aires: their role in the shaping of the Porteño[1] political, social and cultural capital.[1] "Porteño/a" denotes something or someone that comes from the city of Buenos Aires

A/Professor Estela Valverde 
Christie BarberRepresentations of masculinity in contemporary Japanese media for young people.Dr Mio Bryce 
Nora BenittIntegrating Theory & Practice - Action Research as a Tool for Professional Development in Foreign Language Teacher Education.Professor Martina Möllering 
Estelle BorreyRespecting The Voice Of The Other In Literary Translation: A Delicate Balancing Act -- 37 °2 Le Matin In Translation.A/Professor Karin Speedy 
Jennifer ChengAnti-racist Discourses on Muslims in Australian Parliamentary Debates.Professor Martina MölleringCompleted
Iain ClarkLegitimacy from Antiquity: Qing Imperial Ceramic Ritual Vessels for State Occasions.Dr Blanche Menadier 
Séverine DidierRepresentations of French and Australian Culture in Children's Literature Aimed at French and Australian Child Readers: A Study of Cultural Values.Dr Brigitte JandeyCompleted
Ella DixonConscientisation and praxis in the Mexican student movement #YoSoy132A/Professor Estela Valverde 
Sandra GötzFluency and learner language: Theory, description and application.Professor Martina MölleringCompleted
Jonathan GoodallAn Examination of the Syncretic Nature of Han Fei's Philosophy and His Utilization of the Concept of Wuwei in the Han Fei ZiDr Shirley ChanCompleted
Sijia GuoInteraction and task design in a collaborative learning environment: A case study of videoconferencing in an Introductory Chinese course.Professor Martina Möllering 
Jane HanleyGoing places, transformations in Spanish travel narratives.A/Professor Estela ValverdeCompleted
Andrew HongFamily, Unity and Community in Confucianism and Christianity Dr Shirley Chan 
Lam Wai HungPhilosophical Principles in the Ancient Chinese Medical Text Dr Shirley Chan 
Glenn HuntMechanisms of Japanese environmental sector aid in Southeast Asia.Dr Mio BryceCompleted
Patricia KoromvokisThe role of intralinguistic factors in the learning process of Greek grammatical gender for adult L2 learners.Dr Elizabeth Kefallinos 
Xing LanAstrology in Early China: the Wuxing (the Five Elements)Dr Shirley Chan 
Maarten LecompteTBAA/Professor Karin Speedy 
Daniel LeeThe Sensual and the Moral: "Confucian Poetics" and the Book of Odes Dr Shirley ChanCompleted
Sung-Ae LeeConstructions of Korean identity in fiction and film after the Korean war.Dr Mio BryceCompleted
Xui Tao LiThe effect of Australian culture on compliment responses of Mainland Chinese speakers of English.Professor Martina Möllering 
Damien Liu-BrennanEdo no hanabi: the Japanese Observance of 'Fire-Flowers' and the Birth of a Unique Seasonal Fireworks Culture.Dr Mio BryceCompleted
Emilio LomonacoInspector Montalbano: Andrea Camilleri's discourse on Sicilianess and power.A/Professor Karin Speedy 
Alison LukeTBADr Mio Bryce 
Beate MüllerEffects and Outcomes of a Study Abroad Semester on Bachelor of International Studies Students.Professor Martina Möllering 
Satsuki MurakamiManga and Anime as Educational Media.Dr Mio Bryce 
Nicole MutlowVarious modules of bilingual education in the Australian context based on the example of the German International School Sydney.Professor Martina Möllering 
Miriam NeigertTBAProfessor Martina Möllering 
Kasper NgMilitary Taxation System in Ancient ChinaDr Shirley Chan 
Catherine O'ConnellAlterité, alienation and authenticité in the post-colonial literature of Nouvelle-Caledonie.A/Professor Karin Speedy 
Simon PaxtonKanji Ordering StrategiesDr Chavalin Svetanant 
Victor PetersenThe Forces that Shaped Matteo Ricci's Map of the World of 1662Dr Shirley Chan 
Amy PlumbJapanese Religion, Mythology and the Supernatural in Anime and Manga.Dr Mio Bryce 
Michelle RobertsonFemale characters in Turkish German cinematic space: an analysis with examples of three recent films.Professor Martina MölleringCompleted
Eva SchmidtTBAProfessor Martina Möllering 
Britta SchneiderCross-national perspectives on transnational cultures: Salsa communities of practice in two multilingual urban areas of Australia and Germany.Professor Martina MölleringCompleted
Susann SchusterCommitment in learning plans: Fostering learner autonomy in the second language classroom and beyond.Professor Martina MölleringCompleted
Andrea StylianouAn inquiry into how the international community deals with humanitarian issues in warfare and conflict. An auto-ethnological case study with focus on the Missing Persons of Cyprus. Dr Elizabeth Kefallinos 
Anna VitrukTBADr Boris Skvorc 
Marja ZibeliusCooperative learning and computer-mediated communication in foreign language teacher education.Professor Martina MölleringCompleted
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