Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor Lisa Adkins has been awarded a prestigious National Library of Australia Fellowship for 2018. The Fellowship was one of only nine awarded in the round.

The Fellowship enables Professor Adkins to spend 3 months at the National Library in Canberra researching ‘Wageless Life in the Great Depression’.  She will focus in particular on the Wendy Lowenstein oral history collection. This collection contains a unique record of life in Australia in the Great Depression.

Professor Adkins’ Fellowship project has grown out of her  Academy of Finland (FiDiPro) funded research considering a major shift in the management of unemployed populations in Finland and her current Australian Research Council funded research on contemporary unemployment and underemployment in Australia.

The Fellowship will enable Adkins to develop an historical account of the conditions of the life of the out-of-work in the 1930s depression. “I’m especially interested in the idea that the conditions of the present bear similarities to those of the Great Depression era”, Professor Adkins said. “Such comparisons are made frequently but this work will provide an empirical basis for testing these claims”.

The research that Professor Adkins is carrying out with the support of the Fellowship builds on archival work on unemployment she has carried out at the Mass Observation Archive in the UK, together with fieldwork in Marienthal, Austria, the site of the best known sociological study of Great Depression era unemployment.

While at the National Library Professor Adkins will deliver a public lecture on her findings.

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