Professor Evelyn Goh's name will sit alongside distinguished scholars such as Beatice Webb, John Maynard Keynes and Sir Winston Churchill as Fellows of the British Academy.

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Michael Weaver avatar image

Michael Weaver

Professor Evelyn Goh will take her expertise on East Asia to a new stage after being elected as a Fellow of the British Academy – a prestigious professional body for international scholars in the humanities and social sciences.

Goh came to Australia via the universities of Oxford and London, so it will be a homecoming of sorts when she is formally inducted as one of 85 new Fellows of the British Academy this year.

The British Academy has recognised many distinguished scholars, including John Maynard Keynes, Isaiah Berlin, C.S. Lewis and Henry Moore, Dame Frances Yates, Sir Winston Churchill, Seamus Heaney and Beatrice Webb.

Goh says she will use her fellowship to help garner the bodies of knowledge from the non-western world to change existing theories and assumptions about international order, at a time when world order is being challenged.

As the Shedden Professor of Strategic Policy Studies at the ANU Strategic and Defence Studies Centre and Director of the Southeast Asia Institute, Goh’s expertise in strategy, statecraft, security and international relations is highly sought after.

Goh was once introduced by an Asian foreign affairs secretary at a policy convention as “one of the few scholars who is just as well-known in Washington DC and as she is in Beijing”.

Since joining ANU in 2013, Goh has helped attract experts and train students in Asian security and international relations, especially female scholars.

Goh is widely published and cited and receives between 30-40 international speaking invitations annually while serving on the editorial boards of 10 academic journals.

Goh says it was a great honour to be nominated.

“Someone asked me what I had to do to be elected as a Fellow, and the short answer is, nothing,” she says.

“Unlike some other fellowships, nominees cannot be involved at any stage in the process and are nominated by existing fellows and assessed based on the Academy’s knowledge of their published work and record of international engagement.

“This Fellowship is also an accolade for the ANU, and an explicitly recognised marker of excellence, so isn’t that the best kind of recognition that your work speaks for itself.

“To my knowledge, it has been quite a while since scholars based at the ANU have been elected to the British Academy.”

Current British Academy Fellows at the ANU include Emeritus Professor Tony Reid, Professor Nick Evans, Emeritus Professor Bob Goodin and Professor Philip Petit.

The Fellowship recognises Goh’s international distinction, evidenced by her published work on US-China and China-Japan relations, historical and contemporary East Asian orders, and Southeast Asian security strategies.

Reacting to the news of Goh’s election to the British Academy, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific Professor Helen Sullivan, said it was a “wonderful acknowledgement of Evelyn’s scholarly contribution”.

Welcoming the 2022 Fellows, the new president of the British Academy, Professor Julia Black, said she was delighted to welcome so many new female Fellows.

“While I hope this means that the tide is finally turning for women in academia, there is still much to do to make the research world diverse and open to all,” she says.

Top image: Professor Evelyn Goh. Photo: Supplied

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