Charles Sturt University

Charles Sturt University was established in 1989, building on a tradition of excellence in teaching and research spanning more than 100 years. It aims for excellence in education for the professions, strategic and applied research and flexible delivery of learning and teaching.

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Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as self-declared caliph, seeks to exploit the historical resonance of the caliphate for a brutal present-day cause. EPA/Furqan Media

Caliphate, a disputed concept, no longer has a hold over all Muslims

The Caliphate has inspired disputes among Muslims for centuries, but attempts at revival in modern times are unlikely to succeed. Most of the world's Muslims would not accept its authority over them.
Seeking constant distractions and identifying with brands and status symbols, we struggle to escape the superficial self. Shutterstock/Sean De Burca

The lies of happiness: living with affluenza but without fulfilment

In the first of our series, On Happiness, the question is whether unsustainable consumption and debt can ever bring us happiness. The global financial question was a chance to take stock, yet did we learn anything?
Stoats (Mustela erminea), feral cats (Felis catus), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and black rats (Rattus rattus) are invasive predators in different parts of the world. Clockwise from top left: Sabec/commons.wikimedia.org (CC BY-SA 3.0); T Doherty; CSIRO/commons.wikimedia.org (CC BY 3.0); 0ystercatcher/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Killing cats, rats and foxes is no silver bullet for saving wildlife

Research published this week shows saving wildlife is much more complicated than killing introduced predators. Killing predators often doesn't work, and is sometimes actually worse for native wildlife.
To write off towns outside of Sydney and Melbourne as being bereft of culture is an arrogant falsehood. Briony Osei, Eve Beck and Jack Griffiths in The Bacchae. Photo taken by T J Lee

The Brandis effect on regional Australia? Just look at Bathurst

The term "regional arts" carries certain baggage that can create, and uphold, a divisive opposition between city and country. But there is plenty happening in regional Australia, and much to potentially lose.
Research shows monocultures of crops - such as this canola field - can be bad for the environment. Peter Hayward/Flickr

Single-crop farming is leaving wildlife with no room to turn

Monocultures - vast expanses of a single crop - may look pretty, but mounting research shows they are likely bad for environment. And in turn that's bad news for farms as well.
We often judge wine by the price tag, but it this a true indicator of its quality? Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

What drives our wine choice – taste, or the price tag?

Can a wine drinker judge the quality of a bottle by its price? The nature of this relationship has always been contested. We expect that consumers are willing to pay more for higher quality wines, while…
Giving a gift is a complex transaction. So what makes a gift good? MattysFlicks/Flickr

Give and take: the anxiety of gift giving at Christmas

The anxiety attached to gift giving is worth considering. The Christian commemoration of Christmas is about celebrating God’s ultimate gift, his only son. Such an exceptional gift reaches its destiny in…
Sharon Stone, in Basic Instinct, dramatised the catastrophic actions of a clever yet unhinged woman. EPA/ Peter Foley

Assertive female sexuality is pathologised time and again

Mental illness and women’s sexuality are frequently aligned – on screen and off. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, pathologised women’s sexuality. Indeed his definition of a woman as someone…
Trainer Gai Waterhouse with 2013 Melbourne Cup winning horse Fiorente. AAP/Julian Smith

Horses for courses: the science behind Melbourne Cup winners

It’s the race that stops a nation … and is worth a cool A$6.2 million. So what goes into the raceday preparation for the equine stars of the show? Thoroughbred racehorses have unique anatomy and physiology…
The Australian parliament has given rise to the ‘burqa box’, the top tier of glassed-in public galleries. AAP/Lukas Coch

Parliamentary push to ‘ban the burqa’ defies logic of real security

So leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives want to ban the burqa in open parliamentary chambers on the grounds of “security”. They would relegate wearers to a glass box usually reserved…
Police outside one of the Sydney homes raided earlier today, which has prompted warnings against an anti-Muslim backlash. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Islamic State wants Australians to attack Muslims: terror expert

It’s in the interests of Islamic State for Muslims in Australia to be attacked or for their mosques to be attacked, because doing so would help divide the Australian community. But we should be very clear…
Regional tours such as Opera Australia’s cross-country circuit with The Magic Flute deliver real benefits to the communities they visit. Albert Comper, Opera Australia

Mozart goes to Bathurst: classical music in regional Australia

Since July, Mozart’s popular opera, The Magic Flute, has been touring regional Australia. The Opera Australia production, a version of Mozart’s classic reinvented by Australian playwright Michael Gow and…
All serious writers should take their own work, and the efforts of others, seriously. photosteve101

Book reviewing is an art, in its own way

There should be no hard and fast rules concerning book reviewing. That’s because reviewing constitutes a worthy genre in its own right, one that should not be limited by guidelines or mandates. Criticism…

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