The Australian National University is a major centre of research in the humanities, fine arts, and the natural, physical and social sciences. A comparatively small but research-intensive university, it provides wonderful opportunities to introduce undergraduate students to research activity early in their university studies. Cross-sections: the Bruce Hall Academic Journal has been established to promote academic excellence, to provide a means by which our students can experience the process of preparing manuscripts for publication and to strengthen links between undergraduate students and ANU academic staff. Bruce Hall has a long-standing tradition of academic distinction of which we are very proud. This journal is our latest and most ambitious way of celebrating the best work of members of our community. The pieces included in the following pages are representative of the breadth of academic experience in the Hall as well as the great depth of interest of each author in their chosen area of study. We hope the collected works in this volume will serve as exemplars for other students in Hall, encouraging them to match the authors’ efforts as well as the quality of their resulting manuscripts and artworks.