History on Wednesday Seminar Series Schedule

Please find below our schedule for History on Wednesday, Semester Two.

Please note that all Seminars in Semester 2, 2019 will take place in the MECO Seminar Room S226, Woolley Building, from 12:10 pm-1:30 pm.

This room can be best accessed just across from the new Education Building off Manning Road.

Aug. 21 – Sheila Fitzpatrick, University of Sydney, “Russians, White and Red: a Story of Postwar Immigration to Australia”

Abstract: The paper, summarizing the book of the same title I am currently completing, deals with two immigration streams – Displaced persons from Europe and Russians from China – that arrived here in the late 1940s and ‘50s. The first problem to discussion is “Who is a Russian?” Then I go on to look at wartime collaborators, fascists, Orthodox believers, boy scouts, and even a few “Reds” (Russian-speaking Jews sometimes being put in that category) and Soviet spies.

Bio: Sheila Fitzpatrick is primarily a historian of modern Russia, especially the Stalin period, but has recently added a transnational dimension with her research on displaced persons (DPs) after the Second World War. She received a Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002 and the American Historical Association’s Award for Scholarly Distinction in 2012. She is past President of the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies (formerly AAASS) and a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Having worked for most of her career in the United States, she moved back to Australia in 2012.

Sep. 4 – Glenda Sluga, University of Sydney, “Climate and Capitalism”

Abstract: This talk takes up the 1972 UN Human Environment conference: the first example of the attempted global governance of environmental issues and climate change that foundered on the challenges of development and North-South antagonisms. I will argue that history connects Delos, the ancient capital of the Athenian League, with the club of Rome, and the New International Economic Order.

Bio: Glenda Sluga is Professor of International History, and ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow at the University of Sydney She has published widely on the cultural history of international relations, internationalism, the history of European nationalisms, sovereignty, identity, immigration and gender history. In 2013, she was awarded a five-year Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship for Inventing the International – the origins of globalisation. Her most recent book is Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) and with Patricia Clavin, Internationalisms, a Twentieth Century History (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Sep. 25 – Mark McKenna, University of Sydney, “Finding the Centre: Uluru and the legacies of Australia’s frontier”

Abstract: The centre of Australia – geographical, political, psychological & ‘spiritual’ – is an elastic idea with a long history. As the literary scholar Roslynn Haynes remarked in 1998: ‘Because Australia is the only island continent, the notion of its centre has acquired a unique significance’. We do not ‘conceptualise the centre of any other continent’ in quite the same way. In this seminar, I’ll explore how and why Australians have become preoccupied with the idea of ‘the centre’ and how their ideas have changed over time. In doing so, I’ll pay particular attention to Uluru and its relatively recent invention as the ‘spiritual centre’ of the nation, a change that was dramatically illustrated by the release of the Uluru Statement from the Heart in May 2017. Entangled with this history is the story of the shooting of an Aboriginal man at Uluru in 1934, an event that has continued to resonate as Uluru has become a place of national and international significance.

Bio: Mark McKenna is Professor of History at the University of Sydney. He is the author of several prize-winning books, including The Captive Republic: A History of Republicanism in Australia 1788-1996, Looking for Blackfellas’ Point: an Australian History of Place, An Eye for Eternity: The Life of Manning Clark, and From the Edge: Australia’s Lost Histories. In this seminar, Mark will draw on a chapter from his forthcoming book, Untitled (2020).

Oct. 16 – Sarah Bendall, University of Sydney, “They do swarm through all parts of London: The place of the Bodymaking and Farthingalemaking trades in the Textile Industries of Seventeenth-Century London”

Abstract: During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the female silhouette underwent a dramatic change. This period saw the frequent addition of solid materials such as whalebone, wood, and metal into European wardrobes, and clothing was intentionally distorted as ideas of form, size and structure were artfully explored. The desirable body during this period was achieved by using two main foundation garments: bodies and farthingales. Accounts and bills reveal that tailors often made foundation garments; however, these records also show that two separate, specialised branches of tailoring –bodymaking and farthingalemaking –were also established in the late sixteenth century. Scarcely any scholarly investigation of these trades has been conducted and so we know very little about their significance to England’s textile industries. Utilising guild records, household accounts and artisans’ bills this paper explores the origins, scale, organisation and reputation of these trades in the seventeenth century. It seeks to recover these artisans from historical obscurity and put them back into the bustling textile landscape that characterised the craft trades of early modern London.

Bio: Sarah A Bendall is currently an Associate lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. She was previously a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Western Australia, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Bodleian Libraries Oxford and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Her research examines the history of dress, jewellery and armour in early modern England, Scotland and France, particularly in relation to ideas of gender and the histories of garment production/consumption. Her work has appeared in Gender and History, Renaissance Studies and Fashion Theory. Her PhD (Sydney) examined how sixteenth and seventeenth-century female foundation garments (bodies and farthingales) shaped both the body and notions of femininity in England. Her current research examines the textile industries that that sourced and produced garments made with baleen (whalebone), to examine the relationship between fashion and ecology in early modern Europe.

Oct. 30 – James Curran, University of Sydney, “Charles Pearson’s National Life and Character(1893): A vision of China’s rise and a post-western world.

Abstract: This paper will explore CH Pearson’s classical work, National Life and Character: A Forecast (1893) and look in particular at how from his Australian vantage point Pearson explored the importance of modernisation for the West and its future relations with the world, especially China. Pearson was an English liberal intellectual who moved to Victoria in 1870 and in the following decades played a key role in the colony’s public life. He came to believe that the Australian colonies were at the forefront of the social forces modernising the Western world, but predicted that great problems were emerging for the West as this process was extended to Asia, Africa and South America.

Bio: James Curran specialises in the history of Australian and American foreign relations. In 2013 he held the Keith Cameron Chair at University College Dublin, and in 2010 was a Fulbright scholar at Georgetown University. Prior to joining academia, Curran worked in The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Office of National Assessments. A non-resident fellow at the Lowy Institute for International Policy, he is also a regular commentator on radio and television, and his opinion pieces on foreign affairs and political culture have appeared in major Australian newspapers as well as the Lowy Interpreter, China-US Focus, the East Asia Forum and the Council on Foreign Relations ‘Asia Unbound’ series.

Nov. 6 – Macarena Ibarra, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, “Rethinking the Republican City: The Debates about Heritage in Santiago de Chile (1880-1920)”

Abstract: To come.

Bio: Macarena Ibarra is a Historian from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. She has an MA from the University of Leeds, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Her teaching and research focuses on twentieth century urban and planning history with a particular interest both in the politics of urban public health, and in the debates and practice about cultural heritage. Some of her recent publications are the co edited books Vísperas del Urbanismo en Latinoamérica (2018), Patrimonio en Construcción (2017), the articles Hygiene and Public Health in Santiago de Chile´s Urban Agenda, 1892-1927 (2015) and the entry Urban History, in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies (2019).

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