History on Wednesday Seminar Series

School of Philosophical and Historial Inquiry
Department of History

The University of Sydney

HoW | History on Wednesday Seminar series
Semester 2, 2021

We hope you will join us for our lastest HoW seminar series.
All seminars will be held on Zoom, commencing at 12:10pm.

Please Note: Abstracts, Zoom details and calendar invites will be sent out prior to each seminar.

25 August | Hélène Sirantoine “Serendipitous findings: about the unexpected appearance of a daughter of King Arthur in a thirteenth-century piece of Spanish hagiography”

22 September | Deirdre O’Connell “Biography in a digital age: recovering the lives of a band of black traveling performing artists in interwar Europe” 

20 October | Pamela Maddock
“Corporal punishment and disease control in the antebellum US army: the case of Captain Sykes, 1853”

1604 treaty between Henri IV of France and Ottoman sultan Ahmed I
Wednesday 3 November | Darren Smith Le monde est un logement d’etrangers: a French diplomat in the seventeenth-century Mediterranean”

You can sign up to History on Wednesday at the SOPHI event registration page. Find out more at the SOPHI Events page.The seminar series convenor is Hélène Sirantoine | Click here to email

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DECRA Success!

Many congratulations to History Department colleagues, Dr Sophie Loy-Wilson and Dr Sophie Chao. They have both won prestigious and highly-competitive Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards by the Australian Research Council, commencing in 2022.

Sophie Loy-Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in Australian History in the Department of History at the University of Sydney where she specialises in Chinese Australian history. Her previous work includes the book, Australians in Shanghai: Race, Rights and Nation in Treaty Port China (2017)

Dr. Loy-Wilson’s DECRA Project is titled: “Chinese Business: economic and social survival in white Australia, 1870-1940.”  

This exciting project aims to uncover the social and cultural significance of Chinese economic activity in Australia. Documenting enterprises that Chinese migrants pursued, under conditions that restricted non-white immigration and labour, it seeks to offer the first national account of the strategies these migrants used to pursue collective economic interests.

The research will require work with large data sets. Court archives will also be used to investigate Chinese agricultural and remittance economies, re-centering Chinese Australians in the nation’s history. The benefits of this work will include the digitization of these records, which are expected to form a major online archive accessible to descendants of Chinese migrants, whose economic activity buttressed Australian prosperity. 

The project will reveal the full extent of the social and cultural significance of Chinese economic activity in Australia. As an additional benefit, it will underline to the 1.2 million Australians of Chinese origin that their past, present and future contributions to Australian society are acknowledged and valued.

Moreover, Dr. Loy-Wilson hopes help redress the perception of some Chinese Australians, members of a community that now numbers 1.2 million, that negative sentiment towards them has recently increased (as registered by the Lowy Institute annual opinion survey). Drawing on perspectives from the past, it will highlight the collective strategies used by migrants to successfully build communities and secure economic prosperity, particularly in regional Australia.

More information about Dr. Sophie Chao’s DECRA success can be found here, with the Sydney Institute.

Many congratulations to both Dr. Loy-Wilson and Dr. Chao!

New Appointment in History

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Dr Niro Kandasamy has accepted a continuing position in the Department of History from 1 January 2022. 

Dr. Kandasamy is currently based at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. She completed her prize-winning PhD in 2019 at the University of Melbourne on ‘Child Refugees in Australia and Internationalism: 1920 to the Present’. She teaches in the areas of human rights, global studies, memory, peace, and war. Her areas of research include government and the politics of Asia, migration history, disability, welfare service delivery, memory studies, gender, and the history of emotions, with a geographical focus on the Global South. 

With a career that spans both academia and the non-government sector, Dr Kandasamy brings a wealth of active outreach and community-engaged research experience to the Department, along with an impressive track record in scholarly publication. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching experience will make an outstanding contribution to our curriculum and research culture in both History and International and Global Studies.

We look forward to welcoming Niro to Sydney.

Many thanks


Professor Kirsten McKenzie  FAHA FRHistS
Department of History| School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry     

Chair of Department

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