Farewell to Miranda Johnson

Dear Colleagues and friends of History,

Because we may not all get an opportunity to see Miranda before she formally takes up her new post at the University of Otago, I wanted to say a few words before she leaves. It goes without saying that her departure will be a huge loss to the Department, SOPHI and the University.

Miranda started with Warwick Anderson in REGS in August 2012 as one of the first PDRAs in the Laureate program. As Warwick often has said, she proved to be not only a wonderfully engaging and productive colleague and collaborator, she intellectually transformed the program, especially though her ideas about Indigenous racial modernities. It was during this period that she wrote The Land is Our History (2016) and organised a very successful international  conference resulting in the co-edited collection Pacific Futures: Past and Present (2018). She worked hard to build programs in Pacific and Indigenous histories in the Department and across the University, a valiant effort she redoubled on taking up a teaching position in the Department in July 2015, where she immediately excelled.    

In 2017, Miranda’s teaching was acknowledged with a FASS ‘Excellence in Teaching’ Award, particularly for her hands-on engagement with students and guests in her unit entitled The Pitcairn Project (where you can read about some of the students’ work).

In the same year, The Land is Our History, was shortlisted for the General History Prize in the NSW Premier’s History Awards. The judges described Miranda’s work in glowing terms:

‘The Land Is Our History’ is a superb example of the power of comparative, transnational historical research. It explores indigenous rights movements, from the late 1960s onwards, across three Commonwealth settler states — Canada, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Miranda Johnson draws on a rich array of source material, including legal cases, petitions, interviews and media reports, to create an engaging and path-breaking book.

In 2018, The Land is Our History was awarded the W.K. Hancock Prize of the Australian Historical Association, and it is worth quoting the citation in full:

Miranda Johnson has produced an ambitious, original and imaginative history exploring land, indigeneity, legal rights and activism across three settler-colonial nations. Thinking transnationally, Johnson explores legal and public discourses to draw together a raft of distinctive events and personalities into a vast and coherent canvas. She weaves nation-based histories of indigenous-settler conflict over land into wider networks and power structures, making sense of seemingly disparate developments in indigenous activism. Archival documents and oral accounts highlight the strength and moral authority of indigenous leaders who worked to gain acknowledgement of traditional ownership of land, and to interrupt and influence public debates around national identity. Johnson writes with precision, flow and economy. The work has a compelling argument, convincingly showing the complex and sophisticated ways indigenous activisms functioned to change settler attitudes towards land and indigenous belonging. An exemplary history, The Land Is Our History brings important new insights to a significant topic in both the past and the present.

Miranda talked about her work with student Ryan Cropp.

More recently, Miranda showcased some of her new work on legal history and Native identities in an essay in the internationally renowned journal, American Historical Review, entitled “The Case of the Million Dollar Duck: A Hunter, His Treaty, and the Bending of the Settler Contract.”

I’ll always remember co-teaching ‘Frontier Violence in Modern Memory’ with Miranda in 2017. There’s probably no better way to get to know your colleagues! Working closely with Miranda allowed me to see first-hand what a brilliant teacher and scholar she is. I heard nothing but praise and appreciation from students for her teaching and I picked up quite a few tips watching her lectures from the front row.

Miranda’s commitment to her students, the Department and the broader University community is on graphic display in her recent reflection on online teaching, published online in Meanjin.

It’s a plea for ‘the poetics of in-person classroom teaching, not as a value-added extra for an elite cohort, but as the essence of what we do’. It’s also a reminder of what her students and colleague will miss when she goes. 

We need to establish respectful and generative classroom dynamics quickly with and among our students, many of whom do not know each other. These dynamics must be subtly but firmly maintained. How do you draw out the shy ones? Put them in small-groups, often awkward in many of the classrooms we are working in, but achievable if the chairs or tables can be moved around. How do you moderate the domineering over-talker in class? Sit beside them. Make eye contact with everyone during the session, although not too much. Help them be seen. Notice the one who pushes his chair back, angling his body back from the desk, his gaze directed anywhere but here. Bring him back. Watch for the over-anxious, fastidiously taking notes in order to avoid answering questions.

I’m sure that I speak for everyone when I wish Miranda and her family well for their future lives and careers in Aotearoa NZ.

All best wishes,

Mark McKenna, Chair, Department of History

Miranda Johnson

History of University Life Seminar



History of University Life

2020 Sydney Research Webinar Series in Higher Education
Wednesday 5 August 2020 | 4:00-5:00pm

What do we learn from a history of international students at Australian universities?  

To examine this question and others about the social and political economy of international students in Australia since the 1960s, join our second 2020 History of University Life online seminar with panellists Julia Horne, University Historian at the University of Sydney, and Gaby Ramia, Associate Professor in Public Policy at the University of Sydney.   We will also hear from international students about their experience in Covid-19 times.  

Chaired by Matthew A. M. Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Education and Sociology at the University of Sydney and co-convenor of History of University Life.  

Julia Horne is Associate Professor in the Department of History who works on the history of higher education in Australia from 1850 to the present-day. Her books include Sydney the Making of a Public University (Miegunyah Press, 2012, co-authored with Geoffrey Sherington) and Preserving the Past: The University of Sydney and the Unified National System of Higher Education 1987-96, (Melbourne University Publishing, 2017, co-authored with Stephen Garton). In 1999-2002 she created a substantial archive of in-depth surveys and interviews with international students about their Australian experiences in the 1950s and 1960s (for UNSW Archives).

Gaby Ramia is Associate Professor in Public Policy in the Department of Government and International Relations and Theme Co-Leader, Smart and Working, in the NSW Institute of Public Policy, at The University of Sydney. His books include Governing Social Protection in the Long Term, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) and Regulating International Students’ Wellbeing (Policy Press, 2013, co-authored with Simon Marginson and Erlenawati Sawir). Gaby is currently one of three Chief Investigators on an Australian Research Council funded study on international student housing precarity.
 
Matthew A.M. Thomas is a senior lecturer in comparative education and sociology of education at the University of Sydney. He has worked as a public school teacher in the United States and as an educational researcher, educator, and consultant in Australia, Mali, Nigeria, Indonesia, Tanzania, and Zambia. His research examines educational policies, pedagogical practices, teachers’ lives, and the changing roles of teacher and higher education institutions. Most recently, Matthew is the co-editor of Examining Teach For All (Routledge, 2020) and the Handbook of Theory in Comparative and International Education (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Future seminar dates for your diary in this special series 23 September @4-5pm 14 October @4-5pm 4 November @4-5pm 2 December @4-5pm 

These online seminars are brought to you by History of University Life Sydney Research Seminar in Higher Education. History of University Life began in 2008 as a joint forum between the University of Sydney and St Paul’s college to discuss the history and role of universities in Australian life.  

Many thanks for the support of St Paul’s College since 2008. And thanks, too, for the wonderful assistance for the 2020 online series provided by the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney.  

For more information about the series please email the History of University Life convenors Click here to email.
Registration The Zoom webinar link will be sent as an email and calendar invite on the Monday prior to the event. If you registered for the entire series when you registered for the last seminar, you won’t need to register again. You will receive an invitation to this webinar automatically.

New registration? please click here to RSVP Missed the first seminar? If you missed the first seminar, or would like to watch it again, the webinar in this special series is now available online on the SOPHI talks site.

HUL on Social Media Please use the hashtag #UniKeeper for your social media posts. You can follow the History of University Life on Twitter @HULseminar.

Other social media
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Follow St Paul’s College on Twitter See the Department of History blog

Image by Max Dupain reproduced courtesy of the University Art Collection, University of Sydney.

History Student Prizes

Every year, the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI) holds a ceremony to recognise the brilliant endeavours of our students – both undergraduate and postgraduate.

This year we had to adapt to the virtual circumstances of the pandemic, so we celebrated both our Prize and Scholarship winners by holding the Award Ceremony as a Zoom webinar.  

The fabulous SOPHI team, working with Tiffany Brittan from FASS, worked incredibly hard to come up with what we believe was a positive, engaging and fun event for our students, their families, and our donors. It was also a pioneering effort for the Faculty, as it was one of the first fully online Prizes night.

Over 135 people joined together to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our students across the School, including many of our wonderful History students.

The History Prize Winners are listed below, followed by a note about what each prize recognises. You can also watch the speech of the History Department Chair, Professor Mark McKenna here, in which he congratulates the prize winners, and notes the special importance of History and the Humanities in times of crises.

The full program, including the award winners from each of the Departments of Archaeology, Classics and Ancient History, Philosophy, Gender and Cultural Studies, and the Scholarships awarded in International and Global Studies, can be found here. The full details of the History prizes listed below, are on pp. 17-19.

Many congratulations to all our Prize and Scholarship Winners.

HISTORY

Prizes

AE (Tony) Cahill History Prize

Robert Stone

Aisling Society of Sydney Prize for an essay on Irish or Irish-Australian History

Siobhan Ryan

Australasian Pioneers’ Club Scholarship

Elizabeth Heffernan

Charles Brunsdon Fletcher Prize for Pacific History

Robert Mason

Charles Trimby Burfitt Prize for the Study of Australian History Prior to 1900

Nicole Leong

George Arnold Wood Memorial Prize for History I

Clio Davidson-Lynch

George Arnold Wood Memorial Prize for History II

Samuel Goldberg

GS Caird Scholarship in History II

Imogen Harper

Siobhan Ryan

Helen Newbon Bennett Memorial Prize for Senior History

Briony Moore

History Department Prizes – For an outstanding essay on a subject relating to social justice and/or social inclusion

Sarah Blencowe

Samantha Whaitiri-Faitua

History Department Prizes – For outstanding work in HSTY3901

Samuel Lewis

History Department Prizes – For outstanding work in HSTY3902

Amanda Armstrong

History Department Prizes – For outstanding work in HSTY3903

Siobhan Ryan

Isabel M King Memorial Prize for History III

Georgia Horsley

J H M Nolan Memorial Prize for Proficiency in History

Pola Cohen

Philippe Erdos Prize in History

Elisabeth Barber

Scholarships

Undergraduate Equity Scholarships in History

Aisha Allazze

Micaila Bellanto

Darcy Campbell

Lydia Fagan

Theresa Moran

Laura Sole

Trent Taylor

God Save the Queen?

Sculpture in wood representing Queen Victoria.
AFRICA. Nigeria / Lagos [?]. Cultural Group: Yoruba Aku [?] Saro [?] Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Wood Plant / ?.
Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. Acc. No. 1965.10.1.
For more details, see Pitt Rivers Museum

The recent decision by the High Court on the ‘palace letters’ – correspondence between Governor-General John Kerr and Queen Elizabeth II and her staff at the time of the dismissal by the Governor-General of Gough Whitlam as Australian Prime Minister in 1975 – has again focussed interest on relations between Australians and the monarchy.  Though a referendum on a republic was defeated in 1999, largely because of disagreement about the mode of election of a non-royal Australian Head of State, the issue of the republic remains a live topic in political debate.  Meanwhile, the British royal family remains constantly in the news, from reports about Harry and Meghan’s flight to the United States to accusations of sexual misconduct by Prince Andrew.

A major collaborative project in the Department of History, led by Professor Robert Aldrich and Dr Cindy McCreery, has shed new light on the history of monarchy in the modern world, and in particular, on crucial links between monarchies and colonies and on the role of monarchies in the process of decolonisation.  Aldrich and McCreery have edited three volumes of papers on colonialism and monarchy, the most recent of which was published in June 2020, Monarchies and Decolonisation in Asia.  It followed Crowns and Colonies: European monarchies and overseas empires (2016) and Royals on Tour: Politics, pageantry and colonialism (2018), all three books published in Manchester University Press’ prestigious ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series.

With a total of 45 chapters and 919 pages, these three volumes include contributions by Aldrich and McCreery, as well as by the Department’s Professor Mark McKenna and Dr Jim Masselos (a now retired member and current Honorary Reader), as well as a cohort of scholars who have studied history at the University of Sydney – Jean Gelman Taylor, Matt Fitzpatrick, Susie Protschky, Emmanuelle Guenot and Bruce Baskerville.  Contributions to the volumes have come from specialists at several Australian universities and also from institutions in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, the United States, Canada, India, Myanmar, Singapore, Hong Kong and Indonesia.

In addition, Aldrich and McCreery have edited a special issue of the Royal Studies Journal on visits to the Dominions of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa by British royals in the twentieth century.  They have also engaged in individual work on modern monarchy, including Aldrich’s Banished Potentates: Dethroning and exiling indigenous monarchs under British and French colonial rule, 1815-1955 (2018).  McCreery is currently completing a major study of the world tour of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s son, in the 1860s and 1870s.  They have organised three conferences at the University of Sydney on monarchy and colonialism, with SOPHI financial support. Along with Dr Falko Schnike, Aldrich and McCreery organised an international conference on ‘Global Royal Families’, for which SOPHI provided partial funding, that was held at the German Historical Institute in London in January 2020 and that will also lead to publications.  In first semester of this year, they taught an honours seminar on ‘modern monarchy’ in the Department of History.

For Aldrich and McCreery, monarchy is often wrongly seen only as an anachronism in the twenty-first century world, or just as a theme for series such as ‘The Crown’ and tabloid news stories.  However, several dozen countries around the world, including Australia, still have a monarch as a head of state, and in some countries, the sovereign rules as well as reigns, even wielding absolute power.  Even in ‘constitutional monarchies’, hereditary sovereigns have ‘reserve powers’ (including the power to dismiss prime ministers directly or through their vice-regal representatives), even if they are rarely exercised, and other constitutional prerogatives.  They are frequently seen as symbols of historical continuity and national unity, and as exemplars of national values.  Many have enormous wealth, grand palaces and priceless collections of art, and they are at the centre of a large group of aristocrats, courtiers, providores, military personal and servants.  They are celebrities, their private lives the subject of almost unbounded public curiosity. 

Monarchy is one of the oldest and most widespread forms of government in the world, and in recent years there has been a renewed current systematic scholarly research on the subject to which Aldrich and McCreery and their collaborators have made a major contribution.  They have provided new Australian perspectives on monarchy and, with new materials and approaches, have discovered the key role played by the crown and sovereigns – both indigenous and foreign – in the processes of colonialism and decolonisation.  Through their publications, they have investigated monarchy across the world, including in Australia and the Commonwealth, and revealed the potency of the crown as institution and symbol, and of individual royals as key actors in international affairs.  In undertaking this work, they have also positioned the Department of History at Sydney as a leading centre for studies in modern monarchy and as a link in an international network of scholars examining the cultural, social and political history of an institution that continues to retain relevance – and also to provoke debate – in current affairs.

Want to learn more? Listen in to the “Hour of Power Podcast” with Robert and Cindy: “Monarchies really aren’t as simple as we think.”

Sydney University Historians Respond to the Pandemic

Despite the demands of the rapid shift to online teaching and new child care responsibilities, academic staff in the Department of History, University of Sydney, have been applying their expertise to help us understand the Covid-19 pandemic and its implications. Historians are revealing the social, cultural and political dimensions of the disease outbreak, especially in relation to racism and inequality, as well as illuminating its impact on international relations, economies, human rights and university learning.

Sophie Loy-Wilson has eloquently connected the Australian response to Covid-19–the so-called ‘China virus’–to our country’s long history of racism, and explained how our leaders should combat viral panic, ignorance and prejudice.

Turning to the United States, Thomas Adams considers the damage neoliberalism and health care privatisation are doing to workers’ health. In collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Coalition for a Fair Hospitality Fund, Adams is critically examining how economic aid is distributed in the pandemic. Meanwhile, Pamela Maddock, a recent Ph.D. graduate, is writing on the history of militarisation of American reactions to crises such as epidemics.

Sophie Chao is productively exploring how Covid-19 makes us think about our bodies differently, and reshapes intimacy and domesticity. A further article has just come out with Thesis Eleven, along with a special issue of Oceania, on the pandemic in the Pacific, co-edited with anthropologist Ute Eickelkamp.

In a similar cultural vein, Warwick Anderson has written on how to have philosophy in a pandemic, why the iconic Australian beach was re-imagined as a special space of contamination, and what the controversies over mask wearing mean for ‘face work’ in a time of Covid-19, particularly in the United States. Isis, the leading history of science journal, commissioned him to take a ‘second look’ at Charles Rosenberg’s The Cholera Years (1962) in the light of the pandemic, and he is writing an essay review for Public Books of three forthcoming epidemic histories. Additionally, he spoke with Christopher Lydon on U.S. National Public Radio’s Open Source–along with Jim Kim, former president of the World Bank–about national responses to Covid-19.

Others in History are explaining the pandemic’s implications for governance and international relations. Glenda Sluga looks closely at how the Coronascene has licensed xenophobia and nationalism, with dire consequences for international order. She has spoken widely on global aspects of the response to the pandemic and the recovery from it. In numerous articles, James Curran urges Australia not to use the excuse of Covid-19 to erect permanent walls against the rest of the world. He explores the pandemic’s impact on our relations with China and the United States. Marco Duranti is working with data scientists to conduct ‘text mining’ in order to illuminate what reactions to the new coronavirus might mean for human rights

Within the University sector itself, Julia Horne is writing on how Covid-19 has exposed Australian universities’ reliance on international students. While Miranda Johnson reflects thoughtfully on the pedagogical meanings of the shift toward online learning. Postgraduate student Robin M. Eames and undergraduate (and University disability officer) Margot Beavon-Collin have written a statement on behalf of the University of Sydney Disabilities Collective, explaining how epidemic diseases such as Covid-19 historically have disproportionately affected those with disabilities. Frances Clarke is helping history students create and curate materials, especially oral histories, for the Fisher Library’s new Covid-19 archive. And postgraduate student Hollie Pich has analysed such archive work—Covid history in the making, or capturing the pandemic for posterity—in the Guardian.

Finally, for some upcoming analysis and discussion about different aspects of the relationship between Universities and the current crisis, please join us online for the History of University Life seminar, starting with a discussion about what would it take to have a university-led recovery in the post-Covid world. Chaired by Julia Horne, University Historian at the University of Sydney and co-convenor of History of University Life, an invitation and full program details can be found here.

Sydney historians are entering the Coronasphere through diverse routes, but with the common goal to employ the methods and insights of the humanities and social sciences to better understand and engage with our global predicament.

Warwick Anderson

June 2020

Congratulations to Jamie Dunk

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the History Department, I’d like to congratulate Jamie Dunk. His recent book, Bedlam at Botany Bay, has just been shortlisted for the Ernest Scott Prize.

The prize is awarded annually to “the book judged to be the most distinguished contribution to the history of Australia or New Zealand or to the history of colonisation published in the previous year”.

This is a wonderful achievement as evidenced by the judges’ comments below. Well done Jamie!

All best,

Mark McKenna

Chair, Department of History

James Dunk, Bedlam at Botany Bay, New South, 2019

It’s the history of New South Wales, but not as we know it. The names are familiar, as are the events – Macarthurs, Wentworths, Blaxland, Bligh, rebellion, inquiries, select committees – but by paying close attention to the ‘strong personalities’, ‘eccentricities’ and ‘unfortunate endings’, Dunk puts us in the mirror house, where all that was familiar now feels strange and illuminating of quite a different colony. This is more than a collective biography, a history of whitefella madness, or the bureaucratic and jurisdictional journey to self-government. Dunk’s book reminds us that there is nothing inevitable about how things turn out: this is a rare feat in history-writing.

Power and Culture

Power and Culture: Making Indian Identity

A conference in honour of Jim Masselos

Department of History, The University of Sydney, CCANESA, Madsen Building

20-21 February 2020

Jim Masselos, Sydney and India

This conference celebrates the teaching, research, philanthropy and friendship of Dr Jim Masselos.  After completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney, he took a doctorate at the University of Bombay, and then returned to Sydney, where he taught for 36 years until his retirement in 2001; he is currently an Honorary Reader in the Department of History in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry.

Jim is an internationally renowned specialist in the history of Indian nationalism, the history of Bombay and the history of early photography and popular art in India.  Among his many publications are Nationalism on the Indian Subcontinent: An Introductory History (1972; revised ed., Indian Nationalism: A History, 1985); Towards Nationalism: Group Affiliations and the Politics of Public Associations in Nineteenth Century Western India (1974); Dancing to the Flute: Music and Dance in Indian Art (with Jackie Menzies and Pratapaditya Pal) (1997); Beato’s Delhi, 1857, 1997 (with Narayani Gupta, 2000, reprinted as Beato’s Delhi 1857 and Beyond, 2011); The City in Action: Bombay Struggles for Power (2007) and Bombay Then and Mumbai Now (with Naresh Fernandes) (2009), three exhibition catalogues, five edited books – including Bombay and Mumbai: The City in Transition, co-edited with our conference keynote speaker, Sujata Patel (2003) –  six special issues of academic journals, and seventy-odd journal articles and book chapters.

Jim is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and the Asiatic Society of Mumbai – one of fewer than ten foreigners elected since 1947 to a society that traces its origins to 1804.  Bombay Before Mumbai: Essays in Honour of Jim, edited by Prasant Kidambi, Manjiri Kamat and Rachel Dwyer, was published last year by Oxford University Press, and launched in both London and Mumbai. 

This conference has been made possible by generous funding from the John Anthony Gilbert Bequest and the Alexander John Anderson Bequest of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, allocated by the Dean of the Faculty, and by supplementary funding from the Department of History, for which we are extremely grateful. 

All sessions will take place in the meeting room of the Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA), on the first floor of the Madsen Building, on the main campus (near City Road) of the University of Sydney.

Morning coffee and afternoon tea will be provided to all participants, and lunch will be provided to paper-givers and chairs.  The conference dinner is open to all participants at their own expense.

Conference convened by Professor Robert Aldrich and Dr Cindy McCreery, Department of History, SOPHI, FASS, The University of Sydney

Thursday, 20 February

8.45                 Registration

9.00                 Welcome and practical information

9.30                 KEYNOTE ADDRESS

‘Studying Indian History and Society: Beyond Colonial and National Perspectives’

                        Sujata Patel (Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla)

10.45-11.00     Morning coffee

11.00-12.30     Session 1

‘Divine Damsels in distress: The Yoginis of Hirapur and Beraghat’

                        Richard Barz (Australian National University)

‘Religion and Empire: Roman Catholicism in Colonial Bengal and the Transnational World, 1841-1947’

                        Tim Allender (University of Sydney)

                        ‘Nineteenth-Century Commercial Laws and History’

                        Gail Pearson (University of Sydney)

12.30-1.30       Lunch

1.30-3.00         Session 2

 ‘Alternative Visions: Hindi and Australia’

                        Peter Friedlander (Australian National University)

‘Mapping Knowledge of New South Wales from Calcutta in the Late Eighteenth Century’

Eileen Chanin (Australian National University)

                        ‘Night Train to Varanasi’

                        Sean Doyle

3.00-3.30         Afternoon Tea

3.30-5.00         Session 3

                        ‘Indian Perceptions of a Burmese Nationalist in the 1920s’

                        Yuri Takahashi (Australian National University)

                        ‘The Politics of Place in Colonial Ahmedabad’

                        Rob Wooding

The Sounds of Anticolonialism: Gandhi, Noise and the Microphone’

                        Kama Maclean (University of New South Wales)

7.00     Conference dinner (at participants’ own expense) at Salt & Palm Restaurant, 22 Glebe Point Road, Glebe – a short walk from the conference site (restaurant to be confirmed).

Friday, 21 February

9.30-11.00       Session 4

                        ‘Bombay Roots, Global Networks: Kapila Khandvala, 1930s and 1940s’

Heather Goodall and Devleena Ghosh (University of Technology, Sydney)

                        ‘Indian Labour History and the 1974 Strike’

                        Stephen Sherlock (University of New South Wales, Canberra)

                        ‘The Huntington Thesis and India’

                        Howard Brasted (University of New England)

11.00-11.30     Morning Coffee

11.30-1.00       Session 5

                        ‘The Collection of an Indophile’

                        Jackie Menzies (Art Gallery of New South Wales)

                        ‘A Slice of India, 1966: Experimenting with Devices from the Australian Bicentennial History Project (1988)’

                        Robin Jeffrey (Institute of South Asian Studies, Singapore)

‘Cut and Come Again: Imagining the Sequel to Jim Masselos’ India: Creating a Modern Nation (1990)’

Peter Mayer (University of Adelaide)

1.00-2.00         Lunch

2.00-3.00         Session 6

                        ‘Ayahs in Australian History’: Searching for Subaltern Women’

                        Victoria Haskins

‘Nineteenth-Century Indian Photography and the Crisis of Postcolonial Secularism’

                        Sushma Griffin (University of Queensland)

3.00-4.00         Roundtable discussion on Indian history in Australia

4.00-4.30         Afternoon tea

4.30-5.00         Concluding remarks by Jim Masselos

Scholar Talk: A Soldier’s Life on the Penal Frontier

With Tamsin O’Connor

Location: State Library of New South Wales

Metcalfe Auditorium, Ground Floor, Macquarie Street, Sydney

The well-documented convict cargo was accompanied by a far more elusive group of involuntary arrivals – the soldiers. We know much about the various regiments that served in New South Wales, but far less about the enlisted men who gave them form and force.The focus of this study is the frontier penal station of Newcastle, where the soldiers were charged with a double remit – as the agents of expansion and as the enforcers of confinement. This dual military function is examined through the story of two wooden boxes, including the Macquarie Collectors chest. This is curated as a National Treasure, an early example of Australiana and as an artistic colonial collaboration. My analysis relocates the chest in its military and penal contexts where it begins too look more acquisitive than collaborative – the incidental spoils of a frontier war and the perks of an exploited labour force. A second and more humble wooden box focuses upon the experiences of enlisted men, who felt themselves to be as trapped and tormented as the convicts they guarded. Relationships between convicts and soldiers were characterised by a tension between conflict and cooperation, between class commonality and regimental discipline and between the complex loyalties of religion and ethnicity. This paper, while seeking to negotiate these micro-geographies of class, race, gender and power on the penal frontier, also aims to reveal that the soldiers, were less tangential to the construction of convict society (as opposed to the destruction of Aboriginal society) than the monolithic archive of the Colonial Office would have us suppose. Indeed some soldiers crossed the regimental rubicon and joined convict bushrangers and pirates.

And everyone loves a pirate! So do come it’s on November 5th. Melbourne cup day or Guy Fawkes – depending on your cultural reflexes!

Remember Remember the 5th November!

Tamsin O’Connor is completing her Ph.D. at the University of Sydney. Her thesis entitled, ‘All those Places of Condemnation’: Power Relations and Convict Resistance at the Penal Stations of New South Wales 1804 – 1842,’ focuses on the settlements at Newcastle and Moreton Bay, which existed on either side of the Bigge Report. She has published her research in a number of edited collections.

For more information see: https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/scholar-talk-soldiers-life-penal-frontier

Source: Macquarie’s Collector’s Chest, SLNSW, showing the open drawers, specimens and the painted panels

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).

History on Wednesday – Department Seminar Series

Semester One
Time: 12.10-1.30 pm
Place: Woolley Common Room, Woolley Building A22 (Enter Woolley through the entrance on Science Road and climb the stairs in front of you. Turn left down the corridor, and the WCR is the door at the end of the hall)
Click here for map
Or:
Professorial Board Room, Main Quadrangle (Enter the vestibule near the Nicholson Museum. Take the stairs and turn left at the top.)
Click here for map
Coordinator:
Michael A. McDonnell
Semester 1 2019
Week 3 – Mar 13 – Professorial Board Room
Marilyn Lake, University of Melbourne, “From MUP to HUP: The Re-Shaping of Progressive New World”
Abstract: In January this year Harvard University Press published my book Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and TransPacific Exchange Shaped American Reform. In presenting the argument of the book, I shall also talk about the ways in which negotiations with different publishers – in Australia, the UK and US – shaped conceptual transformations in the thematic orientation and theoretical framework of this transnational transPacific book. It became in the end, I hope, a more interesting book and a work of American history. ‘Progressive New World’, I write in the Introduction, ‘offers a new history of progressivism as a transpacific project shaped by Australasian example and the shared experience and racialized order of settler colonialism’. It is a book about postcolonial sensibilities and the subjective politics of race.
Bio: Professor Marilyn Lake grew up in Tasmania, where she completed her undergraduate and Master’s degrees in History. She moved to Melbourne in 1976 and enrolled in a PhD degree in History at Monash University. During that time she gave birth to two daughters, Kath and Jess. She subsequently held academic positions at Monash University, The University of Melbourne and La Trobe University, where she also served as Associate Dean Research and was appointed Charles LaTrobe Professor in History in 2010. Professor Lake held Visiting Professorial Fellowships at Stockholm University, ANU, the University of Sydney, the University of Western Australia and the University of Maryland. Between 2001 and 2002 she held the Chair in Australian Studies at Harvard University. In the last ten years she has mainly been in research positions supported by two ARC Australian Professorial Fellowships. Professor Lake was elected Fellow of the Academy of Humanities of Australia in 1995; and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia in 1999. She has also served as President of the Australian Historical Association. Author of numerous books and articles, Professor Lake has won many prizes, including: The Limits of Hope: Soldier Settlement in Victoria 1915-38 won the Harbison-Higinbotham prize and was short-listed for the Age Book of the Year in 1987; FAITH: Faith Bandler Gentle Activist won the HREOC award for non-fiction in 2002; Creating a Nation which Marilyn wrote with Patricia Grimshaw, Ann McGrath and Marian Quartly also won the HREOC prize for non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Adelaide Writers’ Festival Prize; Drawing the Global Colour Line which she co-authored with Henry Reynolds won the Ernest Scott prize, the Queensland Premier’s Prize for History and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Non-Fiction in 2009.
Week 5 – Mar 27 – MECO Seminar Room S226
Niccolò Pianciola, Lingnan University, Hong Kong, “The Aral Sea Fisheries and the Environmental History of Settler Colonialism in Central Asia, 1873-1917”
Abstract: The presentation addresses the managing of Aral Sea fisheries by the Tsarist administration, and the making of a colonial frontier inhabited by exiled Ural Cossack, Qaraqalpaq, Qazaq, Russian, and Ukrainian fishermen. By comparing the different power relations between Cossacks and the local population on the Ural River and in the Aral Sea region, it shows how they shaped fisheries management regulations and their effectiveness. It also investigates the conditions of production of scientific knowledge on the Aral Sea ecosystem and what role it played in governance decision-making. By drafting a series of fishing regulations and by examining the balance between humans and aquatic animals, scientists oriented the Tsarist government’s decisions on how to manage both the fisheries and the populations that exploited them.
Bio: Niccolò Pianciola is Associate Professor of History at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. His research focuses on the social and environmental history of Tsarist and Soviet Asia. His first book focused on the relations between immigrant Slavic peasants in Central Asia, local pastoralists (Kazakhs and Kyrgyz) and the state from the late Tsarist Empire to Stalinism. The resulting monograph, Stalinismo di frontiera. Colonizzazione agricola, sterminio dei nomadi e costruzione statale in Asia Centrale (1905-1936), investigates the historical background of the great famine in Kazakhstan in 1931-33, one of the worst man-made catastrophes of the twentieth century. After dealing with peasant immigration in the Kazakh steppe during late Tsarism,the revolt of 1916 in Central Asia, early Soviet decolonization policies, and Stalinist “revolution from above”, it highlights the causes and patterns of development of the famine. The book is based on extensive research in provincial, republican and central archives in Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and outlines the ambiguous policies of neocolonization and decolonization of the early Soviet state in Central Asia. Dr. Pianciola also studied the policies of forced population transfers during periods of war, revolution and competitive state-building in the twentieth century. He recently published a co-authored book on the topic covering East-Central Europe, the Balkans, Anatolia, the Caucasus and Soviet Asia (1850s-1950s), with A. Ferrara, entitled, L’età delle migrazioni forzate. Esodi e deportazioni in Europa (1853-1953) [The Age of Forced Migrations.] Bologna: Il Mulino, 2012,
Week 8 – Apr 17 – Woolley Common Room
Sophie Chao, University of Sydney, “Eating and Being Eaten”: Gastro-Politics in a West Papuan Village
Abstract: This paper explores the cultural meanings of hunger and satiety among indigenous Marind in the Indonesian-controlled region of West Papua. I begin by describing the nourishing qualities attributed by Marind to sago and other forest-derived foods in light of their associations with place-making, multispecies sociality, and collective memory. I then investigate how agro-industrial expansion and commodified foodways provoke conflicting forms of hunger among Marind – hunger for sago, ‘plastic’ foods, money, and the flesh of other humans. At the same time, Marind see themselves as subjected to the hunger of threatening ‘others’: corporations, roads, cities, and monocrop oil palm. Finally, I examine how villagers interpret the prevalence of hunger in light of indigenous spiritual beliefs, the political history of West Papua, Catholic notions of martyrdom, and the association of hunger with a ‘modern’ way of life. The paper invites attention to hunger and satiety as culturally constructed, politically situated, and morally charged categories of experience, whose significance may draw from yet also transcend, biophysical conceptions of hunger defined in terms of nutritional deficiency and food deprivation. In particular, I suggest that Marinds’ ambivalent self-positioning as both the ‘eaters’ and the ‘eaten’ constitutes a perceptive, if troubling, critique, of capitalism in both its attributes and effects.
Bio: Sophie Chao joined the History Department at the University of Sydney in March 2019. Dr. Chao received her PhD in Social Anthropology from Macquarie University in February 2019. She holds a BA in Oriental Studies and a Masters in Anthropology from Oxford University. Her doctoral thesis, which received a Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation, was based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in Indonesian West Papua, where she investigated the socio-environmental impacts of monocrop oil palm plantations among indigenous forest-dwelling communities. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Chao undertook extensive research on human rights and agribusiness in Southeast Asia as a member of international Indigenous rights organization Forest Peoples Programme. Her postdoctoral project will weave together social science methods (including history), science and technology studies, and biomedicine to examine the nutritional and health impacts of agribusiness on humans and their environments across the tropical belt. Dr. Chao is also interested in research development more generally and looks forward to engaging in inter-disciplinary collaboration of the Department of History and FASS (more generally) with the Charles Perkins Centre.
Week 10 – May 8 – Professorial Board Room
Scott Relyea, Appalachian State University, “Lamas, Empresses, and Tea: Sharing imperial models in early twentieth-century Tibet”
Abstract: As the twentieth century opened, the Tibetan plateau was a zone of intense imperial contact – and competition – between British India and Qing China. Indian rupees had become the primary currency of commercial exchange across the plateau, and British explorers had gathered detailed knowledge of both the presumed natural resource bounty of eastern Tibet and the lucrative border tea trade traversing it. Although Sichuan Province officials engaged with administering the Kham region of eastern Tibet shared a common perception of Khampa society with their British counterparts, they also recognised the encroachment of Indian rupees, British explorers, and ambitious railway plans as potential challenges to Qing authority, if not a prologue to territorial expansion paralleling the contemporaneous scramble for concessions in coastal China. This presentation will explore the mutual exchange of imperial models fostered by the interaction between British and Sichuanese officials, merchants, and explorers in this region, and its influence on transformative policies in Qing China’s southwest borderlands.
Bio: Dr. Scott Relyea is currently a Fulbright U.S. Scholar and senior visiting scholar in the School of History and Culture at Sichuan University in Chengdu, PRC. An Assistant professor of Asian history at Appalachian State University in Boon, N.C., USA, He is in the midst of a two-year research visit to China, funded by a Fulbright grant and a Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Postdoctoral Fellowship in China Studies. A historian of late imperial and modern China, Dr. Relyea’s research centres on state-building and nationalism in the southwest borderlands of China and the global circulation of concepts of statecraft and international law in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In addition to his current research, Dr. Relyea is working on converting his dissertation into a book, tentatively titled Gazing at the Tibetan Plateau: China’s Infrontier and the Early Twentieth Century Evolution of Sino-Tibetan Relations. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and Master’s degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies and the George Washington University.

Week 12 – May 22 – Woolley Common Room

Debbie Doroshow, Yale University, “A New Kind of Child: Residential Treatment and the Creation of Emotional Disturbance in Twentieth Century America.”
Abstract: Before the 1940s, children with severe emotional difficulties would have had few options. If they could not be cared for in the community at a child guidance clinic, they might have been placed in a state mental hospital or asylum, an institution for the so-called “feebleminded,” or a training school for delinquent children. But starting in the 1930s and 1940s, more specialized institutions began to open all over the country with the goal of treating these children. Staff members at residential treatment centers (RTCs) shared a commitment to helping children who couldn’t be managed at home. They adopted an integrated approach to treatment, employing talk therapy, schooling, and other activities in the context of a therapeutic environment. In the process, they made visible a new kind of person: the emotionally disturbed child. This is a story about Americans struggling to be normal at a time when being different was dangerous. At RTCs, treating emotional disturbance and building normal children and normal families were inextricably intertwined. Though normality remained a distant, if unreachable goal for most children in residential treatment, RTC professionals grounded their therapeutic approach within this ideal. The emergence of RTCs to build normal children and the emergence of emotionally disturbed children as a new patient population were thus fundamentally intertwined.
Bio: Deborah Doroshow began her studies in the history of medicine at Harvard, where she earned an A.B. in the history of science. She graduated from Harvard Medical School and received a Ph.D. in the history of medicine from Yale. Her work on the history of psychiatry and the history of children’s health has appeared in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Isis, and the Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Her book, Emotionally Disturbed: Caring For America’s Troubled Children, was published by the University of Chicago Press in April 2019. She is currently completing her fellowship in adult hematology and oncology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where she frequently lectures and teaches medical students and undergraduates about both oncology and the history of medicine. In August 2019, she will be Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
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