History Seminar Series, 23 May: Dr Joanna Cruickshank – ‘Reacting to the Past: Gaming History’

Dr Joanna Cruickshank will present her paper, ‘Reacting to the Past: Gaming History’, at this week’s History Seminar (Wednesday, 11am).

Abstract:

In this seminar Jo will be providing an overview of the pedagogy, Reacting to the Past, and its potential applications in teaching history and other subjects at Deakin. Reacting to the Past consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas and improve intellectual and academic skills. Jo will talk about her experience of playing a number of Reacting games, discuss the research about the benefits (and challenges) of this pedagogy and plans to introduce it at Deakin.

Bio:

Jo is a Senior Lecturer in History in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Joanna teaches units in the field of gender, Pacific and Indigenous history, and her research examines the role of religion in British and Australian history. These include studies of missionary women involved in Aboriginal missions, a history of sermons in the British world and colonial Australia and research on the religious understandings of colonial humanitarians. Joanna is the Reviews Co-Editor of the Journal of Religious History.

Room Details:

Burwood: C.205
Waurn Ponds: ic3.108
VMP: ARTSED 2 (36917)

Brad Underhill wins Vice Chancellor’s Prize

Congratulations to Contemporary Histories PhD student Brad Underhill for winning the Vice Chancellor’s Prize for his honours’ thesis titled ‘Cooperatives in Papua New Guinea: Economic and Political Development or Colonial Control’, supervised by Associate Professor Helen Gardner. 

The Vice Chancellor’s Prize is awarded to the top two honours students in each faculty. Brad receives $1000 and a commemorative plaque.

Here’s a summary of the thesis:

‘The co-operative movement as a post-war colonial development tool is generally regarded as an economic and social failure, an example of ill-planned and under-resourced management. From their inception in the early 1950s, and largely supported by high world copra prices, co-operatives rewarded Papua New Guineans with a significant lift to their financial well-being. But as passion waned, unskilled management and a lack of Australian colonial government support created an environment where failure of the movement was unavoidable. As such, co-operatives have been undervalued and overlooked as a platform for Indigenous notions of socio-economic development and micro-nationalist movements. This thesis is primarily arguing that, despite their economic failure, colonial sponsored co-operatives were instrumental in the long-term success of two independent, self-supporting, subsequent communal organisations in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea; the Hahalis Welfare Society on Bougainville and the Tutukuvul Isukal Association on New Hanover Island.  Further, by making this link, this paper is challenging the standard analysis regarding the co-operative movement; of European domination, broken promises and financial disappointment. Instead, co-operatives can be understood in terms of what anthropologist Marshal Sahlins calls ‘the Indigenisation of modernity’, a utilitarian harnessing of the best aspects of European ideas for the communal development of the people of Bougainville and New Hanover.’

 

History Seminar Series, 16 May – Karen Donnelly: ‘The AIF Concert Parties WWI: Pre-war Theatrical Networks and Their Transformation’

Karen Donnelly will present her paper, ‘The AIF Concert Parties WWI: Pre-war Theatrical Networks and Their Transformation’, at this week’s History Seminar Series (Wednesday 16 May, 11am).

Abstract:

Of the 331,781 soldiers who embarked for overseas service, 990 stated on their Attestation forms that their profession was associated with the arts. Of these, 384 were actors, acrobats, vaudeville performers, magicians, singers and dancers, many of whom went on to join AIF concert party troupes. These troupes were independent military units and were structured on a civilian touring theatrical management system. This paper explores these concert parties within the AIF military structure to demonstrate how they created a new theatrical genre and re-imagined the female-impersonator against the backdrop of war.

The process of developing and producing creative material for soldiers was based on pre-existing theatrical practises, and the entertainment format was drawn from the pre-war vaudeville stage. However, in the absence of female performers, the concert party metamorphosed the familiar ‘panto-dame’ into a convincing female impersonator. This paper will examine the types of acts performed by the concert parties, with particular attention to the emergence of the female impersonator, to show how the First World War prompted the emergence of a new theatrical genre for AIF soldiers and post-war civilian audiences.

Karen is a postgraduate student in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University. 

Room Details:

Burwood: C.205
Waurn Ponds: ic3.108
VMP: ARTSED 2 (36917)

Welcome to Our New Member – Mr Michael Piggott

We are delighted to welcome our new member, Mr Michael Piggott. In late March 2018 Michael joined an ARC research team as Senior Research Fellow. The project focuses on the policies and collections of three state libraries (SA, Vic and NSW) and the National Library as they relate to multicultural Australia.  He will be based at the National Library for the next 12 months, focussing particularly on its collections, developing and applying a methodology to assess the extent to which they reflect culturally and linguistically diverse people and communities in Australia.

He has been working as a consultant archivist and researcher since 2008, having for nearly 40 years previously been with the National Library, the War Memorial, the National Archives and the University of Melbourne Archives and Cultural Collections Group. A foundation member of the Australian Society of Archivists since 1975, he has contributed to the library and archives professions in a variety of ways including editing Archives and Manuscripts, producing and editing publications, organising conferences and leading debates. He was made an AM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.

His current involvements include Treasurer, Honest History and Chair, Territory Records Advisory Council, and in 2017 he finished a 5 year term as President of the Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre.  He has contributed to the professional literature in Australia and internationally, produced guides to collections, undertaken significance assessments – usually subcontracted by Significance International Ltd, produced commissioned book reviews, peer reviews, and theses examination reports in archival science areas. His major publication is Archives and Societal Provenance; Australian Essays (Chandos, 2012). Continue reading Welcome to Our New Member – Mr Michael Piggott