Newsletter stream

FRIDAY 27TH 2020. 


Dr John Doyle hosted a Q&A session with award-winning political historian Judith Brett about her latest book, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting, and her forthcoming Quarterly Essay on Australia’s addiction to coal, out in June.

Rod Gillet reviewed Roy Hay‘s recent book, Aboriginal people and Australian football in the nineteenth century: They did not come from nowhere, in ‘Time On,’ Annual Journal of the New South Wales Australian Football History Society, 2019, pp. 60-61. 


Dr. Carolyn Holbrook was interviewed on The Dead Prussian Podcast. Holbrook, along with Prof. Keir Reeves, chatted about their book, The great war: Aftermath and commemoration. You can listen back to the podcast here


Due to government and institutional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, professional historians are experiencing dramatic changes to how they work and socialise. As we learn to negotiate these challenges, there are other demands, such as mortgage repayments, food and utility costs, that require our professional lives to continue. In response, PhD Candidate Deb Lee Talbot has established a series of free Shut Up and Write/Create sessions online.
A core difference between this model and others in existence is that these is that these Shut Up and Write/Create sessions recognise we are now attempting to negotiate work from our households. These spaces may include housemates, parents, children, or a yodelling Border Collie dog. There is an understanding that some sessions maybe a little less structured than others. Also, these sessions are designed to warmly welcome individuals not just writing but creating, be it artwork, a musical score, choreography planning and so forth. 
To partake in the session you will need a link and password so please contact Deborah Lee-Talbot at 

FRIDAY 20TH 2020.

Professor David Lowe features in a new Radio National Podcast: The Sands of Ooldea Collection. Professor Lowe’s contribution can be located in part 3 about Maralinga. There will also be an online article published by ABC news coming out later in the month which includes bonus material from the interview.


Professor Klaus Neumann, published with Inside Story, ‘In Defence of Europe‘, where he considers As the European Commission swings behind Greece, signs of an alternative Europe are emerging. Neumann also authored, ‘That Other Virus‘, where he considers, that despite Europe’s failure to rise to the challenge in Greece, the “virus of insolidarity” is still being resisted.

Honourary Fellow at Deakin University, Roy Hay, authored an article for Footy Almanac, When Coranderrk Won the Premiership: A Story. Also, Rod Gillett reviewed Hay’s recent book, Aboriginal People and Australian Football in the Nineteenth Century: They Did Not Come from Nowhere, in ‘Time On: Annual Journal of the New South Wales Australian Football History Society’, 2019, pp. 60–61.

Dr John Doyle hosted a Q&A session with award-winning political historian Judith Brett about her latest book, From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting, and her forthcoming Quarterly Essay on Australia’s addiction to coal, out in June.



Researchers: We Want You

Apply for a National Library Fellowship

The Library has diverse collections that support, inspire and transform research. Fellowships enable researchers to embark on a period of intensive research into the collections in a supportive, intellectual and creative environment.

Who should apply?

Fellowships are open to researchers from Australia and overseas undertaking advanced research projects. Eight funded fellowships will be awarded for research areas where the Library’s collections have the depth to support the desired outcomes.

What do Fellows receive?

·        an honorarium of AUD1,000 per week for 12 weeks

·        travel and accommodation support*

·        privileged access to the Library’s collections, staff and resources

·        uninterrupted time for research

Additional Honorary Fellowships may be awarded to support research and special access but without financial support.

Applications close Friday 24 April 2020 at 5pm (AEST)
Read the Fellowship guidelines and apply

The National Library of Australia is able to offer these fellowships thanks to generous philanthropic support from the Stokes Family; the Harold S. Williams Trust; the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust; past and present members of the National Library Council and Patrons; and in memory of Averill Edwards.

*Conditions apply, see website for details

Please check the NLA website for the latest operating and program news. 


8 April

Presenter:  David Wetherell

Title: Liverpool plains, Hawkesbury River, City of Liverpool.


Apart from Queen Victoria no prominent Briton has left so deep an imprint on the Australian topography as Robert Banks Jenkinson Lord Liverpool. That he was one of Britain’s longest-serving Prime Ministers is well known. Virtually unknown is that he was part-Indian.

This paper discusses Robert’s Oxford background. Alongside his family and university is the career of his lifelong friend and junior political colleague Charles Wetherell, named in honour of his father.

Until the Age of Reform Liverpool is known for his signature on the Australian landscape; after the Age of Reform, he was dismissed as a mediocrity. The final few moments of the seminar discusses the radical parliamentary changes following his death. These led to the rise of what is now called ‘Whig history’ which dealt a blow not only to Robert’s reputation but meant obloquy, ridicule and political nemesis for his colleague Charles.   

Venue details will be provided closer to the presentation date.

Long table with multiple laptops open, paper work and workstations in view
Source: Marvin Meyer on Unsplash.

Friday 27 February 2020


CHRG member, Klaus Neumann, authored ‘Anatomy of a broken taboo’, and examined how an election in a tiny East German state has reverberated all the way to the top of the country’s politics for Inside Story. You can catch up on this short read here>


Australian Policy and History director, Carolyn Holbrook, was invited to participate in an international panel about history and policy at the recent American Historical Association conference in New York, with Dane Kennedy from the National History Center<> and Charles Kraus from the Wilson Center<> in Washington DC and Andrew Blick from History and Policy<> in London.

The panel discussed the increasing appetite for historical perspectives on major international issues such as climate change and declining trust in democracy. It also discussed the challenges of communicating historians’ work to policy makers and measuring their impact on public policy.

An extract from Carolyn’s presentation on 4 January 2020 is available here>


We are delighted to announce the Contemporary Histories Research Group Award in Policy in History!

Designed to support Early Career Researchers recipients will receive:

$10,000 to fund archival research and other expenses, paid in instalments**

Mentoring by senior Deakin historians in the preparation of publications and access to institutional and staff support for DECRA/Alfred Deakin Post-Doctoral Fellowship applications

Use of Deakin library resources

Attendance with flight and accommodation expenses covered at the 2020 Australian Policy and History conference in Canberra

Recipients must produce:

A journal article relating to their research for submission to a highly ranked Australian or international journal with Deakin University affiliation on byline

An 800-word opinion piece for publication on the Australian Policy and History website

A presentation at the 2020 Australian Policy and History conference in Canberra

Applications are due on Thursday 12 March 2020 and must include:

A 1000-word project description, including detail of:

how the research will be undertaken (sources, archives, budget etc.)

how the research will inform an important issue of Australian public policy


Supporting letter from PhD supervisor or senior academic

The awards commence on 14 April 2020 and conclude on 18 December 2020.

Email application documents to Dr Carolyn Holbrook by 11.59pm on Thursday 12 March 2020,

Selection Criteria

Project Quality 30%

Has the candidate outlined a coherent and rigorous project, with a well-defined research question and knowledge of historiography and principal themes?

Candidate 30%

Track record of the candidate as gauged by publication record and other factors including public engagement.

Feasibility 20%

Demonstrated timeline and budget for achievement of the project.

Benefit and Collaboration 20%

How does this research inform a pressing issue of public policy? What connections can the candidate demonstrate with relevant external stakeholders, e.g. public service?

* Early career researchers are defined as per ARC rules. They must have an award of PhD date on, or after 1 March 2017, or have an award of PhD date together with an allowable period of career interruptions that would be commensurate with an award of PhD date on, or after 1 March 2017. The allowable career interruptions set out and the period allowed for each are in Table 9 of the Grant Guidelines for the ARC Discovery Program (2019 edition).

° The awards are open only to ECRs without continuing positions.

**The award will be paid in instalments subject to the conditions of the award agreement. Applicants will be responsible for any tax liability which may arise from award of the grant. Recipients who are not employees of Deakin University must have an ABN in order to invoice Deakin University.

Further details are available at>


Time/ Date: Wednesday 18 March 2020; 11 am to 12 pm.

Locations: Burwood Mtg Room C7.06; Geelong ic2.108; VMP ARTSED 2 36917.

Title: “The Weight of the Dead on the Living”: Identifying Fallen Soldiers 1914-18

Presenter: Sarah Ashbridge, University of Huddersfield

Abstract: This paper explores the development and introduction of British and Australian soldiers’ identity discs and their problematic use during the First World War.

With problems in the durability of discs and despite the introduction of the double identity disc in 1916, the number of unidentified bodies increased exponentially as the war progressed.  The inability to confirm the fate and location of so many men would reshape civilian cultures of grief and mourning, as national loss took priority over personal loss. The public needed answers. More specifically, the living needed answers. 

This paper will utilise archival reports, the letters of soldiers and items of material culture to explore the ‘weight of the dead on the living’ as a result of the failures of British identity discs used during the First World War. It will conclude with a number of archaeological case studies to demonstrate the difficulties with the identification of fallen soldiers in the field today, making recommendations for the improved recording of personal effects in order to assist future investigations to establish identity. 

Sarah Ashbridge is a PhD student in the History Department at the University of Huddersfield, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Heritage Consortium. She is co-supervised in the School of Archaeological and Forensic Sciences at the University of Bradford, from which university she received her MSc Forensic Archaeology and Crime Scene Investigation. Utilising an interdisciplinary methodology, Sarah’s doctoral research takes an anthropological approach to the history of British identity discs, also used by Australian soldiers during the First World War, situating their development within the broader history of the use identifying marks for the purpose of identifying fallen soldiers. Sarah is visiting Australia to work with Dianne Rutherford at the Australian War Memorial, completing investigative work to confirm or disprove the presence of asbestos in British and Australian identity discs, making recommendations for the storage and handling of identity discs in museums and archives today.

Friday 21 February 2020


In the media

CHRG member, Peter Edwards, took part in a Big Ideas program on Radio National, on ‘A history of popular protest in Australia’, together with Bob Brown, Verity Burgman and Pat Turner.
Popular protest movements have helped shift attitudes and shape Australia. Suffragettes pushed for the right of women to vote. Millions marched to demand an end to Vietnam War. Early gay and lesbian Mardi Gras marchers paved the way for LGBITQ rights. Today, Extinction Rebellion protesters are taking to the streets. What are the ingredients of a successful protest? Do rallies and radical activism, still get results?
Recorded at the National Museum of Australia on November 20, 2019. The program was first broadcast on 12 February and is available as an ABC podcast here.
Image credit: Malte Wingen

PhD Candidates- Publication and Scholarship Opportunities

The opportunity to publish your work in the Victorian Historical Journal, a peer-reviewed journal that publishes original work on the history of Victoria.

It is currently edited by the eminent scholars Richard Broome and Judith Smart, who are determined to give new and emerging scholars a real opportunity to publish in the field.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Dr. Bart Ziino, and see the flyer > RHSV-PostgradWriters-Flyer. 




Apply for the 2020 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research
The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program and the Project on History and Strategy at CSIS seek applications for the 2020 Summer Institute on Conducting Archival Research (SICAR). Ph.D. candidates in various disciplines from the US and around the world are welcome to apply, with particular consideration for those who can demonstrate a policy-relevant historical research agenda. The deadline for applications is Sunday, March 8, 2020.
SICAR is a four-day seminar-style program co-hosted by the Wilson Center and CSIS in cooperation with George Washington’s Cold War Group. The objective is to provide Ph.D. students training from world-class faculty, researchers, archivists, policy practitioners, and publishers on conducting archival research and designing research agendas on topics broadly related to international history, national security, diplomacy and the military. Although archival research is an integral part of many academic disciplines, it is virtually never taught at the graduate level. To address this deficiency and provide PhD candidates with the tools they need to make the most of their access to historical archives, SICAR offers in-depth training, access to expert historians and practitioners, and familiarization with the intersection of history and policy in the heart of Washington, D.C.
Competitive candidates for the 2020 SICAR cohort are pursuing a Ph.D. topic in a variety of disciplines, including history, international relations, government, sociology, and public policy, as well as area and regional studies. Candidates should demonstrate an open mind about applying their research to contemporary policy and strategy questions. Preference will be given to students who have defended their dissertation proposal and who are about to embark on archival research.
The 2020 Seminar will be held during the week of May 26-May 29. Seminar sessions will take place at the Wilson Center and CSIS in downtown Washington, DC, followed by optional networking and sightseeing event programming. Student participants are required to attend all seminar sessions. (Exact schedule TBA).
The deadline for applications for the 2020 program is March 8, 2020. All materials must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST.
Applications should include the application cover sheet, curriculum vitae, and a one to two page (12 pt. font, double spaced, 1” margins) proposal outlining how your dissertation research would benefit from participation in SICAR. One letter of recommendation should also be submitted directly by the recommender. All application materials should be submitted via e-mail to The Wilson Center will make an effort to confirm receipt of all application materials.
The Wilson Center and CSIS will provide meals and hotel accommodations in Washington for non-local participants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to request additional funding for travel and ground expenses from their home institution or elsewhere.
For further information, please contact, or read about past seminars here and here.


‘Urgent Histories’: AHA Annual Conference News

AHA/Copyright Agency Postgraduate Conference Bursaries Applications Are Now Open!

The Australian Historical Association in association with the Copyright Agency offers travel and writing bursaries linked to the AHA annual conference. The bursaries are intended to encourage and support emerging historians who would otherwise be unable to attend the conference.  Applications close 13 March 2020. More details are available here.

Jill Roe Early Career Researcher AHA Conference Scholarship Scheme Applications Are Now Open!

The second round of the Jill Roe Early Career Researcher AHA Conference Scholarship Scheme is now open. The scheme will support 5 Early Career Research historians to attend and present at the AHA annual conference. The scholarship, valued at $1000 per applicant, provides financial assistance for ECR applicants with little or no institutional support. The money is to be used towards assisting with registration costs, travel and accommodation.
Applications close 13 March 2020. More details are available here.

AHA/Honest History Conference 2020 Secondary School Teacher Scholarship Applications Are Now Open!

The AHA/Honest History: AHA Conference Teacher Scholarship supports a secondary school History teacher to attend the annual Australian Historical Association Conference to promote engagement between History teachers and the broader historical community. Funding for this scheme is made possible by a generous donation from Honest History which supports balanced and honest history writing in Australia. This is the final year of funding for this scholarship. The scholarship, valued at $400, provides financial assistance to facilitate attendance at the AHA annual conference. The money is to be used towards assisting with registration costs, travel, and accommodation. 
Applications are due 13 March 2020. Further information is available here.  

Friday 14 February 2020

New Member Welcome

CHRG welcomes its newest member, Dr. Christopher Mayes.

Dr Mayes is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow based in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University. Chris’s research interests include the history and philosophy of medicine, sociology of food, and political theory.  

Chris’s DECRA project is on the history of bioethics in Australia. This project aims to provide the first comprehensive account of the emergence of bioethics in Australia from the late-1970s. Using archival sources, oral histories, and theoretical analysis, this project examines the distinctive local and global contributions of Australian bioethics to regulatory frameworks, legal reform, and public discourse surrounding reproductive technologies, manipulation of embryonic life, and reconfiguration of the human subject.  

Chris’s first book, The Biopolitics of Lifestyle: Foucault, Ethics, and Health Choices  (Routledge, 2016), traced the transformation of the ways bodies, fat and health have been understood in Western societies leading to the emergence of obesity as a social, political and ethical problem.  

In addition to the history and philosophy of medicine, Chris has published on the history of agriculture in Australia, its role in dispossession of Indigenous peoples and its contemporary legacies in food politics and ethics. He is the author of Unsettling Food Politics: agriculture, dispossession and sovereignty in Australia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).  

Chris has contributed to The Conversation, ABC Religion & Ethics, and has been guest on a number of ABC RN programs and interviewed for Marie Claire. 

Publication News 

Christopher Mayes had an article published in the Journal of Intercultural Studies –Governmentality of Fencing in Australia. The article examines how the importation of wire fencing in the 1860s transformed pastoral practices and introduced new modes of governing biological life considered “pests”>…/abs/10.…/07256868.2020.1704228

ABSTRACT: The importation of wire-fencing to Australia from the 1840s transformed the management of sheep. Rather than shepherds watching over flocks, wire-fences allowed sheep to roam relatively unsupervised in paddocks. It is commonly argued that the popularity of wire-fenced paddocks arose because they reduced labor costs and improved wool production. This is partly true. The declining use of shepherds to protect flocks coincided with the ending of brutal frontier wars and localised eradication of dingoes. That is, the conditions for adopting wire fences and practice of paddocking were made possible through violence. Fences came to denote property, order, and civilization. Drawing on and expanding Michel Foucault’s work on pastoral power and governmentality, this paper argues that the initial period of colonial “pastoral violence” dovetailed into a “fencing governmentality” that mobilised literal and figurative “paddocks” to manage, sort, and reproduce life that is desirable while excluding life that is not. Importantly, violence does not vacate the paddock, but is recoded and manifest differently depending on one’s relation to the fences. This paper traces the development of a fencing governmentality and its use in the protection, exclusion and restriction of biological life, namely the lives of Aboriginals, animals, and non-British immigrants.


To CHRG member and PhD candidate, Anna Kent. Anna was recently awarded the 2020 John Higley prize at the #ANZSANA2020 conference for her paper, ‘Scholarships as signposts- Australian government scholarship to the Pacific 2000-2010.

The Australian and New Zealand Studies Association of North America has established an annual Prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student at its Annual Conference. The Award is named in honor of John Higley, Emeritus Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, for his many contributions to Australian and New Zealand Studies. The winner will receive $500. Professor Higley taught in the Department of Sociology at UT-Austin from 1969 through 1974 before joining the Research School for Social Science at the Australian National University as a Fellow in Sociology. During that time, he led a major research project on Elites in Australia, a book that resulted. In 1984, Professor Higley returned to Austin, where he worked with Dr. Desley Deacon to establish the Edward A. Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies. The Center was launched in 1988. Professor Higley served as its Director for 24 years, and held the Jack S. Blanton Chair in Australian Studies until his retirement in 2012. He advanced Australian and New Zealand Studies through his research on subjects that included immigration and trade policies as well as funding research by UT faculty and graduate students across a wide range of disciplines. A founding member of ANZSANA, as its president Professor Higley hosted two of the Association’s annual meetings at UT-Austin.

Credit: Benjamin Jones

‘Urgent Histories’: AHA Annual Conference News

Abstracts for the 2020 AHA conference are due on the 29 February 2020.

We are pleased to confirm that 7 affiliated associations will convene streams during the conference: the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network, the Institute for the Study of French-Australian Relations, the Religious History Association, the Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Society for Sports History, the Society for the History of Children and Youth and the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History. Most of their calls for papers are now available and can be found below in the Calls for Papers and Reminders sections.



The Patrick Wolfe Early Career Researcher AHA Conference Bursary Applications Are Now Open

The 39th Australian Historical Association (AHA) Conference will be hosted by Deakin University Contemporary Histories Research Group on the theme ‘urgent histories’.

The Australian Historical Association is delighted to announce a new early career researcher bursary for attendance of the annual AHA Conference. The Patrick Wolfe Bursary will be awarded annually until 2028 to assist an early career researcher to participate in the AHA annual conference and attend the conference dinner. The prize honours the career of Dr Patrick Wolfe (1949-2016), an eminent historian and forerunner in the field of settler colonial studies. In 2016 when Patrick Wolfe died, we sadly lost one of the most original, committed, and generous historians of colonialism. Patrick’s intellectual influence was immense; he was read by historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, cultural theorists and Indigenous scholars the world over. He was a generous supervisor and mentor, never failing to celebrate his students’ achievements. Patrick was also a bon vivant and brilliant conversationalist, his friendship circle was immense. This award is designed to extend Patrick’s legacy and support an early career researcher to participate in the AHA Conference. The bursary will cover conference registration and attendance at the conference dinner.

Applications due 13 March 2020

Further information

Friday, 7 February 2020

Publication news 

Congratulations to Professor David Lowe and Associate Professor Tony Joel who, as editors, recently saw the publication of the eighth volume in the Remembering the Modern World series, Remembering Asia’s World War Two.

Carla Pascoe Leahy has just published an edited collection with Petra Bueskens entitled Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (Palgrave, 2020). This interdisciplinary collection of 22 chapters from eminent and emerging scholars defines the field of Australian maternal studies for the first time. Carla also published an article on changes to parenthood and childhood in the Conversation followed by an interview on ABC radio’s national summer drive program.

Professor Klaus Neumann has written about Australian, New Zealand, Pacific Islands and German cultures and pasts, memories and histories. Professor Neumann’s latest publication is How Australia’s love affair with coal looks from afar, and why it matters

In the Media

‘As a historian, I’ve had to think much more deeply about who tells our histories.’
Researchers Dr Joanna Cruickshank, Dr Carolyn Holbrook and Dr Jon Ritchie were recently featured in disruptr. Here they shared insights into little-known histories like Coranderrk, ANZAC legend and Papua New Guinea’s World War 2 experiences.
Read more at > 

Member welcome

The CHRG welcomes their latest member, Dr Gwyn McClelland. Dr McClelland holds a Master of Divinity from the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Japanese history from Monash University. In 2020 he will teach in the Deakin University unit, “Conflict and its Legacies in Modern Asia”. Gwyn was a secondary teacher of Japanese and Geography for some twenty years and while doing his PhD at Monash he taught in Education (Bilingualism and Languages Methodology), History and the Japanese language. In 2019 he coordinated a modern Chinese history unit at Monash University, ‘The Fall and Rise of Modern China’. Gwyn is the winner of the 2019 John Legge prize for best thesis in Asian Studies, awarded by the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA). Gwyn has taught at Monash, RMIT and Melbourne Universities and he has participated in recent workshops at Copenhagen University (Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies) and the University of California, Berkeley. His monograph, based on his work interviewing Catholic survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bombing was published in 2019 by Routledge in Mark Selden’s series, “Asia’s Transformations” and is entitled ‘Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki: Prayers, Protests and Catholic Survivor Narratives’.

Gwyn McClelland









Friday, 24 January 2020

Publication news

Chair in Contemporary History in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor David Lowe, recently authored ‘Applied History Today’ in the new Journal of Applied History You can access this material here ( or check with Deakin Library

PhD candidate Autumn Royal is the founding editor of the Disclaimer online journal. Academic in scope and dedicated to documenting various and diverse perspectives regarding sound and listening practices this journal documents past and present accounts of sound and listening practices. A link to the journal can be found here:

Call for papers

‘Urgent Histories’: Australian Historical Association 2020 Conference CFP; 29 June-3 July 2020, Deakin University Geelong Waterfront Campus

The need to interrogate the past is today more pressing than ever. Historians are now both scholars and actors in the face of worldwide political efforts to realign the past to fit present imperatives. This conference calls us to consider the place of history in current political discourses. Embracing the contestability of explanatory stories, different theoretical and methodological vantage points, ‘Urgent Histories’ invites historians to focus on how the past is used in contemporary public debates, disputes and narratives. The convenors welcome proposals for papers, panels and roundtables on any geographical area, time‐period, or field of history, especially those relating to the theme of urgent histories.

Abstracts due 29 February 2020.

Further details are available here>

In the media

During the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January, PhD Candidate Jacqui Baker presented a program called Making Waves; a summer fill-in program on 3RRR all about women’s and feminist history. Jacqui chatted to a number of researchers about their passion for women’s and feminist history, including PhD Candidate Deb Lee-Talbot. You can listen back to the first, third and fourth weeks to hear interviews about research into feminist frontiers and Evangelical sites, early animal rights campaigner Frances Levvy, historical fiction about Welsh leader Owain Glyndwr’s wife Marged, Australia’s Women’s Liberation Movement examined in a global context, and women journalists and the media landscape in the United States in the 1970s. Listen back to the second week to hear some of the music of the Women’s Liberation Movement. 


Image credit: Malte Wingen