The Geometry of Memory

Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 06:00 PM


Monash University Caulfield Campus
900 Dandenong Rd
Bldg H, Level 1, Room 16 (H116)
Caulfield East , VIC 3145
Google map and directions

Join one of the world's most eminent historians, Professor Jay Winter, to hear about war, art and memory in the twentieth century. This special lecture on the visual culture of war offers a historical perspective on the legacies of war that still resonate in our contemporary world.

This is the Inaugural Public Lecture presented by the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University.


This lecture examines the striking preference for horizontality as an axis of spatial memory in commemorative art. From Käthe Kollwitz’s memorial sculpture for her son in Flanders, to anti-monuments after the Holocaust, to museum design at the end of the twentieth century, the observers’ gaze has been drawn downward in contemplation of war and its destructive power. Other axes of visual art are used as well, but in dialogue with the horizontal. This choice is a clear break with earlier forms of celebratory commemorative art and architecture


Professor Jay M. Winter is Charles J. Stille Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. His work focusses on World War I and its impact on the 20th century.


Click HERE to reserve your place at this important event.

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The History Council of Victoria acknowledges the State Library of Victoria and the Public Record Office Victoria for supply of the archival images that appear on this website.

We acknowledge the National Film and Sound Archive for the right to use of the video footage on the home page, titled "Melbourne: Life in Australia (1966)".

Image credits

  • Italian sailors on ship at Port Melbourne 1938, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese procession in Collins near Elizabeth Street 1901, Harvie & Sutcliffe, photographers, State Library of Victoria
  • People’s homes, Aboriginal station Coranderrk 1878, Fred Kruger Photographer, State Library of Victoria
  • Chinese nurses at Children’s Hospital under scholarship 1947, Argus Newspaper Collection of Photographs, State Library of Victoria
  • Ladies physical culture class VRI Melbourne c1931, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001, 011/02
  • Melbourne Cup, Derby and Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse 1936, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12903/P0001/4802, 372/30
  • Flinders Street viaduct at foot of Market Street with advertisement for McRobertson’s Chocolate on bridge, Public Record Office Victoria VPRS 12800/P0003, ADV 1342