History Slam - Contested History

Sunday, October 14, 2018 at 03:00 PM


Melbourne Museum
11 Nicholson St
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Google map and directions

This History Week join us in an event that turns history on its head – History Slam.

Special guest and MC Mama Alto will tie together, with song, seven punchy presentations of contested history.

Mama Alto is a gender transcendent diva, cabaret artiste, jazz singer and community activist. She is a non-binary trans femme person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness and power in vulnerability. And she’s bringing all this to our History Slam.

Slammers will present provocations that are lively, complex, sometimes uncomfortable and intimately revealing about the work and practice of being a historian, on topics including the queerness of being an unexpected outsider, the earth as an archive, the absence of women in museum collections, and First Nations resistance.

Grab a champagne at the bar and sit back in the comfort of the Museum theatre for an afternoon of history and performance.

The slammers are historians, storytellers and history-keepers. They are affiliated with one or more of Museums Victoria, Professional Historians Association (Victoria) and History Council of Victoria. These organisations are presenting the History Slam as their contribution to History Week 2018

Program details and tickets are now available via Museums Victoria: click HERE to access the booking page.


General admission is $18 plus a $4 booking fee.

HCV Friends receive the discounted concession price: $15 plus the $4 booking fee.
A special code was supplied to HCV Friends in an 'Alert' email on Tuesday 2 October. This enables them to get the discount. (Click HERE to sign up for the HCV Friends if you haven't joined already.) 


As a historian who works with communities large and small, Sarah Rood is well aware of the complexities of the past. She reflects on her own feeling of queerness being an unexpected outsider when working on one particularly personal history.

Amber Evangelista is a history nerd and curator who loves ranting about diversity in museums. Monica Cronin is a museum curator who enjoys plotting world domination. They will explore the absence of women in museum collections.

Lisa Hilli is a contemporary artist who re-enacts and remakes history through her practice. She is also an Experience Developer for the Te Pasifika Gallery Redevelopment at Melbourne Museum. Her passion for history is driven through finding Papua New Guinean’s women’s histories in archives and collections. Lisa will re-tell three similar but problematic travellers’ tales regarding women’s marriage customs across the Bismarck Archipelago.

Dr Caitlin Mahar is into histories of dying and pain. She is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Swinburne University and a researcher at Federation University. She provides a short history of dying in a talk titled ‘Gone’.

Paul Michael Donovan brings history to life at Federation University, History up Close and Coal Creek Community Park and Museum. His props, costumes and artefacts bring stories to the people. He brings to life the battle of the costumed historian.

In recent years, Dr Rachel Buchanan has been a magnet for matriarchs (Agnes Denes and Germaine Greer). Her new book, Ko Taranaki Te Maunga, is published by Bridget Williams Books, NZ. She’ll speak on conceptual artist Agnes Denes and the hottest archive.

Isobel Morphy-Walsh, a proud Nirim Baluk Woman from the Taungurung peoples, lives, breathes and sleeps her history and culture. In her presentation, Wiy-aa Monga-ngal-in Biik-ut (Fight to show love to country), she will examine how her identity, her very existence, is a challenge to the dominant narratives around Australian history.

History Slam postcard









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The History Council of Victoria Incorporated (HCV) is the peak body for history in the Australian state of Victoria. Its vision is to connect Victorians with history and to inspire engagement with the past, their identity and the world today. The HCV champions the work of historians and the value of history. It recognises that history can be written about any place, any person, any period. The HCV advocates why history matters.

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Our calendar lists all upcoming public events arranged by the History Council of Victoria (HCV), plus events in Victoria, Australia, that are added by our Friends and Members.

If you are organising an event that relates to History, we encourage you to publicise it on our website.

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As the peak body for history in Victoria, the History Council makes submissions on current issues. In doing this, the HCV Board is guided by its Advocacy Policy and by the Value of History, a statement developed co-operatively by the HCV and the History Councils of New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

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Since 2015, the HCV has been pleased to sponsor the Years 9 and 10 category of the Historical Fiction Competition organised by the History Teachers' Association of Victoria.

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Ways to support us:

Subscribe to our free newsletter: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/subscribe
Endorse the Value of History statement: https://www.historycouncilvic.org.au/endorse
Find us on socials: Twitter / Facebook / YouTube

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The HCV was formed as an advisory body in 2001 and incorporated in 2003. It comprises representatives from cultural and educational institutions and heritage bodies; history teachers and curriculum advisors; academic and professional historians; and local, Indigenous, community and specialist history organisations.

As the peak body for history, the HCV has both ‘outward-looking’ roles (including advocacy and representation to government and the wider community, consultation, community education, and networking with allied interest groups) and ‘inward-looking’ roles (including member support, information dissemination, and networking between members).



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