Making Public Histories seminar series


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Making Public Histories is a seminar series offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each seminar aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars are open, free of charge, to anyone interested in the creation and impact of history in contemporary society.

2020 is the thirteenth year for the Making Public Histories series. Our original planning was for five seminars at the Old Treasury Building in Spring Street, Melbourne from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm. 

Unfortunately, the March and May seminars as scheduled have been CANCELLED in order to protect our speakers, staff and audience members from the risks associated with COVID-19. Each seminar may be rescheduled at a later date, or communicated in other ways. 

Teasing women’s stories from the archives
Tuesday 31 March 2020 - now cancelled

In March we celebrate Women’s History Month, part of the context for annual celebrations of International Women’s Day on 8 March. In this seminar, three historians share their experience of researching women’s lives, as biographical dictionaries strive to increase their representation of women. From a medieval countess to Victoria’s female criminals, the stories uncovered range widely in both time and place, pointing to the richness the archives can yield 'with a little more effort and research'.

Dr Carolyn Rasmussen
Dr Kathleen Neal
Dr Alana Piper

Margaret Anderson, Old Treasury Building, will facilitate the discussion.

Click HERE for further information. 

Victoria's Native Vegetation: History, Heritage, Politics
Tuesday 12 May 2020 - now cancelled

In recognition of 2020 as the UN International Year of Plant Health, this seminar will illuminate the challenging and contested past, present and future of Victoria’s native vegetation.

Dr Gary Presland
Professor Mike Clarke
Dr Lilian Pearce

This seminar contributes to the 2020 Australian Heritage Festival for which the theme is ‘Our Heritage for the Future’. Professor Alistair Thomson, Monash University, will facilitate the discussion.

Click HERE for further information. 

Dates for the remaining seminars of the year are:

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Tuesday 11 August 2020

Tuesday 10 November 2020

The seminars are free of charge but seating is limited, so we ask you to RSVP to book your place. Booking forms and confirmed details are published closer to the date of each event and will be announced through various channels including to the Friends of the HCV and in the History Council's occasional E-news bulletin.  Details may be subject to change.

Sponsors: We are pleased to announce that sponsorship from Old Treasury Building, the Monash University History Program and Monash University Publishing continues in 2020. 

Monash University Publishing - some current titles         

Old Treasury Building                                      Monash University History Program


Making Public Histories explores contemporary issues in historical research and production. The audience is diverse, ranging from professional, academic and community historians through to anyone interested in the creation, use and impact of history. The seminars respond to themes such as: new exhibitions or historical anniversaries; historical controversies; innovative ways of researching, producing and disseminating history; and history in different media. From time to time the seminars showcase visiting historians from overseas or interstate whose work will engage a Victorian audience.

Over time, Making Public Histories has explored a range of issues and approaches in the making of public histories. The program was initiated in 2008 by State Library Victoria, the History Council of Victoria and Monash University. The seminars were presented at State Library Victoria from 2008 to 2016.

To read about recent programs, click the year:  2014 / 2015 / 2016 / 2017 / 2018 / 2019

 Panel ay S T Gill seminar

The chair, Alison Inglis, congratulates panellists
(L-R) Sasha Grishin, Jan Croggon and Andrew Lemon
at the conclusion of the ST Gill seminar
at State Library Victoria, 29 September 2015. 
Photo credit: History Council of Victoria

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