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.

2018 is the eleventh year for the Making Public Histories series. The six seminars are presented at the Old Treasury Building in Spring Street, Melbourne from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm. In 2018, the seminars are being planned as follows. All details are subject to change.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Podcasting History

Two history podcasters will play and discuss recent history podcasts, and consider the nature, significance and impact of this burgeoning media for making and sharing histories.

Emma Lancaster, University of Technology Sydney
Andrew J. May, University of Melbourne

Alistair Thomson, Monash University

Click HERE for further information.


Tuesday 8 May 2018

Material Culture: Stories from Objects

We live in a material world, as the songs say, but decoding the objects of the past is not always straightforward. In this seminar, two leading practitioners reflect on the stories they have teased from objects.

Sarah Hayes, Deakin University
Margaret Anderson, Old Treasury Building

Margaret Birtley, History Council of Victoria

Click HERE for further information.


Tuesday 12 June 2018

Wikipedia and history

Are our historians and history-focussed organisations using Wikipedia effectively to:

  • tell or edit the stories and the wider histories of our many communities?
  • disseminate knowledge in ways that enable discovery and encourage re-use and re-purposing?
  • reach new audiences?

If not, should they be?

Dr Mary Tomsic, The University of Melbourne
Justine Clark, co-founder of Parlour; women, equity, architecture
Associate Professor Murray Phillips, The University of Queensland

Pru Mitchell, President of Wikimedia Australia

Click HERE for further information.

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Making Aboriginal histories

This seminar is part of NAIDOC Week 2018. It focusses on new approaches to investigating, writing and understanding Aboriginal history.

Alexandra Roginski, Australian National University
Dr Billy Griffiths, Deakin University
Dr Shannon Faulkhead, Museums Victoria and Monash University

Professor Lynette Russell FRHistS FASSA, Monash University

Click HERE for further information.

Tuesday 28 August 2018

History and Fiction

This seminar probes the boundaries and relationship between history and fiction through the eyes of three accomplished authors who working across different historical periods and places, using different literary forms:

Dr Linda Weste, The University of Melbourne
Dr Kelly Gardiner, La Trobe University
Dr Ali Alidazeh, Monash University

Dr Kathleen Neal, Monash University

Click HERE for further information.


Tuesday 13 November 2018

Curating the Anzac Centenaries: War, Memory and the Museum

As the centenaries of the Great War come to an end, two leading Melbourne museum curators reflect on how museums have represented the experience of Australians at war over the last few years.

As Director of Exhibitions and Collections at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, Jean McAuslan has played a central role in shaping the Shrine’s response to the Anzac centenaries.

As Deputy Head of Humanities (Exhibitions) at Museums Victoria, Deborah Tout-Smith was Lead Curator for the World War I: Love & Sorrow exhibition at Melbourne Museum.

Facilitator Alistair Thomson from History at Monash University is author of Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend (1994 and 2013) and was a member of the advisory team for Love and Sorrow.

Together they will discuss: How have museums responded to the challenges and opportunities posed by the Great War centenaries? How have museum visitors experienced the war centenary exhibitions? To what extent and in what ways have museums sought to reshape what we know of and how we respond to that war and its impacts? 

Click HERE for further information and to book.


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

2018 sponsors: We are pleased to acknowledge the sponsorship received from the Monash University History Program and Monash University Publishing.

Monash University Publishing logo


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

 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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