Making Public Histories seminar series


OTB logo      Monash Uni logo    HCV logo

Making Public Histories is a seminar/webinar series offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building. Each event aims to explore issues and approaches in making public histories. The seminars/webinars 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. The usual face-to-face program was unable to commence because of government health restrictions imposed in March to reduce the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

We are delighted to announce that the program has been redesigned for delivery via the Zoom webinar platform during the second half of 2020.

Three webinars are scheduled. Each will run from 5.00 pm to 6.30 pm (Melbourne time). Professor Alistair Thomson, Monash University, will facilitate the discussion.

Public Monuments - Contested Histories
Tuesday 14 July 2020

Societies have always used statues and other monuments as ways of both recognising and contesting power and eminence. In Australia, as everywhere else, there is public debate over whether and which statues should be removed, who should make the decision, and what should be the fate of the statues themselves. Should new monuments be commissioned alongside or to replace them? Recent actions in Australia to remove, replace or protect statues and other public markers have historical precedents which have much to tell us. Speakers at this webinar will present insights and case studies from Australia, Europe, and elsewhere.

Emeritus Professor Peter McPhee AM
Claire Baxter
John Patten
Dr Yves Rees

Click HERE for further information and a link to the recording that is now available via YouTube.

Remembering the Atomic Bombs: History, Memory and Politics in Australia, Japan and the Pacific
Tuesday 11 August 2020

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945. In this webinar, our speakers will consider new findings about the Japanese experience and memory of the Atomic bombings, how Australia and Australians have been caught up in this atomic history, and the social and political legacies of the bomb in the Asia-Pacific region.

Professor Robin Gerster
Dr Gwyn McClelland
Dimity Hawkins AM

Click HERE for further information and a link to the recording that is now available via YouTube.
An audio recording of this webinar will be broadcast by ABC Radio National as a Big Ideas program on Monday 24 August at 8.05 pm.

Victoria's Native Vegetation: History, Heritage, Politics
Tuesday 10 November 2020

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

Click HERE for further information and to book. 

The webinars are free of charge. We ask you to RSVP to register your participation. In advance of each event, a Zoom webinar link will be sent by email to all who register.

The above 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

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Donate Find an Event Contact