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.

2019 is the twelfth year for the Making Public Histories series. The six seminars were presented at the Old Treasury Building in Spring Street, Melbourne from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm. The program will return in 2020: please subscribe to the History Council's E-news to receive program details.

Death, disease and pandemics
Tuesday 12 March 2019

This year marks the centenary in Australia of the ‘pneumonic influenza’ pandemic, popularly known as the 'Spanish flu'. The panel of historians at this seminar will share their insights into three major health crises that affected Victorians during the twentieth century: Spanish flu, Polio and AIDS.

Mary Sheehan, Living History
Professor Janet McCalman, The University of Melbourne
Lucy Bracey, Way Back When Consulting Historians

Professor Alistair Thomson, Monash University, will facilitate the discussion.

Click HERE for further information. 

Historians, places and the past
Tuesday 14 May 2019

This seminar explores the role of historians in place-making and heritage projects. Such projects can result in fresh interpretations of historic sites. Historians help preserve and reveal evidence of the past alongside new modes of access, adaptive re-use, and (re)development.

Click HERE for more information.

Living histories: innovative approaches to oral history
Tuesday 11 June 2019

Oral historians from three exciting contemporary projects - all commended in the Oral History Victoria Awards for 2018 - will share their experience of making imaginative oral history in different media and how they coped with the technical, ethical or historical challenges posed in the creation of living histories.

Panellists and their commended productions:
Kirby Fenwick: audio documentary ‘The First Friday in February
Lee Valentine and Ryan Gustafsson: podcast series, Call Me by My Name
Rose Turtle Ertler: oral history performance work, Light at the End

Alistair Thomson, President of Oral History Australia, will facilitate the discussion.

The seminar is run jointly with Oral History Victoria.

Click HERE for more information.

Dark Sides of Sport: Historical perspectives on match-fixing, bribery and corruption
Tuesday 9 July 2019

Although the sub-field of sport history has often focused on sport’s positive aspects, sport has always had a darker side, involving cheating, doping, high-stakes betting, suspicious performances and other scandals. In this panel discussion, case studies based on recent research will be used to explore the nature and extent of match-fixing, bribery and corruption across a range of sports from an historical perspective.

Roy Hay (Honorary Fellow, Deakin University)
Dr Mathew Turner (Contemporary Histories Research Group, Deakin University)
Dr Rob Hess (Adjunct Associate Professor, Victoria University)

Amanda Smith, presenter of Sporty for ABC RN, will facilitate the discussion.

Click HERE for more information.

The Past, Present and Future of Victorian Indigenous Languages
Tuesday 13 August 2019

With 2019 designated as the UN's International Year of Indigenous Languages, this public event will explore the destruction, survival, recovery and use of Victorian indigenous languages, and the use of Indigenous language in historical research and production.

Alice Gaby (Associate Professor in Linguistics at Monash University)
Aunty Lee Healy (Dhagung Wurrung Elder and Education Officer/Linguist at the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages)
Leonie Stevens (Monash Indigenous Studies Centre)

Alistair Thomson, Professor of History at Monash University, will facilitate the discussion.

Click HERE for more information.

Ephemera as historical sources
Tuesday 12 November 2019

Historical sources' survival may be the result of chance rather than deliberate and careful preservation. How do historians locate and use material that was never designed to be retained? This seminar considers the importance of ephemera: material that carries printed information that was not intended to be kept or preserved.

Dr Annette Shiell, Senior Curator Heritage, Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria
Rebecca Carland, Senior Curator, History of Collections & Scientific Art at Museums Victoria
Richard Aitken, a Melbourne-based historian, curator, and writer

Mandy Bede, President of the Ephemera Society of Australia, will facilitate the discussion.

Click HERE for more information.

All details are subject to change.

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

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

Monash University Publishing - current titles

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

 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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