History on a Monday

Seminar Series for Postgraduates and Faculty

Held at 12.10-1.30
in Woolley Common Room, Woolley Building A22
(Enter Woolley through the entrance on Science Road and climb the stairs in front of you. Turn left down the corridor, and the WCR is the door at the end of the hall)
Click here for map

2014 Coordinators:
Miranda Johnson and Peter Hobbins
Click here to email

The semester at a glance

Semester 1

Date Speaker Title
10 March Jacqui Newling Colonial cooking: scurvy, starvation and scones
17 March Chin Jou Urban Riots of the 1960s and Federal Sponsorship of Fast Food Franchises in America’s Inner Cities.
24 March Julia Horne, Fiona Sullivan (tbc), Elizabeth Miller Panel: Digital archives and scholarship
31 March Frances Clarke Child soldiers: militarism and youth in the American Civil War
7 April Peter Hobbins, Annie Clarke,
Peta Longhurst
Spotlight: The Quarantine Project
14 April Chris Parker We've seen this Before - Reactionary Conservatism before the Tea Party.
21 April EASTER MONDAY  
28 April Richard Rabinowitz, Anna Clark, Hannah Forsyth (tbc) Panel: Public history and advocacy
5 May Micol Siegel TBA
12 May Matthew Connelly & TBA TBA
19 May Alan Atkinson Honour and information: William Godwin, Jane Austen and very early New South Wales
26 May Mark Ledbury, Alison Betts,
Lynne Swarts
Panel: Visual media as historical evidence
2 June Emma Christopher Documentary film screening: They Are We

Semester 2

Date Speaker Title
4 August Sam Moyn & Marco Duranti New perspectives on the history of human rights
11 August Honni van Rijswijk, Denise Donlon, Sarah Crawford Panel: Histories of violence
18 August Robert Aldrich, Felicity Berry,
Sarah Dunstan
Panel: How do individuals construct belonging and a sense of self in the context of Empires?
25 August    
1 September    
8 September    
15 September Warwick Anderson, Sarah Walsh, Sebastian Gil Riano Spotlight: REGS
22 September Stefan Collini & Chris Hilliard Conversation (tbc)
29 September COMMON WEEK  
6 October LABOUR DAY  
13 October Lisa Ford, Kirsten McKenzie,
Tiarne Barratt
Panel: On the Case in Historical Writing
20 October Ivan Crozier Histories of transcultural psychiatry
27 October Daniel Spence & Harry Sargent 'Seafaring race' theory: colonial naval identity and British imperial power
Titles & Abstracts


First fleet foodscapes: a re-evaluation of the 'hungry years' 1788–1795
Jacqui Newling

Food was instrumental in the colonization of New South Wales, however it is rarely examined as the central focus of research. Traditionally, historians have limited the subject of food in early settlement of NSW to inadequacy of rations, poor farming efforts and failure to embrace native resources resulting in hunger rather than use it as a lens into a broader social history context. While these issues may have been factors in the early development of the colony they provide a narrow view of early settler foodways. Gastronomic analysis of primary material reveals richer more nuanced foodscapes and helps us better understand habitus across the social tiers in the earliest settlement years.



Urban Riots of the 1960s and Federal Sponsorship of Fast Food Franchises in America’s Inner Cities.
Dr. Chin Jou (Harvard University)

This paper links the arrival of fast food chain restaurants in America’s inner cities to urban riots of the mid-to-late 1960s. In the aftermath of the riots, U.S. federal policy makers devised ways to promote economic development and forestall future unrest. Fast food franchises were seen as part of urban revitalization efforts, and touted as vehicles for job growth and minority entrepreneurship. Federal support of the fast food industry ultimately took the form of loan guarantees, tax incentives, and minority entrepreneurship training programs – forms of government largesse fast food companies welcomed with alacrity. Although not the only reason behind the proliferation of urban fast food outlets, a consideration of the 1960s riots helps to illuminate how inner-city, minority communities became key constituencies of the “fast food nation.”



Panel: Digital archives and scholarship
Richard Lehane, Archivist, State Records NSW
This presentation will comprise an overview of online access to archives at the State Records Authority of NSW. Initiatives discussed will feature crowdsourcing, outsourcing, catalogues, digitisation and digital archives, including the Open Data project, and a new search engine, "Search".

Associate Professor Julia Horne, Department of History, University of Sydney
Digital humanities is the way of the future, but how to approach what to many historians is an alien concept? How should historians think digitally in disseminating their research? And why? Drawing on her sometimes fraught experience with online history Julia Horne will discuss the challenges for historians becoming digitally literate.

Elizabeth Miller, PhD candidate, Department of History, University of Sydney
Religious participation is increasingly digital. Not only are church publications often found solely online; there are groups of people who only attend church online. How can historians organise and use these sources? How can they meaningfully be compared to other archives? Elizabeth will explore the opportunities and challenges of digital archives for historians.



Child Soldiers: Militarism and Youth in the American Civil War
Dr. Frances Clarke

The ideal of childhood innocence was firmly in place by the time the American Civil War broke out in 1861. But this did not stop hundreds of thousands of boys and young men, aged between 7 and 17, from enlisting in the Union military. Unlike other child laborers, these youths were not understood by middle-class spokespeople as non-children; instead, than were held up as inspirational figures. Analyzing the cultural work performed by depictions of child soldiers and musicians, my paper suggests that these depictions helped to mediate concerns over the many threats that the war posed to the inviolability of the republic and the blamelessness of its white citizens.



Spotlight: the Quarantine Project
‘Spotlight’ is intended to showcase the collaborative projects occurring within and beyond the Department of History. Rather than presenting outcomes, the focus is on research methods and questions driving work in progress.

Dr Peter Hobbins – Research Associate, Department of History
Quarantine is often portrayed as a practice of incarceration, debasement and suffering, but is this narrative borne out by the material and archival remnants of those who passed through Sydney’s North Head Quarantine Station? As home to over 1000 messages carved into its sandstone or scrawled on its walls, do these traces represent voyages, maladies, confinements, or assertions of identity? As a collaborative history-archaeology initiative, the Quarantine Project investigates these perspectives through multiple approaches to interpreting the site and its histories.

Ms Peta Longhurst – PhD candidate, Department of Archaeology
Through its concern with public health and disease transmission, quarantine is an inherently spatial and material act. My research is concerned with the ways in which disease and contagion are materially encoded at quarantine sites. This talk will briefly outline my research project, and in doing so consider what constitutes an archaeology of quarantine.

Dr Annie Clarke – Chief Investigator, Department of Archaeology
Quarantine stations were initially built as specialist institutions, but as the need for mass quarantine declined, the facilities at North Head were used for other forms of social regulation and welfare. These included a detention centre for illegal immigrants, an evacuation centre after Cyclone Tracy and as a nursery for ‘Operation Babylift’ during the Vietnam War. This presentation compares two distinct assemblages of marks – those carved into public spaces and others pencilled into enclosures – as a prompt to think about materiality, affect and memory.



We've seen this Before - Reactionary Conservatism before the Tea Party.
Professor Christopher Parker

Chris Parker (PhD, University of Chicago, 2001) is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. The bulk of his research takes a behavioural approach to historical events. More specifically, he brings survey data to bear on questions of historical import.

His first book, Fighting for Democracy: Black Veterans and the Struggle Against White Supremacy in the Postwar South (Princeton University Press, 2009), takes a fresh approach to the civil rights movement by gauging the extent to which black veterans contributed to social change. A second book, now underway and using data collected in 1968, examines the ideological and sociological origins of what has come to be known as the urban crisis of the 1960s. In short, it examines the micro-foundations of the disturbances that swept America in the late 1960s.

A Robert Wood Johnson Scholar (2005-07), Parker has published in the Journal of Politics, International Security, Political Research Quarterly, and the Du Bois Review.

In conjunction with the US Studies Centre. The session will be followed by a light lunch at 1.30pm, provided by the USSC.