Postgraduate Research Seminars, Semester 2, 2016

Becoming a Historian: First-Year Postgraduate Seminar
Professor Chris Hilliard
Mondays, 2-4pm
SOPHI Common Room
Start Date: August 1

Finishing the Thesis
Associate Professor Michael McDonnell
Wednesdays, 4-6pm
Start Date: July 27
Please note: this seminar is open to PhD and MPhil students who are within a year of submission (and whose supervisors are willing to attest to this!). Places are limited so please contact Mike if you’d like to join.

The Problem of the Text: the Next Challenge
Dr Julie Ann Smith
Thursdays, 10-12 pm
Start date: August 4

The seminar this semester will concentrate on developing professional and research skills, with particular emphasis on palaeography (reading skills, diplomatic, and identifying historic hands). The seminars are intended for anyone whose research relies on eliciting meaning from hand-written sources from any period, and who perhaps wrestle to decode and comprehend their riches. Seminars will address a variety of historic hands and approaches to managing them, working with example documents provided by members of the group. (If there is time/interest, a session will be organised to work with manuscripts of varying dates from the Rare Books Collection in Fisher.)

What is Historical Agency?
Dr Miranda Johnson
Tuesdays, 3-5pm
Start Date: August 2

What do historians mean when they use the term agency and why do we need it? Can we analyse structures of power without a concept of agency? Does the focus on agency in minority and subaltern histories open up or narrow our explanations of historical change? In this seminar, we will read contemporary theoretical discussions of agency by working historians in a range of fields. Likely topics include: structure and agency; agency in the wake of post-structuralism; agency, voice, and action; and non-human agents in historical writing.

Michel Foucault and the History of Sexuality
Associate Professor Ivan Crozier
Mondays, 2-4 pm
Start Date: August 1

Michel Foucault's thinking about the history of sexuality has had an incalculable influence on the humanities and social sciences. This seminar gives students the opportunity to engage with selections from Foucault's writing about the history of sexuality, which will be read in conjunction with relevant primary materials and secondary sources. There will be six fortnightly seminars after an initial brief meeting covering the following topics:

-Introduction: Thinking about Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality
-Masturbation
-Prostitution
-Homosexuality
-Population
-Politics

Prior knowledge about Michel Foucault and/or the history of sexuality is not prerequisite, but all students are encouraged to (re-)read The History of Sexuality 1: An Introduction: The Will to Knowledge [1979, orig. 1976] before the first class. It will be the main focus text for the semester.

Re-placing Australia
Dr. Peter Hobbins
Thursdays, 2-4 pm
Start Date: July 28

In recent decades the validity of the nation-state as a historical unit of analysis has come under considerable scrutiny, particularly in Australia. Challenges have arisen from numerous theoretical and methodological positions, ranging from transnational and global accounts to more intimate communities of meaning, including indigenous and family histories. Our continent has consequently been mapped onto multiple historical geographies, framed by imperial, environmental or economic orders, or situated within Asian, Pacific or Global North constructs. How can we comprehend – or even reconcile – this proliferation of projections? Drawing upon contemporary critiques of neoliberalism, capitalism, mobility and securitisation, participants will interrogate the historiographic re-placing of Australia.

Monuments, Memory, and History
Professor Robert Aldrich
Mondays, 3-5 pm
Oriental Room (S204)
Start Date: July 25

This unit looks at historical monuments - considered broadly to encompass ruins, statues, war memorials and other commemorative edifices, both formal and informal, as well as features of the natural landscape - and the role they play in the construction and conservation of historical identity and heritage. It will examine theoretical approaches to 'collective memory' and 'sites of memory' with examples drawn primarily from Europe, Australia and Asia. Students will write research papers on both specific monuments and thematic issues.

American Cultures Workshop
Contact: Michael A. McDonnell
Wednesdays, 5:30-7:00 pm
Start Date: August 10