Activities in 2007

Video Conferences with the University of Leeds

Cluster members held several video-conferences with the University of Leeds in October and November.

At the end of May, we asked postgraduate and honours students, and members of staff, to take part in what for us was a pioneering foray into video-conferencing. The session was part of our on-going and developing relationship with Leeds through the World Universities Network.

Those taking part included Robert Aldrich and Kirsten McKenzie from the University of Sydney, Andrew Thompson from the University of Leeds, and Fred Cooper from the New York University. Kirsten McKenzie gave a short paper titled "Status and Power: Opportunists and Impostors in the British Imperial World."

In October, Andrew Thompson, Dean of Arts, Leeds, and Alison Bashford, History, Sydney, co-hosted a discussion about Transnational History and Immigration Restriction.

At a video-conference in November, several postgraduates gave presentations on their work. These included: 'Sexual economies along the Transcontinental Railway Lines, 1919 ­1939' by Samia Hossein (Sydney); 'Reuniting Distant Narratives: The Last Repatriation from the Caribbean to India, 1955,' by Nalini Mohabir (Leeds); and 'Mutations in Nineteenth Century British Natural Law:­ the Role of George Combe' by Graham Costello (Sydney).

Postgraduate seminar on publishing research

Very little in postgraduate training prepares the student for how to publish or disseminate their research, from the basics of submitting a journal article or turning a thesis into a book, to constructing complex web pages or making documentaries.

A stimulating one-day seminar, which the Department of History at Sydney ran in conjunction with the Nation Empire Globe Research Cluster on 19 October, explored the diverse ways in which postgraduate students can disseminate their findings.

Students from Sydney and Macquarie were given a rare opportunity to tap into a vast pool of publishing experience, and a programme which included:

Marian Quartly, Professor of History at Monash and editor of History Australia; Robin Derricourt, CEO of UNSW Press; Cassandra Pybus, author and Research Professor in History at Sydney; Robert Aldrich, author and Head of the Department of History at Sydney; Martin Thomas, author of radio history features and Postdoctoral Fellow in History at Sydney; Michelle Arrow creator and presenter of the ABC’s “Rewind” series and lecturer at Macquarie University; Jonathan Walker, author and Research Fellow in History at Sydney; and Paul Arthur, digital and interactive media specialist and Research Fellow at the Research School of Humanities, Australian National University.

Public Lecture: Fred Cooper, New York University

Fred Cooper delivered a fascinating paper to Cluster members on 28 May titled, "From Imperial Inclusion to Republican Exclusion? Nationality and Citizenship in France and French Africa, 1945-1960."

The paper explored the alternatives to both empire and the nation-state that were for a time the focus of political maneuvering between France and West Africa. It looked at the claims that were made in the name of imperial citizenship and at different visions of nationality. Although in 1945, the leaders of European France and African France had not sought to carve up empire into national units, by 1960 that was what they had done: both the French Republic and the territories of French Africa became more national than they had been before.

Conference: The Black Atlantic

The Nation-Empire-Globe Research Cluster was delighted to host a one-day conference on 25 May, called ‘The Black Atlantic: Problems and Possibilities.’

The conference was convened by Professor Cassandra Pybus at the Darlington Centre, and gave scholars the opportunity to discuss the impact, limitations, and possibilities of the work of leading Atlantic scholar, Professor Vincent Carretta, as well as the issues of Atlantic history at large. Professor Carretta has recently released his controversial book, Equiano: A Self Made Man, University of Georgia Press.

Speakers at the conference included Prof Iain McCalman (ANU), Prof Alan Atkinson (UNE), and from USyd: Prof Cassandra Pybus, Prof Deirdre Coleman, Prof Richard Waterhouse, Assoc Prof Alison Bashford, Dr Kate Fullagar and Dr Emma Christopher.

Postgraduate Intensive

Postgraduate research students were selected from universities in Australia and the United Kingdom, to particpate in an intensive program conducted over several days at the end of March.