Symposia and Seminars - 2014 Archive

History and the Individual Life: a Symposium

Joan of Arc

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, French, 1854. Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII, Oil on canvas, 94 x 70 in. MI667

Monday 3 November 2014

CCANESA Boardroom
Level 4, Madsen Building
Unversity of Sydney

This symposium will move beyond current debates about the place of biography in history by exploring the different ways in which historians are currently using individual lives to explore and analyse particular questions in a range of different fields. The symposium will begin with a general discussion of this approach and then focus particularly on the use of individual lives in imperial and international history and in the history of animal human interaction.

Barbara Caine (University of Sydney), 'History and the Individual Life'

Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney), 'Can Women be Individuals? Writing women into the history of international politics'

Bill Schwarz (Queen Mary University of London), 'Coming Home to History. The Lives of Enoch Powell'

Andrew Fitzmaurice (University of Sydney), 'King Leopold's Ghostwriter?'

Iain McCalman (University of Sydney), 'JT jnr: the individual life story of an African vervet monkey'

Adorno's Changing Views of Kierkegaard

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Muniment Room
Room S401
Level 4 via Lobby B (Southern Vestibule)
The University of Sydney

Prof Peter Gordon (Amabel B. James Professor of History, and Faculty Affiliate, Department of Philosophy, Harvard University)

Theodor Adorno, the philosopher and social theorist, devoted great energy throughout his life to the interpretation of Kierkegaard’s philosophy. In this paper I reconstruct the history of Adorno’s intellectual engagement with Kierkegaard, from the early habilitation (first published in 1933) to the more sympathetic reassessments of Adorno’s later years. The chief task of my paper is to explain what Adorno meant when he characterized his habilitation on Kierkegaard as an exercise in “inverse theology,” and, furthermore, to explain why, much later, Adorno equated this species of theological with materialism

Visual Manipulation and Auto/Biography


Click to download (PDF, 58KB)

Tuesday 25 February 2014
3-5 pm
Kevin Lee Room
Level 6, Lobby H
Quadrangle Building
The University of Sydney

This seminar will combine the work of two art historians researching the visual self-representation of royal woman at the French court during the seventeenth century.

Dr Gaehtgens (an independent scholar based at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles) explores how Anne of Austria used multiplied images as visual propaganda to change her image from a widowed queen to a self-assured regent. In turn, Dr De Vitis (National Art School) considers the theatrical performances of Elizabeth Charlotte as substantive acts of socio-political critique, calculated and incisive.

Discussion will focus on how the visual - in prints and performance - can be conceived as a form of writing biography.