Insights 2011: Inaugural Lecture Series - Malthus and the New World: Peopling America and Australia

18 August 2011

In conjunction with the Australian Nominating Committee for the Harvard Chair and in Association with the Harvard Club.

Presented by Professor Alison Bashford, Professor of Modern History.

Food security is back on the global public sphere's agenda, and so, therefore, is Robert Malthus. People love him or loathe him, but few have asked what Malthus thought about Australia. The new colony of New South Wales in fact formed a founding case on which Britain's original political economist built his late eighteenth-century ideas on population. His next case was the new United States of America; the thirteen colonies-turned-republic, located on the edge of another vast continent. Just what did Malthus think about these very different New Worlds, their original inhabitants, and the prospects for newcomers? This lecture brings recent scholarship on colonial history, gender history, and environmental history to Malthus's famous Essay on the Principle of Population, and in the process asks how the population and ecological histories of Australia and America might be rethought.

In 2009/10 Alison Bashford, was Visiting Professor of Australian Studies, Harvard University, in the History of Science Department. She is Professor of Modern History at the University Sydney, where she has taught and researched since 1995. Her books have explored the history of science and medicine in Britain and Australia, most recently The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010 with Philippa Levine) and Geopolitics and the World Population Problem (forthcoming, Columbia University Press). She is currently co-editing with Stuart Macintyre the 2 volume new Cambridge History of Australia. In 2010 she was elected to the Australian Academy of the Humanities, and in 2011 awarded an ARC Future Fellowship for the project "Climate Change and the History of Environmental Determinism."

RSVP will be required.

Time: 6pm - Refreshments will be served from 5.30pm.

Location: Nicholson Museum, the University of Sydney

Cost: Free

Contact: Kate Macfarlane

Phone: (02) 9351 7454

Email: 00451a005e1c29223a1039350b2f1d78062411280321033d01170d4721521c6d143e