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CCH Newsletter – 30th October 2023

You can read all about our news here, but don’t forget we regularly put out information by our social media channels – Twitter and Facebook.

Don’t forget to send Anna your publications, seminars, conferences, calls for papers and other news and celebrations for publication in the newsletter (now published fortnightly on a Monday).

New Website!

You may have noticed that today’s newsletter comes with a slightly different URL. That is because we are today launching our brand new Centre for Contemporary Histories website! The new website can be found at cch.deakin.edu.au. Please have a look at the new site, and while we have endeavoured to ensure information has been migrated across from the old website, if there is anything that needs to be updated please do let Anna know.

News from Members

This week a number of CCH members and affiliates will be heading to Warrnambool for the Pacific Historians Association Conference – Tracking the Kooyang: Truth Telling in the History of Oceania. Best of luck to all those involved!

Upcoming Events

An Evening of Mystery in the Eastern Arcade: Phrenologists & Spiritualists
31 Oct 2023 6:30pm – 7:30pm
PROV (Victorian Archives Centre)
Travel through time with Dr Alexandra Roginski and Professor Andrew Singleton to the arcades and byways of inner Melbourne in the early twentieth century. Visit the small businesses and networks of healing, divination and faith that offered an alternative way of life in the new nation. Meet glamorous figures who combined the discredited science of phrenology (head reading) with astrology, palmistry and fortune-telling, attracting scandal and police stings. Slip into a medium’s parlour to receive messages from the spirits and witness women gaining authority in this new religion. And learn about the fights of women who earned their livings in these occupations while facing police harassment, prosecution and muck-raking journalism. Sensation, spirit hands and scandal are all in a night’s work. This talk will be held live at the Victorian Archives Centre, and streamed through Zoom. Register here.

Australian Women’s History Network Annual General Meeting
Thursday 31 October 2023, 12pm – 2pm (AEDT)
via Zoom

Please contact Jacqui Baker (Victorian regional representative) if you would like the details for the AGM.

‘Gold Standard?’ The Hawke Government Forty Years On
Friday 2 November 9am – 5:30pm
Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House Canberra

This year is the fortieth anniversary of the election of the Hawke Government (5 March 1983), one of the longest-serving and most transformative in Australian political history.

While much has been said about that government over the years since, little discussion has occurred in the wake of the more recent challenges to democratic government around the world, or the particular challenges that our own democracy grapples with.

This one-day conference brings together a former leading minister in that government, Hon Professor Gareth Evans AC KC, with some of the era’s political advisers, public servants, activists and journalists, as well as academics in the fields of history and politics. Was the Hawke Government the ‘gold standard’ for modern governments? What can we learn from both its successes and its failures? Registration and more information here.

2023 Bernard Bailyn Lecture in North American History
21 November 2023, 12:00pm

World leading authority on oral history and technology Professor Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, will present La Trobe University’s Bernard Bailyn Lecture in North American History online on 21 November 2023 (noon AEDT).

Professor Boyd’s address ‘Artificial Intelligence and Oral History: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ is sure to be of interest to all those interested in interviewing, especially as it explores the implications of AI for research interviewing across multiple disciplines.

Doug Boyd envisioned, designed and implemented the open source and free OHMS system (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer), which synchronizes text with audio and video online.  In 2019 he received a Fulbright Scholars Research Grant to collaborate with the National Library of Australia on innovative access to online oral history.

Boyd is the co-editor (with Mary A. Larson) of the book “Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement” published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2014. He authors the blog Digital Omnium: Oral History, Archives, and Digital Technology and is the author of numerous articles pertaining to oral history, archives and digital technologies. Registration  for the lecture is available at here.

GLAM Picnic
2nd December 2023 12:00 PM to  3:00 PM
Abbotsford Convent Heritage Gardens
Join newCardigan and friends from ALIA Vic, ASA Vic, AMaGA Vic and Professional Historians Australia Tas & Vic for the annual GLAM Victoria Picnic! This is a free event but registrations are appreciated here.

HDR Statistics Workshop | Foundations of Social Statistics: A Beginner’s Workshop
Monday 4 December
Deakin Downtown

Join us for a half-day workshop tailored to graduate students in the humanities, education and social sciences who are new to the world of social statistics. In an increasingly data-driven academic landscape, grasping the basics of statistical analysis is invaluable. No prior statistical knowledge is required. 

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please email mia.martinhobbs@deakin.edu.au so we get a sense of numbers. 


CCH Work in Progress Day for HDR/ECRs

11 December
Deakin Downtown
Virginie Rey is organising a Work In Progress day for CCH HDR/ECRs at Deakin Downtown on the 11th December. Around 12 participants will submit work in advance and each receive two reviews on their work. The WIP day will run 10am to 14.30 and include morning tea and lunch. If you are interested in participating, please email virginie.rey@deakin.edu.au


Call for Papers

Insiders and Outsiders, Winners and Losers: Close-ups of the Struggle for Power and Status in Australia
Themed issue of Journal of Australian Studies
Scholarly and popular discourses in Australia often connect the agency of elites with the marginalisation of less privileged and powerful members of the community. This special issue of the Journal of Australian Studies focuses on conflicts and collaborations that determine social and political power and its effects. It seeks to open up closer discussion of the role of elites in Australian society through case studies since colonisation, and by the exploration of new research methods for investigating elite activity.

The trope of winners and losers is very familiar: military against convict, pastoralist and miner against Aboriginal landowner, squatter against small landholder, capital against labour, Protestant against Catholic, rentier against renter, established immigrant against newer arrival, elite male against female and non-elite male. Such definite oppositions have been formative in interpreting and understanding our national experience.

But on closer investigation the binaries often prove friable. Moving from generalisation to case study, the boundaries between elite and non-elite individuals are often less rigid and more porous than the national discourse suggests.

The co-editors of this themed issue invite case studies, current or historical, that illuminate collaborations and/or conflicts between elites and non-elites. Abstracts are due 30 October 2023 (today!). To find out more you can visit here or contact sybil.nolan@unimelb.edu.au or chris.wallace@canberra.edu.au for more information.

New Housing History Network
Revisiting Classics in Australian Housing History
February 2024
This project, tentatively titled Revisiting Classics in Housing History, seeks to revisit canonical texts in the historiography of Australian housing. It comes out of a research agenda under the aegis of the New Housing History Network (NHHN), established in 2023, which has identified the current moment as a transformational one in understanding the cultural and social meaning of housing in Australia. The task of uncovering forgotten histories and historical imaginaries looms as an urgent task in our present moment, widely perceived to be one of exceptional historical crisis. Revisiting Classics in Housing History recognises the rich tradition of scholarship on housing across the twentieth century – much of which has slipped out of public consciousness – and asks what these texts might offer for readers today. While certain landmark texts in Australian urban and housing history have in recent years been “revisited” – notably Robin Boyd’s The Australian Ugliness and Janet McCalman’s Struggletown – a host of other histories remain under-read, and under-appreciated.

We invite proposals by authors to revisit key texts in the historiography of Australian housing. Proposals should nominate up to three landmark texts in the history of housing and briefly outline the reasoning to conduct a reflection on the enduring significance of the book in question. You can find more information about this call for papers, closing 10 December, here.


2023–24 Mike Smith Student Prize
The National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science has a prize for unpublished postgrad work which has just opened and closes in Jan 2024. The essay should range from 4000–8000 words in length (exclusive of endnotes). Essays must be written in English and fully documented following the style specified for the Australian Academy of Science’s journal, Historical Records of Australian Science.

Essays may explore any aspect of the history of Australian science, including medicine and technology or Australian environmental history. The term ‘Australia’ may encompass essays focusing on the Australian region, broadly defined, which includes Oceania. We also welcome essays that compare issues and subjects associated with Australia to those of other places. You can find more information about the prize here, or get in touch with Timothy Neale.

CCH Hub Site

We are very excited that our digital evolution at CCH continues. We now have a Sharepoint site (for Deakin staff and students only). This is where you can find CCH templates and logos, and importantly – new grant application forms. CCH members should have access, but you will need to use your Deakin login. We will have a new externally facing website soon – stay tuned!

CCH Grants

Don’t forget that CCH has a number of grants available for staff and HDR students. These include Grant Application Support, ECR (including HDR) Development and Seed Funding Activities. For more information on which grant might be right for your circumstances check out this flowchart or check out this page (Deakin login required).


New Archive Trial – Boston Herald

Deakin Library has arranged for a trial of the Boston Herald Archive 1848-1992. The trial gives us access to historical issues (May 1848-April 30 1992), text archive (July 26 1991 – current) and the Image Edition (2018 to current) of the Boston Herald.

Cover Photo

UNICEF Halloween Party, Carter White House. US National Archives