Two interesting September seminars in Sydney and Melbourne

Springtime it seems to bring on the seminars. In Sydney on 8 September there is an all day session at the State Library on public and popular histories of Anzac.

So what do ordinary Australians think about Anzac? What sorts of stories about Anzac circulate in popular and consumer culture? This symposium will examine the many ways that popular culture and everyday Australians’ sense of the past have played a crucial role in shaping the meaning of Anzac today.

The day costs a mere $11.59, details, program and sign-up are here and the show is run by the Department of Modern History at Macquarie, with the Centre for Media History and the History Council of NSW as part of History Week. Speaking are Carolyn Holbrook and Anna Clark (plenary), Daniel Reynaud, Fay Anderson and Kylie Flack (Anzac fictions), Tom Sear and Maggie Patton (Anzac selfies), and a panel of recent film-makers.

Longer but somewhat more expensive (17-18 September, $126.50 or $165) is the War and Emotions Symposium in sync with the great Love & Sorrow exhibition at the Museum of Melbourne. Details and booking here.

Leading academics researching the history of war will

  • consider shifts in the representation of World War I during the centenary of the conflict;
  • discuss the effectiveness of an emotional and emotive representation of the war through exhibition; and
  • reflect on the possibility of a new, more sensitive and nuanced narrative about the war, in which families and individuals can take centre stage.

Presentations will include recent research into how understandings of World War I are shifting since the voices of the last participants/witnesses have been stilled; the long-term impacts of war for service people and their families; and changing responses to war-related wounds and psychological disorders.

Speakers: visitors Dr Tracey Loughran (Cardiff), Professor Michael Loughran (Essex) and

  • Professor Barry Conyngham, Victorian College of the Arts
  • Professor Joy Damousi, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Marina Larsson, La Trobe University
  • Dr Kerry Neale, Australian War Memorial
  • Professor Bruce Scates, Monash University
  • Professor Peter Stanley, University of NSW
  • Professor Alistair Thomson, Monash University
  • Ms Deborah Tout-Smith, Museum Victoria
  • Professor Andrea Witcomb, Deakin University
  • Dr Bart Ziino, Deakin University.

12 August 2015