History Week: 4-12 September, 2010

The theme for History Council of New South Wales’ History Week 2010 is ‘Faces in the Street’. Staff from the Department of History will be presenting a series of fascinating talks during this year’s History Week.

Furious Faces on the Streets: Public Protests in history
Prof Robert Aldrich, Dr Frances Clarke and Dr Jim Masselos

“Power concedes nothing without a demand,” avowed Frederick Douglass in 1857, “It never did and it never will.” As an escaped slave who had gone on to become a leading figure in America’s growing abolitionist movement, Douglas was no stranger to making public demands. He would become one of the many millions of people in history–most of them now forgotten–who refused to submit quietly in the face of authority. Their public actions have been one of history’s driving forces. In protests, marches, parades and rallies, ordinary people have demanded and produced social change, sometimes, but not always, for the good. In this panel, we examine the history of public protests in a range of contexts–from crowd action in post-Enlightenment Europe and America through to the nationalist struggles in India and beyond–examining their contexts, tactics, and historical impact.
When: Monday 6 September 2010, 6:00pm – 7:30pm.
Where: Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA), Room 409 Madsen Building F09, University of Sydney

Faces from Australia’s Underworld
Penny Russell (Sydney):
‘Street Parade: of a prostitute, a military captain and a sword’
Amanda Kaladelfos (Sydney):
‘The Execution of Frank Johns, Bushranger’
Jill Matthews (ANU):
‘Blue Movies and their Audiences’
Presented by the Department of History and the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney
Australia’s Underworld’, a new unit offered by the History Department at the University of Sydney in 2010, encourages students to explore Australia’s forgotten stories: the cross-dressers and prostitutes, crooks and impostors, maverick reformers, entertainers and oddballs who find little place in the ‘national story’, but whose lives are stitched into the fabric of our past. How do historians frame questions to capture the richness of social experience? What sources and research techniques do they employ? Poster displays show how Sydney’s newest historians go about the task, and a panel of historians from Sydney and ANU share their latest discoveries.

Enjoy a drink and light refreshments while viewing students’ poster presentations of their research projects, followed by a panel on facets of ‘underworld’ history.

When: Tuesday 7 September 2010, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Where: Nicholson Museum, Main Quadrangle, University of Sydney
Contact: 9351 2812, craig.barker@sydney.edu.au
Note: Free. Bookings essential.

Heroic Culture: E. P. Thompson’s Histories and the Experience of the Oppressed
Dr Chris Hilliard

Putting names to the faces in the street, recapturing the experiences and struggles of the forgotten people of the industrial revolution, was a central preoccupation of the eminent British historian E. P. Thompson (1924-1993). In this lecture, Dr Chris Hilliard of the University of Sydney explores the power and limitations Thompson’s brand of history and takes stock of his legacy.
When: Wednesday 8 September 2010, 6:00pm – 7:30pm.
Where
: Law Lecture Theatre 101, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney.

Cities – Sydney, Freetown and Cape Town: Convicts and Empire
Dr Kirsten McKenzie, Dr Emma Christopher

Many Sydneysiders think they know all about the history of their city, but few know that its convict past links it firmly to Africa, a continent many Australians know little about. Emma Christopher and Kirsten McKenzie uncover a forgotten history of abandoned plans and lost hopes, of political objections to sending convicts to Africa and the sufferings of those who were sent there. By revealing the convict connections to Freetown, Sierra Leone and Cape Town, South Africa, they show how very nearly the stories of Africa and Australia came to taking different turns. The salon will launch Emma’s new book A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain’s Convict Disaster in Africa and How it Led to the Settlement of Australia.
When: Thursday 9 September 2010, 6:00pm – 7:30pm.
Where: Sydney Law School Foyer, Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney.

These events are free, Bookings required for Tuesday’s event only.
Proudly supported by The Department of History, The Humanites Salon, The School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, and Sydney Ideas at the University of Sydney

For general information contact
T +61 2 9351 2862
F +61 2 9351 3918
E sophi.enquiries@sydney.edu.au

For more information on History Week please visit the History Council of NSW

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