To get us all ready for a week of thinking and breathing history at the Australian Historical Association Conference, we have a Q&A with Stuart Macintyre, Emeritus Laureate Professor of the University and Professorial Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. In this thought provoking piece, he talks about the changes that have occurred in academic history, reflects on the way historians’ choice of subjects are made both by interest and opportunity, and discusses the never ceasing thrill of opening an archive file at the beginning of a day of research. Stuart will be one of the panellists on our Early Career Researcher Round-table, ‘The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow: Writing a winning grant application’, so come along and hear more of his fantastic advice for ECRs – all welcome!
Ann McGrath, Professor of History and Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History at the Australian National University, is the subject of our June Q&A Series. In this inspiring interview, she discusses why she writes history and who she writes it for, reflects on the changes she has observed in Australian history over her career and reminds us that historians can be activists. She also calls on ECRs to research topics that are meaningful and important now and to embrace new trends in media that allow historians to tell stories about the past in new and exciting ways.
In this month’s Q&A Andrekos Varnava, Associate Professor at Flinders University, shares with us how he became an historian by way of a dalliance with science, the thrill he gets from researching and writing history, and his passion for Cyprus and all things tennis. He discusses how he writes history, giving some great tips for Early Career Researchers and encouraging us all to develop a strong publication record and seek experience overseas.
Peter Stanleyis a professor at the University of New South Wales Canberra and has worked in some of Australia’s major public history institutions as well as in academia. Here he shares with us his over three decades of experience, discussing the collegiality of working as a public historian and the necessary isolation of being an academic. He reminds us that mentors must encourage and impart confidence in mentees, that good writing should be vigorous, and that historians have a responsibility to become involved in public debate.
In this thought-provoking Q&A, Tom Griffiths, William Keith Hancock Professor of History at the Australian National University, discusses the place of imagination in history, his goal to bridge the sciences and the humanities and the role of historians to unsettle and inspire. He encourages Early Career Researchers to develop a sense of themselves as scholars and to trust their intuition and reminds us that being an historian is a lifelong apprenticeship.
We start our 2017 Q&A series with Christina Twomey, Professor and Head of History in the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies at Monash University, who shares with us how she became an academic historian and compares her coming of age in the 1990s with the current celebration of the ‘history nerd’. She reminds Early Career Researchers to be intellectually generous and to grow a hide like an elephant! The perfect Q&A to begin the academic year.
In our final Q&A for 2016, Anna Clark, Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Public History at the University of Technology Sydney, discusses how her intellectual heroes and mentors have shaped her approach to history and what she loves about being an historian.