The 2018 Australian Historical Association Conference Begins!

Hundreds of historians have gathered in Canberra for the 2018 Australian conference. During this week over 350 papers will be delivered. I am in Canberra attending the conference and will be tweeting and blogging from here all week.

The welcome to country for this conference was delivered by Matilda House, an elder from the Ngambri-Ngunnawal people of the Canberra region. “You can’t change yesterday, but you can sure try and make a difference tomorrow,” she observed.

The President of the Australian Historical Association, Professor Lynette Russell delivered the opening keynote address. She traversed a wide range of issues in a thought-provoking speech.

The Acknowledgement of Country is given by event organisers if a First Nations elder is not present to give a Welcome to Country. Professor Russell noted that the Acknowledgement of Country is too often mumbled and speakers struggle with unfamiliar Aboriginal words. She urged people to make an effort to pronounce Aboriginal words correctly.

Professor Russell urged us to consider that 2000 generations of people have lived on this land. History did not just start with the arrival of Europeans. She observed that the Australian Historical Association conferences are no longer the “pale, stale, male” events that they used to be, but she noted the lack of Aboriginal historians. “Our association currently has 5 Aboriginal historians but if we think in terms of population parity, we should have almost 5 times that number,” she observed. “We need to ask why”. Continue reading

@perkinsy’s Top 10 Conference Tweeting Tips

Diagram showing Twitter handles and lines linking tweeps together

Part of the network diagram of #OzHA2017 conference tweets between 24/6/2017 and 22/7/2017, ie before, during and after the conference. Twitter conversations on the hashtag are shown by lines linking nodes. Click on the picture above to explore the complete diagram (the live diagram may differ to the one above as the Tags Explorer is still collecting tweets)

Twitter is a great medium to use during a conference. Participants can share news from the conference to people who are unable to attend. It is another way of publicising great work by the presenters and showing the world that your professional community is contributing valuable work to society. At its best Twitter conference streams can put you in touch with the latest and greatest research and researchers even though you are not attending the conference. It is not the same as being there, but it is a good second-best.

Twitter can enrich your experience of attending a conference. It is a real buzz being part of a crowd tweeting an event. You are making a small, but positive contribution for the benefit of a community. I am never lonely at conferences because a conference is a chance for me to meet people who I have connected with previously on Twitter and I can meet new friends through the conference Twitter stream. Continue reading

Papers and Great History Websites Shared at #OzHA2017

Sunset over water

Conference participants took lots of photos of the beautiful Newcastle sunsets they saw. This photo was taken by Natalie Fong.

Some great online history resources were shared by historians tweeting the recent Australian Historical Association conference (#OzHA2017). I have trawled through a lot of links to bring to you some of the useful and interesting history resources that caught my eye.

Conference Papers

Several presenters have very generously shared their conference papers online:

Blogging the Conference

Tweeting a conference is great, but blogging a conference adds depth that is hard to convey in a series of 140 character tweets. I have not found any blog posts about the conference written during the event, but some have been written after the conference:

I will add to this list if any other posts are written in the next few weeks.

Continue reading

Topics that Interest Historians in Australia

Coloured words of varying sizes

This word cloud shows frequency of words used in the abstracts of papers delivered at concurrent sessions at the 2017 Australian Historical Association conference. Generated using Voyant.

The annual gathering of historians in Australia is big. This year there were nearly 300 papers delivered in concurrent sessions. Yesterday I blogged about the keynotes and plenary panels. Today I will have a look at the masses of papers delivered by over three hundred historians. Before you recoil in horror at the prospect of a very lengthy post, I assure you that I will be giving a very broad overview with a closer look at a few topics. Continue reading

The Big Sessions at the 2017 Australian Historical Association Conference

Stage taken from the back of the hall

The main venue of the 2017 Australian Historical Association conference was at the Newcastle City Hall Concert Hall. I liked this evocative tweet by Mike Jones.

If you want to know what history excites historians living in Australia and the latest historical research, you should follow the annual Australian Historical Association conference held each July. This year’s record conference Twitter stream together with the conference program and abstracts gives us a peek into the vibrant conference held recently at the University of Newcastle.

Today I will just focus on the keynotes and the plenary sessions at the conference. Continue reading