1. Defining Political Terrorism

    Emeritus Professor Tony Coady’s latest book, The Meaning of Terrorism (Oxford University Press, 2021), explores competing ways of thinking about political terrorism and its consequences. In this interview with Associate Professor Dan Halliday, Tony Coady explains how and why he came to write the book, and introduces the ongoing philosophical debates over how to define […]


  2. We Need to Rethink How We Manage Deathcare

    Australia’s deathcare system is already showing cracks, but the pressures will only worsen, especially as the baby boomer generation takes us into ‘peak death’. A team of scholars from the University’s DeathTech research team, including SHAPS’s Mike Arnold, explore the topic in this article recently published on Pursuit Death is a phenomenon like no other. […]


  3. Performances on the World Stage

    A video-recording of the 2021 Greg Dening Memorial Lecture, delivered by Dr Jenny Bulstrode.


  4. Paintings Conservation Fellowship at Harvard Art Museums

    After completing a Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation at the University of Melbourne, Ruby Awburn spent two years in the United States as the Richard I Shader Fellow in Paintings Conservation at the Straus Centre for Conservation and Technical Studies at Harvard Art Museums. Ruby recently returned to Australia to take up a new role […]


  5. The UniMelb History Society in 2021

    The UniMelb History Society is a student-led club for people who are studying or interested in history. Headed by a committee of passionate history buffs, our aims include promoting the study of history; providing a social network for fellow history buffs on campus and beyond; and running history-themed events such as trivia nights, film screenings, […]


  6. Return to Vietnam: Mapping American and Australian Veterans’ Journeys

    Between 1981 and 2016, thousands of American and Australian veterans returned to Vietnam on journeys of reconciliation, healing and remembrance. Their stories became the focus of Mia Martin Hobbs’s PhD dissertation, a transnational, comparative oral history project tracing their return journeys. In this article, Mia discusses her research, investigating why these veterans returned and what […]


  7. An Interview with Professor Howard Sankey

    The School of Historical and Philosophical Studies is this year pleased to announce Howard Sankey’s promotion to full Professor. Since his arrival at the University of Melbourne in 1992, Howard’s research has remained at the forefront of epistemology and philosophy of science, his teaching engaging and reflective of his clear and ongoing enthusiasm. Howard’s interests […]


  8. Book Conservation in the Twenty-First Century

    Camielle Fitzmaurice was recently awarded a George Alexander Foundation Fellowship through the International Specialised Skills Institute. Camielle is a paper and book conservator and graduate of the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation. In this interview by Samantha Rogers, Camielle discusses her role as book and paper conservator and how her work with Karen Hamner, an […]


  9. Vale Stuart Macintyre (1947–2021): A History Warrior Who Worked for a Better Australia

    A tribute by Janet McCalman (republished from The Conversation).


  10. Women & the Plague: The 1919 Spanish Influenza Pandemic in Melbourne

    A video recording of Mary Sheehan's presentation to the SHAPS Fellows & Associates Seminar (September 2021).


  11. Student History Journal Chariot in 2021

    Chariot is an undergraduate history journal created by and for students. Founded in 2018, the journal provides a space for students to engage with history in their own way, publishing online and in print. In this blogpost, Chariot editors Daisy Norfolk and Lauren Song report on their activities over the past year. 2021 has been […]


  12. Against Erasure

    Using witness accounts and smuggled information, researchers and technicians from the University of Melbourne have created a 3D digital model of the infamous but dismantled Manus Island Detention Centre. In this article, republished from Pursuit, SHAPS’s Una McIlvenna, together with Claire Loughnan (SSPS) and the eTeaching Unit’s Mitch Buzza, Meredith Hinze and Sam Taylor, tell […]


  13. Leila Alhagh

    Leila Alhagh, ‘Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Distanciated Islamic Manuscripts: ‘Sad Kalamih [Kalima] Shah Vilayat (One Hundred Sayings by Ali): Manzumih [Manzuma] dar Hajj (Futuh al-Haramayn)’ – A Case Study (PhD in Cultural Materials Conservation, 2021) This research addresses challenges posed by the study of distanciated Oriental manuscripts in research collections. Such challenges include […]


  14. Paul-George Arnaud

    Paul-George Arnaud (PhD in Philosophy, 2021) ‘Philosophy and the Method of Cases: Three Interpretations’ The method of cases is an approach to philosophical theorising that involves the use of thought experiments to evoke intuitions for the purpose of evaluating philosophical claims and theories on the basis of their fit with these intuitions. Although there is […]


  15. Trent Duan

    Trent Duan, ‘A Quarrel with the German People? The Totalising Logic of Enmity, Narratives of Enmity and the “German Question” on the Australian Home Front during the Second World War’ (PhD in History, 2021) A significant aspect of wartime discourse is the construction, definition and redefinition of in-group and out-group identities which justify, rationalise and […]


  16. Timo Eckhardt

    Timo Eckhardt (PhD in Philosophy, 2021) ‘Extended Model Semantics and Forgetting in Dynamic Epistemic Logic‘ In this thesis I investigate the idea of modelling epistemic updates as static modal operators. I discuss Extended Model Semantics for Dynamic Epistemic Logics, specifically Action Model Logic with postconditions. I argue that we get a better and more versatile […]


  17. John Henry

    John Henry (MA in Classics & Archaeology, 2021) ‘Femina Necans: A Study on Gendered Violence in Greek Tragedy’ In Greek tragedy, there were various methods available for a tragic woman to destroy her enemies: poison, a sword or dagger used in stealth, among other indirect methods. In this thesis, Femina Necans, these tropes will be […]


  18. Stephen Jakubowicz

    Stephen Jakubowicz (MA in History, 2021), ‘The Mischief Wrought by the Master of the Skerryvore: Victoria at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876′ This thesis is a study of the colony of Victoria’s involvement in the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition. The chance to send a display to Philadelphia provided an exciting opportunity for the colony […]


  19. Introduction to Textile Conservation

    In October 2021, Student Conservators @ Melbourne, the student group for the Master of Cultural Materials Conservation program at the Grimwade Centre, held a webinar, ‘Introduction to Textile Conservation’. Hosted by Victoria Thomas of Artlab (a graduate of the Masters and former Grimwade Conservation Services employee), the program introduced the types of objects commonly cared […]


  20. Themistocles Kritikakos

    Themistocles Kritikakos (PhD in History, 2021) ‘Memory and Cooperation: Genocide Recognition Efforts among Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians in Twenty-first Century Australia’ This thesis examines a unique period in the early twenty-first century when Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians in Australia cooperated to achieve genocide recognition. The Armenian genocide during the First World War (1915) has been […]


  21. Jen McFarland

    Jen McFarland, ‘“Qual’è utile alla Città”: Pizzochere Networks, Social ‘Usefulness’, and Female Precarity in Early Modern Venice” (MA in History, 2021) This thesis provides the first dedicated study of the identity, social status, and social roles of pizzochere, or lay religious women, in early modern Venice. Pizzochere professed simple religious vows, usually to a mendicant […]


  22. Sakinah Munday

    Sakinah Nadiah Munday (MA in Philosophy, 2021) ‘Pragmatic Silencing: Against Intentionalism, and the Need for a Social Norm Account of Linguistic Disablement’ Philosophers have long theorised that we use our words not just to communicate ideas, but also to perform everyday actions known as ‘speech acts’. More recently, feminist philosophers have argued that speakers, particularly […]


  23. Jessie Matheson

    Jessie Matheson (PhD in History, 2021), ‘Countryminded Conforming Femininity: A Cultural History of Rural Womanhood in Australia, 1920–1997′ This thesis explores the cultural and political history of Australian rural women between 1920 and 1997. Using a diverse range of archival collections this research finds that for rural women cultural constructions of idealised rural womanhood had […]


  24. Ainslee Meredith

    Ainslee Meredith (PhD in Cultural Materials Conservation, 2021) ‘The Public Value of Conservation in Australia: A Social Justice Framework’ Access to conservation, and thus to cultural heritage, has economic, social and cultural benefits; lack of access can lead to loss, both of cultural materials and of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits stemming from conservation. […]


  25. Josipa Mickova

    Josipa Mickova (MA in Philosophy, 2021), ‘On the Relationship between the Infinite and Finite, and between Adequate and Inadequate Knowledge in Spinoza’s Philosophy‘ The relationship between substance and modes is an enduring problem in Spinoza studies. How this relationship is understood is consequential on all aspects of Spinoza’s tightly knit philosophical system. This thesis focuses […]


  26. Joseph Parro

    Joseph Parro (MA in History, 2021) ‘P.R. Stephensen and Transnational Fascism: From Interwar Adoption to Postwar Survival and Transmission’ This thesis examines Percy Reginald ‘Inky’ Stephensen (1901–1965), Australian author, publisher, authors’ agent, and political activist, in relation to the transnational fascist phenomena of the twentieth century. It challenges previous characterisations of Stephensen as an Australian […]


  27. Paul-Mikhail Podosky

    Paul-Mikhail Podosky, ‘Barriers to Change, Possibilities for Resistance: Concepts within Structures of Oppression, Obstacles to Innovation, and the Implementation Challenge of Conceptual Engineering’ (PhD, Philosophy, 2021) Conceptual engineering, when it comes to social kind concepts, has strong political roots within the academy and activist circles alike. But if conceptual engineering, understood as the development of […]


  28. Alisha Rajaratnam

    Alisha Rajaratnam (MA in Philosophy, 2021) ‘Disjunctivism, Perceptual Capacities and Our Point of View on the World‘ Negative Disjunctivism is a frequently misunderstood position. Disjunctivists of this stripe hold that all that can be said about the phenomenal character of a hallucination of an F is that it is introspectively indiscriminable from a veridical perception […]


  29. Greg Dening (1931–2008)

    On the occasion of the forthcoming Greg Dening lecture, we thought it timely to republish an obituary for Greg Dening by his former colleague, Emeritus Professor Chips Sowerwine. This obituary first appeared in the Journal of Australasian Irish Studies 7 (2007) and has been reprinted by permission of the journal’s editor.  Greg Dening died on 13 […]


  30. Donna Merwick Dening (1932–2021)

    On 23 August SHAPS received the sad news that Donna Merwick Dening had passed away overnight. Donna was an Associate Professor in the History Department from 1969 to 1995 and taught American History. She was teacher, mentor and colleague to many and we mourn the passing of a great historian. Donna was proud of the […]


  31. Bengi Selvi-Lamb

    Bengi Selvi-Lamb (PhD in Classics & Archaeology, 2021) ‘Kura-Araxes Obsidian: A Case Study from Sos Höyük‘ The Kura-Araxes complex has a distinctive material assemblage that stretched across a wide geographical area from the Transcaucasus, through Lake Urmia basin in Northern Iran to Eastern Turkey and the Upper Euphrates region over at least 1000 years (3500–2400 […]


  32. Paul Siemers

    Paul Siemers, ‘What is the Internet of Things? An Ontological Investigation’ (PhD in the History & Philosophy of Science, 2021) The Internet of Things is widely considered to be of major – and increasing – significance as a global socio-technical phenomenon. However, answering the question of what the Internet of Things is turns out to […]


  33. Antonia Smyth

    Antonia Smyth (MA in Philosophy, 2021) ‘Epistemic Injustice in Cases of Compulsory Psychiatric Treatment‘ There is a growing body of philosophical research into epistemic injustice in the psychiatric context; this thesis examines the impact of this distinct form of injustice on people in compulsory psychiatric treatment specifically, that is, on people receiving treatment without their […]


  34. Bali Art & Heritage Conservation Internship Program #BAHCIP

    In mid-2021 a group of alumni of the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation co-organised the Bali Art & Heritage Conservation Internship Program (#BAHCIP). Developed by Saiful Bakhri, Masters of Cultural Conservation 2018 and winner of a Rising Star Alumni Award in 2020, together with Gadis Fitriana Putri, Lia Sumichan and Laila Nurul Fitrani, the […]


  35. Blake Peter Stove

    Blake Peter Stove, ‘The Truth of Heidegger’s Existential Analytic of Dasein‘ (MA in Philosophy, 2021) Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time is an ambitious work that fuses transcendental-ontological and historical themes. Critics have argued that these two aspects of the work are inconsistent and, in light of Heidegger’s substantive claims regarding the historical structure of human […]


  36. William Tuckwell

    William Tuckwell (PhD in Philosophy, 2021) ‘Non-ideal Epistemic Contextualism‘ Epistemic contextualists claim that in order for knowledge ascribing sentences, i.e., sentences of the form ‘S knows that p’, to be true S must meet different epistemic standards in different contexts. Some contextualists, those who I’ll label conversational contextualists, claim that speakers can change which standards […]


  37. The 2021 International Summer School in Transnational History, Yogyakarta, Indonesia

    Since 2018, the Universitas Gadjah Mada has hosted an annual International Summer School in Transnational History, bringing together students from across Southeast Asia to live and study together in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In 2018 and 2019 SHAPS was able to send small groups of students, together with Associate Professor Katharine McGregor, to participate in person in […]


  38. Submarines and Vaccines: France’s 2022 Presidential Elections

    Why do the French elections matter to Australia? More now due to new challenges to France’s commitment alongside Australia in the fraught geo-politics of the Indo-Pacific. Peter McPhee explores the 2022 election campaign in this article republished from Pursuit Will the next President of France be Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen or another of the candidates […]


  39. The Symbolism of Australia’s Southern Cross

    Australia’s Southern Cross has been used on flags and coats of arms since the early colonial period but, despite its endurance, it’s a very difficult emblem for many Australians. Dr Martin Bush, Research Fellow in SHAPS, researches the cultural history of astronomy in colonial- and Federation-era Australia. He tells us more in this article, republished […]


  40. An Interview with Associate Professor Catherine Kovesi

    Catherine Kovesi researches discourses surrounding luxury and consumption in early modern Italy; Florentine and Venetian family history; and Australian religious history. She is Chair of the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies and in recent years has worked with the Australian Council for the Arts at the Venice Biennale Arte. To celebrate Catherine’s promotion to Associate […]


  41. Equality and Fairness: Vaccines Against this Pandemic of Mistrust

    The COVID crisis has laid bare a crisis of trust. In many Western nations there’s a small but significant minority refusing to follow distancing guidelines, wear masks or get a vaccination. Protests in recent weeks have demonstrated just how much they mistrust politicians, scientists, bureaucrats, the ‘mainstream media’ and many of their fellow citizens. And […]


  42. Why Study Ancient Languages? An Interview with Dr Edward Jeremiah and Dr Andrew Turner

    We are excited to announce the appointment of Dr Edward Jeremiah and Dr Andrew Turner as Teaching Specialists in ancient languages. Andrew and Edward play key roles in introducing our students to Latin and Ancient Greek, and guiding them through their journey as they learn to read classical texts in the original language. In addition […]


  43. Confronting Racism in the Sciences: A Resource Set for Scholars

    Dr Eden Smith is a Research Fellow in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS). Alongside their focused research, Eden has been collating resources on key topics in HPS to help facilitate conversations between those who analyse science, such as historians, philosophers, and sociologists of science, and those who practice science. As part of this initiative, […]


  44. New Media Conservation Fellowship

    In early 2021 Jesse Dyer was the recipient of the first Time-Based Media Conservation Fellowship, offered in partnership by the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). This new fellowship supports graduate research in the dynamic field of Time-Based Media Conservation. Samantha Rogers spoke with Jesse about […]


  45. Welcome Dr Julia Bowes, New Hansen Lecturer in US History

    Dr Julia Bowes joined SHAPS as Hansen Lecturer in US History on 1 July 2021 and will be teaching HIST20071 American History: 1945 to Now in Semester 2/2021. Originally from Sydney, Julia completed her PhD at Rutgers University in 2018 and her doctoral thesis, Invading the Home: Children, State Power, and the Gendered Origins of Modern Conservatism, […]


  46. A Historical View on Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne

    Since retiring from a distinguished career in physiotherapy, Professor Joan McMeeken AM has devoted much time to researching the history of physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne – the first university to teach it in Australia. While formal studies began in 1906, the university only formed a dedicated School of Physiotherapy in 1991 after energetic […]


  47. Peter Yule on Vietnam Veterans and the Victorian Bar

    A video recording of Peter Yule's presentation to the SHAPS Fellows & Associates seminar (June 2021).


  48. Beyond ‘Statue Shaming’: Grappling with Australia’s Legacies of Slavery

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised this article contains distressing images and names and/or images of people who have passed away. As countries around the globe struggle to come to terms with the legacies of their imperial and colonial pasts, much debate about truth-telling focuses on how we remember individuals. The statues and […]


  49. Control & the Imagery of Power: The Case of Emperor Augustus

    Episode 1 in the 2021 SHAPS 'Control' Podcast Series: Dr Roslynne Bell (Classics & Archaeology).


  50. The PolyMuse Project: Part II

    PolyMuse is one of the major research projects underway at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. The primary goal of the project is to develop methods for conserving plastics (polymers) in collections across museums, galleries, and archives. Of particular concern are the five most volatile plastics, cellulose nitrate, cellulose acetate, PVC, polyurethane, and rubber, […]


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