Eras Journal – Editorial, Edition Five


Welcome to the fifth edition of Eras , the journal produced by postgraduates of Monash University’s School of Historical Studies. The aim of our journal is to publish articles from among the fields of History, Archaeology, Religion and Theology, and Jewish Civilisation, by current and recently graduated postgraduate students from around the world. In the past Eras has been published twice a year, however after receiving a large number of submissions of high standard, we decided to trial producing one edition annually. The result is Edition Five. A browse through the journal will demonstrate the diversity and quality of postgraduate writing currently being produced.

Carla Bocchetti sheds new light on the Iliad and the Odyssey , applying cultural geography to illustrate how Homer’s Catalogue of Warriors is an expression of Panhellenism. She argues that the Catalogue fits within modern discourses on spatiality by affirming the importance of landscape to the construction of identity.

Judith Brown’s article explores Ernst Bloch’s heterodoxy in Marxist theory by focusing on his concern with the cultural and creative in human endeavour, and in particular his immersion in the Utopian tradition. Brown interprets the role of imagination in Bloch’s utopian philosophy as pointing the way to human potential – as the application of hope in the path to human revolution, or realisation of an “unalienated humanity”.

David Cox makes an astute preliminary examination of the provincial activities of the first salaried crime fighting force in Britain, the Bow Street Runners. Using a wide variety of sources, he locates the Runners’ activities within a wider policing history and exposes many avenues of fruitful future enquiry.

Nick Fischer offers a significant contribution to existing scholarship on anti-communist activity during the interwar period. He demonstrates that while Australian anti-communists clearly drew inspiration from their counterparts in the United States, the success of their political ideas and methods in the antipodes was quite limited by comparison, pinpointing the gulf between ‘real and perceived’ levels of power wielded by Australian anti-communists

Chris Ivanes’ application of various theories of revolution to the case of the 1989 Romanian Revolution suggests that the crucial factor leading to the explosive ‘December events’ was the crossing of a ‘revolutionary threshold’ in the hearts and minds of the people, whereby the personal, internal cost of silence was no longer outweighed by the potential costs of protest; costs which included death.

Kevin McDowell offers a fascinating article on Japanese agricultural emigration to Manchuria in the 1930s and 1940s. He demonstrates that conditions for colonisers and colonised alike not only shaped the emigration enterprise but ultimately led to its demise.

Sally Newman takes the problem of ’embodied scholarship’ and considers the lesbian historian’s relation to the text and the construction of meaning. By reference to photographs of Smith College women, Newman begins to theorise lesbian historiography by acknowledging her own historical positioning and libidinal investments.

Ruth Schilling discusses the changing nature of political representation in city republics around the turn of the seventeenth century. Focusing on the entrance of the bishop into Bremen in 1580, Schilling uses a range of sources to consider how the city’s council members attempted to limit his presence, and the outcomes of their efforts.

By exploring the themes of ‘language’ and ‘reality’ in Euripides’Helen, Chris Willis draws attention to the philosophical underpinnings of the play as an expression of Sophistic thought. Willis promotes the idea that Euripides may be read not only as a commentator on the fifth-century social/political milieu in Greece, but also as a contributor to the broader philosophical issues of the day.

Also included in Edition Five are a number of reviews on a range of recent publications.

The continued publication of Eras Journal would not be possible without the untiring support of the Editorial Committee. We thank Megan Blair, Kathryn Brown, Carly Millar, Kate Murphy and Ashten Warfe for all their help and advice throughout the year.

Articles included in Eras maintain such quality due to anonymous refereeing taken on voluntarily by academic staff both in Australia and internationally. We thank them for giving up their time and allowing the ongoing publication of journals such as Eras. Thanks goes also to members of the School of Historical Studies who have advised us on various issues throughout the year. Special thanks must go to the Monash University History Department Webmaster, Sandy Turner, and to Caroline McGregor, for their assistance with webbing throughout the year. Thanks also to Garry Deverell for generous assistance with reading and proofing papers in Religion and Theology.

We hope Eras journal proves thought-provoking to our readers. Part of our aim is to enable ongoing discussion about the topics we publish in this edition, as well as those from previous years. Included within each article is a link enabling readers to respond via email. Reasonable comments are posted to the Eras Discussion page, in the hope that Eras can encourage academic dialogue.

We hope you enjoy perusing Eras Edition Five.

Jessica Lee-Ack and Josie Monro
(Eras co-editors)