Eras Journal – Editorial, Edition Three


Welcome to the third edition of Eras, the on-line refereed journal of the School of Historical Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Eras is edited and produced in its entirety by postgraduate students. We offer a diverse, international focus and aim to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue among researchers.

This edition contains a diverse and interesting range of articles from the disciplines of history, archaeology, religion and theology and Jewish civilisation. The third edition Eras continues to enhance its international profile with submissions received from Australia, Egypt, England, and other countries from around the globe.

James Anderson takes a fresh look at the classic film Gone With The Wind (1939). He shows how the film has impacted upon current perceptions of the Old South and exposes the film’s own deep entrenchment in myth and romantic memory.

Melissa Bellanta examines the influence of religious and millennial ideas and rhetoric on the irrigation movement in Australia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, providing interesting insights into the ways in which irrigationists negotiated the tension between science and religion in their pursuit of environmental reform.

Eleanor Chambers gives a fascinating glimpse into the world of Roman politics shortly after Caesar’s murder. This innovative piece challenges the assumption made by much orthodox Twentieth Century scholarship that the competitive and ruthless nature of Roman politics at this time excludes the possibility of meaningful ideological debate occurring simultaneously. Letters exchanged between Cicero and Atticus concerning Cicero’s attempts to further the political careers of Brutus and Cassius by seeking the support of the Consul designate, Aulus Hirtius, illustrates the ideological division between the optimates and populares.

Jessica Freame analyses the dominant ideologies of 1950s America through the image and performance(s) of two Hollywood actresses, Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day. As well as analysing the relationship between femininity and sexuality as exhibited by these Hollywood stars, Freame considers how the portrayal of these women in particular ways exemplifies the climate of fear and paranoia that characterised American attitudes during the Cold War.

Congmin Ge traces the development of Chinese cinema, highlighting the role of ‘traditional Chinese theatrical awareness’ in this process. Exploring the unique ways in which techniques and technologies were adapted by Chinese filmmakers and performers, Ge considers the impact of this new medium not only on the artistic community but also upon Chinese audiences.

Guy Middleton explores the construction of archaeological knowledge on Late Bronze Age Greece. His paper not only takes us on a fascinating chronological journey through scholarship on the period, but has broad significance for those interested in the ways myths can become conflated with evidence in studies of the past.

In an intriguing article Gwenyth Richards examines the life of Welsh Noblewomen during the uncertain times of the Thirteenth Century. The case explored is that of the influential, yet little studied, Margaret of Bromfield, granddaughter of the Welsh ruler Llywelyn Fawr and sister of Llywellyn ap Gruffudd. Through an investigation of extant printed court records of Wales at this time, Richards illustrates how Margaret of Bromfield fought courageously for her dower rights and the rights of her children as a widowed Welsh Noblewoman within the hostile court system of Edward I.

We owe the success of Eras to the work of our tireless committee members: Jo Aitken, Megan Blair, Kathryn Brown, Mark Eccleston, Julie Fenwick, Caroline McGregor, Carly Millar, Josie Monro and Frankie Nowicki. Sincere thanks goes out to all of these people, along with the academics who served as anonymous referees for this edition. Their continued interest in our journal and their expertise is much appreciated. Lastly, we wish to thank our contributing authors for their time, patience, and determination. A great deal of work goes into an article before the finished product is published, and so we thank the authors of not only the articles you are about to see, but also the authors of articles that are still under consideration, and may be published in future editions of Eras.

We hope you enjoy reading our third edition, and look forward to your responses to our publication. Eras possesses a discussion forum relating to the articles published in each edition. There is a link at the bottom of each paper which allows the reader to make constructive comments about the article they have read. These comments will be mediated by the Eras editorial committee and reasonable emails will be published on our site. We hope that authors and other readers will participate in the ensuing debate, allowing to Eras provide postgraduate students with immediate academic feedback about their work. We expect that this forum will encourage dialogue and stimulate debate in the various fields of interest within this edition.

Jessica Lee-Ack and Kerri Neumann
(Eras co-editors)