Welcome to the second 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.
In our first editorial, we expressed the hope that in the future we would publish articles across the full spectrum of disciplines that our School covers. In this edition, we have achieved our objective with a varied and interesting range of articles and reviews from history, archeaology, religion and theology and Jewish civilisation. Eras also continues to enhance its international profile with submissions received from Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States. We look forward to future editions continuing this exciting trend which assists in bringing together the international community of postgraduate scholars.
The current edition of Eras includes articles and reviews in Egyptian archeaology, Early Modern English and New World history, Australian cultural history, the Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany, Holocaust survivor narratives, and post-Communist transitions in Eastern Europe.
Catherine Armstrong offers an intriguing reassessment of Howard Mumford Jones’, O Strange New World, arguing, in opposition to Mumford Jones, that men and women of the Elizabethan era viewed the Americas with curiosity and enthusiasm rather than fear.
Wayne Geerling examines the impact of Germany’s National Socialist Party on juveniles during the Third Reich. He posits that juvenile criminal codes underwent reform to reflect party ideology on racial-eugenic theories, national security, and delinquency.
Chris Ivanes offers a broader understanding of the collapse of the Ceausescu regime in Romania. Utilising a game theory model of democratic transitions, he argues that Romania was an exception among Eastern European Communist States.
Elaine McKay examines the practice of diary writing in sixteenth and seventeenth century England, suggesting that more extensive networks of diarists existed at this time than had previously been thought.
In a fascinating exploration, Rachel Taylor engages with the debate around the life and death of Primo Levi, proposing that we need a more nuanced understanding of Holocaust survivor narratives.
We owe the success of Eras to a number of people. Most importantly, we would like to thank our committee members: Jo Aitken, Megan Blair, Kathryn Brown, Mark Eccleston, Jessica Lee-Ack, Caroline McGregor, Kerri Neumann, Frankie Nowicki, Barbara Russell and Cynthia Sladen. In particular, Caroline gave up many hours of her time, and this edition would not have been possible without her webbing talents. Although Eras is a postgraduate initiated and directed enterprise, we would also like to thank all the academics who served as anonymous referees for this edition. Their interest in our journal and the generous giving of their time is much appreciated.
We hope you enjoy reading this edition, and look forward to your responses to our publication. To facilitate this feedback, Eras has established 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. Provided the comment is reasonable, the email will be published on our site and we hope that authors and other readers will participate in the ensuing debate. In this way,Eras provides postgraduate students with immediate academic feedback about their work and encourages dialogue in our various fields of interest. We anticipate that this forum will stimulate lively debate about topical issues that are raised in this edition.