History Department – Funded Research Projects

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 ARC Grants
ARC Linkage: Imagining Poverty: Conceptualising and Representing Poverty and the Poor in Mendicant Inspired Literature, Preaching and Visual Art 1220–1520

Chief investigators:

Professor Constant J Mews (Monash University); Dr Peter F Howard (Monash University); Dr Anne M Scott (University of Western Australia); Dr Janice M Pinder (Monash University); Dr Claire F Renkin (MCD Specialist University); Father Paul R Murray (in collaboration with Dominican Province of the Assumption, Franciscan Friars Province of the Holy Spirit)

This project explores understandings and representation of poverty, both voluntary and involuntary, in literature and art in Europe 1220–1520 that were inspired by mendicant (particularly Franciscan and Dominican) ideals. It will lead to a jointly authored study on the different ways poverty was understood and represented in this period.

ARC Linkage: Australian Generations: Life Histories, Generational Change and Australian Memory

Chief investigators: Professor Alistair Thomson (Monash University; A/Prof Katie Holmes (LaTrobe University); Mr Kevin Bradley (National Library of Australia); Dr Seamus O’Hanlon (Monash University); Dr Christina Twomey (Monash University); Dr Kerreen Reiger (LaTrobe University); Ms Michelle Rayner (ABC Radio National)

As the nation faces dramatic social and environmental change, understanding diverse experiences and memories of Australia’s past becomes increasingly important. This project will strengthen Australia’s social and economic fabric by explaining the experience, memory and significance of the past for different Australian generations. A series of radio programs will make the research widely accessible. Future researchers and educators will benefit from unprecedented online access to an immensely rich national oral history collection. The National Library, ABC, university partnership will ensure that professional innovation in radio history, oral history and digital archiving is cascaded to cultural institutions in Australia and abroad. For details of the project, see here.

ARC Discovery: How Fire Remade the European City, from 1550 to 1850 (DORA)

Chief investigator: Professor David Garrioch

This project examines the fire history of urban Europe from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Seeing European cities as fire environments, largely shaped by the everyday uses of fire and by attempts to manage it, will enable an entirely different understanding of their history.

ARC Discovery: Encountering diversity: Communities of Learning, Intellectual Confrontations and Transformations of Religious Thinking in Latin (DORA)

Chief investigator: Professor Constant Mews

This project will analyse how intellectual confrontations between different communities in medieval Europe (from 1050-1350), including Jews and Muslims, were generated by competition between teachers from different groups, both within and outside formal educational structures and established religious communities, thus helping to transform religious thinking.

ARC Discovery: A History of the Pilbara Aboriginal Strike as Event, Experience and Myth

Chief investigator: Professor Bain Atwood

This will be the first major study of the 1946 Pilbara Aboriginal pastoral strike, one of the most significant events in Australia’s post-war history. It will illuminate the processes of negotiation, accommodation and change involved in the encounter between indigenous peoples and settlers as well as how these have been both experienced and remembered.

ARC Discovery: Historicising Orientalism: the French, the Jews, and the Modern World

Chief investigator: Dr Julie Kalman

This project intends to bring a new approach to what we have come to know as Orientalism. It will be exploring depictions of Jewish populations in the Orient by French non-Jews over the nineteenth century, seeking to challenge the straightforward East/West dichotomy that has dictated this field of research.

ARC Discovery: Cultures of Belief in Renaissance Florence

Chief investigator: Associate Professor Peter Howard

The project asks new questions and employs new methods for understanding the material and cultural development of Renaissance Florence by focussing on the city’s rapidly evolving religious context. It foregrounds the close study of preaching and its generation, and elaborates the oral as a category of historical analysis.

ARC Discovery: Talking slavery in the New Deal: Re-examining the Origins of American Social History

Chief investigator: Dr Clare Corbould

Debate about the nature of American slavery has had a significant impact on American public life, especially ideas about justice, equality, rights and the role of government. By examining a new the archive on which slave history has been based, this project will advance understanding and stimulate new angles in public discussion of slavery’s legacy.

ARC Discovery: Detention: the humanitarian and imperial origins of internment and concentration camps

Chief investigator: Associate Professor Christina Twomey

The project will examine the colonial origins of the concentration camp system and its previously unexplored links with protection policies for Indigenous and immigrant groups. It seeks to contribute to how we understand the history of non-criminal and non-citizen detention, humanitarianism and human rights.

ARC Discovery: War and Memory in European Culture: a Long Perspective

Chief investigator: Dr Megan Cassidy-Welch

This project provides a new account of the integration of the crusades into European cultural memory. As an  innovative study of war it offers a long perspective on European history; as a study of religious warfare, it will enrich present-day debates on the consequences of international conflict.

ARC DECRA: Perilous Embassies: Diplomatic Encounters between Europe and Asia, 1600-1800

Chief investigator: Dr. Adam Clulow

This project examines diplomatic encounters on the frontline of the first age of globalization. The early modern period was a crucial watershed in history as the opening of maritime trade routes brought Europeans into sustained contact with Asia for the first time. In this connected world, the embassy formed the most important mechanism for cross-cultural interaction. This study considers a series of European embassies dispatched to the most powerful Asian states and uses these to reassess the nature of the global encounter between Europe and Asia.

ARC DECRA: Sexing Scholasticism: Gender in Medieval Thought 1150-1520

Chief investigator: Dr Clare Monagle

This project explores medieval theological debates about why it was necessary that Christ was born as a man. This offers new evidence for understanding the history of gender in the Middle Ages, granting access to ideas about masculinity and femininity held by the elite ruling cultures of western Europe between 1150 and 1520.

ARC DECRA: Secularism in Nineteenth-Century America: a History

Chief investigator: Dr Timothy Verhoeven

This project brings to light a popular movement in nineteenth-century America which sought to separate Church and State. The project thus offers a crucial historical context to modern debates about the role of religion in public life and whether or not the United States is a Christian nation.

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