History @ Newcastle

Research Seminar Series

ALL WELCOME!! Seminars are held in Cultural Collections @ Auchmuty Library (ground floor, through AIC), from 10am, and are followed by morning tea at 11am.

Week 5 – Friday 4 April 10 am

Professor Ann Curthoys

Professor Ann Curthoys

Presenter – Prof Ann Curthoys, University of Sydney

Title – Australian history and E.P. Thompson: The Making of the English Working Class and its influence on Australian historiography

Abstract – This  paper explores the impact of E.P. Thompson’s classic text, The Making of the English Working Class, on Australian historiography, from its first appearance in 1963 to the present. While many commentators now stress the book’s impact on the fields of Australian labour, social, and cultural history, Australian historians were actually slow to take notice. The book’s influence was slight in the 1960s and 1970s, reached a peak in the 1980s, and thereafter declined somewhat, as questions of Indigenous history, the British imperial context, and transnational approaches came to the fore.

Thus the paper considers the ways in which class, gender, culture, and race have been understood in Australian historiography over the last half century. Along the way, it also explores the work of two of Thompson’s contemporaries – Russel Ward and George Rudé, and ponders the significance of pathways chosen and avoided in creating the historiographical landscape we work in today.

All welcome!

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