Several UNE academics have recently been involved in the XXVIIth Biennial Conference of the Australasian Association for European History, an academic forum that has been running since 1969.
The Australian Association for European History (AAEH) brings together Australian and New Zealand-based scholars of Europe’s pasts, as well as scholars of international standing, to share research in a supportive and critical forum. Postgraduates are particularly welcomed, and many of the leading scholars of European history in Australia and New Zealand today owe their formative experiences of academia to the AAEH.
The XXVIIth conference was held entirely online (5 – 7 July), and was coordinated by Dr Ben Mercer of the ANU, with assistance from Dr Iva Glisic, Dr Alexander Cook, and Michelle Staff. Despite being entirely digital, the event was a huge success with the first keynote, Professor David Blackbourn (Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Chair of History) commenting on the ‘warmth and energy’ he felt. Second keynote Associate Professor Dominique Reill (Miami) echoed this, as did third keynote Anna Hájková (Warwick).
UNE’s contingent was particularly strong this year, with Associate Professor Richard Scully presenting on ‘Drawn to Extremes: Communist and Fascist Cartooning in 1930s Britain’; three PhD candidates presenting their work as well; and former UNE staff-member Dr Brett Holman also speaking on ‘Mutual Aid in an Air-Raid? Community Civil Defence in Britain, 1914-18’.
The postgrad cohort consisted of Jacob Berg (co-tutelle, with the University of St Andrews), presenting on ‘SA Propaganda and the Territorialization of Germany, 1933-1945’; Chris O’Neill on ‘Bad Press: Populism and the Newspapers of fin-de-siècle Vienna’; and Cody Davis on ‘Marriage and Masculinity of British Soldiers during the First World War’. All three were very well-received, with questions and comments forthcoming from several of the world leaders in German, Habsburg, and British history.
The conference was free and open to all, and several enterprising UNE History students took the time to attend. Attendees found the keynotes especially fascinating, and were thrilled also to hear from the likes of Professor Dagmar Wernitznig (Ljubljana), Dr Bodie A. Ashton, (Erfurt) and Dr Selena Daly (Royal Holloway) from overseas; as well as Dr Flavia Marcello (Swinburne), Professor Matt Fitzpatrick (Flinders), and Dr Ángel Alcalde (Melbourne) from closer to home.
The next AAEH will be held in-person in Canberra in 2023 and is a must for all scholars of European history who are based in Australia.