Hidden women of history: Théroigne de Méricourt, feminist revolutionary

Théroigne de Mericourt, engraving after a painting by Auguste Raffet in 1817. Wikimedia Commons Anne-Josèphe Théroigne or Terwagne (1762–1817) was born at Marcourt, a village south of Liège in modern Belgium. From a comfortable farming family, Théroigne had a remarkably unsettled life after her mother died when she was five years old, living with relatives who provided only erratic access to...

Listen To Older Voices : Robert Lloyd – Part 1

Listen To Older Voices presents the stories, views and opinions of our older citizens. It is predominantly in a life & times format, with interviewees reflecting upon their lives from earliest memories. An underlying principle of the program is to promote the concept of positive ageing, reinforcing the principle that older people have & continue to make a valuable...

Research Notes 3 – A Conversation About Australian Blues Music: Life Beyond The Mainstream

Further research is needed for this study on the roots of Australian folk music.  According to Keesing and Strathern (1998) in Cultural Anthropology: A Contemporary Perspective, England had banned the slave trade to the Caribbean in 1807.  Citing Williams’ (1944) notes “before African slaves were economically advantageous in the Caribbean, poor whites had been sent from England in virtual...

Ten great Australian beach reads set at the beach

The beach is a common setting for Australian novels, which often capture its darker side. boxer_bob/flickr Australians flock to the beach over the summer holidays: Bondi alone had 2.9 million visitors in 2017 – 2018. But while tourism campaigns often portray the beach as an idyllic, isolated haven, many of our beach stories depict it as a darker, more crowded and...

Explainer: what does ‘gaslighting’ mean?

Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in Gaslight (1944), the film that inspired the now widely used term. Metro Goldwyn-Mayer Shortlisted for the Oxford English Dictionary’s 2018 word of the year, “gaslighting” has well and truly found its way into contemporary thought and vernacular. The term has recently been employed to explain the behaviour of contestants on The Bachelor Australia, Monica Lewinksy’s experiences with the...

Sunday essay: identity politics and the case for shared values

A scene from the 1961 film West Side Story. The casting of an Australian performer as Maria in a local production of the musical was recently criticised for ‘white washing’ a story about a Puerto Rican immigrant. The Mirisch Corporation,Seven Arts Productions Recently, a group of respected academics, including Melbourne-born philosopher Peter Singer, announced that they were launching a new academic...

What the folk? Whatever happened to Australia’s national folklife centre?

Poster for the 23rd National Folk Festival in Maleny, Qld, 1989. Since 1994, the Festival has been held in Canberra.  Courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive and Kim Brown, 462585. Most Australians know something about “folklore”. Every year crowds converge on Canberra for the National Folk Festival. But, folklore encompasses far more than song and dance. The term refers...

Port Phillip Council funds ‘Art and Soul’ contributors

Six outstanding arts organisations have been awarded Port Phillip Council grants to support their considerable cultural contributions to the City. The successful Cultural Development Fund applicants are: • Rawcus Theatre Company Inc – an award-winning ensemble of artists with and without disability • The Torch – creative arts programs for Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders • Australian Tapestry Workshop – an award-winning centre of...

Teleporting and psychedelic mushrooms: a history of St Nicholas, Santa and his helpers

  Illustration to verse 1 of the children’s poem Old Santeclaus with Much Delight. 1821. Wikimedia There are many sides to the beloved figure of Santa Claus - a giant of pop culture, he also has “miraculous” powers and ties to the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Santa’s blend of religion and popular culture is, however, not modern at all. Several...

Sunday essay: back to Moore River and finding family

Children at Norseman Mission. The author’s mum, Violet Newman is in the middle row on the far left.  Image from the collection of Elsie Lambadgee (dec.) Untangling the web that is the history of the stolen generations is a very satisfying process. In October, I went to the Centenary Memorial gathering at Mogumber, on the site of the Moore...