Student Awards

Warm Congratulations to BA Honours Students in History

Katherine Smith will receive the NCW NSW Australia Day Award at a ceremony to be held at the NSW Parliament on 23 January 2020. This honour is bestowed by the National Council of Women of New South Wales, which aims “to encourage women to undertake further studies, which will eventually lead to the elevation of the role of women in society. The Australia Day Awards are made possible through generous sponsorship by organisations and individuals’ (

BA Honours History alumnus Ingrid Bennett has also recently been awarded the prestigious Aurora Internship by the Aurora Project. The project ‘aims to to strengthen Indigenous organisations by supporting their staff and facilitating opportunities for all Australians to work in these organisations. The Aurora Education Foundation also runs projects aimed at improving educational outcomes for Indigenous Australians’ (

Our vision at Aurora is that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will drive a new era of growth, participation and achievement in Australian and global communities. We exist to inspire Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aspirations and achievement. We seek to change the conversation around Indigenous education to one of high expectations and possibilities
— The Aurora Project

Value of History Statement

The study of the past and telling its stories are critical to our sense of belonging, to our communities and to our shared future.
— The Value of History Statement
History shapes our identities, engages us as citizens, creates inclusive communities, is part of our economic well-being, teaches us to think critically and creatively, inspires leaders and is the foundation of our future generations.
— The Value of History Statement

The Value of History Statement was launched on 3 September by Dr. Stephen Gapps, the President of the History Council of NSW. ‘This follows the national announcement by the four History Councils of NSW, South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria at the annual meeting of the Australian Historical Association held in Toowoomba on July 11. The Statement emphasizes the value of studying the past and telling its stories’ (History Council of NSW). The entire statement can be downloaded as PDF here. The call to endorse the statement can be found on the History Council of NSW’s website linked above.

Research Seminar Series Semester II

The dates for HCCI’s semester two public research seminar series have been announced below. Unless otherwise noted, all seminars are held in the Auchmuty Library’s Room L326 on Fridays at 10am followed by morning tea at 11am. All are welcome.

  • 9 August, Aboriginal People and the Crown’s Protection: Colonial Australia within a Mobile Empire, Amanda Nettlebeck — University of Adelaide

  • 16 August, Cultural Collections, Charismatic Authority in the Age of Revolutions, David A. Bell — Princeton University

  • Tuesday, 20 August, Cultural Collections, 12pm-1pm, Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Seminar, The Patronage of Greek Art and Architecture in Magna Graecia and Sicily, Professor Clemente Marconi – New York University

  • 23 August, Suicide, Temporary Insanity and Terror in Penal New South Wales, James Dunk — University of Sydney / University of Newcastle

  • Thursday, 5 September, NewSpace X803, 6pm-7.30pm, History Week Lecture, Is it #Time'sUp for Newcastle's Coal Monument?, Nancy Cushing and Sue Anne Ware – University of Newcastle

  • 20 September, New Directions in Military History: Strategy, Technology and Morale in the Age of Mass Warfare, Richard Dunley and Nicole Townsend  - UNSW Canberra

  • 18 October, Strabo, Augustus and the Trade with India, Hugh Lindsay – University of Newcastle

  • 1 November, ‘Black Men Must Now Have Beef!’ / ‘Tumble White Man Down’. Sheep, Cattle and Resistance Warfare at Bathurst 1822-24, Stephen Gapps – Australian National Maritime Museum / University of Newcastle

For more information of any questions about the seminars please contact the series coordinators Dr. Hugh Lindsay ( and Dr. Elizabeth Roberts-Pedersen (

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity Panel Discussion


The Centre for 21st Century Humanities at the University of Newcastle is hosting an exciting panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity.

Speakers will discuss the impact, implications and issues of AI for our future, on an open forum chaired by Rosemarie Milsom.

  • Prof Nicholas Agar (University of Victoria, Wellington)

  • Prof Marnie Hughes-Warrington (ANU)

  • Prof Duncan McDuie-Ra (UON)

  • Prof Alex Zelinsky AO (UON)

Where: Hunter Room, Newcastle City Hall

When: 19 September, 4-6pm.

Before the prospect of an intelligence explosion, we humans are like small children playing with a bomb. We have little idea when the detonation will occur, though if we hold the device to our ear we can hear a faint ticking sound.
— Nick Bostrom (Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford)

This event is free and open to all, but seating is strictly limited, so please ensure you do book to ensure your place. For any enquiries, please contact Further details on this and other events can be found at the C21CH website here.

Archaeology Public Lecture

Free Public Lecture sponsored by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens.


Ancient Greek Festivals and Temple Decoration: Mirror and Memory: Images of Ritual Actions

Presented by Clemente Marconi, Professor of Art and Archaeology at New York University and Milan University

  • Where: University of Newcastle Newspace, Room X502 (corner of Hunter and Auckland)

  • When: Monday, 19 August, 6pm

For further information and details on the event contact Dr. Hugh Lindsay.


War Experience Lectures II

Another series for this year’s War Experience Public Lecture has now been announced for the following dates in semester two. Lectures are scheduled on Wednesdays 7-8pm at the University of Newcastle’s City Campus, room X201. All are welcome.

  • 14th August, The Local Population Took Us Over, The Coloured Population’: Solidarity and Subversion in Wartime South Africa, Jean Smith, Kings College London.

  • 11th September, The Archaeology of Drayonavets Village and the Battle of Abritus (June AD 251) - The Climax of Bellum Gothicum of the Decii, Jeff Tillitzki, University of Newcastle.

  • 9th October, The Second World War, Portuguese Timor and Newcastle, Jude Conway, University of Newcastle.

For further information about these lectures please contact the series coordinator, Dr. Jane Bellemore:, 02.492.15231.

Armenian Genocide Commemoration Public Lecture

The Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies will host a public lecture as part of its 2019 Armenian Genocide Commemorations.


“Talaat pasha, Architect of the Armenian Genocide,” presented by Associate Profesor Hans-Lukas Kieser.

  • When: Thursday, 22 August at 7.30pm (preceded by wreath laying ceremony at 7pm

  • Where: NSW Parliament Theatrette, Macquarie Street, Sydney

For further information contact

New Podcast on History

UoN’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences’s new podcast series on The Human Experience features historian Dr. Kit Candlin.

Episode 4 is on Slavery, its history and connections to the present.  Dr Kit Candlin is a historian of violence and early modern specialist of the Atlantic world. An authority on the history of slavery, his research examines empires that looked out on the Atlantic Ocean from 1400-1840. He describes how the study of the history of slavery can help us understand the modern world and its own forms of ‘slavery’ such as low wages, the poverty cycle, sex slavery and debt bondage. He comments on how slavery has shaped our modern economic systems. Dr Candlin reflects on how studying slavery and coming across some of the most unimaginable punishments and social arrangements has affected him.

New Performance of Ancient Greek Play

Love Magic: A Performance of an Ancient Greek Play

When: Wednesday, 14 August 2019, 07:00 pm — Saturday, 17 August 2019, 07:00 pm

Where: The Royal Exchange Theatre, Bolton St, Newcastle

Contact: Michael Ewans


Love Magic is a dramatic monologue written by the ancient Greek poet Theocritus around 280-260 BCE featuring a young woman scorned by her lover. The performance is a research project funded by the Centre for 21st Century Humanities led by Professor Marguerite Johnson, a researcher of Classics, magic and gender. Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans has translated the play and will act as Director of the performance. Professor Johnson says the play, even though thousands of years old, is still relevant today. The performance will not only be entertaining but will enable scholarly research to take place. “Our research project investigates how the monologue might have been performed in Alexandria 2,300 years ago, how it might be performed today, and what impact it will make on contemporary audiences. There will be an audience questionnaire, which will enable us to evaluate their responses,” she said.

Further details can be found at:

Course Offerings

Semester two courses are now open to enrollment. Here’s a list of what’s on offer:

For those interested in studying at Honours level, AHIS and HIST options can be found at the BA Honours handbook here: More of our course options can also be found on our study here page.

On Great South Land

Kate Ariotti, Lecturer in History at the University of Newcastle explains ‘the open course provides an overview of Australian history from the earliest known human occupation of the continent – the 60,000+ years of what is called “deep time” Aboriginal history – to the early days of British settlement. It covers pre-contact Aboriginal society through to the arrival and subsequent occupation of the land by British convicts and colonists from 1788 onwards.’ It’s far more than a course about dates and places and names. Great South Land tackles some big historical questions and issues, such as the extent to which Aboriginal peoples cultivated the land, the legitimacy of British claims to ‘discovery’ of the continent, and whether the convicts sent to the new colonies were victims of economic disenfranchisement or hardened, immoral criminals.

“Educator Spotlight: Great South Land: Introducing Australian History with University of Newcastle Australia,” More about open access and other course offerings by HCCI staff can be found here. Further information on Dr. Ariotti’s teaching and research can also be found on her university profile page here.

Newcastle Writers Festival 2019

HCCI’s James Bennett, Nancy Cushing, Marguerite Johnson and Julie McIntyre will be speaking at this year’s Newcastle Writers Festival, 5-7 April.

NWF is one of the city’s premier cultural events and an important community partnership of the University of Newcastle. Further details on the entire program can be found at NWF’s website here.

Friday 5 April

Masterclass | Memory and Monuments with Nancy Cushing, Stephen Gapps and Tamson Pietsch. Hosted by Richard Neville. The impulse to memorialise people and events has led to the establishment of a range of monuments in urban landscapes. Increasingly, monuments have been verbally or physically attacked and, in some cases, removed. This masterclass will focus on the ongoing histories of monuments, testing the implications of preservation and removal, and how memorials can be revived, reinterpreted or replaced. The three speakers will address Captain Cook, counter-memorials and the ‘statue wars’; the memorial to the band on the Titanic in Broken Hill; and the coal monument in Newcastle.

  • 11.00am-1.00pm

  • Level 3, Room X321 NeW Space, Hunter St Free event

  • Limited to 50 places


Saturday 6 April

NEW Thinking Series | Lives Erased: The History of LGBTQI Conversion Therapy with James Bennett, Stuart Edser and Anthony Venn-Brown. Hosted by Marguerite Johnson.

  • 11.30am-12.30pm 

  • Cummings Room, City Hall 

  • Free session

NEW Thinking Series | A New Taste of Hunter Wine History with John Germov and Julie McIntyre. Hosted by Cassie McCullagh.

  • 1:30-2:30pm

  • Cummings Room, City Hall

  • Free Session