Antipodean Antiquities Published

Now Available

Antipodean Antiquities: Classical Reception Down Under, edited by Marguerite Johnson (Bloomsbury 2019).

About the Book

Leading and emerging, early career scholars in Classical Reception Studies come together in this volume to explore the under-represented area of the Australasian Classical Tradition. They interrogate the interactions between Mediterranean Antiquity and the antipodean worlds of New Zealand and Australia through the lenses of literature, film, theatre and fine art.

Of interest to scholars across the globe who research the influence of antiquity on modern literature, film, theatre and fine art, this volume fills a decisive gap in the literature by bringing antipodean research into the spotlight. Following a contextual introduction to the field, the six parts of the volume explore the latest research on subjects that range from the Lord of the Rings and Xena: Warrior Princess franchises to important artists such as Sidney Nolan and local authors whose work offers opportunities for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary analysis with well-known Western authors and artists.


Research Seminar Series

The dates for HCCI’s semester one public research seminar series have been announced below. All seminars are held in the Auchmuty Library’s Cultural Collections on Fridays at 10am followed by morning tea at 11am. All are welcome.

  • 8 March, History, Violence, and the Steven Pinker Controversy, Philip Dwyer—University of Newcastle

  • 22 March, Jack Lindsay, Communism and the Classics, Henry Stead—The Open University

  • 5 April, The Making of ‘Ablaze’ and ASIO surveillance of Indigenous Activists in 1950s and 1960s, Alec Morgan—Macquarie University

  • 3 May, Printing Religion After the Enlightenment, Timothy Stanley—University of Newcastle

  • 17 May, The Historicity of Sexuality: Knowledge of the Past in the Emergence of Modern Sexual Science, Alison Moore―Western Sydney University

  • 31 May, Metropolis in Egypt before Septimius Severus: the Evidence of Papyri and Ostraca, Agnieszka Wojciechowska—University of Wrocław

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

On Studying History

A major study, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, recently tested college students nationwide at the start of their freshman year and then again after two years of study to gauge how well they were learning. It asked students to read a series of documents on a political or business problem and then write a memo about how to respond to it. Liberal arts majors consistently outperformed their peers in business, communications, and other newer ‘practical’ majors. Studying liberal arts teaches you critical thinking as well as imagination, empathy, and resourcefulness. It teaches you to research, evaluate evidence, communicate, and problem solve. Rather than train you narrowly for today’s job world (which will be obsolete twenty years from now), it teaches you how to learn for a lifetime. It teaches you not what to think (which will one day be outdated) but rather how to think.

“So, You Think You Want to Study History? - Boston University has produced this helpful list of advice for those interested in studying history. This quote is taken from their myth #3, “History is just old-fashioned liberal arts. I need ‘real world’ skills. I should major in something ‘sensible’ even if it’s not what I’m really excited about.” As it happens, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn recently commented in an interview for Wired Magazine that the greatest skills gap in the United States is “written communication, oral communication, team building, people leadership, collaboration.”

War Experience Public Lectures

This year’s War Experience Public Lecture series has now been announced for the following dates in semester one. Lectures are scheduled on Tuesdays 7-8pm at the University of Newcastle’s City Campus, room X202. All are welcome.

  • 12th March, Caroline Schneider, Children in Genocide – Experiences of Violence and the Yazidi Case

  • 26th March, Dr Sue Wareham, The Hidden Casualty of War: The Environment

  • 9th April, Elicia Taylor, ‘Just like a letter from a personal friend’: Australian Women and Wartime Communication Channels

  • 30th April, Peter Hooker, Republics at War: The United States’ Quasi-War with France, and its Repercussions on American Identity

  • 14th May, Prof. Michael. Ondaatje, The War on Blacks in American History

  • 28th May, Mr Terry Ryan, Sex and War in Antiquity

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

Fulbright Research Fellows

Recognized for their potential to create global impact in their fields, two HCCI researchers will receive prestigious Australian-American Fulbright Scholarships in a presentation at Parliament House this week.

The scholars, Dr Julie McIntyre and Professor Philip Dwyer, will spend up to six months in the USA sharing their knowledge, collaborating with academic colleagues and engaging broader USA communities through workshops, seminars and public lectures. The Fulbright Program is the flagship foreign exchange scholarship program of the USA, aimed at increasing binational research collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas.

Professor Dwyer will be based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he will develop his ideas around violence and gun violence by comparing and contrasting culture and society in Australia and the USA.Working with Professor Mark Micale at the University of Illinois, Professor Dwyer will also facilitate the establishment of further collaborative opportunities

Senior Lecturer in History with the School of Humanities and Social Science, Dr Julie McIntyre, will also receive a Fulbright Senior Scholarship to study connections between America and Australia in the grape and wine sciences since the 1950s. Dr McIntyre will travel to the Shields Library, University of California in Davis, to trace binational innovations in modernising wine production.

Further details on their award can be found at the University of Newcastle’s website:

Book Launch

We hope you can join us for the launch of Colonialism and Male Domestic Service across the Asia Pacific by Julia Martínez, Claire Lowrie, Frances Steel and Victoria Haskins (Bloomsbury 2019). The book will be launched by Professor Penny Russell at the University of Sydney on 18 February from 5 pm to 6 pm (Refectory Room H113). Light refreshments will be served. For more details and to RSVP please click here.

About the book:

Examining the role of Asian and indigenous male servants across the Asia Pacific from the late-19th century to the 1930s, this study shows how their ubiquitous presence in these purportedly 'humble' jobs gave them a degree of cultural influence that has been largely overlooked in the literature on labour mobility in the age of empire.

With case studies from British Hong Kong, Singapore, Northern Australia, Fiji and British Columbia, French Indochina, the American Philippines and the Dutch East Indies, the book delves into the intimate and often conflicted relationships between European and American colonists and their servants. It explores the lives of 'houseboys', cooks and gardeners in the colonial home, considers the bell-boys and waiters in the grand colonial hotels, and follows the stewards and cabin-boys on steamships travelling across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This broad conception of service allows Colonialism and Male Domestic Service to illuminate trans-colonial or cross-border influences through the mobility of servants and their employers.

This path-breaking study is an important book for students and scholars of colonialism, labour history and the Asia Pacific region.

Course Offerings

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

For those interested in studying at Honours level, explore AHIS and HIST options at the BA Honours handbook here:, or consider more of our postgraduate options on our study here page.

Surveilling Minds and Bodies Conference

Surveilling Minds and Bodies: Sexualities, Medicine and the Law in Australasian Contexts

12 - 13 September 2018, NeW Space, Newcastle

The 2018 conference ‘Surveilling Bodies and Minds: Sexualities, Medicine and the Law in Australasian Contexts’ endeavoured to provide a historical context (1950-present) for the current Australasian events surrounding, and responding to, the surveillance of sexualities, particularly gay and lesbian sexualities. This interdisciplinary conference was also community based and was open to all academic disciplines, community groups and organisations.

The recent shifts in power dynamics pertaining to sexualities, the body, medicalisation, and the law – represented most profoundly by the marriage equality debate – demonstrate the need for a series of historical enquiries into these key social issues.

Key note speakers were:

Watch the video below for a taste of the conference or download the conference handbook (PDF 930KB).

Future Directions in Australiasian Classical Reception

Conference Event

You are invited to attend one or two research events on 4 - 5 October 2018, NeW Space, Newcastle at The University of Newcastle NeW Space building on 'Future Directions in Australasian Classical Receptions'. Sponsored by The Centre for 21 Century Humanities, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle, this two-day conference examines and showcases the most recent research on Australasian Classical Reception. The events will be held at The University of Newcastle's city campus, NeW Space, in Room X801. Download the conference handbook (PDF 3.8MB).

Thursday 4th October - Confirmed speakers

  • Professor Jane Montgomery Griffiths, Monash

  • Professor Chris Mackie, La Trobe

  • Professor Michael Ewans, Newcastle

  • Emeritus Professor John Davidson, Wellington

  • Dr Laura Ginters, Sydney

  • Dr Sarah Midford, La Trobe

  • Dr Rachael White, Oxford

  • Dr Reuben Ramsay, Newcastle


Friday 5th October - Workshop

Day two of the conference features a workshop for postgraduates and honours students on their current research in Classical Reception Studies. The day begins with a two-hour workshop with Dr Ika Willis on researching Classical Reception Studies, followed by student presentations.


Two days:

  • Waged: $120

  • Unwaged / Studying: $60

One day (either day one or day two):

  • Waged: $60

  • Unwaged / Studying: $30

Registration covers morning/afternoon tea and light lunch on day one; morning coffee and light lunch on day two.


Professor Marguerite Johnson

Wine Studies Book Launch

Researchers uncover true stories of Vines, Wine and Identity in the Hunter Valley

A new book examining the history and personalities of the Hunter Valley wine community will be launched at Newcastle Museum on 22 September. Further details can be found here.


Hunter Wine: A History is one of the outputs of a four-year research project Vines, Wine and Identity: Hunter Valley NSW and Changing Australian Taste, a world first collaboration between a university, the peak wine body for a region and the cultural sector. The University of Newcastle project team is renowned sociologist Professor John Germov and Australia’s foremost wine historian Dr Julie McIntyre, a member of the Centre for 21stCentury Humanities.

“This is an important Australian wine book that uncovers new truths, challenges old myths and moves at a cracking pace with a delicious wine tale just right for the present”, said Melbourne-based wine journalist Jeni Port.

Professor Germov and Dr McIntyre will launch the book on 22 September surrounded by an exhibition, currently on display at the Newcastle Museum until Sunday 14 October, which brings to life the early years of the Hunter Valley tied to colonial, national and global themes, as featured in the book. The book launch will be accompanied by the screening of a forgotten Australian film, Squeeze a Flower. This made-for-TV movie has scenes shot at Pokolbin in the Hunter wine region in the late 1960s, and stars famous Australian and international actors.

The book and exhibition both trace through six generations of wine producers in the Hunter Valley, from when the first vines were planted in 1828 to the changing tastes and rising interest in wine of the 1980s, introducing the reader and viewer to the changing historical conditions and many personalities that helped shaped the region.