Current Projects of ACPH members:
ARC Future Fellowship
Australian history has been revised and reinterpreted by successive generations of historians, writers, governments and public commentators. Yet there has been no systematic attempt to trace Australian historiography from its earliest origins to the contests dominating public historical discussion today. Imagining the National Story responds to this critical gap in Australian historical research and proposes a bold and expansive history that traces the changing and contested project of Australia’s national story for the first time. In doing so, it stands to make a significant contribution to Australian historical scholarship and our understanding of the practice of history itself.
Partner Organisation: National Library of Australia
This study looks at the correspondence between Southall and his readers with the intention of casting light on the nature of the connection between writer and reader, especially a young reader. Research will include interviews with some of the reader correspondents, now well into their middle age, with the idea of investigating the role of reading, as well as the role of libraries, over the course of an individual’s life. Through the prism of this vast collection of letters, it will also explore the character of Ivan Southall and his attitude towards his audience.
This project investigates how the advent of digital technologies in the archival domain can prompt new questions about how we engage with archived paper. It explores how a focus on materiality — i.e. on archived documents as paper — might offer a new and productive mode of engagement with archived literary and personal papers. In short, it asks what ‘work’ paper is doing if it is more than a mere support to text and whether a focus on materiality and matter can shift how we approach archival research and particularly what we understand to be archival ‘evidence’. It draws on case studies from the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia, and the Dorset County Museum. This work will appear in the book, Paper, Materiality and the Archived Page with Palgrave Macmillan.
> Reshaping Australian Manufacturing: Emerging Technologies and Workplace Transitions
Jesse Adams Stein
Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellow (DAB)
This project investigates how emerging manufacturing technologies and digital design practices are transforming social relationships in Australian manufacturing. While much has been said about the technical, design and economic aspects of advanced manufacturing technologies (such as 3D printing), this project aims to shed light on the often-overlooked social and cultural factors that can have a profound impact on these shifts. These aspects include the social experience of retraining and ‘deskilling’, relationships between workers and technologies, perceptions of class, and the value of traditional trade skills. Research approaches include ethnographic fieldwork, and interviews with industrial designers and manufacturing workers. These interviews take an oral history approach, taking into account individuals’ life histories, past experiences of vocational training, the development of tacit ‘know-how’, and the broader historical context of Australian manufacturing and labour history.