Joy Damousi

Marilyn Lake is without doubt one of the most influential historians in and of Australia in the last thirty years. ‘SIGN. US. UP’ writes Clare Corbould, one of the contributors to this festschrift, when describing the reaction of her postgraduate self and friends to seeing Lake sweep through the crowd at a history conference in the late 1990s ...

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In October, the Australian research and academic community was angered by the revelation that the former Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, vetoed eleven Australian Research Council (ARC) grants that had been recommended for funding following a rigorous peer-review process ...

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Armenia, Australia and the Great War by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley

by
September 2016, no. 384

The Armenian Genocide, which claimed an estimated 1.5 million lives, began in 1915. It continues to cause controversy today and is a hotly contested event; ...

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When we talk about the importance of Australia's remembered wartime past, we mostly think of home-front experiences or Australians who went away ...

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This is a book about the role of English speech in the creation and spread of British colonialism in Australia, about the eventual disintegration of this imperial speech and its values in the colony now transformed into a nation, and about the emergence of the ‘colonial voices’ of the title ...

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A brief moment of reflection on the quantum of grief in Australia associated with wars of the twentieth century is, to say the least, unsettling. Nearly 100,000 killed in combat, many seriously wounded, many dealing with the physical and mental consequences long after the cessation of hostilities. Lives snatched from the everyday and made into noble sacrifices. The darker dimensions of the Anzac legacy have seeped into the national imagining in recent years, and we are now more open to the poignant melancholy of remembrance, undercutting the bellicose flag-waving of former years. But our sense of the costs of sacrifice has largely been focused on those who served. Joy Damousi in this and her previous book, The Labour of Loss (1999), opens our eyes to those others who have borne the pain of grief most acutely: the wives and families of those killed and those forever transformed by the experience of battle. These illuminating books are a long overdue acknowledgment of the burden of mourning that many Australian families have had to bear.

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Much of the evidence and source material used in Depraved and Disorderly, particularly in Part One, will be familiar to the scholar of female convict history. But Joy Damousi provides some additional material which is both original and evocative. For example, her discussion of lesbianism and tattooing as both challenging to contemporary concerns about sexuality and social order, and as another means by which these women could express their own identities, provides evidence of the diversity of characters among convict women, as well as broadening our understanding of colonial society. More importantly, however, Damousi adds a further theoretical dimension to the already complex and contradictory historiography which surrounds the female convict.

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The serious academic study of war has grown considerably in Australia in the last ten to fifteen years, bringing with it an often welcome diversification in focus and a willingness to subject old issues to fresh scrutiny. One sign of the increasing acceptance of war as a subject of serious study in the universities is the increasing number of university historians and other who, with little knowledge of or interest in the mechanics of war, nonetheless extend their work to include consideration of war and the military as these affect their particular areas of interest.

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