History and Memory Research Hub

The History and Memory Research Hub brings together researchers and postgraduate students from The University of Melbourne, as well as local and international scholars, who are working on memory studies. Memory studies is an interdisciplinary field of study and constitutes a major area of contemporary scholarly engagement. It is concerned with the ways in which relationships between the past and present are articulated in the present.

While previous approaches to the topic were centred on the West, over the last ten years the field has increasingly been populated by studies of sites of commemoration and memories of violence in Asia, Eastern Europe and post-Soviet spaces. These studies have served to de-centralise memory studies, and simultaneously to enrich it with reflections on how different cultures deal with different pasts, at different points in time. This Hub aims to provide a focal point for the vibrant and stimulating work that is being conducted within the University and beyond, across a wide range of geographical and cultural contexts.

Coordinator: Professor Kate Darian-Smith

Leading staff: Professor Antonia Finnane, Dr Julie Fedor, and Associate Professor Kate McGregor


24 February 2017: War and Memory Workshop Room 461, North Wing, Arts West

This one-day workshop will explore the connections between war, monuments and memorials, and the history of emotions.

Workshop Programme

Morning Session: Soviet and Post-Soviet War Memorials

9:00 Kate Darian-Smith (SHAPS), Welcome

09:05 Iryna Sklokina (Centre for Urban History, Lviv), Soviet War Monuments from the Stalin Era: Reflections on Practices, Reception, and Representation

10:05 Mischa Gabowitsch (Einstein Forum, Potsdam), Reappraising Conservatism: The Origins and Emotional Significance of Soviet War Memorials

11:05 Coffee break (Research Lounge)

11:15 Julie Fedor (SHAPS), Building a New "Military-Memorial Sphere" in Post-Soviet Russia: The Struggle over Russia's Unburied War Dead

12:15 Ewa Ochman (University of Manchester), Politics of Memory in a Transitional State: Soviet War Monuments in Post-Communist Poland

1:15 Lunch break

Afternoon session: Graduate presentations 

Panel 1. Chair & Discussant: Mischa Gabowitsch

2:00 Themi Kritikakos, Recreating the Identity of a “Lost Tribe of Antiquity”: The Assyrian Genocide Monument in Western Sydney

2:30 Mia Martin Hobbs, Metaphor as Memory: The Anzac Legend and Vietnam Homecomings

Panel 2. Chair & Discussant: Iryna Sklokina

3:00 Alannah Cusin, Souvenirs, Denial and Memory Politics in Republika Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina

3:30 Sarah Green “I Didn’t See the Footprints”: Children’s Monuments and Contested Memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Panel 3. Chair & Discussant: Ewa Ochman

4:00 Susan Reidy, Planting Grief and Sorrow: World War One Memorial Gardens in Australia

4:30 Niro Kandasamy, War, Resettlement and Memory: Exploring the Experiences of Sri Lankan Tamil Forced Migrants

We gratefully acknowledge support from the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions; the SHAPS Manchester-Melbourne scheme; and the History and Memory Research Hub.

All are welcome but seating is limited; please email julie.fedor@unimelb.edu.au to secure a place.

Past events

12-13 November 2015: International workshop on 'Emotions and Memory: Humiliation and Dignity in Asian, Australian and European Memories of Violence'

This international workshop set out to compare national practices of remembering violent pasts through a focus on the emotions linked to humiliation and dignity and the ways in which these are used for political and identity-making purposes.

4 September 2015: Public lecture: 'Transgenerational Memory: Transnational Narratives'

Associate Professor Amal Treacher Kabesh from the University of Nottingham delivered a lecture entitled Transgenerational Memory: Transnational Narratives.

4 September 2015: PhD and ERC Masterclass: 'Memory and Methods'

Susannah Radstone introduced discussion on researching cultural texts including film and literature and Paula Hamilton reflected on researching personal and autobiographical memory through oral histories and family stories. This workshop gave ECRs and PhD students working in any humanities or social science area of the field an opportunity to discuss issues related to their objects and methods of study.

4 September 2015: Symposium: 'Memory: Migration, Reconciliation and the Emotions'

A streamed symposium from the second meeting of the Australian Memory Research Network.

Download the symposium events report (70kb pdf)