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Memory and Trauma: Australian Migration and the Legacies of the Wars of the 20th Century
31 May 2016 @ 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
An Australia in the World Masterclass
Convened by Professor Joy Damousi, University of Melbourne and Professor Paula Hamilton, University of Technology Sydney
Contact: Liam Byrne at to register by Friday 27 May 2016.
NB: It is essential to register as participants will be discussing their own research.
The wars of the twentieth century resulted in the mass displacement and migration of over 70 million people through-out Europe. The two world wars and the Spanish and Greek Civil Wars resulted in the vast movement of populations.
How do immigrants fleeing from violence remember the experience of war in Australia? How do these memories of Australian migrant communities shape cultural identity? The place of war memories at the state and commemorative level are well documented. But less discussed is how memories of war are discussed, forgotten and remembered at the familial and intimate level of Australian migrant communities who have fled wars. For some families and individuals the need to forget and move forward is imperative to forge a new future. For others, memory of war is an essential part of family history, and so vital to retaining cultural and political ties with the past and cultural heritage. In this masterclass, issues of memory and war will be considered within Australian refugee and immigrant families. A consideration of methodologies such as oral history and the use of family photographs in charting the enduring legacy of war and its cultural repercussions will also be explored.
Professor Joy Damousi is Australian Research Council Kathleen Fitzpatrick Laureate Fellow and Professor of History in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne. She is the author of numerous books, including The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (Cambridge, 1999); Living with the Aftermath: Trauma, Nostalgia and Grief in Post-war Australia (Cambridge, 2001). Her most recent book is Memory and Migration in the Shadow of War: Australia’s Greek Immigrants after the Second World War and Greek Civil War.
Professor Paula Hamilton is adjunct Professor of History at the University of Technology where she taught for over twenty years. She is a cultural historian who has published widely in oral history and memory studies, exploring the intersection between personal and public memories. She has also collaborated in a range of historical projects with libraries, community groups, museums, heritage agencies and trade unions. Her most recent work is The Oxford Handbook of International Public History (edited with James Gardner) Oxford University Press, USA (forthcoming 2016).