EJANZH: Index to Looking Ahead Papers

Looking Ahead: New Directions in Postgraduate Historical Research

University of Newcastle, 3 July 1998

Papers by:

Greg Burgess, ‘The St Louis and moral rearmament: the right of asylum, human rights, and the response to refugees from Germany, 1933 -1939.’

Troy Duncan, ‘William Goodell (1792 – 1878): the evangelical perspective on political, social, and economic reform’.

David Cameron, ‘Manufacturing and the ruralist ideology of the political economy in Queensland, 1859- 1930.’

Sharon Crozier, ‘The voices of fiction in the making and re-making of history – Arnold Bennett, Marie Corelli, and single women in late Victorian England.’

Christopher Kelen, ‘The re-demonisation of Aboriginal Australia: Civilisation, barbarism, and indigeneity in the post-consensus era.’

Amanda Laugesen, ‘History, Memory and the landscape: Historical Consciousness and Conquest in the American West 1870 -1920.’

David Lewis, ‘John Latham and the Statute of Westminster.’

Helen Masterman-Smith, ‘The Political Heritage of Campbelltown’s Working Class Women’.

Phoebe Thornley ‘A new perspective on the government’s role in the development of public/community broadcasting.’

Dave Trudinger, ‘No more ‘the big stick’: Personnel Management, Labour Control and the Mind of the Individual Worker.’

Craig Turnbull, ‘The Racial Dimensions of Residential Space in Chicago, 1890 -1920.’

Why Looking Ahead?

The idea for this conference was inspired by the success of the ‘Making History’ conference held by the History Department of the University of Sydney in 1997. The quality of postgraduate papers on that occasion was outstanding, and more importantly, it provided an opportunity for postgraduate historians to meet and discuss their work in a friendly environment. Hopefully, events such es ‘Making History’ and ‘Looking Ahead’ will become an annual occurrence.

The title of the conference is derived from the motto of the University of Newcastle: I Look Ahead. By drawing together Australia’s emerging scholars in history, we are truly encapsulating that premise.

Acknowledgements: This conference would never have gotten off the ground without the wholehearted and always enthusiastic support of Professor John Ramsland, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, who was generous enough to provide funding, and whose door was always open to us. The History Department, through former Head of Department, Associate Professor Peter Hempenstall, and current Head, Dr David Lemmings, have also been supportive from the inception, not only with suggestions, but with funding as well. Mr Paul Scott’s advice was always appreciated. Dr Nancy Cushing was more than generous with her time, drawing on her own experiences in planning ‘The River’ Conference in 1997. Dr Chris Dixon was magnificent in providing advice and in giving his time on the day. Anne Wilkinson, Sue West, and Gloria Higginbottom gave freely of their time when it was most needed. To all of these people, and any we have inadvertently omitted, we thank you sincerely.

Paula Watts, Darrell Osborne Robert McGregor

Looking Ahead Organisers



John Ramsland, Professor in History, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Science, University of Newcastle

Manly in the 1920s and the French connection (not offered).’

This paper examines the creation and development of competitive swimming culture in Manly in the 1920s against a backdrop of the broader social and cultural issues and the commercial development of the place as a seaside resort and a developing suburb of Sydney. The growing fame of Manly as a mecca for the production of international and national champions is explored together with Manly’s peculiar involvement with the 1924 Paris Olympics, both in terms of competitors and sporting administrators. The only three Gold Medals that were awarded to Australia in that Olympics went to Manlyites along with the majority of the Australian total medal tally. The manufacture of sporting icons and the image of sporting Manly by the newspaper media is another central concern of the paper.

Professor John Ramsland is Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Newcastle.

Helen Masterman-Smith, University of Western Sydney – Macarthur

‘The Political Heritage of Campbelltown’s Working Class Women (under review).’


While researching the political economy of working class women in Campbelltown, the dearth of historical information about them became apparent. This proved not to be an isolated experience. While there is a range of material about women in the labour force and organisations, little social or feminist history addresses the cultural and political experiences of working class women in their homes and communities. This silence

perpetuates the assumption that these women and their everyday activities are irrelevant to broader political processes. Despite all the feminist voices claiming that ‘the person, is political’, few contemporary studies have been conducted of the personal as such.

This paper will present an interpretation of the material and political culture of previous generations of Campbelltown’s working class women. The significance of this type of research to a deeper understanding of the exercise of power in a social hierarchy will also be discussed. A diverse range of historians including Fernand Braudel, Marilyn Lake, and Luisa Passerini have influenced the methodology of this research with their analyses of material culture and oral history.

Helen Masterman-Smith is a PhD student at the University of Western Sydney, Macarthur campus.


Amanda Laugesen, History, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University

‘History, Memory and the landscape: Historical Consciousness and Conquest in the American West 1870 -1920 (full paper)’.


My work involves looking at the way settler communities in the American West fashioned their history. These histories gave them a sense of place and community; it also facilitated a process of conquest. In this paper I intend to explore some aspects of public history in the American West in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. I will focus on the relationship between history and memory and the ways settlement culture related to the landscape and environment. Recent historiographical developments in the study of myth, memory and history have provided new ways of understanding our perceptions of the past and its construction. Additionally, my work is informed by studies of settler communities and the way these societies perceived and interacted with the landscape and environment. The American West is one place where a combination of these approaches can be particularly insightful. In this paper I hope to explore some of these historiographical developments as they apply to my work and indicate some of the new directions in this particular field of history.

Amanda Laugesen is a PhD student in the History Program, Research School of Social Sciences, and Australian National University.

She can be contacted at: [email protected]

Craig Turnbull

School of History, University of New South Wales


‘The Racial Dimensions of Residential Space in Chicago, 1890 -1920 (under review).

Based on an analysis of white reaction to the influx of African-Americans into previously all-white residential areasu this paper examines how racial conceptions of residential space contributed to conflict over housing and the maintenance of segregation in Chicago between 1890 and 1920. By investigating the factors that provided a basis for classifying a neighbourhood as ‘white’ or ‘black’, this paper also contributed to an understanding of how such categories are themselves culturally constructed. In this instance, geo-cultural identity was an integral eleinent in the construction and maintenance of race categories in Chicago. In order to elaborate on the role of geo-cultural identity in the social construction of race, the paper addresses two key questions: which characteristics of their neighbourhoods did whites believe would be debased by the presence of African Americans, and what conception of black lifestyles did whites have to inake them resist blacks becoming residents in their neighbourhoods? To answer these questions, the paper interrogates the ideas, language, and activities of Neighbourhood Improvement Associations (NIAs) and real estate brokers. The main objective of both NIAs and real estate brokers was the maintenance of residential identity, the sources documenting these groups thus provide the best indication of what residents meant when declaring that their neighbourhoods must remain ‘white’.

Craig Turnbull completed his BA with First Class Honours at the University of

Newcastle in 1995. He is currently in the third year of his PhD candidature at the University of New South Wales.

Troy Duncan, Department of History, University of Newcastle


‘William Goodell (1792 – 1878): the evangelical perspective on political, social, and economic reform (under review).

The analysis to be presented of the career of the American anti-slavery activist and moral reformer William Goodell has been influenced by recent scholarship relating to the contribution made by nineteenth century evangelicals to the shaping of political, social, and economic thought on both side of the Atlantic. Refusing to dismiss religious beliefs as mere epiphenomena, historians such as Hilton Boyd and Richard Carwardine have instead sought to show how the responses of many men and women to public issues in both the antebellum American Republic and Britain were determined by evangelical notions of providence, conscience, human depravity, and God’s retributive justice.

It will be argued that Goodell’s writings on slavery and other reform topics provide further evidence of the existence of a distinctively evangelical approach to public affairs. However, those elements of Goodell’s metaphysical outlook drawn from the New England Congregational tradition in which he was raised also remind us of the great variety of beliefs that were to be found within the transatlantic evangelical community.

There will be a detailed examination of Goodell’s promotion of the doctrine of Disinterested Benevolence which be believed constituted the one true Biblical standard of virtue and altruism capable of solving such problems as slavery and intemperance. Goodell also believed that human beings found themselves in a state of moral probation in which they were required to form characters for eternity. The bearing this conviction had on Goodell’s repeated attempts to found reform societies, churches, and political parties will also be discussed. Finally, Goodell’s role as a critic of the secularisation of society will be considered. His claim that all reform efforts not carried out in the interests of Revealed Religion were futile and impious brought him into conflict with many colleagues who came to view the reform cause more as a vehicle for individual self-fulfilment and less as a means of achieving personal and public salvation.

Troy Duncan is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Newcastle.


Greg Burgess, Department of History, University of Melbourne

‘The St Louis and moral rearmament: the right of asylum, human rights, and the response to refugees from Germany, 1933 -1939. (under review).


The orthodox interpretations of Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany have involved three factors: Nazi persecutions Jewish responses and international responses. Interpretations of the international problem of German-Jewish refugees during the 1930s therefore tend to be highly conscious of what follows – the Holocaust – and the refugees themselves are represented as victims both of the persecutions they have fled and of the restrictionist policies of those countries where they sought refuge. Some recent works have taken a new approach and have re-appraised the position of the Jewish victims finding them far more in control of their own destinies. These interpretations, however, respond to the general characterisation of the refugees as victims. I would argue that an interpretation of the international responses from the context of the refugee discourse that preceded the flight of the German-Jewish refugees in the 1930s moves the focus from the idea of victim-hood to the immediate political and social context in which they emerged and in which the international community responded to them, when effective remedies were considered both necessary and possible. In this context, the response to these refugees is placed within the general emergence of international human rights law.

Greg Burgess is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Melbourne. He completed his first degree at the University of Newcastle, and was recently awarded an MA from the University of Melbourne.

He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Sharon Crozier, Department of History, Flinders University

‘The voices of fiction in the making and re-making of history – Arnold Bennett, Marie Corelli, and single women in late Victorian England (full paper)’.


If history is, as Lloyd S. Kramer believes, a collection of voices and views, and if there is no one single correct view of an event or an age, only a multitude of merged voices, then each author of fiction can be regarded as one contributing voice of his/her world. This is especially so when studying the mentalite, or dominant ideologies of a people. These cannot be reduced to one complete and cohesive picture – they are continually evolving in line with changing social circumstances. Also, their dynamic nature allows for dissenting voices – they are made up of a collage of views, even conflicting ones. In this debate, both Arnold Bennett and Marie Corelli contribute to the dominant ideologies about single women, though in very different ways. Bennett, a partially dissenting voice, anticipates and aids ideological evolution, whereas Corelli, although mirroring shifts, confirms and tries to maintain them. This raises the larger question of how indispensable low-brow, best selling fiction is in comparison with less popular, middle-brow fiction in the making of, and then reconstruction of, ideologies – and indeed of history itself.


Sharon Crozier is a PhD student in the Department of History at Flinders University,

South Australia. She is currently beginning the third year of her candidature. She can be contacted at: [email protected]

Christopher Kelen, University of Western Sydney, Nepean

‘The Re-Demonisation of Aboriginal Australia: Civilisation, Barbarism, and Indigeneity in the Post-Consensus Era (full paper)’.


This paper employs Lyotard’s notion of the differend to examine current developments in Australian race relations, especially those relating to native title. Notions of civilisation and barbarism are explored in Herodotus, Gibbon, and Julia Kristeva, with a view to re/formulating Australian myths of identity and alterity.

Christopher Kelen was born in Sydney in 1958 and now lives in the Myall Lakes area of New South Wales. He holds degrees in literature and linguistics from the University of Sydney and is currently completing a doctorate on the writing process in poetry at UWS Nepean.



David Lewis, Department of History, University of Sydney

‘John Latham and the Statute of Westminster (full paper)’.


This paper proposes to examine the reaction of John Greig Latham to the Statute of Westminster, passed in the British Parliament in 1931. The statute was enabled to give the self-governing dominions autonomy from London. Latham, who was Leader of the Opposition in Australia at that time, was opposed to the ratification of the statute by the Australian Parliament. He saw it as a disastrous course for Australian interests. Through membership of such organisations as the Round Table, Latham had developed his own notion of Australian sovereignty. His idea was to incorporate all the British Empire into a federation of governments, with the British Parliament as its head. The statute of Westminster prevented this happening, to the great regret of certain imperialists. As the foremost conservative Federal member of Parliament, Latham’s opinion can be said to represent certain branches of conservative thought at the time. How true this is will also be examined.


David Lewis is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Dave Trudinger, Department of History, University of Sydney

‘No more ‘the big stick’: Personnel Management, Labour Control and the Mind of the Individual Worker’ (full paper).


Examining the writings and practices of personnel managers in post-war Australian this paper seeks to understand the ways in which the experience of work was represented and given meaning. Many historians of post-war Australia have sought to understand the culture of the time without reference to the workplace and also without use of any framework involving class. The paper presented here addresses this imbalance and directly focuses on work in the context of attempting to understand the construction of post-war society and the people who were its constituents. Finally, this paper seeks to look towards, at a more abstract level, a) new perspectives for the study of work and labour history, b) a more integrated understanding of popular culture, and c) greater awareness of the numerous structures in society that play upon subjectivity.

Dave Trudinger is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Sydney. He also works as an editorial assistant on the journal Labour History.

David Cameron, Department of History, University of Queensland

‘Manufacturing and the ruralist ideology of the political economy in Queensland, 1859- 1930 (full paper).’


Queensland’s self-image and economic and demographic structure has been shaped by its late development, its vast and demanding geography, the strong links between the source of most of Queensland’s investment capital and its export markets, and the particularly strong influence of the ruralist ideology that infused its political economy and social identity. Various factors, economic, political, and ideological restricted the expansion of secondary industries.

The centralisation of production was not as apparent in Queensland, its manufacturing sector was more decentralised, less sophisticated and generally of a smaller scale. Queensland’s urban workforce was more reliant upon the primary and tertiary sectors, and its factories on the processing of primary produce. The machinations of the political economy consistently favoured rural development, and this deprived the urban clusters of much needed public and private investment in infrastructure and services. Governments offered little by way of encouragement to secondary industries, and when they did, it was usually too little or too late.

The benefits of industrialisation, and the urban lifestyle that accompanied it, were not seriously considered within the political economy until the economic and social implications of the Great War shook some from their agrarian slumber. The political economic power of the pastoral interests forestalled the progress towards outright industrialisation in the early 1920s, and the Labor government abandoned its uneasy industrial embrace for the more familiar rural landscape. In the final analysis it is certain, nonetheless, that the manufacturing sector has been of critical importance to the economic development of Queensland and its laggardly reputation is not wholly justified.

David Cameron completed his BA with Honours from the University of Newcastle in 1994. He is currently studying for his PhD in the Department of History at the University of Queensland.

He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Phoebe Thornley, Department of History, University of Newcastle

‘A new perspective on the government’s role in the development of public/community broadcasting (under review).’


The history of public/community broadcasting has been studied in the past largely from the point of view of program content and how that exercises social control, whether by helping to preserve the status quo in society or by providing resistance to the current situation. Broadcasting does serve this esoteric function but it also serves a more basic public utility type function of providing people with essential information such as flood and bushfire warnings. As a basic utility using a limited natural resource, namely the airwaves, the government has to legislate and regulate broadcasting activity. This paper looks at the difference to analysing the history of the political influences and the governments role in this process from that of seeing broadcasting as a means of social control.

Phoebe Thornley was awarded her BA from the University of Sydney in 1968, and a Diploma in Education from the same institution in 1973. She is currently completing her PhD in the Department of History at the University of Newcastle.

She can be contacted at: [email protected]