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Histories of Mayhem & Margins | PHA winners at the Sydney Writers Festival

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Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of New South Wales

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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Winners of the 2020 NSW Premier’s History Awards reveal their inspirations & the impact they hope their work will have.

About this Event

Winners of the 2020 NSW Premier’s History Awards, Noëlle Janaczewska, Dr James Dunk, Professor Kate Fullagar, Callum Clayton-Dixon and Pierre-Jacques Ober gather to reveal their inspirations, the impact they hope their work will have, and the role that margins and mayhem play in their writing. Using different mediums and methods, each study reminds us that the margins are places where not only mayhem, but also deeper meanings can be made. Hosted by Dr Kiera Lindsey. Opportunity for short Q&A.

This session is presented by the History Council of New South Wales as part of the 2021 Sydney Writers' Festival.

About the Speakers | 

PANEL CHAIR - DR KIERA LINDSEY

Kiera Lindsey is an award-winning historian based at UTS where she is a Senior Research Fellow conducting an ARC DECRA on speculative biography and historical craft. Lindsey has published national and international academic book chapters and journal articles on nineteenth-century history, historical craft and biography. In 2016 she published her first speculative biography, The Convict’s Daughter, with Allen & Unwin which has been described as ‘fearlessly blazing a new path through history and fiction’. Kiera is working on a second speculative biography concerned with colonial artist and republican, Adelaide Ironside, which will be published with Allen & Unwin in 2021 and will have an edited collection on Speculative Biography published with Routledge in 2021. She has presented masterclasses nationally and internationally, been a consultant and on-camera historian on television, a regular guest on ABC Radio National and is currently an executive member of the History Council of New South Wales.

DR JAMES DUNK

James Dunk lives and writes in Wangal country in Sydney’s inner west. He works as a historian at the University of Sydney, where he lectures in Australian history and the history of medicine, and he is a conjoint fellow at the University of Newcastle. His first book, Bedlam at Botany Bay, won the Australian History Prize at the New South Wales Premier's History Awards 2020 and was also shortlisted for the University of Queensland Non-Fiction Book Award, Ernest Scott Prize and the Kay Daniels Award. His research has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Rethinking History, History Australia, and Health and History and his literary reviews and essays have appeared in various magazines and journals.

NOELLE JANACZEWSKA

Noëlle Janaczewska is a playwright, poet, essayist and the author of The Book of Thistles (UWA Publishing)—part environmental history, part poetry, part unconventional memoir. She is the recipient of multiple awards, fellowships and residencies, including the 2020 NSW Premier’s Digital History Prize, a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award, the Griffin Award, ten AWGIE (Australian Writers’ Guild Industry Excellence) Awards and a Windham-Campbell Prize from Yale University for her body of work as a dramatist. Noëlle’s recent productions and publications include: Experiment Street (ABC Radio National, 2019); Yellow Yellow Sometimes Blue (Q Theatre /Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Sydney, 2018); Seoul City Sue (ABC Radio National, 2018) and audio scripts for the National Museum of Australia and the British Museum’s Rome: City and Empire exhibition. In 2018 Currency Press published Good With Maps and Teacup in a Storm in a two-play edition. Noëlle’s latest book is Scratchland (UWA Publishing Poetry Series, 2020).

PROFESSOR KATE FULLAGAR

Kate Fullagar is professor of history at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences, Australian Catholic University. She is also honorary professor of history at Macquarie University and currently co-editor of the Australian Historical Association’s journal, History Australia. Kate specializes in the history of the eighteenth-century world, particularly the British Empire and the many indigenous societies it encountered. She is the author of The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist: Three Lives in an Age of Empire (New Haven, 2020) and The Savage Visit(Berkeley, 2012); the editor of The Atlantic World in the Antipodes: Effects and Transformations since the Eighteenth Century (Newcastle, 2012); and co-editor with Michael McDonnell of Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences in a Revolutionary Age(Baltimore, 2018). She is Lead Chief Investigator of an ARC Linkage project with the National Portrait Gallery called Facing New Worlds.

CALLUM CLAYTON-DIXON

Callum Clayton-Dixon is an Aboriginal linguist and historian whose people come from the southern end of the New England Tableland, New South Wales, around Walcha, Woolbrook, and the Ingleba Aboriginal Reserve—Ambēyang country. He lives in Armidale, on Anēwan country, and is spearheading efforts to revive the long-dormant local language. Callum is currently undertaking a PhD project to develop a dictionary and grammar for his ancestral tongue. He is the author of Surviving New England: a history of Aboriginal resistance and resilience through the first forty years of the colonial apocalypse (2019).

PIERRE-JACQUES OBER

Born in a French military family, Pierre-Jacques Ober broke with family traditions by preferring philosophy to war. After he obtained a degree in Philosophy at Paris Sorbonne, he went to Germany to work as an assembly line metalworker before finding himself an active element of the Parisian underground music scene at the beginning of the 80s. He went on to work as a Producer/Director in fashion and advertising throughout the 1980’s.

In the last 25 years, he has thrown himself into numerous adventures as an independent filmmaker. In between adventures, he has kept working extensively with France. Producing commercials in Australia for Kenzo Perfume, directing for Universal Music Paris, setting-up French-Australian co-productions for feature films, producing and directing road-movies for networks such as ARTE, France Television and ABC TV.

Working in partnership with photographer Jules Ober, he now focuses on the creation of books using a unique story-telling device - photographs of figurines in miniature sets. He has gone full circle and now finds inspiration in his family traditions, deeply rooted in military history. Their first 'paper movie' The Good Son has been hailed as “having the power of a timeless fable” by The New York Times and has won prestigious awards in both Australia and France. In Australia it has been shortlisted for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year and is the winner of the NSW Premier's Young People's History Prize. Their second children’s book Jacqueline - Memoirs of a Soldier’s Daughter is published by Seuil Jeunesse and will be released in Europe in 2021.

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Please feel free to contact the History Council of New South Wales with any questions or enquiries: programs@historycouncilnsw.org.au  

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Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of New South Wales

Macquarie Street

Sydney, NSW 2000

Australia

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