Welcome Morning Tea for Professor Guoqi Xu, the University of Hong Kong

You are invited to attend a Welcome Morning Tea for Professor Guoqi Xu, from the University of Hong Kong, who has recently joined the History program as a Faculty of Arts Asia Scholar. The Morning Tea will take place on Wednesday 27 August at 10.00am in the Seventh Floor Staff Common Room, Arts West. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Hannah Loney at <loneyh@unimelb.edu.au> by Monday 25 August for catering purposes. If anyone is able to bake a cake for the occasion this would be much appreciated – please let Hannah know in advance.

Professor Xu will be based at the University of Melbourne for one month per year over the next three years, and will make an important contribution to the teaching of our program. He is a distinguished historian of Chinese and global history, WW1 and Asia, as well as Sino-foreign (and especially US) relations. He has published extensively in these fields. His current research projects explore ideas of “China and Chineseness”, and Asia and the Great War (under contract for Oxford University Press).

Kind regards,

Hannah Loney
For Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Chair, History

New Research in Southeast Asian Studies Workshop

A postgraduate workshop, “New Research in Southeast Asian Studies”, will be held on Friday 22 August, 10.30am-12.30pm, Venue TBA, followed by lunch.

The workshop is hosted by the Asia History Hub and the Indonesia Forum at the University of Melbourne. It will be held in conjunction with the visit of Professor Bambang Purwanto from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, who will be coming to visit the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies from 11-30 August 2014 as part of the Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative. Professor Purwanto is an historian of Indonesia focusing on Indonesian historiography and the history of slavery, medicine and heritage.

The Workshop will focus on critical engagement with new research in Southeast Asian Studies and will include presentations by four current PhD candidates at the University of Melbourne:

Jason Sze Chieh Ng (School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts) – ‘Emerging Perspectives on the Malayan Emergency’

Sunsanee McDonnell (Asia Institute, Faculty of Arts) – ‘New Research in Southeast Asian Borderlands’

Aninda Moezier (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning) – Spatial Organization and Gender Relations in Minangkabau, Indonesia

Hani Yulindrasari (Gender Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences) – Negotiating Masculinity: Lived Experience of Male Teachers in Indonesian Early Childhood Education

 The presenters will each recommend two recent scholarly publications for the group to read beforehand (to be distributed on Friday 15 August) and will provide a brief introduction/presentation, followed by a roundtable discussion. The workshop will be focused on creating critical discussion amongst postgraduate students.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Hannah Loney at loneyh@unimelb.edu.au by Friday 8 August 2014.

Morning tea welcome for Asia scholars

Asia History Hub is holding a morning tea to welcome Dr Simon Creak, historian of Southeast Asia (Laos), and Associate Professor Peidong Sun, Fudan University, Partner Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project and visiting the School for a month.  All welcome.  Time: 10.30 a.m.  Venue: Arts West, 7th Floor tearoom. Tuesday 29 July 2014.

‘Who will marry my daughter? Shanghai Parental Match-Making Corner and the Zhiqing Generation’

Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies

Seminar on Thursday 31 July 2014

 Presented by Associate Professor Peidong Sun

Department of History, Fudan University


“Who will marry my daughter? Shanghai Parental Match-Making Corner and the Zhiqing Generation

Chaired by Professor Christine Wong

This seminar explores the parental Matchmaking Corner in Shanghai, where many parents, who had been sent down to the countryside for re-education in their teens during the Maoist years, locate prospects for their children. Based on participant observation and interviews, it reveals a complicated picture of parental matchmaking practices and new expectations of marriage from the parents’ perspectives, as well as parental concerns, anxieties, and frustrations about the marriage market in a changing urban environment.


Venue:       Room 321, Level 3, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne

Date:          Thursday 31 July 2014

Time:          5.30pm to 7.00pm



To register and for further information please contact Fiona Ross at china-centre@unimelb.edu.au

A/Prof Nicolas Tackett, “The Geography of Power in Late Tang China”

The Geography of Power in Late Tang China

A/Prof. Nicolas Tackett

History Department, University of California Berkeley

Tuesday 29th July, 1.00pm – 2.15pm, Room 143 Old Arts

One of the most significant issues in the history of China and indeed in the history of the world, is how and why the power of the great aristocratic families of the Tang era (618-907AD) whose roots ran back as far as the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), came to an end. After the Tang, the elites of China would be made up of a mixture of military men and scholars whose status came from their educational distinction, a shift which some historians have seen as marking the birth of the modern world.

Nicolas Tackett of the University of California Berkeley makes a major contribution to our understanding of this crucial historical shift through his pathbreaking work on the huge corpus of funerary inscriptions produced for members of the Tang elites (both men and women), whose spatial distribution he maps using GIS (Geographic Information Systems).  This work, which has just appeared as a book published by Harvard University Press, is perhaps the most significant contribution to our understanding of the medieval Chinese upper classes since Robert Hymes’ 1986 study of the elites of the Song dynasty, and one of the most important additions to our knowledge of patterns of social power in medieval China since the work of Naito Torajiro and Chen Yinke in the first half of the 20th century.

Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative

The Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative is a three year visiting scholar program which aims to further enhance teaching and research relationships with colleagues in Indonesia. The initiative, led by Dr Kate McGregor, Dr Edwin Jurriens and Professor Thomas Reuter will fund three visiting scholars per year for three years from Indonesian universities and will provide opportunities for increased engagement.

In Semester 2, 2014, the following scholars will visit the University:

  • Professor Bambang Purwanto, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, who is an historian of Indonesia focusing on Indonesian historiography and the history of slavery, medicine and heritage.  He will visit from 11-30 August and will be hosted by SHAPS.
  • Professor Melani Budianta, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, who is a literature expert with broad research interests covering gender, ethnicity, history and popular culture. She is also a participant in the Australian Awards Fellowships Program on Reconciliation and Cultural Recovery, will visit from 1 September-5 October, and will be hosted by the Asia Institute.
  • Dr Dewi Jayanti, Udayana University, Bali, who is trained in architecture and anthropology. Her research expertise covers tourism, heritage, sustainability, architecture, Indonesian diaspora and visual culture. She will visit from 25 September-15 October and will be hosted by the Asia Institute.

CFP: Colonial Northeast India— Local Histories, Regional Cultures, Global Connections

EXTENDED Call for Papers: Delhi Conference: 1 & 2 December 2014

‘Cane suspension bridge over the Témshang River, in the Khássia Hills’ (Hermann de Schlagintweit, 1855).

‘Cane suspension bridge over the Témshang River, in the Khássia Hills’ (Hermann de Schlagintweit, 1855).

This workshop proceeds from the proposition that northeast India has been in a perpetual state of being repeatedly marginalised, rediscovered and redefined, and that a contemporary appreciation of its complexities must come from a detailed understanding of its historical antecedents, many of which are rooted in colonial ideologies and practices. We hope that it will have the capacity to identify areas of commonality and collaboration in current historical research at both a macro and micro historical scale. We are particularly interested in how new historiographies (for example, of colonial violence, empire and deviance, transnational networks) can throw light on understanding the particular historical experience of the northeast. Our interests are in the practices of governance, but also in the social history of intercultural exchange and the ways in which historians might read against the grain of the colonial archive to recognise the lived experiences of colonised and coloniser. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • boundaries and spatial ideology
  • colonial ethnography and representations of ethnic identity
  • colonial sources as intercultural texts
  • ecological and environmental histories
  • institutional histories
  • oral histories and folklore
  • responses to and the impact of Christian missions
  • the uses of history: museums and memorialisation
  • trade and infrastructure networks
  • tribal policy, ethnic conflict and the colonial state

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers from historians working at a local, regional or comparative level. Postgraduate students are particularly encouraged to take part. Please include the following information with your proposal:

  • Paper title and a brief abstract of no more than 300 words
  • Your name, institutional affiliation and email address
  • A short CV, no more than one page

The workshop will consist of single-session discussions; full written papers (6000 words maximum) will be pre-circulated in order to promote dialogue. We aim to bring together a dozen or more presenters over two days, and up to a further thirty participants who wish to attend without giving a formal paper. The EXTENDED deadline for proposals is 11 August, with written papers due by 3 November. Proposals and enquiries should be sent to a.may@unimelb.edu.au

The workshop is a collaboration between the Universities of Delhi, Melbourne and Toronto, with financial support from the University of Melbourne’s International Research & Research Training Fund. It will be held at the Indian International Centre in Delhi.

Indian-based participants who are not in Delhi will be provided with some resources for travel and accommodation.


Associate Professor Andrew J. May (The University of Melbourne)

Dr David Zou (University of Delhi)

Assistant Professor Jayeeta Sharma (University of Toronto)