Seminar Series: Labour History | Looking Ahead After Sixty Years

In 2022, Labour History, the journal of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History celebrated its 60th anniversary. During the year six seminars were held to showcase the work being produced in the journal and to discuss the past, present, and future of studies in labour history. The seminars were held online and recordings are now available.

Seminar 1: The Past and Future of Labour History

22 March 2022

Sean Scalmer (University of Melbourne) on “Politics and Context: Labour History’s Pasts, Labour History’s Futures” and Liam Byrne (Australian Council of Trade Unions) on “Telling Union Stories: Movement History Today and in the Future.”

Seminar 2: Oral History/History from the Margins

Monday 11 April 2022 

Cybèle Locke (University of Victoria, Wellington) on “Oral History and Intersectional Approaches to Labour History in Aotearoa New Zealand” and Michael Pearson (Australian Catholic University, Sydney) on “Looking at Motor Mechanics and Issues of Class and Gender Formation in 20th Century Australia”. 

Seminar 3: Legacies of British Slavery and Labour History

16 May 2022    

Professor Jane Lydon and Dr Jeremy Martens, both from the University of Western Australia, both spoke on the topic of “The Legacies of British Slavery and Labour History”.

Seminar 4: New Research in Women’s Labour History

22 August 2022

Hannah Viney (Monash University) on women’s prison labour in Victoria and how it changed at the turn of the twentieth century with the influence of the women’s movement and Freya Willis (Oxford University) on how, in the 1970s, women challenged gender hierarchies within the Australian meat industry and the Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Union, and forged new modes of leadership.

Seminar 5: New Approaches: Prison Labour in Global Empire

19 September 2022

Vivien Miller (Professor of American History, University of Nottingham) on differing approaches to prison labour and prison workers and Jared Davidson (author and archivist, Wellington, NZ) on prison labour in the making of New Zealand’s Pacific.

Seminar 6: Methods and Approaches in Labour History

24 October 2022

Tamsin O’Connor on military labour and material objects and Fiona Kinsey (Museum of Victoria) & Emma Robertson (La Trobe) on visual sources and photographic archives.

Labour History’s 60th Birthday End of Year Celebration

19 December 2022

Featuring Diane Kirkby, Verity Burgmann, Terry Irving, Greg Patmore, and John Shields.