Agora 2021-1 Women in History

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Women in History | Agora vol. 56 no. 1 (2021)

Women in History

Agora vol. 56 no. 1 (2021)

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Reflection Bianca Crawford

Editorial Guy Nolch

Reflections on the theme
Ju-Jitsu’s Role in the Fight for Women’s Suffrage
David Waldron and Zeb Leonard, Federation University

Ju-jitsu became a weapon in the struggle for women’s empowerment, spreading ‘like wildfire’ across the British Empire to Australia’s suffragette campaign.
Women’s Experiences of Aboriginal Exemption
Judi Wickes, University of Sunshine Coast and Community Elder and Katherine Ellinghaus, Department of Archaeology and History, La Trobe University

For Queensland’s Aboriginal women, an exemption certificate could be a ticket to freedom, but there was also a cost—they could no longer have contact with family or community members that were not exempt.
The Leadership of Women in the 1967 Referendum
Kate Laing, University of Technology Sydney and Lucy Davies, Professional Historian

The 1967 Referendum was a watershed moment in the history of race relations in Australia, but what is often overlooked is how instrumental women were in the development and success of the campaign.
Australian Women Worked for Victory in World War II
Margaret Anderson, Old Treasury Building

The involvement of women in the armed services and in wartime industries changed perceptions of women’s work in ways that helped set Australia on a course towards a more equal society in the late twentieth century.
‘This Was Really Life and Death’: Melbourne Women against the Vietnam War and Conscription
Alexandra Pierce, Brunswick Secondary College

A sense of gross injustice, a conviction that something needed to be done and a realisation that something could be done by people like them are some of the motivations common to the women who were involved in Australia’s anti-Vietnam War and anti-conscription movements in the 1960s and 1970s.
Queen(s) of the Viking Age
Katrina Burge, University of Melbourne

The ornate burials of two women within the Oseberg ship reveals the prominent status that women could achieve in the Viking Age.
Théroigne de Méricourt: French Revolution Feminist
Peter McPhee, University of Melbourne

Anne-Josèphe Théroigne was a passionate campaigner for women’s rights during the French Revolution whose tragic death in an asylum was later dismissed as the consequence of revolutionary ‘excess’.
The Secret Lives of Soviet Women Writers
Judith Armstrong, University of Melbourne

Lydia Chukovskaya’s account of her friendship with Anna Akhmatova not only documents the important underground role played by literature in Russia during the Terror and Cold War, but also underlines the historical importance of personal records.
The Female Voice at the Heart of Ancient Greek Religion
Julia Kindt, University of Sydney

One of the most powerful positions in the ancient world was open exclusively to women—the priestess Pythia at the Delphic Oracle.
Challenging Unequal Pay: Women Fruit-pickers and Fruit-packers in 1912 Victoria
Ruth Ford, La Trobe University

Transcripts from an arbitration hearing reveal the stories of rural women fighting for equal pay just a few years after the Harvester Judgement.

Women’s History from the Ladies Lounge to the Daughters of Freedom

Agora interviews Clare Wright about her inspirations in women’s history, the research gaps that remain and her favourite things to read, listen to and watch.

Teaching ideas
Women, History and Wikipedia Editing
Clare Crowe, Avila College, Helen Morgan, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, University of Canberra and Mary Tomsic, Australian Catholic University

Wikipedia is often the first source of information that teachers and students use, but some class exercises can reveal the gender bias stifling the voices of women in history.
Her Place in History
Kylie Oliver, Her Place Museum

Her Place Museum’s exhibitions and education resources are focused on the achievements of women, and includes structured lessons plans aligned to the History curriculum.
Women’s Liberation in Australia: From the Cities to the Suburbs
Lucy Honan, History Teacher

Two new documentaries, Brazen Hussies and Women of Steel, provide vivid accounts of the fight for women’s equality and liberation in Australia.
Teaching Australian Feminist History in Contemporary Contexts
Anne Gearside and Marissa Beard, National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia’s Defining Moments Digital Classroom interactive resources enable both primary and secondary learners to facilitate their own historical inquiry about Australia’s feminist history.
The Socialist Woman in the Early Years of the People’s Republic of China
Rebecca Cairns, Deakin University

Chinese Communist Party policies to transform social and family structures gave women greater work opportunities but did not relieve them of their duties at home.

Original research
‘The Age of Women Adept at Writing’: Female Voices from the Dutch East Indies in the Early Twentieth Century
Bronwyn Anne Beech Jones, Hansen Trust PhD Candidate, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne

On the west coast of Sumatra, girls and women fostered communities of writers and advocated for female education in Malay newspapers at a time when the rights and status of women were being stripped from their matrilineal society.

Reviews available online

The Iliad
Adapted by Gareth Hinds
Reviewed by Dr Katrina Burge, teacher candidate, University of Melbourne

Teaching: Making a Difference
By Rick Churchill, Sally Godinho, Nicola F. Johnson et al.
Reviewed by Dr Katrina Burge, teacher candidate, University of Melbourne

Between the Murray and the Sea: Aboriginal Archaeology in Southeastern Australia
By David Frankel
Reviewed by Jack Norris, Monash Indigenous Studies Centre

The Palace Letters
By Jenny Hocking
Reviewed by Cat Jones, Strathmore Secondary College

The Vagabond as Social Reformer: Inside Melbourne’s Asylums and Hospitals
By John Stanley James, edited and introduced by Michael Cannon
Reviewed by Dr David Waldron, Federation University

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