Talking History Program

2023 marks the ten-year anniversary of the History Trust of South Australia’s Talking History lecture series. To acknowledge this milestone, the History Trust has partnered with the University of South Australia to present four special Talking History events throughout the year. Each event will be a discussion involving up to three panelists and chaired by the History Trust of South Australia’s History Advocate, Dr Kiera Lindsey. 

Our new look Talking History series starts with the theme of ‘wonder’ as part of South Australia’s History Festival 2023.  

History & Imagination: Adversaries or Allies? 

Three historians, fascinated by the power of imagination within history practice, consider how historians since Herodotus have engaged with this animating element across distinctive forms of Australian history-making since long before European Settlement. They also consider how imagination with integrity can best bring history to life in our schools, museums, podcasts, and books. 

Join Professor Marnie Hughes Warrington AO; Professor Anna Clark; Dr Kristy Kokegei for a provocative conversation. 

Collecting Passions and Potential Pitfalls 

Three of South Australia’s esteemed historians, curators and academics will discuss the nuances of collecting in contexts both personal and for museums. Let us ponder the question “why, how and what do we collect?” 

Panelists will dive into the joyous side of collecting and its many benefits to our society, but also its more sinister history of theft and deception. Hear from the people who actively preserve SA’s history through the collection of not only precious objects, but also stories, art, and the written word. 

Join Dr Jared Thomas, Research Fellow University of South Australia, and Curator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Material Culture and Art at the South Australia Museum, Mandy Paul, Head of Collections at the History Trust, and Corinne Ball, author and Senior Curator, Collections at the History Trust. 

Wonder Women: Celebrating SA’s weird and wonderful women 

Join us to hear from four writers and historians discuss their imaginative techniques to tell women’s stories. Without these stories our perception of the past is distorted and incomplete. Learn what the lives of South Australian women reveal about our state’s distinctive past.  

Why do women’s stories matter? If the lives of historical women are drawn from different sources than the official records often used to write the lives of men, do they require unique methods for studying and storying? Might the ends ever justify the means when it comes to using imaginative techniques to re-present the lives of those who would otherwise remain silenced in historic records? What do women’s lives tell us without which our perspective of the past would remain forever distorted? And what do the lives of South Australian women reveal about the state’s distinctive past?  

Join Emerita Professor Margaret Allen in Gender Studies, University of Adelaide; Dr Alecia Simmonds, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney; Lainie Anderson, Writer and 2023 Emerging Historian of the Year; Leeza Peters, Artist, and Writer.  

Uncanny Histories: The Invisible, Mysterious and Miraculous  

While historians often talk about the ways that the unresolved past continues to influence the present, they rarely speculate about how spiritual experiences have shaped historical figures or events. Typically, historians are disciplined to deal in hard, cold empirical facts rather than subjective experiences and encounters. 

Our panel of expert historians advocate for a more curious, critical, and creative way to respectfully research histories and biographies. But how do you do this in a primarily objective industry? 

This tantalising talk will challenge and delight those seeking more creative and engaging histories. Hear historical stories of the unexplained, animate objects, uncanny experiences, spiritual forces, unique beliefs, and practices. 

Join our panelists Professor Penny Edmonds, Dr Jessica White, and Dr Peter Cahalan. 

Listen to Past Talking History Lectures on Spotify

Watch Past Talking History Lectures on Youtube