The painting has finally been bought back from its "foreign" buyer from 2001, by both the UK's National Portrait Gallery and the Getty in Los Angeles. It will now reside 50/50 in UK and USA. I'm still frustrated by the framing of the whole thing, which has been quite ludicrous since its sale to John … Continue reading On Reynolds’ Mai Portrait (again)
Remembering Sydney Cove
This short piece was written for the retirement surprise festschrift for Simon Schaffer, the funniest and most warm-hearted historian-of-science I know. It's on Phillip and a long-lost print of Sydney Cove found in a Bath attic.... The whole 400-page festschrift is open access here. My four-page tribute is here: schafferDownload
Mr Darcy and Savagery
Well out of my comfort zone, I talked here with the wonderful crew at Hot&Bothered for their latest podcast on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I was invited to talk about Mr Darcy's dismissive line in chapter 5 that "any savage can dance." Back in 2012 I wrote a whole book on the British usage … Continue reading Mr Darcy and Savagery
Sydney Writers Festival
Just found this podcast recording of our session at the 2021 Sydney Writers Festival. Loved being a part of this with Keira Lindsay, James Dunk and several other stellar historians. Easy listening... check the audio bites on this link.
All That Remains
Another piece on Bennelong, but here also on Arthur Phillip, comparing their burial sites and posthumous lives. Preliminary work for my next book. Part of my quarterly gig with Inside Story. Click here for the 1500-word essay.
Revising the Life of Bennelong
This is a videoed talk I gave at the conclusion of my 2021 fellowship at the National Library of Australia. It presents some of the research I undertook on fellowship to help us revise the biography of Bennelong (c1764-1813). My deep thanks to the excellent audience who showed how important Bennelong's history is to so … Continue reading Revising the Life of Bennelong
Voice, Treaty, Truth webinar
During NAIDOC week 2021 I was delighted to be a part of a webinar inspired by my latest Inside Story piece (see below). It was a major honour to talk alongside leading Uluru spokespersons Megan Davis and Eddie Synot, public lawyer Gabrielle Appleby, and historian Mark McKenna. Davis's unit at UNSW recorded the webinar. It … Continue reading Voice, Treaty, Truth webinar
Why does Truth come third?
The excellent online mag Inside Story has asked my colleagues in the First Nations and Colonial Histories Centre at ACU to write a monthly column. This was my first contribution - a reflection on what the 'Voice, Treaty, Truth' sequencing in the Uluru Statement means for tellers of history. When the Australian Historical Association met … Continue reading Why does Truth come third?
Thinking about Magellan and Cook
After some hiatus, I am back with some public writing... This time inspired by my new and fabulous colleague at ACU Kristie Flannery, who has taught me so much already about Filipino history. Here we are comparing the Philippines approach to European incursion in 2021 with that of Australia and New Zealand through 2019-20. "This … Continue reading Thinking about Magellan and Cook
Talking on Late Night Live
Amidst worsening news in the world, it was nice to talk history for 20 minutes at least. Click here for my interview with Phillip Adams on his ABC Radio Late Night Live Show. #eighteenthcentury #indigenousexperiences #empire