Aboriginal Voices in the Afterlife of Photographs

Connecting faces in 19th Century photographs to their contemporary Aboriginal descendants can tell a new history. The faces in the photographs look out from over a hundred years ago, dressed in their Sunday best – Aboriginal people growing up on a church mission in Victoria’s Gippsland. They look back from a time when the State[…]

Colonial Australian Art: Helping Us to See When We Don’t Want to Look

Australia’s under appreciated colonial art is a window to the past that can help us understand the fraught and violent history of settlement. “When I point it out you won’t ever be able to look at this painting again without noticing it.” Historian, curator and artist Dr Greg Lehman is talking to me in his[…]

Sugar, Tobacco, and Slavery in the 18th and 19th Centuries

The most lucrative cash crops to emerge from the Americas in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were sugar, tobacco, and rice. Introduction The conditions required for cultivating different cash crops largely shaped regional labor experiences and population demographics for enslaved Africans in the New World. European settlers experimented with a range of crops and export[…]

A History of Mental Illness since the Ancient World

Looking at a history of mental illness from the Stone Age to the 20th century. References to mental illness can be found throughout history. The evolution of mental illness, however, has not been linear or progressive but rather cyclical. Whether a behavior is considered normal or abnormal depends on the context surrounding the behavior and[…]