AWHN Symposium 2019: ‘The Female Frame: Biopolitics and Wellbeing in Australian and Global Perspective’

The Female Frame: Biopolitics and Wellbeing in Australian and Global Perspective

Location: The University Club of Western Australia, Perth

Date: 2 October 2019

The Australian Women’s History Network 2019 Symposium will focus on the female frame and contemporary approaches to wellbeing in local and global perspective.

We use the phrase “female frame” as a catalyst for discussion on the way bodies are socially constructed and gendered. Our focus stretches from the individual subject to the national body, and we place these bodies alongside biopolitics and wellbeing to open a conversation around legacy and impact. Participants are encouraged to consider this topic from multiple perspectives – aesthetic and economic, physical and psychological, colonial, political and historical – and to consider the question of how the female frame can be a function, source, and signifier of change and growth both within Australia and globally.


Member registration: $45

Member concession registration: $25

Non-Member registration including one year membership: $80

Non-Member registration (concession): $50

All registration rates include admission to the symposium, welcome pack, lunch and refreshments.

8:30–9:00 REGISTRATION (tea and coffee provided)
9:00–9:15 Welcome
9:15–10:15 Keynote Address

“In the Frame: Academic Women and Intimate Friendships 1920-1960”

Professor Tanya Fitzgerald, UWA

10:15-10:40       Morning Tea
10:40–12:00 SESSION ONE
Institutions and Representation

(Each paper 20 mins: 15 mins followed by 5 min discussion)

  Chair: TBA

Professor Diane Kirby/Dr Emma Robertson: Hard Hats and Dungarees: Gendered Industrial Dress and Women Workers

  Toni Church: Exhibiting Autonomy: Representations of Women in Australian Museums
  Dr Petra Mosmann: Corporeal Feminist Archive: Reading Faith Bandler’s Gloves as ‘Feminist Objects’
  Dr Kate Fitch: The PR Body: Representations of Women in an Australian Public Relations Journal, 1965-1972
12:00–1:00        Lunch [UWA Publishing will attend]
1:00–2:20 SESSION TWO
Sex and Gendered Expectations



Chair: TBA

Alexandra Wallis: Extreme Lactation: Lactational Insanity and the Female Patients at the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum, 1858-1908

  Associate Professor Catherine Kevin: Approaching a History of Pregnancy and Interpersonal Violence in Twentieth Century Australia
  Dr Hannah Loney: Reproducing the Modern Family: The Local Dynamics of Family Planning in New Order Indonesia
  Dr Laura Glitsos: Nice girls don’t jive: the rise and fade of women in Perth music from the late 1950s to the early 1970s
2:20–2:30 Break
  Body, Gender, and Mobility
  Chair: TBA

Associate Professor Julia Martinez: ‘Protecting’ Chinese Women in Prostitution in 1880s Darwin

  Bronwyn Anne Beech Jones: ‘For My Body is Far in the Rantau’: Embodied Experiences of Migration and Belonging in the Sumatran Women’s Newspaper Soenting Melajoe (1912-1921)
  Dr Claire Lowrie: Women’s Drinking Habits in the Tropics: Colonialism and Climate Adaptation in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, 1800s-1930s
  Dr Leigh Straw: ‘A Gallant Woman’: The Construction of Female Identities in Lillian Armfield’s Police Work


3:50–4:30 Afternoon Tea
4:30–5:30 Alexander Lecture Theatre

 Welcome to Country: Len Collard

Keynote Address

“An African-American Feminist Visits Perth in 1960: Who She Met, What She Saw, What She Said, and What She Wore.”

Em. Professor Ann Curthoys, UWA

Chair: Wesfarmers Chair of History, Professor Jane Lydon

5:45 Drinks/Reception
7:00 Dinner at Little Way, Broadway, Nedlands