VIDA blog Managing Editors Ana Stevenson and Alana Piper reflect on the year and share VIDA’s Top 10 posts for 2016.
2016 in review
As we come to the end of the year, we at VIDA wanted to reflect on the blog’s progress in its fantastic first six months, and its blossoming role within the Australian Women’s History Network. We also wanted to share with you VIDA’s Top 10 most-viewed posts for 2016.
Since our launch in July, we have been thrilled with the wonderful content our authors have produced. During these six months, we have published 50 blog posts – including original research, condensed versions of articles from the AWHN’s Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, reviews of books and events, social media advice, and think pieces about education, abortion, and advent.
The fact that we have published so many posts in only six months is a testament to the vibrant feminist history community in Australia and further afield. Thematically, we have covered topics ranging from the international suffrage aspirations of our namesake Vida Goldstein through to the hurdles Australian women writers face both historically and in the present, harrowing reflections on the stolen generations, and the way iconic feminist Germaine Greer influenced fashion.
Our “Day in the Working Life of a Historian” series has been a particular hit with readers, as you can see from our Top 10!
Another highlight of our year was VIDA’s involvement with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.
— AWHN (@auswhn) December 12, 2016
Powerful and enlightening blog; a history I knew little about. https://t.co/2k85zY7bff
— Leeds GATE Archive (@GATEArchive) December 2, 2016
— Tanya Evans (@TanyaEvans14) November 26, 2016
As part of this series, VIDA posted daily blogs about gender violence, culminating in sixteen posts from academics in Australia and overseas.
These posts spanned from emotional violence among early modern French nuns, to incest and economic abuse in historic Australian contexts, then to the more recent histories of state violence toward refugees and contemporary digital feminist activism.
Our readers really enjoyed this series, too.
— SRSRenStudies Soc (@SRSRenSoc) November 28, 2016
— EM Women's Writing (@RECIRC_) December 14, 2016
We rounded out the year with a Christmas piece about Gloria Steinem’s Ms. Magazine, by Managing Editor Ana Stevenson.
Some Christmas-themed feminism for the festive season https://t.co/sOHR81rkDk
— Maria Quirk (@maria_quirk) December 18, 2016
Thanks to you, our readers, for your generous enthusiasm for VIDA over the course of 2016.
If you're not following The Australian Women's History Network (@auswhn), you need to fix that! There blog is just fantastic!
— Andrea Eidinger (@AndreaEidinger) December 13, 2016
Top 10 for 2016
And now to our Top 10 most-viewed VIDA blog posts for 2016!
10. “Maulboyheenner and Tunnerminnerwait,” by Professor Lynette Russell, July 18, 2016.
In a blog post based on her new book with Kate Auty, Hunt Them, Hang Them: “The Tasmanians” in Port Phillip 1841-42 (2016), Lynette Russell discussed the significance of the trial and execution of two Aboriginal men in the 1840s, and the ongoing hostility that is expressed towards attempts to explore Indigenous histories.
9. “Rape in marriage: Why was it so hard to criminalise sexual violence?” by Dr Lisa Featherstone, December 7, 2016.
As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, Lisa Featherstone examined the controversies surrounding the campaign to criminalise marital rape in Australia during the 1970s and 1980s.
— Senthorun Raj (@senthorun) December 8, 2016
8. “Towards a feminist history of domestic violence in Australia,” by Dr Zora Simic November 24, 2016.
In the inaugural post for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, Zora Simic examined the challenges and possibilities that writing a history of domestic violence in Australia over the last 200 years has posed.
Important historical work right here. https://t.co/8RIOCSM6Va
— Georgie Rychner (@rychnerd) November 25, 2016
7. “Writing Histories of Gender in Australia and the World – Personal thoughts on a public roundtable,” by Bethany Phillips-Peddlesden, August 29, 2016.
From the perspective of a Ph.D. candidate, Bethany Phillips-Peddlesden shared some poignant reflections on the roundtable “Writing Histories of Gender in Australia and the World,” held at The University of Melbourne in July 2016.
6. “Day in the working life of a historian,” by Dr Maria Quirk, December 12, 2016.
Early career researcher Maria Quirk, a recent graduate of The University of Queensland, provided insight into the working day of an historian in the first year following her Ph.D. Other early career readers seem to have found inspiration in her reflections, especially on her role as the curator of an historic convent in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
— Sophie Cooper (@SophcoCooper) December 12, 2016
— Jennifer McLaren (@McLarenJen) December 12, 2016
5. “Respectful Relationships Education? Let’s start by teaching some Herstory,” by Anna Kerr, August 3, 2016.
In response to a July 21, 2016 report from the Sydney Morning Herald, lawyer and activist Anna Kerr shared her thoughts on the necessity of making women’s history central to a feminist intervention into education in Australian schools.
4. “Day in the working life of a historian,” by Professor Jane Lydon, July 31, 2016.
Jane Lydon shared her experiences as a University of Western Australia academic who is actively engaged in public history as a scholar of race, identity and visual cultures.
3. “Day in the working life of a (retired) historian,” by Emeritus Professor Patricia Grimshaw, October 2, 2016.
Beloved pioneering feminist historian Patricia Grimshaw, who recently retired from the University of Melbourne, described her nonetheless incredibly busy working day. Many of her former students and colleagues reflected fondly upon Pat’s contribution to their development as historians.
Pat Grimshaw was head of History when I was an undergrad… a female role model to lookup to. I'm freshly inspired by her busy retirement! https://t.co/szHP1uSjPQ
— (((Kathleen Neal))) (@KB_Neal) October 2, 2016
— Hannah Robert (@Hannah_S_Robert) November 11, 2016
2. “Fortune-tellling, family history and feminism,” by Samadhi Driscoll, September 7, 2016.
Family historian Samadhi Driscoll regaled us with the fascinating story of her great-grandmother, a fortune-teller whose tenacious battles for her legal and economic rights had a lasting impact on future generations of women in their family.
@LilithJournal fab blog this. It made lunch in the office quite fun really!
— Karin Speedy (@KarinESpeedy) September 7, 2016
1. “Day in the working life of a historian,” by Dr Sarah Pinto, November 1, 2016.
And finally Sarah Pinto, a lecturer at Deakin University, called us to action in her timely post about the meaning of being a feminist historian in precarious workplaces which face the increasing casualisation of academics.
— Chelsea Barnett (@chelseambarnett) November 1, 2016
Plans for 2017
VIDA will return in January 2017 with more content from feminist historians within and beyond the academy.
If you have an idea for a blog post – or even a blog series – be sure to contact Alana and Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org. For ideas about how to convert your research into a blog, check out Managing Editor Alana Piper’s advice about sharing your research online. We would love to hear from you!
Ana Stevenson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State, South Africa in the field of women’s history and transnational social movements. In the past she has written for The Conversation, the Queensland Historical Atlas, and the British Association for American Studies’ award-winning blog, U.S. Studies Online. Ana is a Managing Editor for VIDA blog.
Follow Ana on Twitter @DrAnaStevenson.
Alana Piper is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith University in the fields of gender and criminal justice history. Her research is particularly interested in economically-motivated crimes such as theft, fraud, prostitution and fortune-telling. In the past she has contributed to The Conversation and History Workshop Online, as well as being a regular contributor to and convenor of the Prosecution Project blog. Alana is a Managing Editor for VIDA.
Follow Alana on Twitter @.