VIDA blog Managing Editors Ana Stevenson and Alana Piper reflect on the year and share VIDA’s Top 10 posts for 2017.
The year 2017 has been another exciting one for us at VIDA blog. We turned one year old in July 2017, a year after our launch at the Australian Historical Association Conference in 2016. Since its inauguration, VIDA blog has published 139 blogs by more than 100 authors as of December 2017.
Below, we share some of the highlights with our Top 10 most-viewed posts for 2017, as well as some special mentions for important posts from 2016 and 2017.
The blogs published on VIDA continue to feature original research, blogs of articles from the Australian Women’s History Network’s Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, reviews of books and events, and more. In 2017, topics covered everything from women in the history of humanitarianism to the “witch” epithet in contemporary politics to celebrations of revered historians and conference organising tips.
— #FemaleScribblers (@Fem_Scribblers) December 5, 2017
Some highlights from 2017 included: the “Inspirational Women” series, posted during March 2017 for Women’s History Month; the book reviews written as part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge; and the “Marriage Equality” series, which offered much-needed historical context during the marriage equality debate of September and October 2017.
In August 2017, VIDA blog welcomed Georgina Rychner and Marama Whyte as Postgraduate Editorial Assistants to work alongside the Managing Editors. Georgie and Marama will continue to work with Alana and Ana during 2018; they bring some exciting new ideas for series which will soon be headed for publication.
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to continuing our discussions of feminist, gender, and women’s history with you throughout of 2018.
Top 10 for 2017
10. “Marriage in homosexual histories,” by Dr Shirleene Robinson, September 6, 2017.
Shirleene Robinson began VIDA blog’s marriage equality series with important reflections on the history of marriage in LGBTIQ advocacy and activism.
9. “Indigenous Activism and the 1967 Referendum: Remembering Joyce Clague,” by Lucy Davies and Kate Liang, May 25, 2017.
For the 50th anniversary of Australia’s 1967 Referendum, Ph.D. candidates Lucy Davies and Kate Liang offered insightful reflections on the life and activism of Indigenous elder Joyce Clauge.
8. “Historicising Photography, Empathy and Human Rights,” Professor Jane Lydon, May 15, 2017.
Jane Lydon reflected on her new book, Photography, Humanitarianism, Empire (2016), which examines the power of photographs in mediating settler colonial cross-cultural encounters in Australia.
7. “‘With daggers in her bonnet’: The Australian hatpin panic of 1912,” by Anna Temby, July 20, 2017.
Ph.D. candidate Anna Temby discussed the fears aroused by that lethal item of female headwear – the hatpin – in federation-era Australia.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised – after all, the hatpin featured as a murder weapon in Season 1, Episode 3 of ABC’s Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries!
Maybe time to bring back the hatpin! https://t.co/W8gBYoV7yb
— Curious Christine (@ChrisKSim75) July 24, 2017
6. “Love and the land: Early Australian rural romances,” Dr Hsu-Ming Teo, February 12, 2017.
For Valentine’s Day 2017, Hsu-Ming Teo discussed the origins of the rural romance genre and the history of literary representations of romantic love on Australia’s rural frontier.
This blog was also the winner of the 2017 Romance Writers of Australia Romance Media Award (ROMA).
5. “Oral history and liberating women’s voices,” Professor Lynn Abrams, July 13, 2017.
Lynn Abrams shared some reflections on feminist oral history practices following her Kathleen Fitzpatrick Memorial Lecture at the University of Melbourne in April 2017.
The full recording of the lecture can be found here.
4. “Intersectionality, resistance and history-making,” Dr Jordana Silverstein, Dr Carolyn D’Cruz, Dr Ruth DeSouza, Dr Samia Khatun, and Crystal McKinnon, August 28, 2017.
Following a discussion with Jordana Silverstein at the 2016 Australian Women’s History Network Conference, Carolyn D’Cruz, Ruth DeSouza, Samia Khatun, and Crystal McKinnon reflect on the meaning and significance of intersectionality.
This piece originally appeared as: Jordana Silverstein, Carolyn D’Cruz, Ruth DeSouza, Samia Khatun and Crystal McKinnon, “Intersectionality, Resistance, and History-Making,” Lilith: A Feminist History Journal 23 (2017): 15-22.
3. “The leaking pipe: Women in academia,” by Dr Sonya Wurster, March 3, 2017.
After Sarah Pinto’s most-viewed VIDA blog for 2016, which discussed the meaning of being a feminist historian in precarious workplaces which face the increasing casualisation of academics, Sonya Wurster explored why so many women continue to be diverted out of academia as they progress through a university career.
2. “Bringing a baby to a conference: The Australian Historical Association edition,” by Dr Laura Rademaker, July 10, 2017.
In another important blog about the realities of academia, Laura Rademaker reflected on the challenges of bringing a young baby to an academic conference that offers no childcare.
memories – running to & fro to breastfeed cas.childcare @anu, no chats & starved.
— Ann McGrath (@AnnMcGrath5) July 10, 2017
1. “Marriage debates in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries,” by Dr Lisa Featherstone, September 17, 2017.
In another blog post from VIDA’s marriage equality series, Lisa Featherstone discussed the similarities between arguments used against marriage equality and arguments used to resist marital rape law reform in the 1970s and 1980s.
This blog featured in a Huffington Post article in September 2017, offering historical perspective to Monica Campo’s important reflections, “What’s So Great About ‘Traditional Marriage’ Anyway?”
In 70s & 80s, conservatives said criminalising marital rape would be 'crushing blow' to marriage. Sound familiar? https://t.co/aWQ0H1L2qR
— Michael Salter (@mike_salter) September 18, 2017
We would like to give special mention to a few blogs published in 2016, which have continued to attract new readers throughout 2017.
“Rape in marriage: Why was it so hard to criminalise sexual violence?” by Dr Lisa Featherstone, December 7, 2016.
Lisa Featherstone’s reflections on the criminalisation of marital rape in Australia between the 1970s and 1990s have become the most-read VIDA blog.
“Towards a feminist history of domestic violence in Australia,” Dr Zora Simic, November 24, 2016.
Zora Simic’s blog, which was the inaugural post in our 2016 series for the the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, remains another favourite.
“Are you really gay enough to be a refugee?” Dr Senthorun Raj, December 8, 2016.
Senthorun Raj’s discussion of how pop culture stereotypes about homosexuality enable bureaucratic violence towards refugees remains timely in the context of the ongoing human rights abuses of refugees by the Australian government.
“Remembering Tracy Banivanua Mar,” by Dr Nadia Rhook, September 1, 2017.
And finally, Nadia Rhook shared a heartfelt poem commemorating the life and work of Tracey Banivanua Mar, historian of colonialism and post-colonialism in the Australian and Pacific region, and Associate Professor at La Trobe University.
Vale Tracey, taken from the world too soon on August 19, 2017.
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 @.