Emerging Historians 2016

  • Royal Historical Society of Victoria 239 A'Beckett Street Melbourne, VIC, 3000 Australia

This annual showcase event provides a platform for two emerging historians from the Professional Historians Association (Vic) and the Royal Historical Society of Victoria.

PHA (Vic)'s own Emma Gleadhill will present Travelling Trifles: The Souvenirs of Late Eighteenth-Century Female British Tourists.

She will be joined by Volkhard Wehner, representing RHSV, who will present Victoria’s German community and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71: unification twice over?

Please join us for drinks from 5:15pm with the lecture beginning promptly at 5:45pm.

  • RHSV/PHA (Vic) Members FREE
  • Non-Members & Guests $10.00

Emma Gleadhill is a PhD Candidate at Monash University and secretary of PHA (Vic). Her research concerns eighteenth-century British and European history, gender, travel writing, and material culture. Her dissertation is titled ‘Travelling Trifles: The Souvenirs of Late Eighteenth-Century Female British Tourists’. This builds on recent work challenging the homogenous masculine image of the Grand Tour to examine how those genteel British women who toured the Continent and the British Isles in the latter part of the eighteenth century engaged with their souvenirs following their return home. She argues that souvenirs, then as now, not only served as personal reminders of places, people, and events, but also acted as proxies for travel - that is, as representations of its value. Therefore, late eighteenth-century female British tourists socially enlisted these objects following their travels to continue processes of empowerment begun during them. On a broader level, her dissertation thus asks how those genteel British women who had the opportunity to undertake tours in the latter part of the eighteenth century used their souvenirs to adopt and adapt values and practices that were culturally marked as masculine and, in so doing, how they changed the nature of those values and practices.

Volkhard Wehner is a doctoral student at the University of Melbourne working on a thesis on the German community of Victoria between 1850 and 1930. In 2014 he won the Dr Rodney Benjamin Prize for Australian History at the University of Melbourne. Volhard will reveal how the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War hit Melbourne like a bombshell. Totally unexpected, the news arrived here almost six weeks after the war began, because telegraphic communications with Europe were still inadequate. The Anglo community reacted with fear and anxiety, concerned that Britain might become involved. Victoria’s small German community were shocked and deeply concerned, fearing for the safety and welfare of friends and family left in the old country. For them it brought back the horror of the Napoleonic wars that had profoundly affected German lands earlier in the century. This talk examines how the German settler groups scattered across Victoria reacted to the war and how their response contributed to transforming them from politically passive and only loosely interconnected groups into a united, purposeful community. The role of the German newspaper Australische Deutsche Zeitung and its editor Carl Muecke in encouraging this transformation is examined in detail, as well as the attitudes and responses of various Anglo papers.