Centre News

Professor Alison Bashford Receives the Royal Society of New South Wales, History and Philosophy of Science Medal

Professor Alison Bashford, Laureate Centre Director, was awarded the Royal Society of New South Wales History and Philosophy of Science Medal from the Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley. At a ceremony at Government House on 23 February 2022, Alison Bashford’s research and leadership in the history of science was recognised. The History and Philosophy of Science Medal is awarded annually by the Royal Society of New South Wales. Professor Bashford recently delivered the Society’s Annual Lecture on The…

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Seminar: 100 Years of China’s Population Strategies

2022 marks the 100th anniversary of Margaret Sanger’s first visit to China.  Her visit prompted public discussions of birth control in the service of improving China’s population that continue to the present day.  These conversations and subsequent policies expanded to include many aspects of reproductive health like screenings for sexually transmitted infections and cervical cancer.  They also corresponded with conflicting policies through the 1960s, as (primarily) women’s calls for more control over reproduction clashed with paternalistic pronatalism. China’s restrictive population…

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Opportunity: PhD Scholarships in Population History

The Laureate Centre for History and Population is excited to invite applications for two (2) PhD scholarships in population history. The successful candidates will join the Laureate research team, under the supervision of Professor Alison Bashford, within the School of Humanities and Languages, Faculty of Arts Design and Architecture, UNSW. PhD scholars will research Australian, Pacific or international history related to population. This may be focussed on medical, migration, Indigenous, gender, environmental, intellectual or political/economic history. Possible topics include colonialism,…

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What We’re Reading – Visual Fragments: Hong Kong in British Culture, 1841-1941

QandA with Chi Chi Huang and Emma Thomas, 12 October 2021 Chi Chi Huang is an environmental and medical humanities historian of the British Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Her research interests lie in the intersection of transnational and imperial histories, with a focus on Southeast Asia and China. Her doctoral research on the production of British popular and visual cultures of Hong Kong explores the environment as commodity, the notion of an imperial ideal, and tropicality.…

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What We’re Reading: QandA with Jarrod Hore on ‘Settlers in Earthquake Country’

Jarrod Hore and Chi Chi Huang, 28 September 2021. ‘Settlers in earthquake country’ examines how two slightly different colonial societies responded to seismic instability throughout the late nineteenth century. Focusing on two earthquakes in Aotearoa New Zealand and two in California, I align the temporality of natural disaster with an economic temporality of settler colonial boom and bust. In contrast to more recent disasters, such as the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, settlers in earlier times often confronted seismic instability with optimism and enthusiasm. Despite some dissenting voices, most settlers were quick to resume their speculation on colonial markets in both Wellington in 1855 after the huge Wairarapa earthquake and in San Francisco after the 1868 Hayward quake. Shifts in the faults underlying Wellington and San Francisco could produce opportunities to reclaim land, improve infrastructure, and reiterate settler control.

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What We’re Reading: QandA with Aprajita Sarcar

Last month, the Laureate Centre Reading Group read the work of Aprajita Sarcar, a New Delhi–based scholar of population history in post-independence India. She is in the process of converting her doctoral research into her first monograph and she shared two samples of her work with us: a chapter from her recently-completed PhD and the introduction to her book-in-the-making.

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Painting the Perfect Family

Aprajita Sarcar, 8 September 2021. The image you see was first published in April 1968. It appeared in a newsletter published by the Department of Family Planning, India. The department no longer exists and the newsletter died shortly after 1977. The image, along with the newsletter become artifacts of a nation, which was in the second decade of its independent existence. It also showcases a unique campaign advocating family planning.

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New Appointments

The Laureate Centre for History & Population is delighted to announce the appointment of three new postdocs and a centre manager.   Dr Naomi Parkinson, Laureate Centre Manager, is a scholar of imperial and colonial history, specialising in slavery and its aftermath in the British Empire. Most recently a Postdoctoral Fellow on the ‘Inquiring into Empire’ project at UNSW, she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge.  Dr Stephen Pascoe, Laureate Postdoctoral Fellow, is a historian of cities, infrastructure, and…

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Laureate Centre Director Prof. Alison Bashford is awarded Dan David Prize

Laureate Centre for History & Population Director Professor Alison Bashford has been recognised for her wide-ranging work on public health, medicine, disease control, borders, and quarantine. She is one of seven Laureates for 2021. She joins pre-eminent academics Professor Katharine Park (Harvard University) and Professor Keith Wailoo (Princeton University) in the History of Health and Medicine (Past) category. Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has received the Public Health (Present) prize,…

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Food Security

In 1943, agriculturalists, economists, physicians, and international policy-makers met in Hot Springs, Virginia, a gathering that pre-empted what was to become the first agency of the new United Nations: the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The sinister backdrop was devastating famine in Bengal, in parts of China, and millions hungry in the USSR. A world food crisis was declared, and food and population were immediately linked in grand plans for the postwar era. This manifested as national politics as much as international politics over the turbulent late 1940s.

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Launch: 1 July 2021

The Laureate Centre for History & Population will launch in July 2021. Researchers based at the centre will pursue a distinctively regional perspective on how population policies emerged over the 19th and 20th centuries, and what their present legacies are, especially in a climate-changed world. Applying a ‘multiple modernities’ approach, we will compare Australia, Japan, India and China, analysing highly diverse polities and challenging Europe-outward theses on modernisation and development.  The aims are:  To deepen our knowledge of how different population…

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