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History Now: history on screens

History Now: history on screens

History Now

Tom Murray and Graham Shirley explore the importance of screen-based histories ability to generate knowledge about the past.

a sepia photograph of a film crew with cameras
3 / 8 events in this History Now series
7 June 2023 5pm to 6pm


General Admission: Free


Maps Room, First Floor
Mitchell Building
Sydney NSW 2000


Associate Professor Tom Murray considers how important screen-based histories are in creating historical consciousness and in generating knowledge about the past.

Graham Shirley will talk about his interviews with World War 2 veterans about their experiences of war, and how these memories were incorporated into the documentaries Prisoners of Propaganda (1987), Behind the Lines: The Secret War of Z Special Unit (2001), and Road to Tokyo (2005).

Associate professor Tom Murray is founding and current director of the Creative Documentary Research Centre at Macquarie University, and has worked in documentary production for over 20 years as a writer, director, and producer. His work has been selected in some of the world's most prestigious international film festivals, and won high accolades in the film and television industry. Tom's work is deeply interdisciplinary and investigates and acknowledges the history of colonialism, Indigenous culture and knowledge systems, screen and audio production, documentary media, environmental history, ethics and reciprocity, embodied and affective knowing, creative scholarship and inter-cultural storytelling.

Graham Shirley has worked as a director, writer, and researcher of Australian historical documentaries, and is co-author of Australian Cinema: The First 80 Years (1983 & 1989). From 2006 to 2014 he worked for the National Film and Sound Archive, after which he returned to freelance historical consultancy and work as an oral history interviewer. He is a councillor of the Royal Australian Historical Society and a member of the Professional Historians Association (NSW & ACT) and Oral History NSW.

Professor Michelle Arrow (Chair) is a historian with particular expertise in cultural history, the history of popular culture, and the history of the women's movement. In 2014, she was the winner (with Catherine Freyne and Timothy Nicastri) of the NSW Premiers' Multimedia History Prize for her radio documentary Public Intimacies: The 1974 Royal Commission on Human Relationships. Michelle's third book, The Seventies: The Personal, The Political and the Making of Modern Australia was published in 2019 by NewSouth and it won the 2020 Ernest Scott Prize for Australian History.