Is it still possible to write a history of a nation-state in an age of globalisation? The Professoriate lecture will explore this question by setting Australia's experience of the 1980s in comparative, transnational and global frames. How might we see the 1980s in the wider sweep of Australian and world history? What did Australia share with other nations in this era, and how was its experience distinctive? Did forces such as neoliberalism and globalisation obliterate or stimulate more localised identities? And why should the 1980s still matter today, in the age of Brexit and Trump? The lecture will argue for the possibility of a history of Australia that also pays due attention to the larger forces reshaping the modern nation-state and the wider world.
Frank Bongiorno is Professor of History in the School of History at the Australian National University. His recent books include The Sex Lives of Australians: A History and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia, both published by Black Inc. and winners of the ACT Book of the Year. His work has also been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the New South Wales Premier's History Awards, the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Australia Book Prize and the Ernest Scott Prize. He is President of Honest History and the Canberra Region Branch of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, and was previously co-editor of History Australia, the Australian Historical Association's journal.