Fullbright seminar: Fabric of War - A Hidden History of the Global Wool Trade

In the interdisciplinary spirit of the ANU Wool Seminars, 1957-1959, this presentation showcases how material culture, film, digital media, and a wealth of primary and secondary sources contribute to a project that is, at its heart, a trans-national commodity history. In considering the logistics of preparation and sourcing for war, historians have tended to focus on steel, gunpowder, and food. But a century of cold climate warfare from the mid-1800s depended too on another staple: wool. Its story is often fragmented and obscured within various national histories. One key aspect of the project explores the close, often contentious, ties between Australia - the center of the world’s wool market - and the United States - one of its principal customers. Fabric of War represents the collaborative efforts of Madelyn Shaw,  a museum curator and historian of the textile industries, and Trish FitzSimons, documentary filmmaker and social historian.


Date & time

Thu 28 Mar 2019, 5.30–7pm


Room 2.02, Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU


Chair Frank Bongiorno (ANU)
Discussant Bruce Scates (ANU)
Richard Adams (Yale / UNSW)
Madelyn Shaw (National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institute)
Trish FitzSimons (Smithsonian Fellow / Griffith Film School)


School of History


School of History


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