History, nature, and nation: Tom Griffiths and Australian history symposium

This symposium honoured Tom’s move from full-time academic life to a full-time writing life. Papers from eminent Australian historians will reflected on Tom’s career and contributions to Australian historiography, and some of Tom’s many students and collaborators performed histories in the artful spirit he has always advocated.

The symposium concluded with a conversation between Tom and leading Australian critic, journalist, and editor, Morag Fraser.

The symposium was convened some of Tom’s former students, Rebe Taylor (University of Tasmania), Tiffany Shellam (Deakin University), Alessandro Antonello (University of Melbourne).



  • Christine Hansen, University of Gothenburg. How do we walk in country?
  • Graeme Davison, Monash University. The Boy from Balwyn
  • Rani Kerin, Australian National University. A meditation on the art of biography (or what I learned from Tom about writing lives)
  • Grace Karskens, University of New South Wales.The white noise of history-making and the real secret river: hunting and collecting on Dyarubbin
  • Alexandra Roginski, Australian National University. TONIGHT! TONIGHT! Professor Roginski, late of Sir Tom’s Hospital for the Academically Deranged, gives a SENSATIONAL and EXTRAORDINARY demonstration of Phrenology
  • Emily O’Gorman, Macquarie University. Trees, fire, and dust: More-than-human histories
  • Mark McKenna, University of Sydney. Reading to write: Tom Griffiths and the ‘Creative Historical Imagination’
  • Cameron Muir, Australian National University-National Museum of Australia. Ghost species and shadow places
  • Andrea Gaynor, University of Western Australia. Australian environmental history and business as unusual
  • Mandy Martin, artist. Hi-Vis Futures
  • Morag Fraser and Tom Griffiths in conversation