While women are conspicuous in number and achievement in Australian history, they remain largely unacknowledged and underrepresented in continuing positions and research fellowships in Australasian Ancient World Studies. The absence of any comprehensive history of Australasian women involved in the study of the ancient world contributes to marginalising the impact of women on the discipline.
Alia Astra: A History of Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies was organized by Rachel Yuen-Collingridge and Lea Beness on behalf of AWAWS in an attempt to start charting, compiling and publicising that history. This event was held at Macquarie University on the 26th April 2019 and consisted of a full day workshop followed by a panel discussion open to the public.
The workshop aimed to consolidate efforts to collect and work up data towards a history of Australasian women in Ancient World Studies by bringing together scholars who have worked on, or are undertaking, research on women in the field in Australia and New Zealand. Scholars working on the living or past history of women in the discipline came together to share findings and mapped out a special journal issue dedicated to a history of women in the discipline in the next two years, as well as a five-year strategy for the ongoing effort to collect, archive, and disseminate information on women in the discipline for the future.
The day culminated in a panel discussion, featuring Natalie Looyer, Mary Spongberg and Michelle Arrow and chaired by AWAWS President Lea Beness, which discussed the issues involved in developing a history of women in the field.
Registration for the day included on online survey. Our survey is still available here. If you could not attend but have worked in this area, please still register or email to let us at the AWAWS email address listed above to let us know about your efforts and how you might like to be incolved in the future.
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The contribution made by women to ancient world studies in Australia and New Zealand has often been neglected. Our blog aims to bring you new research and insights into some of these remarkable women.
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