School of Arts

CRCAH historian co-convener of Australian Research Council funded Çanakkale/Gallipoli Wars 2015 international conference,Turkey

During May Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History (CRCAH) Director and Federation University Australia historian, Professor Keir Reeves, is co-convening a major international conference led by Monash and Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart Universities and a host of cultural and government organisations including the Çanakkale 100th Anniversary organisation. This will be held at the Dardanos Campus of Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University. Reeves believes that it is appropriate to hold a conference on the centenary of Anzac at a location that has been a cross roads for conflict and is situated a few kilometres from where the Gallipoli landings took place and which is also near the ancient city of Troy. This conference features almost 100 invited presenters from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Britain, Turkey, the United States of America, Singapore and Canada. It is an international congress on the battle of Gallipoli on the Centenary. Featured presenters include Emmy Award winner and Charles Stiles Professor of History at Yale University, Jay Winter; Australian Consul to Turkey Nicholas Sergi; Deakin based heritage expert and laureate professor William Logan; British based Anzac historian Jenny Macleod; Monash University based academics Bruce Scates and Al Thomson; Vice Chancellor and President of Monash University Professor Margaret Gardner; and University of Paris based academic Annette Becker.

This conference is a key research outcome of the Australian Research Council funded project titled Anzac Day at home and abroad: a centenary history of Australia's national day. Chief investigators on the project include Professor Bruce Scates; Monash Dean of Arts Professor Raelene (Rae) Frances; Professor Keir Reeves; Martin Crotty; Professor Graham Seal; Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane; ANU based historian Frank Bongiorno; Professor Kevin Blackburn; Professor Peter Stanley; and Professor Andrew Hoskins who is currently based at Glasgow University. This is a major historical research project that attracted $662,630 ARC funding and strong partner cash and in-kind support. Partner organisations included Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University; Department of Veterans' Affairs; Dr Annette Becker at the University of Paris and Historial de la Grande Guerre; the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies - King's College London; Legacy Australia Council; National Archives of Australia; National Museum of Australia; and the Shrine of Remembrance. The project has investigated how Australia is fast approaching the centenary of Anzac Day and many believe this is the one day of the year that captures the spirit of the nation. This project will examine Anzac Day's complex and much contested history, retrieving private and collective memories of war through archival research and novel and participatory public history. The key project outcome will be published by Cambridge University Press.

Keir contributed to the Bruce Scates led Walking the battlefields of World War Two (2013) published by Cambridge University Press which was a key published outcome of the Australian Research Council funded project Revisiting Australia's war: international perspectives on heritage, memory and ANZAC pilgrimages to the cemeteries, sites and battlefields of World War Two (WW2). This book was shortlisted for the 2014 AHA Ernest Scott Prize for Australian History.

Professor Reeves commented that Federation University Australia has enjoyed strong and timely interest in postgraduate historical and heritage research that investigates Australians at war particularly the experience, history and legacy of Anzac. CRCAH looks forward to hosting further research in this area for the 2016 Regional Remembrance Conference to be hosted by CRCAH at FedUni along with the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management - Royal Roads University (Canada) and National Centre for Australian Studies in the Faculty of Arts at Monash University.

Photo: Anzac Cove, courtesy Keir Reeves