Books and Ideas at Montalto
How do we become estranged from ourselves – and from the people and places that have moulded us? What’s the way back? And how can we begin again?
These questions are at the heart of the new book from award-winning writer Andrea Goldsmith. Invented Lives is about a young Russian-Jewish woman who arrives in Australia in the mid-1980s as a refugee. It’s an affectionate portrait of 1980s Melbourne, and a sophisticated and engrossing novel of ideas – about exile, about multicultural Australia, and about the social, political and technological tides that impact our personal lives.
Invented Lives is Goldsmith’s eighth novel. Best known for her 2015 Melbourne Prize-winning novel, The Memory Trap, and for the Miles Franklin-shortlisted 2003 novel, The Prosperous Thief, Goldsmith is also an accomplished essayist and superb short-story writer.
At Montalto with Michael Williams, Goldsmith discusses her latest novel and her body of work.
Books and Ideas at Montalto
Simon Schama is a familiar figure on the BBC as well as a professor at Columbia University, and he’s produced multi-volume histories of Britain, documentaries with momentous names like The American Future and a TV series called Simon Schama’s Power of Art. He's a heavyweight scholar, best known for in-depth works on French history, Jewish history, art history and Dutch history. But he’s also a writer of great versatility who has concerned himself – through his columns for the New Yorker and the Financial Times – with a dizzying array of topics, from poetry and baseball to Tom Waits and ice-cream.
At Montalto, in conversation with David Hansen, he draws from his new BBC series, Civilisations – which explores the origins of human creativity, and its universal importance – and from … well, millenia of artworks and ideas.
Invasion of the Pod People: Queering the Archives
What do we know about queer lives and stories from the past? For this event, we delve into LGBTIQA+ histories with a special live recording of the Archive Fever podcast.
Archive Fever is an Australian history podcast of conversation with writers, artists, curators and historians about the possibilities and limitations of archival records. At this event, hosts Clare Wright and…
The Wheeler Centre
Broadside: Rage Against the Machine: Feminism and Capitalism
The panel, from left to right: Santilla Chingaipe, Fatima Bhutto, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
What is feminism under capitalism? What is feminism without it?
'Art does become so very important – because it does help a community articulate a way of understanding the world that allows them to reimagine it, rather than reproducing it.'Tressie McMillan Cottom
Not all of us can afford to lean in, because some of us aren’t even in the room. We’re rightly galvanised by the fact that there are more CEOs at ASX200 companies in Australia named Andrew than there are women – but when did feminism become about earning power? Doesn’t it have to be anti-capitalist? Market ideas about success and failure seem like a shaky foundation for liberation for the 99% of women, so what does an uncommodified resistance look like?
In this conversation from Broadside 2019, hosted by Santilla Chingaipe, our panellists – Aminatou Sow, Fatima Bhutto, Jia Tolentino and Tressie McMillan Cottom – discuss she-EOs, 'ethical consumption', reimagining value and good ancestorship.
Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jia Tolentino and Aminatou Sow on stage at Melbourne Town Hall — Photo: Hannah Koelmeyer
The Wheeler Centre
William Dalrymple: Corporate Violence and the East India Company
Clare Wright and William Dalrymple at the Athenaeum Theatre — Photo: Jon Tjhia
Historian William Dalrymple believes the stunning greed and violence of the militarised East India Company is ‘history’s most terrifying warning’ about unregulated corporate power, and the insidious means by which shareholders exert dangerous influence on the state.
Dalrymple – co-director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, and bestselling author of books including The Last Mughal, City of Djinns and Nine Lives – examines the corporation’s ruinous legacy in his latest work, The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company.
The Anarchy describes an aggressive colonial power operating under the guise of a multinational company, using a ruthless 200,000-strong private army to extort, plunder and dominate vast swathes of Central, South and Southeast Asia – answerable only to its distant investors. At a time when global media corporations and tech giants wield growing and increasingly pervasive power and influence, the story is a timely cautionary tale.
At this event, William Dalrymple joins author Clare Wright to discuss the long reach and devastating legacy of the East India Company.
The Fifth Estate
Past Imperfect: Writing Australian History
For this Fifth Estate discussion, we're joined by two prominent historians for a conversation about their careers, and how they have each navigated the changing tropes and traditions of Australian history writing. What role do contemporary historians play in shaping the way all Australians remember – and reckon with – the past?
From left to right: Sally Warhaft, Clare Wright and Geoffrey Blainey
Geoffrey Blainey is the author of more than 40 books, including The Rush That Never Ended, The Story of Australia’s People, and, perhaps most famously, The Tyranny of Distance, which has been in print since 1966. Clare Wright is an eminent academic and broadcaster and the Stella Prize-winning author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka and You Daughters of Freedom. Both writers have brought their research to large and enthralled readerships.
How does writing about the past shape the possibilities of the future? Blainey and Wright join Sally Warhaft to discuss their approaches to writing Australian history: warts, beauty spots and blind spots.
Anything and everything in History from across our archives.
Ferguson’s Six Killer Apps
All the wealth in the world adds up to just under $200 trillion dollars (the world economy is worth $60 trillion a year, as we mentioned in a recent story), most of which was created in the last two centuries and two-thirds of which is owned by Westerners, who represent just a fifth of the population. That’s a thumb-sketch of the world economy given…
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