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Upcoming Events

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Book Launch and Forum

The State of Being Equal: International Law in the Age of Trump

When: Tuesday 11 April 2017, 6:30pm
Where: Readings, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria
Cost: Free event, but due to limited space please book

Readings is excited to introduce a new event series in 2017. The State of Being Equal is a forum intended to make sure we trump Trump politics by exploring how society can be more equitable and just, rather than divisive and bellicose. Each event in the series will examine a new title that is relevant to global and sexual politics.

In Who’s Afraid of International Law? noted authorities explore ways in which international law constitutes a certain way of talking and being – one that might have both ameliorative and malign effects. Editors Raimond Gaita and Gerry Simpson will discuss the ideas raised in the book with feminist international law scholar Hilary Charlesworth.

This is a free event, but please book for the State of Being Equal event.

Of Labour and LIberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966
Book Launches

To be launched by The Hon Steve Bracks AM
When: Wednesday 26 April, 6pm for 6.30pm
Where: National Union of Workers (NUW) Headquarters, 833 Bourket Street, Docklands
Cost: Free event, but please RSVP to Sarah Cannon.

Melbourne Symposium: Cooperative enterprise, democracy and liberty
When: Friday 28 April
Where: The Kelvin Club, 14-30 Melbourne Place, Melbourne
With speakers Race Mathews, Godfrey Moase (NUW) and Melina Morrison (CEO, BCCM) and more to be announced.

Race Mathews and Barry Jones in conversation
When: Wednesday 3 May, 6pm for 6.30pm
Where: Readings Bookshop, 701 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

Co-operatives Research Group Symposium
When: Friday 5 May, 5pm-7pm
Where: The Refectory, The University of Sydney Business School, Darlington
Cost: Free event, but please register online by 2 May via the University of Sydney website.

Public Conversation: Race Mathews and Bishop Vincent Long
When: Friday 16 June, morning
Where: Whitlam Institute, Western Sydney University
More details to follow.

Australian Lives: An Intimate History
Book Launches

Launcher: David Astle, columnist and crossword-maker
When: Monday 22 May 2017, 6pm–7.30pm
Where: Royal Historical Society of Victoria, 239 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne
Cost: Free event, but please register via the National Library of Australia.

Launcher: Professor Frank Bongiorno at the National Library of Australia.
When: Wednesday 31 May 2017, 6pm
Where: Conference Room, National Library of Australia
Cost: Free event, but please RSVP via Eventbrite or by phoning (02) 6262 1424
Book signing to follow.

Launcher: Lisa Murray, City Historian, with MC Clare Monagle
When: Saturday 17 June 2017, 4pm for 4.30pm start
Where: Gleebooks, 49 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, NSW
Cost: Free event, but please RSVP to Gleebooks.

Australian Lives: An Intimate History illuminates Australian life across the 20th and into the 21st century: how Australian people have been shaped by the forces and expectations of contemporary history and how, in turn, they have made their lives and created Australian society. From oral history interviews with Australians born between 1920 and 1989, fifty narrators reflect on their diverse experiences as children and teenagers, in midlife and in old age, about faith, migration, work and play, aspiration and activism, memory and identity, pain and happiness. In Australian Lives you can read and in the e-version of the book listen to the comedy, heartache and drama of ordinary Australians’ extraordinary lives. As our interviewee Kim Bear (born 1959) explains, ‘Stories are a great way to inform people about what it is to be human. Even if you say one thing that resonates … there’s that connection made.’

Past Events

Beyond Gallipoli launch

To be launched by Professor Annette Becker as part of a symposium to celebrate the work of Emeritus Professor Ken Inglis. Friday 25 November, 3.20pm. Enquiries to

Much of the scholarship on the Great War, and especially the Dardanelles/Çanakkale campaign, has been viewed through a narrow national prism and focused exclusively on military aspects of the engagement. This new collection of essays offers fresh perspectives from countries on both sides of the trenches of Gallipoli. Examined here are intersections of art and memory, and the role that material culture and museums play in the representation and commemoration of war. The ideas and writing draw on fiction, poetry and diaries, as well as new digital media, which together frame the memory of war. Our ongoing encounter with Gallipoli’s much-contested landscape here takes on new hues and reveals untold stories. Beyond Gallipoli takes an innovative approach to the varied and controversial cultural legacies of an event which continues to shape the identity of Australia, New Zealand and Turkey.

Women, War and Islamic Radicalisation in Maryam Mahboob’s Afghanistan launch

To be launched at the SADIRN/Diasporic Mediations Conference, 19 October 2016, 4.15pm. Japanese Studies Centre Auditorium, G17, Building 54, 12 Ancora Imparo Way, Monash University, Clayton Vic 3800 Enquiries to

Afghanistan is regarded as a classical patriarchal society, where social tradition, religious doctrine and socio-economic and cultural backwardness have made women second-class citizens. But what has been the nature of life for women in Afghanistan? How have they been treated, both in the private sphere and in public? How did they resist mistreatment during the war inside Afghanistan, in refugee camps or in diaspora? Who are the sponsors and perpetrators of violence against Afghanistani women? And what are the connections between Islam, local customs, the mistreatment of women, and women’s connectedness to revolution and jihad? This book provides answers to these questions through an innovative study of the life and short stories of one of the country’s leading female writers, Maryam Mahboob. It offers a different image of both the suffering and resistance of Afghanistani women than that which the ‘West’ has come to know.

Small Screens: Essays on Contemporary Australian Television launch

To be launched by Courtney Gibson, CEO of Screen NSW, at 107 Projects, Redfern, Sydney, Wednesday 26 October. RSVPs appreciated:

There has been a lot happening on Australia’s small screens. Neighbours turned 30. Struggle Street was accused of poverty porn. Pete evangelised Paleo. Gina got litigious. Netflix muscled in. The Bachelor spawned The Bachelorette. Peter Allen’s maraccas were exhumed. The Labor Party ate itself. Anzac was an anti-climax. And so much more...

Join us as we survey the Australian televisual landscape, and try to make sense of the myriad changes transforming what and how we watch. We’ve come a long way since Bruce Gyngell welcomed us to television in 1956. We now watch on demand and wherever we want, in our lounge rooms and on our devices. But some things stay the same. The small screen is still a place for imagining Australia, for better or for worse. Small Screens challenges and celebrates our contemporary TV worlds.

Making a Difference: Fifty Years of Indigenous Programs at Monash University launch

To be launched on 27 October 2016. For enquiries please contact Inala Cooper, Senior Advisor, Yulendj Indigenous Engagement Unit, via or on (03) 9902 4038.

Established in 1964, the Centre for Research into Aboriginal Affairs propelled Monash University into a position of academic leadership in the ongoing struggle for justice for Aboriginal people. Leading the way in research into the causes of Aboriginal disadvantage and the teaching of Aboriginal Studies, Monash has also been at the forefront of moves to widen educational and employment opportunities for Indigenous people. Focusing on the leaders who steered Monash’s Indigenous programs over half-a-century, Making a Difference tells the story of visionary and committed individuals, some newcomers to Australia, some Australian-born, some Indigenous, who sought to improve Aboriginal peoples’ lives in the face of enormous obstacles.

The Conscription Conflict and the Great War launches

  • Melbourne: Thursday 27 October by The Hon Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition Victorian Trades Hall at 6.00pm RSVP essential.
  • Sydney: Friday 28 October by Luke Foley, NSW Leader of the Opposition Parliament House, Jubilee Room at 4.00pm. RSVP to
  • Canberra: Saturday, 29 October by Professor Joan Beaumont at the conference ‘The Defeat of Conscription: A Centennial Retrospective’, ANU at 3-3.30pm. Enquiries to

While the Great War raged, Australians were twice asked to vote on the question of military conscription for overseas service. The recourse to popular referendum on such an issue at such a time was without precedent anywhere in the world. The campaigns precipitated mass mobilisation, bitter argument, a split in the Labor Party, and the fall of a government. The defeat of the proposals was hailed by some as a victory of democracy over militarism, mourned by others as an expression of political disloyalty or a symptom of failed self-government. Find out more.

Vagabond book launch and conversation

Handful of Sand: The Gurindji Struggle, After the Walk-off events

Dennis Altman in conversation with Bob Brown at Fullers Bookshop, 23 September

Traditionally, Australian progressives have supported the Australian Labor Party; increasingly, the Greens appeal. What are the key differences between the parties? Is greater collaboration desirable? Is it likely?

Some progressives remain strongly committed to Labor or the Greens. Others have abandoned one or other of the parties from bitter experience. Others still are genuinely undecided, or seek to promote greater understanding and cooperation.

Dennis Altman has edited this collection, drawing together essays by a diverse range of experts. Dennis will be in conversation with Bob Brown.

RSVPs appreciated to

Frank Vajda Saved to Remember appearing at the Sydney Jewish Writers' Festival

Frank VajdaFrank Vajda, author of Saved to Remember, is a guest at this year’s Sydney Jewish Writers’ Festival.

'This is a compelling book, telling the story of the nonpareil of rescuers, Wallenberg, and of his survivors, and one in particular, on an intimate and utterly convincing and riveting scale. I hope the world reads this book and absorbs the message.'
— Thomas Keneally

Frank Vajda, a major figure in Australian neurology, was a boy in Budapest, Hungary, during the Second World War. In the care of his courageous and ever-resourceful mother, he survived the attempt by Hitler’s Nazis and a fascist Hungarian militia to murder him, his family and the rest of the Jews of this nation. Find out more.

Tim Fischer Maestro John Monash public appearances

Tim Fischer will be discussing Maestro John Monash at the following events.


Public discussion and launch

How to Vote Progressive in Australia: Labor or Green?

6:30pm Wednesday, 15 June at Cinema Nova, Lygon Street, Carlton

The 2016 Federal Election campaign has included discussion, to a greater extent than ever before, of the relationship between the Greens and the Australian Labor Party. What kind of relationship between these two parties is possible, and likely? Can any accommodation be mutually satisfactory? If yes, or if no, what does this mean for Australian politics?

In How to Vote Progressive in Australia: Labor or Green? Dennis Altman and Sean Scalmer have brought together political insiders to explore and explain this question of what proper role there is for the Greens and the ALP on the progressive side of the political fence. Andrew Giles MP (ALP) and Ellen Sandell MP (Greens), two individuals important to the future of their respective parties, and contributors to this book, will speak on the future of progressive politics and relations between the Greens and the ALP, with the editors Altman and Scalmer and moderator Tracee Hutchison. This is an historic public occasion not to be missed.

Book online now | Facebook event link

Book Launch – Saved to Remember

Monash University Publishing is delighted to invite you to the launch of
Frank Vajda's Saved to Remember: Raoul Wallenberg, Budapest 1944 and After.

Date: Thursday 9 June, 2016
Time: 6:00pm for a 6:30pm start
Venue: Readings Bookshop, 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria

To be launched by The Hon. Josh Frydenberg, MP.

Light refreshments will be served.

For enquiries and to RSVP please email