School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses

Permanent URI for this collection

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 1170
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Saturn and the Seeds of Evil: Spaceflight, Envirotechnical Thought, and Progress in 1960s and 1970s America
    Davison, Angus Edward ( 2023)
    During the 1960s and the 1970s, inspired by a growing awareness of the effects unbridled technological progress was having on themselves and their environment, a politically disparate group of Americans searched for new relationships with technology, the environment, and the notion of national progress. “Saturn and the Seeds of Evil” explores the differing conceptions of technological progress that were projected on to spaceflight during this period of contestation over the course of America’s, and often the whole Earth’s, future. Some, including the patriotically minded editors of Life magazine and the chemical-industrialist Robert White-Stevens, turned to spaceflight as a glittering example of technological progress to convince doubters that the nation’s course was safe. Others, including pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, physicist Gerard K. O’Neill, and alternative technology guru Stewart Brand, believed that space technology presented a path towards environmental salvation. “Saturn and the Seeds of Evil” uses three case studies to argue that at each stage of the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s, spaceflight reinforced narratives of technological utopianism—the notion that technological progress is equivalent to societal progress—regardless of whether the visions of technological progress projected on to it were utopian or dystopian.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    The Painting is Broken: Understanding issues of authenticity and art attribution in contemporary Indonesia
    O'Donnell, Eliza ( 2023-07)
    The circulation of counterfeit paintings in the Indonesian art centres is a sensitive issue that threatens the cultural record and intellectual property of artists and their legacy. Since the beginning of Indonesia’s first art market boom in the late 1980s, paintings falsely attributed to prominent modern and contemporary Indonesian artists have slid into the secondary art market, changing hands through auction houses, galleries, art dealers and private transactions. While the unauthorised use of intellectual property that infringes on the copyright of the artist is a pervasive and longstanding issue in Indonesia, as it is globally, the study of painting attribution from a conservation perspective is limited. This thesis employs an interdisciplinary methodology grounded in cross-cultural engagement, technical art history, archival research, and interviews with art world practitioners, to investigate the relationship between the booming art market and the circulation of counterfeit paintings falsely attributed to Indonesian artists. Reviewing current approaches for art attribution in Indonesia, this thesis asks, how is painting authenticity understood in the Indonesian context? This question is examined across six themed chapters focusing on: 1) terminology, 2) the Indonesian copyright framework, 3) the art market, 4) art market processes, 5) art archives and 6) technical art history. An interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approach to this study enabled a nuanced exploration of knowledge representation, verification, and the societal implications of painting forgery in the Javanese arts communities of Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Bandung where this research is located. Key findings drawn from artist interviews, archival sources and technical art history highlight the extent to which contemporary living artists, in addition to the twentieth-century modern masters, have been victims of art fraud, from the early 1990s until today. These findings demonstrate the tangible impact of forgery on the individuals who are affected when counterfeit works are produced and traded. This study seeks to elucidate the strategies that contemporary Indonesian artists have adopted to protect themselves from intellectual property theft in the absence of a robust copyright framework, and examines integrated approaches to building secure artist records and archives for future studies of attribution. Overall, this thesis underscores the pressing need for interdisciplinary collaboration and ongoing discourse to address the particular challenges posed by painting forgery in the Indonesian art market. Inauthentic cultural material is harmful to Indonesian artists, communities, and the cultural record, and finding effective and empowering ways to manage this issue is of great interest to artists, curators, art historians, conservators and others. Painting forgery in Indonesia, and in the global art world, is an active and ongoing issue, and current understanding is continually evolving as new evidence is brought to light. This thesis is a scholarly contribution to advancing existing knowledge on art attribution and authenticity in Indonesia, deepening collective knowledge of the complexities inherent in the Indonesian art world and its broader implications for the global art community.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Ruby Rich: A Transnational Jewish Australian Feminist
    Rubenstein Sturgess, Cohava ( 2023)
    This thesis examines the life of Ruby Rich (1888-1988) - a leading figure in Australian and international feminist movements and a leading campaigner for women's rights. Alongside her feminist work, she was also a leader in the Australian Jewish community, internationally renowned pianist, peace campaigner and racial hygiene advocate. Rich lived in Australia, London, Paris, Berlin and Switzerland, and attended conferences in Palestine (later Israel), Turkey, Germany, Iran, Denmark, India, England and Italy. These trips imbued within her a cosmopolitan outlook, contributing to her social consciousness. Through a focussed study of key flashpoints in Rich’s life, this thesis analyzes Rich’s mobile life in tandem with her Jewishness in order to provide a nuanced cultural understanding of how Australian and international feminism intersected with a Jewish diasporic self. By connecting disparate sub-disciplines of history, this thesis reveals how Rich operated and positioned herself as an active transnational Jewish-Australian feminist.
  • Item
    No Preview Available
    Dress in Australia: The materiality of a colonial society in the making
    Jocic, Laura Elizabeth ( 2023-08)
    The study of surviving items of dress offers a vital material source for historians that is commonly ignored. Dress sits at the intersections between necessity and self-representation, the assertion of social standing and cultural, economic and technological aspects of society. Yet writings on dress in the Australian colonial context have largely overlooked the extant items, focusing instead on images and text. “Dress in Australia: the materiality of a colonial society in the making” takes a material culture approach to the history of colonial era dress from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788 to the late-nineteenth century. It pays particular attention to the early years of colonisation and development of colonial society in the years up to the early-1870s. The research methodology, which uses the study of a selection of garments in public and private collections which are known to have been either made or worn in Australia, places surviving items of dress and their materiality to the fore in discussions of European colonisation and Australian settler culture. The close examination of surviving items of dress, coupled with contextual interpretation of objects based on archival research using letters, journals and correspondence, as well as visual material, demonstrates how such an approach enables historical interpretations that would not have been possible from a narrower methodological base. Through the detailed analysis and contextual interpretation of objects, this thesis shows how their materiality prompts new directions and expanded ways of thinking about the significance of dress within a rapidly changing settler society.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Learning History with the Founding Foremothers of the Redfern Black Movement
    Muldoon, Elizabeth Margaret ( 2023-06)
    This thesis offers a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in the Redfern Black Movement from 1968 to 1973. Recognising the central place of women within the Movement, it crafts a platform for their voices to be properly heard within historical scholarship for the first time. The PhD candidate, Elizabeth (Beth) Muldoon worked with eight founding foremothers of the Movement as co-researchers to develop a historical analysis of its origins, philosophy and praxis based on their oral histories. The anti-colonial methodology of the collective research underpinning this thesis enabled joint control of every component, from its guiding questions to its budget. This methodology responds to the longstanding demand of Aboriginal activists and scholars, including Black Movement activists in the 1970s, for Aboriginal communities to be in control of research about them. The historical analysis of this thesis is informed by the theorisation of Aboriginal sovereignty as lived, embodied and inalienable by Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Crystal McKinnon and other Aboriginal scholars who articulate an Aboriginal ontology that co-researchers share. When viewed through this theoretical lens, the Redfern Black Movement can be understood as an assertion of Aboriginal sovereignty that displayed significant continuities with prior assertions. The oral histories of co-researchers reveal that such assertions did not only take the form of organised and spontaneous confrontations with colonial power, but also the daily acts of care, protection, education and cultivation of kinship that have always sustained Aboriginal communities. Attentive to the diverse ways through which Aboriginal sovereignty is asserted, this thesis traces the origins of the Movement through co-researchers’ personal and community histories in rural New South Wales, Townsville, Cairns and Darwin. It then demonstrates that their connection to a long legacy of Aboriginal community defence and nurturing on Gadigal Country (where Redfern is located) was vital to the emergence of the Movement. Additionally, this thesis maps the philosophy and praxis of the Movement, showing how four key strategies – “direct action”, “sharing and caring”, “unity” and “solidarity” – grew from the ancestral knowledge of co-researchers and other the Movement activists in response to new circumstances, relationships and ideas. The oral histories of co-researchers reveal that each of these strategies contributed to the strength of the Movement yet carried significant challenges, which opponents of the Movement have, over the past fifty years, exploited to undermine the Movement’s pursuit of “self-determination”, understood by coresearchers as entailing “land rights” and “community control”. The political objectives of Movement women and the strategies that they developed to attain them were grounded in their theorisation of their unique position of subjugation within settler-colonial society as Black women, yet the indivisibility of their struggle for liberation with that of Black men. By contextualising women’s participation in the Movement within a long tradition of Aboriginal women’s political leadership and Women’s Business in south-eastern Australia, this thesis demonstrates that we cannot understand the Movement without grasping the perspectives of Movement women.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    A Critique of Differentiated Citizenship
    Raina, Ajay Kumar ( 2023-01)
    This thesis is a critique of ‘liberal’ theories of culturally differentiated citizenship, with primary focus on Will Kymlicka’s philosophy. The main proposition of differentiated citizenship is that, for reasons of (distributive) justice, liberal states ought to give special rights to cultural minorities in addition to the universal, culture-blind, rights that all citizens have. The special cultural rights are essential for the members of ethnonational minority cultures to be able to exercise autonomy, for those communities to viably flourish, and for polyethnic, immigrant minorities to smoothly integrate into the liberal-democratic social contract. The classic liberal system of culture-blind universal rights and citizenship denies them these possibilities because the basic institutional structure of such a liberal society is, in reality, culturally majoritarian and minority exclusive; it cannot address substantive interests and needs of cultural minorities. In this thesis, these claims of autonomy, wellbeing and integration are each posited as hypothesis and empirically tested—for the first time against large-N, longitudinal data—in the real liberal world where such special rights have been granted. The evidence suggests that none of these claims can be undisputedly upheld. Deeper analysis points to faulty assumptions in the theories being the likely cause of the empirical failures. For example, while the argument for the autonomy rests on the assumption that ‘societal culture’ is the source of all the meaningful ‘options’ of the good life, it overlooks the role that ‘preferences,’ the agent’s dispositions to options, play in the actual making of choice and the culture’s role, if any, in the shaping of those dispositions. Similarly, the wellbeing of the Native ethnocultural minorities is assumed to automatically follow from the ‘external protections’—from ‘outbid’ (on resources) and ‘outvote’ (on policies) disadvantages which the classically liberal economic and political institutions supposedly cause them—that the special cultural right to self-government provide them, with little thought given to the structure and diversity of institutions which, economic theory tells us, are factors more critical to the achievement of robust wellbeing than bare ownership of resources and policy. Similarly, the assumption that multicultural rights, simplicter, enable shared civic identity of ‘mutual concern, accommodation, or sacrifice’ is problematic because it conflates independent dimensions of political life. Rights establish/adjudicate the moral status of members in a moral community, while ‘mutual concern, accommodation, or sacrifice’ represent actions subject to moral responsibility adjudication by, or within, the moral community; neither dimension, straightforwardly, entails the other. On the positive side, this thesis proposes and defends a principle, the baseline principle (BP), of effective distributive justice: a liberal state ought to ensure equal probability of securing the acceptable baseline of wellbeing for all citizens. The baseline principle can be (prescriptively) fleshed out as the equal capabilities principle (ECC): all citizens should have equal sum of basic capabilities needed to satisfy the BP in a market economy. (The ECC should also, hopefully, reduce the autonomy deficit in the culture group). The ECC does require some state paternalism, but, arguably, only of a degree that would be acceptable to all rational and reasonable persons. And, shared civic identity in the multicultural context, this thesis argues, has better chance of emerging, inductively, from ‘identity of political experience’ rather than deductively from dissimilarity of political rights.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Genesis and Development of the Concept of Rights in Iran before the Constitutional Revolution (1815-1906)
    Zerehdaran, Behzad ( 2023-04)
    In this dissertation, I have studied the history of subjective rights in Iran during the Qajar era. I have shown that the concept of subjective right (right as to have a right) emerged during this period as opposed to objective right (right as to be right). The genesis and development of subjective rights can be observed in the political and legal literature of Iran since the reign of Fath Ali Shah. I have presented a meta-theory for analyzing the concept of rights by providing a concise history of its semantical development and explaining the transition from objective to subjective rights. I have also examined theories on the foundations and justifications of rights and used the Hohfeldian framework to analyze various conceptions of rights in travel literature, enlightenment literature, and dream literature of the Qajar era. To explore the manifestations of the concept of rights in travel literature, I have examined the travelogues of Abu al-Hasan Khan Ilchi, Mirza Salih Shirazi, Rizza Quli Mirza, Mirza Fattah Garmarudi, Haj Sayyah Mahallati, and Mirza Muhammad Husayn Farahani. These travelogues were written by Iranian statesmen, students, and tourists who visited the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, and Europe during the early and mid-Qajar era. I have used the meta-theoretical framework of rights to analyze the representations of the concept of rights in their travel accounts. To study the contributions of the Qajar intellectuals in the development of the concept of rights, I have consulted the complete oeuvre of Mirza Malkum Khan, Mirza Yusuf Khan Mustashar al-Duwlih, Mirza Fath Ali Akhundzadih, Mirza Aqa Khan Kirmani, Abbas Afandi, Abdulrahim Talibuf, and Ziyn al-Abidin Maraghih-i. Lastly, I have considered the question of rights in dream narratives of the Qajar era by examining The Book from Invisible (1860), One Word (1874), Sleep and Awakening (1884), The Travel Diary of Ebrahim Beg Vol. 1 (1897), The Paths of Virtuous (1905), The Celestial Consultative Assembly (1906), and The Travel Diary of Ebrahim Beg Vol. 3 (1909).
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    “A Great and Beautiful Force”: The Making of Political Identities Among Women Activists on the Far Left in Australia, mid-1930s to early 1950s
    Saxon, Abbey ( 2023)
    This thesis examines the political identities of women activitists in the Communist Party of Australia and affiliated organisations from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s, focusing on the interventions of World War II. It suggests that political interactions between women within and beyond the far-left, women developed political identities shaped by gender and feminist issues, along with class. It explores their positioning in the domestic sphere, their political organisations, and the workplace, as spaces which were key to shaping female political identities, complicating suggestions that the time period of study, and the Communist Party throughout the 20th century, were lacking in women-focused activism. It utilises varied sources from the period, drawing on the Women's Sections of left-wing newspapers, feminist and Communist materials, and the novels of Communist women authors Katharine Susannah Prichard and Jean Devanny as sites of cultural framings of gender.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    Economic growth, liberalism, and the good: A contemporary eudaimonistic evaluation
    Bastien, Pascale ( 2023-06)
    The majority of states worldwide pursue economic growth as a policy objective, and this tends to be justified in liberal and welfarist terms. However, the legitimacy of this pursuit is rarely debated and appears to be largely taken for granted. This thesis thus seeks to evaluate the legitimacy of the pursuit of economic growth as a policy objective in affluent countries, with a particular focus on well-being. Part 1 establishes the grounds for a normative evaluation of the pursuit of economic growth in affluent countries. Chapter 1 focuses on methodology. It argues that the economy is a proper target for a normative evaluation, and that the methodologies of social critique and political economy are appropriate to this evaluation. Chapter 2 explores the historical roots and the ideological features of the commitment to economic growth. This understanding of the commitment to economic growth in ideological terms contributes an explanation for the fact that it is rarely questioned. Chapter 3 investigates the relationship between economic growth and consumerism, and shows that individuals in consumerist societies are structurally constrained to engage in the consumerist lifestyle of working and spending, which challenges the association between economic growth and freedom, and raises questions regarding welfare. Part 2 elaborates and defends a contemporary theory of welfare eudaimonism which will form the basis for an evaluation of the pursuit of economic growth. Chapter 4 draws on a psychological theory called self-determination theory, and sketches a theory of welfare eudaimonism called self-determination eudaimonism. Central to this theory is the idea that human beings flourish when they engage in activities which fulfil their basic psychological needs. Chapter 5 defends the plausibility of a deflationary teleological explanation of prudential well-being in terms of self-fulfilment. Chapter 6 elaborates on self-determination eudaimonism and shows how it can be understood in terms of normative motivation. Chapter 7 discusses the development of normative motivation and its relationship with practical rationality. Finally, Part 3 evaluates the pursuit of economic growth as a policy objective in affluent countries in light of the framework developed in Part 2. Chapter 8 argues that the consumerist lifestyle entailed by the pursuit of economic growth undermines well-being, such that the pursuit of economic growth is illegitimate as a welfarist policy. In addition, since individuals in consumerist societies are structurally constrained to engage in this lifestyle, the underlying structure can be deemed unjust. Lastly, the pursuit of economic growth as a policy objective seriously limits the freedom to live as one sees fit and amounts to the imposition of a particular conception of the good, which is inconsistent with liberal principles. Part 3 ends with a brief discussion of what the good life may look like in the post-growth society.
  • Item
    Thumbnail Image
    The Paper Negatives of Reverend George Wilson Bridges: A Preliminary Investigation into their History, Materials and Techniques
    Gourley, Belinda Mia ( 2023-03)
    The Reverend George Wilson Bridges (1788-1863) was an English clergyman, writer and early photographer who lived in and travelled extensively through Jamaica, Canada, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. He played a significant part within a group of nineteenth-century British photographers, learning the paper negative and salted paper print processes from their inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) and other associates during the mid-1840s. Bridges created his photographs during his travels around the Mediterranean and the Middle East between 1846-52, and published some of these upon his return to England. His production of images was reasonably prolific, however, for numerous reasons his photographic work appeared to not gain much attention during his lifetime and these days are considered relatively obscure and an adjunct to the work of his mentors. This research explores the life and work of this fascinating character through the lens of fourteen paper negatives attributed to Bridges that are held in the collections of Museums Victoria (MV). The focus is to begin understanding and identifying of the scope of photographic works created by this relatively unexamined photographer, and then more specifically, the photographic materials and techniques he used to create his paper negatives. The results of this research are intended to inform future methods of care for the works in the MV Collection, and more broadly, to advance the collective understanding of Bridges’ overall photographic oeuvre and begin filling a significant gap in scholarly knowledge of this area. This investigation begins with a review of the historic literature written about Bridges’ life and photographic career, comparing secondary accounts against the historic primary sources they are derived from, and exploring what photographic works are generally believed to have been created by him. In particular, numerous letters written by Bridges in which he explains his working methods, materials, and various issues he had with resulting images are interrogated. This discussion draws upon the significant number of secondary and primary resources that describe Talbot’s methods of producing paper negatives and salted paper prints, in which Bridges’ practice was based. The second part of the thesis documents and collates results gained from visually examining a range of paper negatives attributed to Bridges. It begins by reviewing how other conservation professionals have conducted similar studies of nineteenth-century paper negatives and salted paper prints in the past and details the visual examination and documentation methods that were developed and utilised in this study. Two sets of results are then presented and discussed. The first set of results is derived from the visual examination of 44 paper negatives attributed to Bridges in three other collecting institutions, and the second is from visual examination of 14 such works in the MV collection. Following this, a final third section details the overall results obtained from all four collections. Results are discussed in the light of the earlier review of historic literature about Bridges and observable trends are drawn out to create a sketch of the characteristic elements of his paper negatives. Discussion of the results from the MV collection in particular, focusses on where those works fit into the broader context of his oeuvre, and how the results of these investigations may influence the future care of this collection. The study finishes by listing numerous recommendations for further study on the topic.