Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies is a peer-reviewed academic journal published at the University of Western Australia since 1995. The 12th Annual Limina Conference will be held on 27 and 28 July 2017 at The University of Western Australia.
The conference commences at noon on Thursday 27 July 2017 at St Catherine's College, UWA.
Prof. Susan Broomhall will deliver the keynote address, and a public lecture will be held in the evening given by Estelle Blackburn. Over 30 speakers from different disciplines will present their work on the theme of 'Memory: Myth and Modernity'.
The conference poster is available to download below.
Prof. Susan Broomhall is an historian of early modern Europe whose research explores gender, emotions, material culture, cultural contact and the heritage of early modern Europe. She was a Foundation Chief Investigator for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. In 2014, she became an Honorary Chief Investigator, having taken up an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship within the Centre, to complete a research project studying emotions, power and the correspondence of Catherine de Medici.
Susan Broomhall's lecture is entitled 'Emotions and Memory: Catherine de Medici and the Myth of Modernity.'
Abstract: This paper explores the role of emotions in the creation of memory and commemoration on the one hand, and the significance of memory in remembering past emotional experiences on the other. Psychologists, anthropologists, historians, literary and heritage scholars among many others all grapple to understand the powerful nexus between emotions and memory in processes that inform both individual and collective experiences and understandings of self and identity. Drawing upon a range of sources, from contemporary eyewitness accounts by courtiers, ambassadors and propagandists, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century interpretive sites, this paper asks what is at stake for modern communities and individuals in how we have remembered this sixteenth-century French queen and regent, Catherine de Medici, in the past and in the twenty-first century. It investigates how strong emotions — from feelings of attachment and intimacy, to fear and hatred — have shaped the historical memory of this individual and the past events to which her identity is attached. It contends that emotions shape interpretive practices, including the range of sources — textual, visual and material — that are available for analysis, continue to assert control over powerful women even in their afterlives and that the interaction of emotions and memory fashioning Catherine’s fate as a powerful political protagonist, may form part of a broader emotional, epistemological practice that determines our engagement with women of the past.
(The public lecture is free, but please RSVP online here.)
Estelle Blackburn is a writer whose determined sleuthing uncovered the truth about Perth’s most notorious serial killer, Eric Edgar Cooke. Her investigative journalism, authorship of Broken Lives and citizen advocacy led to the exoneration of convicted killers John Button and Darryl Beamish, 40 years after they were wrongfully convicted of Cooke murders. Estelle was a journalist for The West Australian then the ABC, before becoming a press secretary to several WA Ministers and a Premier. The winner of many awards including an OAM, WA Citizen of the Year (Arts and Entertainment), WA Woman of the Year, Premier’s Award for non-fiction, and journalism’s top honour, a Walkley Award for the most outstanding contribution to the profession, she is also an inductee into the WA Womens Hall of Fame. Now working in Canberra, Estelle still spends her spare time crusading against wrongful conviction.
Estelle Blackburn's lecture is entitled 'Challenging Justice – Changing Lives.'
Abstract: It is generally agreed that 1% of the prison population are innocent inmates who are the victims of injustice. This presentation will detail two wrongful convictions in 1961 and 1963 and how a Perth journalist with no legal training could succeed in gaining the innocent men’s exonerations 40 years later, winning against the odds after they had lost seven combined appeals in the 60s.
When John Button’s manslaughter conviction was quashed by the WA Court of Criminal Appeal in 2002, and Darryl Beamish’s wilful murder conviction was quashed in 2005, they were the longest standing convictions to be overturned in Australia.
As well as the exonerations, the work corrected Perth’s history. Eric Edgar Cooke, the perpetrator of the two murders and the last person executed in WA, had been remembered for killing six people and attempting to kill two more in 1963. Cooke is now recognised for eight murders and 14 attempted murders over a five-year period from 1958.
The work also gave a voice to 12 of Cooke’s previously unknown attempted murder victims, gave hope to innocent prisoners and raised public awareness of wrongful conviction and its causes: police misconduct including blinkered investigation, over-zealous prosecutors, weak legal representation for the uneducated and marginalised, false confessions, fabricated evidence by witnesses with incentives, faults in forensics, eyewitness misidentification and fallible memory. While not the cause in the Button and Beamish cases, the fallibility of eyewitness memory has been found to be the greatest contributor to wrongful conviction – 72% of eyewitness identifications being wrong in the US Innocence Project’s successful exoneration cases.
Please find the conference program and abstract booklet in the PDF file below.
Registration is now open and early registration is encouraged.
Early Bird Rate: $40.
Regular Rate: $45
The Limina Conference fee includes:
Each presenter will have twenty minutes in which to present their paper followed immediately by ten minutes discussion time.