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History Now seminars explore current and compelling issues affecting the practice of contemporary history. It is a long-running series of public talks and discussions, bringing new perspectives to all aspects of historical practice.

This year History Now is a collaboration between the History Council of NSW (HCNSW), the State Library of NSW and the Australian Centre for Public History (ACPH) at UTS.

History Now 2024 is programmed by Jesse Adams Stein (Vice President of HCNSW / Member of ACPH).

History Now is short and sweet. The tone is conversational and the format is two speakers, each talking for 15-20 minutes, followed by a Q&A facilitated by a chairperson. History Now is usually an in-person event unless otherwise stated.


Maps Room, State Library of NSW, 1 Shakespeare Place, Sydney CBD.


Once a month, from March to November 2024. 5–6:30pm. See program for dates.

Event registration

History Now is a free event series open to the public, but registration is essential. Register by selecting the event on this page.

2024 History Now Program


Wednesday 6 March 2024, 5pm – 6:30pm

New Earth Histories

Alison Bashford and Jarrod Hore, Chair: Frances Flanagan

Alison Bashford and Jarrod Hore reflect on New Earth Histories and how the history of geosciences and different world cosmologies can be brought together.


Wednesday 3 April 2024, 5pm – 6:30pm

Histories of Capitalism

Hannah Forsyth and Sophie Loy-Wilson, Chair: Mike Beggs

Hannah Forsyth and Sophie Loy-Wilson discuss the ways that historicising capitalism is changing the way we approach history in Australia. 


Wednesday 1 May 2024, 5pm – 6:30pm

Aboriginal Political Histories

Heidi Norman, John Maynard and Lynda-June Coe, Chair: Cara Cross

Heidi Norman, John Maynard and Lynda-June Coe reflect on Aboriginal political histories – both in terms of activism and advocacy, as well as involvement with formal legislative change and politics. 


Wednesday 5 June 2024, 5pm – 6:30pm 

Histories of Mental Health

Catharine Coleborne and James Dunk, Chair: Effie Karageorgos

Catharine Coleborne and James Dunk discuss the depth of historical writing about mental illness in Australia and reflect on its resonance in the present moment; how can we write the history of mental health now?

This event is held in partnership with the University of Newcastle’s Future of Madness Network


Wednesday 31 July 2024* Online Only

Truth-telling and Histories of Genocide Now

Lorena Allam, Dirk Moses and Ümit Kurt, Chair: Nancy Cushing

History Now online-only special event, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Newcastle

Lorena Allam, Dirk Moses and Ümit Kurt reflect on what can be learned from histories of genocide, and locate their discussion between journalism, history and processes of truth-telling.

*Online Zoom time TBC. Registration and zoom link to be shared closer to the date.

Wednesday 7 August, 5pm – 6:30pm

Transnational Design Histories

Livia Lazzaro Rezende and Isabel Rousset, Chair: Jesse Adams Stein

Livia Rezende and Isabel Rousset explore the ways in which international exchange and transcultural connections inform design and visual histories.


Wednesday 11 September (During History Week)

Marking time – 200 Years of Wiradjuri Resistance

Details soon to come


Wednesday 16 October

More than Human Histories

Emily O’Gorman and Taylor Coyne, Chair: Warwick Anderson

Emily O’Gorman and Taylor Coyne reflect on how history can be understood and written from more-than-human perspectives. 


Wednesday 6 November 

The Ethics of Crime Histories

Meg Foster and Rachel Franks, Chair: Nerida Campbell

Meg Foster and Rachel Franks discuss the ethics of writing crime histories that are geared towards a public readership.