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Artwork:  Studio: FrenchBaker.  Designer:  Michelle French



Annual History Lecture [Online]



Speaker:  Professor Stan Grant

Coronavirus at the end of history

8 September 2020  |  6.30 – 7.30 pm


Recording can be accessed below

Note:  your organisation must be a member of the History Council to register an event as part of History Week 2020.


The Annual History Lecture is an event produced by the History Council of New South Wales every year in History Week, a state-wide celebration of History, which aims to engage and educate the community about the vitality, diversity and meaning of history and its practice. 

In 2020, the History Council of New South Wales is honoured that Professor Stan Grant will deliver the Annual History Lecture with a paper entitled Coronavirus at the end of history.  This presentation will be professionally recorded and streamed online on the night of 8 September.


The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the ideological struggle of the 21st century: China versus the West. 30 years since political scientist Francis Fukuyama proclaimed ‘the end of history’ – the triumph of liberal democracy over Soviet communism – history is back.

China’s authoritarian capitalism is shaking the global liberal order. Chinese President Xi Jinping looks to return his nation to the apex of global power, at a time when the West is weakened and democracy is in retreat. Xi views the world through the lens of history: the Chinese people should never forget the ‘hundred years of humiliation’ by foreign powers. The world walks the fault lines of history, age old enmity and the clash of ideas. Coronavirus is a perfect storm coming after two decades of unending war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the still lingering effects of the 2008 global financial crisis.

As we emerge from lockdown, our world has been forever altered but worse may still be to come.  In this Annual History Lecture, Professor Stan Grant asks:  are we condemned to ignore the lessons of history?


Professor Stan Grant is an award winning journalist, film maker, writer, and scholar. His career has taken him to more than fifty countries covering the biggest stories of our times from war, to natural disaster, revolution, terrorism. He spent a decade reporting the rise of china, travelling the length and breadth of the country.

His journalism led him to a deep exploring historical grievance and identity. His writing has especially focused on interrogating the Australian identity and belonging. He is a Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi/Dharrawal man and sits as the Vice Chancellor’s Chair of Australian/Indigenous Belonging at Charles Sturt University.

The digital recording and streaming of 2020 Annual History Lecture is supported by the City of Sydney through a Cultural Sector Resilience Grant


City of Sydney - supported by - Small Black - Horizontal

Further questions about History Week 2020?

More information is available through our frequently asked questions to the right, or contact us at

Past History Weeks

Further information about past History Weeks as well as our overall aims can be found here.

Do I have to be a History Council member to participate?

History Week events are open to the public. However, all organisations or individuals wishing to host a History Week event or take part in the History Week Speaker Connect program must be current members of the History Council of NSW. The History Council relies on the financial support of its members to deliver its annual programs. Apply to become a member here.

What makes a successful History Week event?

Successful History Week events:

  • relate to or incorporate the History Week theme
  • select a running time most appropriate for the target audience (for example, many students, full-time workers and young people are unable to attend events scheduled during the day. We advise hosts to consider running an event outside of regular office hours to attract wider audiences)
  • select a format most appropriate for the target audience (for example a lecture, exhibition, interactive experience etc)
  • are well and consistently promoted at least one month in advance and across a variety of channels, in addition to the History Council of NSW’s online channels
  • have a clear, concise and engaging event description, along with an eye-catching and relevant feature image, which entices audiences to attend
  • include clear instructions on how attendees can book or register for the event, whether this be through an online booking system, or via a contact email or phone number.
What is the History Week event registration process?
  1. All History Week event registrations must be made through our online registration form (registrations are not yet open)
  2. Registrations will be processed as they are received. You will be sent a confirmation email with your registration details. The contact person listed on the registration form will be the primary liaison with our staff
  3. Changes to any of these details must be sent immediately to our staff at
  4. After registrations close at 5pm on 13 July 2020, our staff will begin to post events on the HCNSW History Week website, starting with Speaker Connect events. A downloadable PDF program will be made available, as will a further digital interactive program.
  5. Events will be circulated and advertised throughout the months of July and August. Event hosts are strongly encouraged to advertise their selected event through a variety of their own channels in addition to our channels
  6. After History Week, event hosts will be approached to provide feedback on their experience of the event and its organisation and promotion. Detailed and specific feedback is greatly appreciated
  7. We will release a History Week report for download on our website.
Do you have a media pack and guide?

We have made a media pack available for our host organisations to assist in publicity. Download our logo, publicity guide and media release template below.

HCNSW logo (jpeg 62kb)
Publicity guide (pdf 172kb)

Please contact us at for assistance.

NSW Government logo thumbnailHistory Week is supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW

History Week partners

We are grateful to our partners listed below for all of their assistance and support.


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