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Patricia Grimshaw Prize

Australian Historical Studies

About the prize

The Patricia Grimshaw Prize was instituted by the board of Australian Historical Studies in 2014, in honour of the outstanding contribution which Professor Grimshaw has made to the nurturing of young historians across Australia. It is awarded biennially to highlight excellence in an article and one that makes the most significant contribution to our understanding of Australian history.

About the winning articles

For the 2020 award, covering the years 2018-19, the judges, Professor Amanda Nettelbeck (Australian Catholic University & University of Adelaide) and Professor Andrew May (University of Melbourne), short-listed four outstanding examples of important and original work in Australian history:

Lorinda Cramer & Andrea Witcomb, 'Remembering and Fighting for their Own: Vietnam Veterans and the Long Tan Cross', AHS 49. no.1 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2017.1394887

Ben Huf, 'The Capitalist in Colonial History: Investment, Accumulation and Credit-Money in NSW', AHS 50, no. 4 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2019.1637444

Andrew Hurley, 'Whistling the Death March? Listening in to the Acoustics of Leichhardt's Australian Exploration', AHS 50, no. 2 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2019.1583258

Maria Nugent & Gaye Sculthorpe, 'A Shield Loaded with History: Encounters, Objects and Exhibitions', AHS 49, no. 1 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2017.1408663

The prize this year goes to the article by Maria Nugent & Gaye Sculthorpe. The judges described the winning article thus: “This engaging article traces the afterlives of an Aboriginal shield purported to have been used at the 1770 encounter between Aboriginal people and Captain Cook at Botany Bay, subsequently collected by Cook, and now held by the British Museum. Rather than issues of provenance, the authors focus on this shield’s long history of exhibition and interpretation, tracing the ways in which it has inspired projects to recast the fraught history of foundational encounter. As an object biography, the article explores the ways in which historical collecting practices as well as contemporary politics shape meaning, and the authors display an impressive command of multidisciplinary techniques in their quest to tell a national story from a single object. In unpacking the shield’s meanings as an historically ‘loaded’ object, this nuanced study offers timely and thoughtful insight into the relationship between colonial contact history, material culture, and the politics of reconciliation.”

Congratulations Maria and Gaye, and to the short-listed contenders for this fine achievement. Thanks to Routledge Taylor & Francis Australasia for their continuing support of this prize

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