With the theme of “Life & Death”, how could I resist giving a few talks for History Week in 2018? I’m giving two free talks for local councils, and I’m also honoured to be delivering the Annual History Lecture for the History Council of NSW. Details below. History Week 2018, 1-9 September, is coordinated by the History Council of NSW. Hope to see you at one of these events!
Symbolic Gestures: the hidden meaning of headstones
Cemeteries are outdoor museums and many are of great heritage significance. Many of the headstones display ornate carving and symbolism. The shapes and symbols used on monuments convey certain attitudes and beliefs. People deliberately choose a memorial design as a personal, yet public, expression of their values, religious beliefs and social aspirations. In this illustrated talk Dr Lisa Murray, author of Sydney Cemeteries: A Field Guide, will de-code some of the common forms of symbolism found in Australian cemeteries.
Saturday 1 September 2018, 12noon
Burwood Council Library, 2 Conder Street, Burwood
Free; info & bookings
Warnings from the grave: Death, glory and memory in Australian cemeteries
To truly understand the Australian way of death we must appreciate cemeteries as cultural landscapes, analyse the social and economic history of funerary practices and consider the fickle nature of memory and commemoration. In this Annual History Lecture, Dr Lisa Murray will survey the history of Australian cemeteries, highlighting the central role memory has played in their fates. She will reflect upon the beauty, value and threats to our national heritage.
Tuesday 4 September 2018, 6pm
The Mint, 10 Macquarie Street, Sydney
$45; info & bookings
What lies beneath: the Old Sydney Burial Ground
City historian and author Dr Lisa Murray will share the history of the Old Sydney Burial Ground, Sydney’s first official cemetery. Rebecca Anderson, the City’s assistant curator, will then lead a tour of historic lower Town Hall. The tour will focus on the artefacts of the Old Sydney Burial Ground.
Thursday 6 September 2018, 12.45pm
Sydney Town Hall, 483 George Street, Sydney
Free; info & bookings