Call for Papers

The Uluru Statement, Black Lives Matter protests, toppled statues and the Whitlam Dismissal are just a few examples of history’s unfinished business in the contemporary world. On the eve of its 40th anniversary, the Australian Historical Association Conference returns to the University of New South Wales where it held its first conference in 1982 and invites papers exploring the unfinished business of history. To what extent are the questions that historians posed forty years ago still unanswered? Which areas are most in need of further historical attention? In what ways have historians intervened in and shaped contemporary debates about politics and national identity in Australia and elsewhere, and how can they continue to do so? How have historians contributed to historical silences, and how can they write and promote more inclusive historical narratives? What new historical methods and approaches have been, or should be, advanced? How have views about historical evidence changed in the last forty years, and can historians continue to expand ‘the archive’? In posing such questions, contributors are invited to consider how their own specific fields have evolved and to chart their future directions. The conference also invites reflection on other ways of doing history, less tethered to disciplinary constraints and as a result, perhaps better placed to confront the unfinished business of the past. 

Proposal submissions are now open for individual papers, panel sessions and roundtable discussions that explore conference themes. 

The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2021.

Submit your abstract below.


Submit an individual paper

All papers are to be submitted here. If your paper is part of a pre-formed panel, please also complete the next form.


Submit a panel proposal

Panels can be proposed by an individual or sponsored by an institution and should consist of three (3) paper presenters and a chair.  Please also ensure each presenter has filled in the above abstract submission. This form only needs to be completed once per panel.

Proposals for a stream of panels on a particular theme are welcome. Please note that each panel will be reviewed on its own merits.


Submit a roundtable proposal

Roundtable proposals should have four (4) to six (6) participants. The abstract should detail the theme of the round table discussion and the key questions that will be addressed.

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Unfinished Business
Australian Historical Association Annual Conference 2021