Title: ‘The History Wars in the (University) Classroom’
Presenter: Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk
This presentation will centre on A/Professor Sendziuk’s recent research on what is currently being taught in the History curriculum in Australian and New Zealand universities. Sendziuk will respond to the Institute of Public Affairs and The Australian newspaper’s recent assertions that that the History curriculum is fractured, overly specialised, gloomily critical, and ideologically unsound (i.e. driven by ‘identity politics’ and preoccupied with race, sex and gender). This critique, of course, ties into the broader ‘wars’ about the teaching of History in Australia that have flared since John Howard’s prime ministership. Sendziuk’s research, buttressed by a large-scale survey of the History curriculum taught at 44 universities in Australia and NZ, suggests this is not the case.
Associate Professor Paul Sendziuk teaches History at the University of Adelaide. He specialises in twentieth-century Australian History, with particular interests in post-war immigration, manufacturing work, public health and the history of disease. He is the co-author of A History of South Australia (Cambridge University Press, 2018), which was awarded the Keain Medal by the Historical Society of South Australia for the best book on a South Australian history topic. He is also the author of Learning to Trust: Australian Responses to AIDS, which was short-listed for the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s 2004 Human Rights Award (non-fiction section), and co-editor of Turning Points: Chapters in South Australian History (2012) and Foundational Fictions in South Australian History (2018).
Paul is an accomplished teacher and has been the recipient of the University of Adelaide’s highest teaching and learning honour in two separate categories: Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision. He has published 12 articles or book chapters in the field of teaching and learning.
Paul has held a variety of leadership positions, including Head of the Department of History at the University of Adelaide. Between 2014 and 2018 Paul was a member of the Australian Historical Association’s Executive Committee and served two terms as the AHA’s Treasurer. He is currently the Vice-President of the Australasian Board of the International Society of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History and is a Council Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. He also serves on the Editorial Board of the journals Health and History and New Zealand Journal of History.