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Experimental Histories Research Group

Experimental Histories engages with the past through interdisciplinary and experimental practices. It critically interrogates the way the past is re-imagined, interpreted, commemorated and/or subverted through affective performances of heritage and history.

To attempt to know the past ‘experimentally’ is to make way for an emerging archive of previously overlooked embodied and affective actions, objects, performances and everyday experiences. This means making a space for the stories of the bodies, objects, animals, constructed ‘heritage’ sites, and environments that became entangled with colonialism.

We seek to explore new forms of creative and cultural expression and writing that are reflective of the affective force of the emotional past, as well as are new ways of performing and 'playing' the past that produce different pedagogical effects.

Banner image: Dorita Hannah's performance titled '1000 Lovers' (Auckland, NZ, 2013). Designer, Dorita Hannah (with choreographer Carol Brown and composer Russell Scoones), dancer Sophie Williams as Hine. Photography: Isobel Shore.

Our Research Group



Prof Dorita Hannah


Erin Hortle


Mary Knights

Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG).

Zoe Rimmer

Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery (TMAG).

Asian Studies.

Assoc Prof Katrina Schlunke
(Group Leader)



News and Events

4 October 2017

Reese Lecture 2017: Heart, Power, Treaty, Truth: Affective, political performances in (post) Reconciliation Australia

Associate Professor Penelope Edmonds delivered the prestigious annual Reese Lecture at the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies, King's College London. Penny's lecture explored the recent "Uluru Statement from the Heart", and used it to take the long view on Indigenous/settler relations in Australia and the hopes for an emancipatory politics. Timely and historically rooted, Penny's lecture set the template for eagerly anticipated future debates.

19-22 May 2017

Dorita Hannah | SPRING Festival Fellow 2017 at Utrecht University, Netherlands

The Centre for the Humanities welcomed Prof Dorita Hannah as SPRING Festival Fellow in May 2017, where she presented her theory and practice of performance design at the SPRING City Symposium, and taught a masterclass for R/MA and PhD students about performance design as a perspective that moves beyond a focus on individuals within these environments, and towards a post-human approach that investigates and reflects on the ways in which environments set the stage for performances.


University of Tasmania historian shortlisted for Ernest Scott Prize

Historical passion leads to a fascinating 10 year project. History and Classics Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow Penny Edmonds' book Settler Colonialism and (Re)conciliation: Frontier Violence, Affective Performances, and Imaginative Refoundings relates the past to the present and argues that in contemporary settler societies reconciliation has emerged as a potent and alluring form of utopian politics.

Read more about Penny’s research

Alignment with University of Tasmania Research Themes

Experimental Histories is aligned with the UTAS research theme Creativity, Culture and Society. It nurtures fledgling relationships between History, English, Architecture, Art, Music, Theatre and Sociology through its commitment to interdisciplinary and theoretically informed approaches to history. It brings new energy and focus to Colonialism and its Aftermath through an emphasis on new and innovative approaches to the legacies of colonialism.

Available PhD Projects


A full range of publications relevant to Experiemental Histories can be found on our researcher's full profiles linked above. These include journal articles, books, chapters in books, reviews, conference publications, thesis, and other public output. Some notable books are listed below.