SAHANZ 2012 will present two keynote addresses:
6pm, Thursday 6th July (Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery, Royal Park)
Archive Stories: Documents and Memories from the Colonial Frontier
Dr Karen Burns
The University of Melbourne
‘Fabulations’, SAHANZ 2012, invites us to speculate about history telling, including the ‘stories, memories and amnesia’ that inhabit or shape our accounts of historical records. In the story recounted in the ‘Fabulations’ paper call, the colonial administration’s fantastical registers are pirated away and housed in a temporary, floating archive.
Archives distribute records, depositing material produced at the same historical moment into separate places and institutional homes. As Antoinette Burton observes, archives are traces of the past collected either intentionally or haphazardly as pieces of evidence.
We come to the past across these thresholds and also in layers of time, amongst the sediment of stories already told. In the long nineteenth century buildings also created readings of history. This paper examines Purrumbete — a Victorian Western district property — as a created and recreated space of history making in Djargurd Wurrung country at Pomborneit. Studying this site produces questions about evidence, archives, the intentional and haphazard, and the relations between different historical moments.
Purrumbete was refashioned in 1901, in the context of the transformation of six colonial territories federating to make a new Australian nation. The Manifold family — the European owners of Purrumbete — commissioned an extensive re-design of their existing classical Italianate villa. The Manifolds and their architect Guyon Purchas transformed the villa into a homestead and further consolidated European remembrance of colonial history by commissioning a mural cycle commemorating the early frontier stories of their estate.
Using Purrumbete as a site study, this presentation explores the importance of working in an expanded colonial archive of varied written, built and imaged ‘evidence’ and different interpretive methodologies. An enlarged archive provides a place to narrate cross-cultural encounters, frictions and violence in early colonial place-making on the pastoral frontier.
Derrida famously proposed the archive as a place akin to Freud’s model of the unconscious, a place of active forgetting and unwanted remembering. In this lecture incoherencies and puzzles, the return of the actively forgotten, in frontier and Federation Purrumbete are treated as a form of story telling and a historical methodology to interpret the role of architecture in frontier space.
Karen Burns is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. Her architectural theory and history essays have been published in Assemblage, AD, Architectural Theory Review, Transition and the Journal of Architectural Education. Her research interests include British architecture and design in the 1840s/1850s and European place-making on the colonial frontier. She is currently writing a history of the first generation of architect-industrial designers: The Industrial Muse: Architects, Markets and Manufacturers in Britain, 1835-1862.
5:30pm, Saturday 7th July (School of Architecture & Design, Inveresk)
Conflicting Identities: Religious Architecture and Imperial Expansion in the Age of Sectarianism, c.1840–1900
Dr Alex Bremner
The University of Edinburgh
Engaging recent developments in regional (‘Atlantic’ and ‘Pacific’) and World/Global historiography, including the increasingly important subject of Protestantism and its impact on the formation of British colonial society, this lecture will consider the nature and consequences of global Anglicanism and its architecture in the context of empire.
Much scholarship on the relationship between architecture and empire in the British world has dealt almost exclusively with the secular domain. However, as K. Theodore Hoppen has observed, ‘never was Britain more religious than in the Victorian age’. Many Church of England clergymen who left Britain either as missionaries or as settler clerics understood themselves to be at the forefront of what was considered a wider and on-going battle against heathenism, ignorance, non-conformism, Roman Catholicism, and even republicanism.
As part of the de facto ‘national’ church, these clerics saw themselves as not merely Miles Christi but also, and importantly, agents of a particular sense of British national civilisation and identity, essential to the maintenance of a righteous and politically liberal world order. Exactly how and why architecture emerged as one of the chief ‘appliances’ in this struggle will be elaborated by way of examples in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Alex Bremner is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses primarily on the history of British imperial and colonial architecture, and has been published in a variety of scholarly journals ranging from art and architectural history through to modern intellectual history. His current research is an exploration of religious culture and its architectural manifestations throughout the British empire during the nineteenth century, and is to be published shortly by Yale University Press as Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, c.1840-70.
Alex holds a BA and MArch degrees from Deakin University, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge (2004), where he was Gates Scholar at Gonville and Caius College. He is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including visiting fellowships from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (Yale University), and St. John’s College, Oxford. He has also received both the Hawksmoor Medal (Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain) and the Founders’ Award (Society of Architectural Historians) for outstanding scholarship in the field of architectural history. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2011.
Authorised by Head of School, Architecture & Design
6 June, 2012