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Issue Details: First known date: 2012... 2012 Scholars at War : Australasian Social Scientists, 1939-1945
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Scholars at War is the first scholarly publication to examine the effect World War II had on the careers of Australasian social scientists. It links a group of scholars through geography, transnational, national and personal scholarly networks, and shared intellectual traditions, explores their use, and contextualizes their experiences and contributions within wider examinations of the role of intellectuals in war.

'Scholars at War is structured around historical portraits of individual Australasian social scientists. They are not a tight group; rather a cohort of scholars serendipitously involved in and affected by war who share a point of origin. Analyzing practitioners of the social sciences during war brings to the fore specific networks, beliefs and institutions that transcend politically defined spaces. Individual lives help us to make sense of the historical process, helping us illuminate particular events and the larger cultural, social and even political processes of a moment in time.'(Publication summary)


  • Only literary material by - or about Australian authors individually indexed. Other material in this issue includes:

    Part II: The New Zealanders  Doug Munro

    Derek Freeman at War  Peter Hempenstall

    J. W. Davidson on the Home Front Doug Munro

    Neville Phillips and the Mother Country Jock Phillips

    Dan Davin: The literary legacy of war Janet Wilson

    Consolidated Bibliography



* Contents derived from the Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,:ANU E View , 2012 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
A. P. Elkin : Public Morale and Propaganda, John Pomeroy , 2012 single work biography

'Late in 1941, Sir Thomas Blamey, Commander of the 2nd Australian Infantry Force (AIF) in the Middle East, was back in Australia for consultations when he publicly condemned complacency about the war, accusing his fellow Australians of leading a ‘carnival life’, comparing them with ‘a lot of gazelles grazing in a dell, near the edge of a jungle’.1 Blamey’s indignation might have been partly coloured by the fact that Melbourne Cup week was in full swing and because proposals to curtail race meetings for the duration of the war met strong opposition in both Sydney and Melbourne. At the same time, while the new Curtin Government was cognisant of the need to strengthen civilian morale, its propaganda arm, the Department of Information (DOI), was in disarray, without a clear remit and widely viewed as ineffectual. The new Minister for Information (and Postmaster-General), Senator W. P. Ashley, known in Australian Labor Party (ALP) circles as ‘Bill the Fixer’, promised a reorganised DOI would provide ‘a virile service both through the press and broadcasting stations’.2 But the department’s ability to function effectively was so circumscribed by events as to make it both a scapegoat and the target of competing elites—both individuals and agencies—aiming to take over or abolish its functions.' (Introduction)

(p. 35-54)
Conlon’s Remarkable Circus, Cassandra Pybus , 2012 single work biography

'Alf Conlon (1908–61) was a visionary. He would not have known it, but his ideology had similarities with the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Conlon had a belief that the ideas that shape society come from a fairly small elite united by shared intellectual premises, and he sought to use the chaos of the war to establish a new kind of elite in Australia. What Gramsci termed ‘organic intellectuals’ Conlon thought of as his intellectual underground. When the war had begun to pose a direct threat to Australia, he could see that the fallout was going to destroy the credibility of the existing elites and undermine the derived power of the conventional establishment. He recognised the possibility of using the chaos to build a new power group with progressive ideas, organic to Australian society and based on intellect. No Marxist, Conlon insisted his ‘New Men’ would be a classless elite, yet those he had in mind were lower-middle-class boys like himself who had come to university through the selective State school system. The poet James McAuley was typical of Conlon’s incipient elite: brainy, ambitious, contemptuous and, most importantly, a product of Conlon’s alma mater, Fort Street Boys High, Sydney, as were Hal Stewart, Ian Hogbin, Jim Plimsoll and a brilliant law graduate named John Kerr.' (Introduction)

(p. 55-72)
H. Ian Hogbin : ‘Official Adviser on Native Affairs’, Geoffrey Gray , 2012 single work biography

'Herbert Ian Priestley Hogbin was born in England in 1904 and emigrated with his family to Australia in February 1914. He attended school in Leeton, in country New South Wales, and then Fort Street High School in Sydney. He attended the University of Sydney, on an education bursary, where he completed, in 1926, a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma in Education. Hogbin attended Radcliffe-Brown’s lectures on social anthropology—Anthropology I and Anthropology II—in the newly formed Department of Anthropology. Faced with a shortage of fieldworkers, Radcliffe-Brown persuaded—as Hogbin remarked later—a scarcely prepared twenty-two-year-old to join an expedition to Rennell Island and Ontong Java in 1927. Hogbin’s fieldwork was the first research conducted under the auspices of the Australian National Research Council (ANRC). Those scholars considered for fellowships ‘should be men of unusual promise [who] should be assured of either a definite University post or of a connection with teaching, research or scientific work having a direct bearing on some biological aspect of human welfare’  He was awarded his MA in Anthropology (for his work on Ontong Java) on 12 August 1929, the same year he left for the London School of Economics (LSE) to write his doctoral dissertation under Bronislaw Malinowski—later published as Law and Order in Polynesia (1934).' (Introduction)

(p. 73-94)
W. E. H. Stanner : Wasted War Years, Geoffrey Gray , 2012 single work biography

William Edward Hanley Stanner (1905–81) came to anthropology as a mature-age student having first worked as a bank clerk and journalist. He was twenty-three when he attended his first anthropology lectures at the University of Sydney, given by A. R. Radcliffe-Brown, Camilla Wedgwood and Raymond Firth. On completion of his degree—in both economics and anthropology—he was sent to Daly River, NT, where he conducted research for his MA, awarded in May 1934. Returning to Daly River in 1934–35, he spent a brief period at the newly founded Catholic mission at Port Keats (now Wadeye), which became his primary field site until he ceased fieldwork in 1959. For the second half of 1935, he tutored at the University of Sydney (as part of his research fellowship obligations). In between completing his degree and leaving for London, he worked also in the NSW Premier’s office advising on economic matters and writing speeches. In 1937 and 1938 he attended the London School of Economics (LSE), at his own expense. Raymond Firth assisted him by employing him as his amanuensis for Human Types, a general volume on anthropology. Stanner acknowledged this was ‘of great assistance to his own [work and]…closely allied with the thesis I am preparing…it has been a great stimulus to me and also a discipline for some of the methods I have been applying to my own work.’  He was awarded his doctorate, ‘Economic Change in North Australian Tribes’, in 1938.  As there were no positions for anthropologists in Australian universities, he remained in Britain, finding work with the Oxford Social Studies Research Committee, which saw him in Kenya when war was declared.'  (Introduction)

(p. 95-116)
Camilla Wedgwood : ‘what Are You Educating Natives For’, D. Wetherell , 2012 single work biography

'Camilla Wedgwood, anthropologist and educationalist (1901–55), spent much of the Pacific War and its immediate aftermath in Papua New Guinea—the scene of her field research in anthropology in the previous decade. Tough yet in some ways timid, mannish yet maternal, intellectually and physically tireless yet oddly dispersed in her enthusiasms, she seemed a paradoxical personality. Born at Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK, Camilla Hildegarde Wedgwood was the fifth of seven children of Josiah Clement Wedgwood, later first Baron Wedgwood (1872–1943), a long-time Member of Parliament, and his first wife, Ethel Kate Bowen (d. 1952), daughter of Charles (Lord) Bowen, a lord of appeal in ordinary. Descended from Josiah Wedgwood the master potter, the Wedgwoods belonged to what Noel Annan called the ‘intellectual aristocracy’. The Wedgwood and Darwin families were intertwined. Geoffrey and Maynard Keynes were related to the Wedgwoods by marriage as were the descendants of T. H. Huxley; Dame Veronica Wedgwood OM, the historian, and Ralph Vaughan Williams, the composer, were cousins. After attending the Orme Girls’ School not far from the family kilns in Staffordshire, Camilla followed her two brothers to the progressive Bedales School in Hampshire before studying English and Icelandic literature at Bedford College, University of London, from 1918. Here she developed a lifelong interest in Old Norse and in such old-English sagas as Beowulf. Her rugged, independent bearing, as well as her sympathy for ‘primitive’ peoples, earned her the sobriquet of ‘The Ancient Briton’. In 1920 she moved to Newnham College, Cambridge. Reading for the tripos in English and Anthropology, she completed each stage with first-class honours, qualifying as MA in 1927 (the university did not award degrees to women until 1948). She was trained as an anthropologist by A. C. Haddon and her lecturers included W. E. Armstrong, former Acting Government Anthropologist in Papua.  (Introduction)

(p. 117-132)
Ronald Murray Berndt : ‘Work of National Importance’, Geoffrey Gray , 2012 single work biography

'A. P. Elkin, who was never slow to seize an opportunity to promote himself and the importance of anthropology, wrote to the Prime Minister, John Curtin, pointing out that problems associated with the administration of ‘native peoples’ during war could be resolved only through anthropological research. These problems, he added, would increase in number and complexity as a result of the war, especially in northern Australia and Australia’s external territories of Papua and New Guinea. Consequently, it was no longer simply a matter of understanding cultural contact, and social organisation, economic life, local customs and religion. It was necessary also to examine the psychological and sociological effects of the war, and of the military administration. The attitudes of the ‘natives to the white man and his administration’ had to be understood if ‘the latter [was] to succeed’ once the war had ended. He anticipated an increased role for himself and some of his selected students, two of whom were Ronald Berndt (1916–90) and Catherine Berndt (née Webb) (1918–94). This chapter focuses on the early career of Ronald rather than Catherine; she is no less important at this time but it is Ronald who ends up with a tenured academic career in anthropology. We can say, however, that as their careers took shape Catherine, perhaps putting aside her ambitions, increasingly devoted herself to actively supporting, developing and helping make Ronald’s career.'  (Introduction)

(p. 133-148)
The Road to Conlon’s Circus—and Beyond : A Personal Retrospective, John Legge , 2012 single work biography

'I was still a schoolboy when World War II broke out in September 1939. The son of a Presbyterian Minister in a small town to the north of Warrnambool, Victoria, I did most of my secondary schooling at Warrnambool High. After matriculating there, I went on to Geelong College to complete two years of ‘Leaving Honours’ as a preparation for university studies. From there, I had observed the Munich Agreement, the Anschluss, the Czechoslovakia crisis, the German–Soviet agreement of August 1939, and the German invasion of Poland, all leading up to the final outbreak of war. To an Australian schoolboy in his late teens, these events seemed to be essentially European affairs—indeed the war itself appeared almost as a continuation of World War I, and there seemed no reason why I should not embark, as planned, on a university course.'  (Introduction)

(p. 149-162)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 19 Oct 2017 09:58:36
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