History in the Making Author in Focus: Kathy Mae Min

Photo provided by Kathy Mae Min

Kathy Mae Min is the author of Cronulla Revisited: Visualising Australian Masculinity in the Cronulla Riots of 2005, recently published in Volume 8 Number 1 of History in the Making.

As part of the third installment of our ‘Author in Focus’ blog, Kathy discusses the inspiration behind her article.

How did you come to the topic for your History in the Making article?

As someone who is not Australian, I had never heard of the Cronulla riots until I studied in Sydney in 2019. As I researched the riots, I was shocked by the images and videos of unrestrained violence, captured a mere decade and a half ago. Perhaps naively, I couldn’t believe something like the Cronulla riots could happen with such sharp proximity, in both time and distance, to my present as a student at Usyd. This paper is my way of making sense of the heavy constellation of historical themes represented by Cronulla—the thorny and oft-violent spacial politics of the beach, local articulations of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab sentiments circulating within and beyond Australia, intersections of whiteness, masculinity, and xenophobia—in conjunction with the visceral nature of Cronulla’s imagery.

What’s your writing process?

My writing process is very much a work in progress! For now, my process consists of filling in a large document with research notes; attempting to distill my notes into a coherent, structured argument; spending far too much time fixating on how to phrase particular sentences and words; and finally, reading, re-reading, and re-reading. Some other tactics I use include changing up the font and reading out loud as I proofread, as well as finding different work spaces to write in (something that was much easier pre-COVID!).  


Kathy Mae Min recently graduated from Yale University, where she majored in history with an emphasis in empires and colonialism. In 2019, she studied abroad at the University of Sydney, where she focused her coursework on Asian Australian history, Indigenous Studies, and migration to Australia. Kathy is passionate about the study of history as means of informing activism and social justice movements. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes, singing, and watching copious amounts of Netflix. 

History in the Making Author in Focus: Beans Goodfellow

Picture provided by Beans Goodfellow

Beans Goodfellow is the author of Comparing the Socio-Political Positions of Gay Men in Australia at the Turns of Two Centuries recently published in Volume 8, number 1 of History in the Making.

As part of the second instalment of our ‘author in focus’ blog series for 2021, Beans provides some great advice about how to construct an argument.

How did you come to the topic for your History in the Making article?

This was originally one of the essay topics in the Master of History by coursework that I completed through the University of New England. It’s gone through considerable refining and restructuring since then, but certainly still strongly resembles that original piece of work.

What’s your writing process?

It’s become a very structured recipe over the last few years of Master’s study. I start with reading and notetaking, until I can identify some key themes – which then become the basis of my work. I re-read and take further notes with particular focus on these themes. By this time, I have a reasonably clear idea of what my argument is going to be. I use a pretty detailed, colour-coded scaffolding, and copy and paste relevant sections from articles into relevant sections in my work, often adding my own rough notes and ideas. Then I work on drafting each section. I always have too much material, and I save the cut sections in another file in case I need them in future.

At this stage, I’m ready to refine my argument, and make sure it is plotted visibly through the research at strategic points. I also like to add signposts for the reader! Next comes my introduction, and finally my conclusion. I use a scaffolding for both of these as well, and if I’ve done the previous job well, they are pretty straight-forward tasks.

What advice would you give to someone considering submitting an article to History in the Making?

Getting published is all a part of the path to becoming an academic. A student journal like HITM is potentially a much less daunting way to begin this journey. Having said that, be ready for some constructive criticism, check your ego at the door, and get the job done. It will only make the next time easier. BTW – in real life, when asked for advice, I love to quote Roxie Hart (from Kander & Ebb’s Chicago): “Look, I don’t give no advice and I don’t take no advice. You’re a perfect stranger to me and let’s keep it that way.”

Do you have any advice for history students trying to study and conduct research during 2021?

If you don’t already have it, moving forward, work on your ability to self-direct and self-motivate. The infrastructure of our universities is changing quickly. We need to be able to adapt, roll with the punches, and drive our own work. Failing that, see my previous note from Roxie Hart….

Where would you like to take your research next?

I have secured scholarship funding to commence my PhD in July 2021. I haven’t quite settled on which institution that will be at, but my subject area is around ideas of gay and queer men’s identities, and how we were represented on Australian television in the later part of the twentieth century.

History in the Making Author in Focus: Zoe Smith

Photo provided by Zoe Smith

Zoe Smith is the author of Marx’s ‘Men’: Conceptions of Proletarian Masculinity in the Writings of Karl Marx recently published in Volume 8, number 1 of History in the Making.

As part of our first instalment of our ‘author in focus’ blog series for 2021, Zoe discusses the ins and outs of writing history in 2021 and offers some great advice for future historians.

How did you come to the topic for your History in the Making article?

My History in the Making article actually started as a short essay for a capstone history course here at ANU called ‘Approaches to History’ which focuses on historiographical practise and developments, and was convened by Dr Alexander Cook, when I took it last year. We had a lot of flexibility for both the essays in the course, meaning we could essentially write about any text or theory that we’d covered. Since utilising them in literature back in high school, the intersection between Marxist theory and feminist/gender theory has always interested me, and when we read The Communist Manifesto, Marx’s criticism of ‘patriarchal relations’ jumped out. Thus, the idea of researching the intersection between Marxist history and gender history became my focus, and when further research into the secondary literature established that the majority of the discussion of the intersection between class and gender in the context of Marxist theory focused on femininity, a focus on conceptions of proletarian masculinity was something Alex and I agreed would be a great topic. I’ve also always enjoyed working with theories of masculinities, so utilising hegemonic masculinity as a conceptual framework was something I was really keen to do, and thus the topic developed from there! All of Marx’s writings were also easily accessible online, which was a necessity considering how the majority of last year was spent at home!

What’s your writing process?

I think after four years of university I’ve finally perfected my writing process, but it certainly took a while! My approach has always been to do all my research first, and organise my research into sections, and then write when I’ve got everything available to me whilst constantly referring back to the primary text/sources. Then I just sit down and write, section by section, from start to finish.

Anyone who knows me will know that this first draft is always over the word limit – I always tend to be too ambitious in how much I want to talk about and how much detail I can go into – so the next step in the process is then going through the draft with a fine-tooth comb and a harsh critical eye to cut, consolidate and refine. I also always get at least one other person to look over the draft to help me cut and refine – I find having a fresh set of eyes helps pick out things that I might miss or feel too sentimental to get rid of! From there, it’s then printing out and going over the final draft with a red pen to catch any last errors or bits to rework, and then about seven final read throughs before finally submitting.

I’ve learnt along the way to reference in chunks as you go – leaving 80+ footnotes to do in one segment at the end is an event you quickly learn to not repeat!

What advice would you give to someone considering submitting an article to History in the Making?

Just do it! If you, or your tutor, or your mentor, thinks that it’s a strong article and it’s something you’re proud of, you have absolutely nothing to lose by submitting it. However, I’d make sure to be prepared for peer review if you get to that process – particularly if you struggle with criticism or haven’t gone through that process before. It’s not something to be scared of, but it can knock you back a bit if you’re not used to having a lot of criticism around your work, and it’s completely understandable if it is something you struggle with, I know I found it hard the first time I went through the peer review process with another journal! My advice in that regard is try and not take the critiques to heart too much – not everyone is going to agree with what you write, or your approach, and that’s nothing against you as a person. At the end of the day, the process, whilst challenging, is part of making your article better, and making you a better researcher, writer and historian, with the outcome being publication, which is such an honour because it tells you people are interested in your original ideas and perspectives!

Do you have any advice for history students trying to study and conduct research during 2021?

Be flexible, in both your research ideas, and your actual plans, and take advantage of what’s available to you, both locally and nationally. Flexibility is generally a key piece of advice regardless if there’s a global pandemic or not, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the last two years is to be prepared for things to change. If you were planning to research the lives of nuns in France in the seventeenth century, you’ll have to think if that’s still an achievable research topic without the ability to go over to France to look at the physical sources. This isn’t to say that you solely should focus on Australian history whilst international travel isn’t available, but you do need to mindful of how much you can fruitfully research an international topic entirely online and whilst on a different continent, and so you may need to shift your topic/approach slightly.

This leads into my second piece of advice – take advantage of what’s available to you locally and nationally. Your local state archives might have a special collection on something you’ve never even considered looking at before, or some valuable sources just ripe for mining. Additionally, in my experience, most local historical societies and state archives here in Australia are very willing to help out in providing copies of sources, or information, to those interested but interstate. You may have to pay a small fee for microfilm copies or copies of physical sources, but when travel is not necessarily a guaranteed option, it’s a small price to pay. And depending on how things are at times, interstate travel to other archives/libraries/repositories is a lot more likely and possible than overseas – although you do need to be prepared for a last-minute cancellation/rescheduling if things change last minute (as they are prone to at the moment!).

We’re also lucky to have some amazing online databases at our fingertips, making research from home still very achievable. Trove, a collaboration with the NLA, is a personal favourite of mine and has been invaluable for my honours research, it’s a free database with digitised newspapers, maps, Government gazettes, as well as books, interviews, music, diaries and letters. It’s definitely something to take advantage of, and also means that you may stumble across different types of sources you might not have even considered using before!

Where would you like to take your research next?

Well, I’m actually writing the answer to this question whilst on a plane coming back from Brisbane where I’ve spent five days deep in their Heritage Collections and archives! The trip (generously funded by the ANU School of History) was primarily to acquire manuscript material for my honours thesis, which is utilising the 1857 Hornet Bank massacre as a case study for investigating gendered attitudes to interracial rape on the Queensland frontier, however, some of the material I discovered up there I’d love to come back and dive into further. I’m intending to commence a PhD next year, using the writings of white female colonial writers such as Barbara Baynton, Louisa Lawson and Rosa Campbell-Praed (whose manuscripts I mined extensively whilst in Queensland) to investigate cultural understandings of intimate violence in the Australian eastern colonies in the mid-late nineteenth century. So, I certainly hope to continue my research in gender history, and combine my love of literature with my current interests in intimate and sexual violence, as well as understandings of masculinity and femininity, in the mid-late nineteenth century.


Zoe Smith is currently an honours student at the Australian National University, finalising a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) with a double major in History and English. Her research interests include social conceptions of gender throughout British and Australian history – particularly in the nineteenth century, and in the context of the Australian frontier, and utilising gender and feminist theoretical lenses to interrogate both Australian and British literature. She has previously been published discussing sexual violence and colonial anxieties in Australian literature in the ANU Undergraduate Research Journal in March 2020, and on the University of Sheffield History Matters blog in February 2020. Her honours thesis is focusing on interracial rape on the Queensland frontier in the nineteenth century and its gendered implications, and she intends to do a PhD also in Australian gender history.

Issue Launch: Volume 8, Number 1

We are excited to announce that the latest volume of History in the Making has now been published! This process has been difficult, but incredibly rewarding and we are excited to share the product of this hard work with you. We would like to extend our thanks to the authors of these articles, for sharing their fantastic work with us, and to our peer-reviewers and editors for their care and diligence in developing this issue.

This issue of History in the Making is a celebration of history in all its forms, and a pertinent reminder of all the important historical work happening in Australia’s Universities. Despite – or perhaps in spite – of the pandemic, and the continued antipathy towards social sciences and humanities among certain sections of society, Australian history undergraduates have continued to produce excellence. This issue showcases an exciting slice of that excellence.

Technical issues

Hi everyone,
It has been brought to our attention that there has been an issue with our email address. While this is getting fixed we request that all submissions and queries be directed to contact.historyinthemaking@gmail.com.
Please note: if you have submitted an article for our latest call for papers we may have not received it. We encourage you to resubmit using our temporary email.
Thank you for your patience while we sort out this issue.
History in the Making editorial team

Call for Papers Volume 8

Have you written a great essay and want to get it published?

Do you want to gain experience of the peer review process?

History in the Making is a student-run journal that aims to showcase the best historical research being undertaken by history students across Australia. Students at all levels can get involved in this project by submitting their work or volunteering to review and edit articles.

The journal is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students currently enrolled at an Australian University. We are currently inviting all students to submit articles for publication. These can be on any topic in the wide gambit of historical study.

If you would like to be considered for the next edition, please submit your article, a short biography, and a 200 word abstract to contact@historyitm.org by Friday 15th August 2020.

To find out more, please join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/historyitm) or email us at contact@historyitm.org.

Issue Launch: Volume 7, Number 1

We are excited to announce that the latest volume of History in the Making has now been published! This process has been difficult, but incredibly rewarding and we are excited to share the product of this hard work with you.

The journal committee would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone involved in producing Volume 7. In particular, we’d like to thank Isobelle Barrett Meyering and Matthew Varley who not only trusted us to take over the journal, but provided immeasurable support and advice.

To our authors, thank you for your hard work in not only submitting your pieces but working with our team to develop your research. We hope you have found the process as fulfilling as we have.

To our peer reviewers and our editors, thank you for your diligence and perseverance in developing these pieces. Your contributions to the journal are invaluable.

While this is only our first volume as a team, we are excited to continue developing History in the Making into not only a journal but a community of researchers.

Better the devil you know?: a millennial’s perspective on the Fujimori Legacy

The legacy of Alberto Fujimori is controversial. While he has numerous supporters across Peru and abroad such as our previous interviewee Ella Carkagis, among Peruvians born in the 1980s and 1990s in particular, opposition is common. In this profile, Alexis Castro Robles interviews Carkagis’ eldest daughter, Marianella, who gives us an insight into the ‘other side’ of Fujimori’s regime and also how she perceives Peru’s future now that Alberto Fujimori has received a ‘humanitarian pardon.’

Screenshot 2018-03-02_08-42-34

Alberto, Kenji and Keiko Fujimori (Image courtesy of ‘Peru 21’ newspaper) 

Marianella, although you were in your teenage years during the late 1990s, do you remember what politics was like at that time from your family and school?

At that time, everyone was afraid of everything. Our parents sent us to school with fear, because the terrorists chose targets randomly. I remember that the street lights blew up and that we stayed in the dark. There were always candles in my house. There were soldiers in the streets and curfews quite often. We could not leave the house after 7pm. I remember the terror that we felt walking past a car that looked suspicious in the street, because it could be a ‘coche bomba’ (car bomb). At school they taught us to be prepared at all times. We simulated emergency situations. They also taught us to shout a warning if we heard a very loud sound, because it could be a bomb.

Your mother was supportive of Fujimori’s measures in granting the military extensive powers to challenge ‘terror’ by arresting suspected rebels and trying them in secret military courts with few legal rights. What are your thoughts?

Terrorism was so bad in the 90s that the government had to declare war. We believed that there was a good side (the state) and a bad side (the terrorists) but we were wrong. The country was consumed by a witch hunt. Any man could say that his neighbor was a terrorist and without evidence the military could take him from his house in the early morning and ‘disappear’ him. Villagers were taken from their homes by soldiers and executed. They raped the women. The buses that went to the provinces were dangerous for this reason. We were terrorised both by the terrorists and by the military, who far from protecting us, took advantage of the power granted them to torture, rape and kill.

Do you believe Peruvians recognise the human rights violations committed by Fujimori and the military? If not, what impedes this recognition?

Fujimori was a showman. He went on national television with boots, helmet and carrying cement to every school he built. He appeared to help with everything, while also robbing his people and murdering us. He did many works to keep us quiet. His government was bloodthirsty. We Peruvians are so poor in education that we are not able to understand that “the lesser evil” is not good. “That he who steals but does work” is not good. We are not used to thinking about our neighbor. We think only of ourselves and our hunger. There are many people who know what Fujimori has done and do not care because they were “necessary deaths”. No death is necessary. Homicide is a crime.

What do you think about the mass forced sterilisation that affected around 300 000 Indigenous Peruvian women, many of them without anaesthesia, in the late 1990s?

It was simply inhumane. There are people like my mother who say it was necessary. Machismo did not allow women to make the decision to no longer have children and many thanked the government for having sterilised them. But many women without children and very young were also sterilised, without anaesthetics and without knowing what was being done to them. They were treated like cows. When my mum says it was necessary, I answer: What if it had been your daughter? What if it had been me? She remains silent. Those people who were mistreated could be any of us and we should all repudiate a fact as execrable as that. The solution was and is in education for all. Machismo exists because there is no education.

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Peruvian women march against Keiko Fujimori, drawing attention to women’s rights, Keiko’s political ties with her father and her questionable human rights stance. (Image courtesy of ‘Diario UNO’ newspaper)

Fujimori’s sterilisation of women was highlighted by opponents during the presidential campaign of Alberto Fujimori’s daughter, Keiko. For example 30 000 protesters in Lima expressed their discontent in April 2016. Do you think these protesters feared a possible return to her father’s dynasty? 

Yes indeed. The same people who were with [Alberto] Fujimori, are also on the side of Fujimori’s daughter. Her government would be a terrible blow against democracy.

Do you think the protests were a response of the Peruvian Left? Or just those who supported for the current Peruvian President, Pedro Pablo Kucyznski (‘PPK’)?

‘PPK’ won the elections thanks to Keiko Fujimori. He won because we were against her winning. He did not win on his own merit. The PPK government is another mistake to avoid the greater evil. He is a president who has done nothing for us like so many others. Our streets are infested with criminals.

Lastly, Alberto Fujimori has received the ‘humanitarian pardon’ for his ailing health by Kuczynski in December 2017. What do you think about this decision?

‘PPK’ sold our country when he pardoned Fujimori. He did not care about the hundreds of mothers who still cry for their unborn children. Nor the disappeared parents who could not raise their children. Not even the hundreds of women who were harmed and mistreated by the regime. Kuczynski was on the verge of losing the presidency for a fujimorista coup d’etat. He betrayed every Peruvian by pardoning him.

Alexis Castro Robles

Call for papers

It’s that time of the year again! History in the Making are looking for papers for our next issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergraduate, postgraduate, or somewhere in the middle. If you have an essay, thesis extract, or a submission prepared just for us, we’re interested in looking at it!

Check out this page to find out how to submit.

Submissions close 30 April 2018.