Volume 8, number 1 has been a hard-fought-for journal volume. Call for papers originally went out during Australia’s first COVID lockdown, and has been developed during a time when the history sector has been precarious at best. COVID continues to disrupt the study and practice of history at every level, including for those students whose engagement with tertiary historical learning has taken place largely or exclusively online since March 2020. The capacity of undergraduate and postgraduate students to rise above these disruptions is a testament to their passion for history and learning, and moreover a testament to the durability of the discipline itself.
Another crisis, one with more local origins, has also threatened the vigour and vitality of the experiences of a generation of history students. Commonwealth subsidies of student fees for humanities subjects were reduced in late 2020 in the name of “job readiness”, ultimately making the study of history as an undergraduate more expensive in the long run.
Against that backdrop, 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.
The Failure of Imperial Federation by Declan Mulders-Jones
Frederick the Great’s Sexuality – New Avenues of Approach by Jackson Shoobert