Eras Journal Edition Ten
Once again Eras, the fully refereed postgraduate journal of the School of Historical Studies, Monash University, welcomes a broad range of articles by postgraduates researching a diverse range of fields. In February of this past year, the editors of Eras, together with the editors of MHJ hosted a conference exploring the lasting effects of 1968 on Australian, American and European societies. Remembering the year, conference papers highlighted both the diversity and the interconnectedness of historical experience as speakers discussed amongst other things, student movements in Greece and Mexico, visual culture from protests in France and the United States, and social upheaval in Australia and Czechoslovakia.
Throughout 2008, we have been reminded of a number of milestones, 90 years since the guns stopped on the Somme, 75 years since Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated the New Deal, and 50 years since the act to create Monash University was passed. It seems fitting in light of these markers, particularly the last, that this is the 10th edition of Eras. In keeping with the theme of the Monash University anniversary celebrations - '50 years of engaging the world' - it seems appropriate that the articles of this edition reflect not only a diverse range of interests but also the global interconnectedness of today's postgraduates. We are particularly pleased to include not only work from Australia, Britain and the United States, but also a contribution from as far afield as Nigeria.
Caroline Norma's article 'Reconstruction in service of the Japanese nation: Yokohama City and the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923' draws comparisons between the reconstruction of Yokohama and the reconstruction of Kobe City in 1995. Importantly, Norma's article highlights the tensions between civic and national interests in rebuilding after catastrophic disaster.
Darren Reid's article, 'Soldiers of Settlement: Violence and Psychological Warfare on the Kentucky Frontier, 1775-1783', looks at confrontations between settlers and Native American communities in eighteenth century Kentucky. Reid demonstrates how Kentucky society was shaped by the nature of the frontier, which saw the fortification of settlements and settlers performing duel roles as citizens and soldiers. Notably, Reid shows how the lasting conflict between the settlers and the indigenous communities led to a cycle of violence that would have lasting impact on the future of the Kentucky frontier.
Moving across the globe, Paul Ugboajah's article, 'Culture-Conflict and Delinquency: A Case Study of Colonial Lagos', demonstrates the clash of cultures that materialised as the British colonial presence forcefully imposed western culture and values upon the people of Nigeria. In particular, Ugboajah examines how with the overhaul of Nigerian customs and traditions, the problem of juvenile delinquency emerged in urban Lagos in the 1920s. In examining the sudden rise of this social problem, Ugboajah also details the rise of Lagos as a colonial metropolis and the lengths that the colonial administration took to deal with the problem of urban youth.
The final article within this 10th edition of Eras also looks at a former British colony of Africa. Hannah Whittaker's 'Pursuing Pastoralists: the Stigma of Shifta during the 'Shifta War' in Kenya, 1963-68' looks at how cultural, economic and political appellations of rebels in Northern Kenya masked various forms of violence in the Northern Frontier of Kenya following the Kenyan independence in 1964. Importantly, Whittaker shows how the Kenyan government's opposition of these groups led to the ostracism of groups from their traditional lands.
This edition would not have been possible without the support and hard work of the Monash University School of Historical Studies postgraduate community who voluntarily devote their time to the journal, all the while juggling their own research, jobs and lives. Their contribution ensures that Eras will continue to provide a publication forum for postgraduates from around the globe studying history, archaeology, religious theory and related fields. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our fellow members of the editorial committee, James Gill, Caroline Hubschman, Stephanie Rocke, Marianna Stylianou, Benjamin Suelze and technical-editor Mia Treacey; and the editors-in-chief emeritus who continue to provide advice and experience, in particular, Rachel Stevens and Richard Scully. Special mention must go to Diana Wong for her technical assistance and expertise in making Eras available on-line. We are grateful to the publishing houses that provide books for review, an invaluable symbiotic relationship for the many postgraduates who act as reviewers. We would also like to pay particular thanks to our academic referees, who while they must remain anonymous, give up their time to provide invaluable commentary to the emerging scholars in their fields who submit work to this and similar publications. Finally we would like to thank all those who submitted their work to Eras for consideration.
The tenth edition of Eras is an important milestone for the journal, but it will all be for naught if it is the last milestone. One is tempted to wonder how the postgraduate cohort of 2048 will reflect on this past year. Will Barack Obama's Presidency be seen as the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement or the beginning of the next New Deal? Will Matthew Mitcham's performance at the Beijing Olympics be remembered as the only gold won by an openly gay male athlete or as the highest score hereto awarded to a single dive? Will the Rudd government's apology to the Stolen Generation be the marker of a new era for Indigenous Australians or will it be overshadowed by continuing disparities in life expectancies and educational opportunities? Can history ever redeem George W. Bush? We hope that forty years from now, we will be able to read (and possibly referee) articles in Eras that continue to showcase the engagement of our postgrads with all that is exciting, challenging and complex in our fields.
Lachlan Grant & Meighen S. Katz