Chair: Associate Professor Marguerite La Caze (Philosophy)


Maxwell Brierty (History)

Questions of Truth and Time

In recent decades, the struggle over truth and “truth-telling” has dominated Australia’s historical discourse. Truth has been used to unsettle and console settlers and to affirm and deny Aboriginal people’s experiences.  This presentation explores how contemporary Aboriginal conceptions of time and the past are reflected in their experience and communication of the truth.


Estelle Strazdins (Classics and Ancient History)

Truth, Untruth, and the Quest for Artistic Immortality in a Postclassical World

How do you become a famous author when the literary canon is already set? This is a problem the Syrian Greek writer Lucian of Samosata explores in his True Stories, a text that's opening gambit is a declaration it is all lies. Lucian's engagement with (un)truth via myth, monuments, and literature probes the difficulties of artistic postclassicism at the same time as providing a commentary on being Greek in a Roman world. 



Associate Professor Ian Hesketh (Senior Research Fellow)

Charles Darwin and the Cultivation of Truth in Victorian Science

When Charles Darwin wrote the Origin Species (1859), he was forced to admit that the book was a mere “abstract” of his evolutionary theory and was missing many of its supporting evidence. Despite this admission, Darwin was able to convince many of his readers to trust that he had conducted a full induction of the facts. This paper argues that Darwin was able to do so by cultivating a particular ideal of scientific truth that was based less on the facts of the matter and more on the identity of the scientific practitioner.


Forgan Smith
E109 - HPI Foyer level 3 for refreshements