Historical Experience, Representation, Media, Education and Society

Why study with us?

The Historical Experience, Representation, Media, Education, and Society Research Network (HERMES) is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary research network concentrated within the School of Education at the University of Newcastle, Australia, with a growing profile of international members and collaborators.

The HERMES Research Network aims to encourage and support the study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and History education (as it occurs in and through schools, museums, historical societies, film, television, text books, and new media technologies).

Members of the group contribute to understandings of historical consciousness, historical cultures, historical media, historical understanding, meta-historical literacies, curriculum history, and history education (history curriculum, pedagogy, and didactics).

The group is developing a vibrant and supportive community of history educators, researchers, doctoral researchers, and interns. HERMES welcomes inquiries about membership or potential collaborations.

MPhil and PhD opportunities in education span from early childhood through to school education and into higher education and education in the professions. The School of Education provides a stimulating learning environment and vigorous research work to foster the development of our students. The School also takes pride in its relationship with its many communities, especially the local schools of the Hunter, Central Coast and Mid-North coast regions.

Members publish widely in peer-reviewed journals in the area of history education, curriculum history, and history of education. HERMES publishes Historical Encounters, an open access peer-reviewed journal, with an outstanding international Editorial Board; was instrumental in founding the "History and Education" SIG within the Australian Association for Research in Education; and has active collaborations with scholars from Canada and Sweden.

You can read more about HERMES by visiting the Research Network's website.

What you can research

HERMES invites people with a passion for history, and an interest in research, to undertake projects that explore:

History Education

  • History Teaching
  • History Curriculum
  • Curriculum History
  • Historical Literacy
  • Historical Empathy

Public History

  • Historical Consciousness
  • Historical Culture
  • Museum Studies
  • Historical Media (film, television, computer games, textbooks, websites)
  • Public Uses of History

Research methodologies

HERMES members engage in both theoretical and empirical scholarship, drawing on critical, hermeneutic, post-structural, and post-colonial perspectives. Members are experienced in discourse analysis, qualitative inquiry, survey research, textbook analysis, historical inquiry, and narrative inquiry.

Find a supervisor

Before you apply, contact a supervisor for discussion on possible research projects. This will allow you to frame your proposal to align with established disciplines and areas of supervisor capacity.

  • A/Prof Josephine May: Australian history, enabling education, film and history, film and the history of Australian education, gender and history, gender and sexuality, history of Australian education, history of teacher education
  • Dr Jill Barnes: Aboriginal History, Australian History, history of coloniser/indigenous encounters, history of travel and tourism, maps and dreams: Aboriginal-colonial relationships in Australian history, visual culture (especially photography)
  • Dr Rachel Burke: Asian/ Australian studies, cultural studies, curriculum, discourse analysis, intercultural communication, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, sociology, sociology of education
  • Dr Debra Donnelly: Secondary HSIE, global education, historical feature films, historical understanding, history education, pre-service teaching, teaching pedagogies, visual media pedagogies
  • Dr Robert Parkes: curriculum history, theory and philosophy; curriculum studies; history education; history education, historical literacy and history didactics; media literacy; pedagogy as social practice; philosophy of history, historiography and hermeneutics; politics of teacher education; postmodernism, post-structuralism and post-colonial studies; screen technologies; society and culture; studies of religion
  • Dr Heather Sharp: critical pedagogy, English curriculum, history curriculum; student-academic research

How to apply


Current graduate studies in Historical Cultures and History Education

There are a number of research projects being undertaken by graduate students in the areas of Historical Cultures and History Education at Newcastle. Take a look some of the current topics:

  • Exploring the mediating of citizenship through the teaching and learning of History
  • The Impact of Historical Consciousness On the Teaching of the History Extension In New South Wales
  • The College: A History of Newcastle Teachers' College, College of Advanced Education and the Hunter Institute of Higher Education.
  • An exploration of the motives and meta-historical understanding of family history researchers
  • Finding Out About the Past Through Documentaries: The Role and Significance of Documentary Films in Informing, Educating and Influencing Historical Consciousness
  • The role of archaeology in the teaching and learning of Ancient History in NSW
  • Vietnamese revolutionary films, music and literacy in teaching philosophy, history and culture in the Vietnamese period of innovation and integration.
  • Teaching History in Vietnam from 1986 to present
  • Navigating New Media: Pre-Service History Teachers' Encounters with Historical Representation and Discourse in New Media