Top 10 for 2018

VIDA blog Managing Editors Ana Stevenson and Alana Piper reflect on the year and share VIDA’s Top 10 posts for 2018.

The year 2018 has been another exciting one for us at VIDA blog. In July, we celebrated our second anniversary. To begin 2019, we’d like to share some of the highlights from 2018 with our Top 10 most-viewed posts, penned by historians from all stages of their career in Australia and beyond. We’d also like to give a special mention to some earlier VIDA blogs which continue to remain important.

After welcoming two postgraduate editorial assistants, Georgina Rychner and Marama Whyte, in 2017, both edited a series for VIDA blog, which were very well received. Georgina developed a series about “Gender and Mental Health” throughout history and for historians themselves, while Marama edited the “What I Wish I’d Known” series, which offered important advice to doctoral candidates and early career researchers.

The blogs published with VIDA continue to feature original research, blogs of articles from the Australian Women’s History Network’s Lilith: A Feminist History Journal, reviews of books, conferences, events, and more. Across 2018, bloggers covered everything from the history of literature and fashion to women’s ordination in the Anglican Church of Australia and gender in the history of museums.

Some highlights from 2018 included: this year’s NAIDOC Week theme, “Because of Her, We Can“; the “Reproduction” series, which remains ongoing; and a variety of conference reviews, such as Elmari Whyte’s thoughts from Canberra about the Australian Historical Association, Margaret Allen’s reflections from the International Federation for Research in Women’s History in Vancouver, Canada, and Ciara Stewart’s experience of Portsmouth, Britain during the Women’s History Network’s annual event. In 2018, this conference was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of partial suffrage for British women and discussed the theme “The Campaign for Women’s Suffrage: National and International Perspectives.”

Thank you all for reading, as we would be nowhere without the generous support and interest of so many of our readers across the world. We look forward to continuing our discussions of feminist, gender, and women’s history with you throughout of 2019.

Top 10 for 2018

10. “The non-history of other births: molar pregnancy and early modern false conceptions,” by Paige Donaghy, 8 February 2018.

In the “Reproduction” series, doctoral candidate Paige Donaghy explored of how a history of early modern “other” births might create a better understanding of women’s varied experiences of pregnancy, past and present.

9. “Defending the Character and Conduct of Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1803,” by Dr Shane Greentree, 7 March 2018.

For International Women’s Day 2018, Shane Greentree explored how the the late-eighteenth-century press commemorated the legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft.

8. “Being a white nurse in colonial Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) before World War II,” by Dr Clement Masakure, 22 March 2018.

Clement Masakure reflected on the history of the segregated nursing profession in Southern Rhodesia (colonial Zimbabwe) during the 1930s and 1940s.

7. “‘Khaki-mad’: The gendered approach to venereal disease in World War Two,” by Danielle Broadhurst, 11 January 2018.

Doctoral candidate Danielle Broadhurst investigated how legislation in the state of Victoria, Australia targeted female sexuality as a key proponent of venereal disease in the Second World War.

6. “What I Wish I’d Known: Trying to find a job,” by Professor Christina Twomey, 26 March 2018.

In the the “What I Wish I’d Known” series, Christina Twomey offered some useful advice for those early career researchers on the academic job market.

5. “Reproduction regulation, abortion and Indigenous women since the 1970s,” by Cassandra Byrnes, 25 February 2018.

Also in the “Reproduction” series, doctoral candidate Cassandra Byrnes explored the complex relationship between reproduction regulation, feminism and race in Australia since the 1970s.

4. “Contraception and reproduction in Australia’s past (or: please don’t try these methods at home),” by Associate Professor Lisa Featherstone, 19 February 2018.

Lisa Featherstone discussed contraception and reproduction in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Australia, a period of high anxieties about national reproductive imperatives, again in the “Reproduction” series.

3. “The Mental Illness Factory,” by Mimi Petrakis, 22 April 2018.

In the  “Gender and Mental Health” series, doctoral candidate Mimi Petrakis examined the crucial issue of mental illness in academia as part of our continuing series on history and mental health.

2. “Child marriage in early modern England,” by Dr Loretta Dolan, 3 January 2018.

Loretta Dolan examined the history of child marriage, and the social, economic and legal implications of such unions in sixteenth-century England.

1. “A pregnant pause? Filling in the history of pregnancy and dress,” by Catriona Fisk, 13 February 2018.

Finally, and again in the “Reproduction” series, Catriona Fisk explored the material and visual record of fashions and dress for pregnant women across the nineteenth century.

Special Mention

We would also like to give a special mention to a few blogs published in previous years. Clear and ongoing interest in these topics, which continued to attract new readers across 2018, attest to the deep and ongoing problems relating to gender violence in contemporary society.

Rape in marriage: Why was it so hard to criminalise sexual violence?” by Associate Professor Lisa Featherstone, 7 December 2016.

Lisa Featherstone’s reflections on the criminalisation of marital rape in Australia between the 1970s and 1990s continues to remain the most-read VIDA blog.

Towards a feminist history of domestic violence in Australia,” by Dr Zora Simic, 24 November, 2016.

Zora Simic’s blog, which was the inaugural post in our 2016 series for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign, remains another favourite.

Domestic violence has a history: Early modern family violence,” by Dr Dianne Hall, 3 December 2016.

So does Dianne Hall’s blog, which also appeared in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.


AnaStevensonAna Stevenson is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State, South Africa in the field of women’s history and transnational social movements. In the past she has written for The Conversation, the Queensland Historical Atlas, and the British Association for American Studies’ award-winning blog, U.S. Studies Online. Ana is a Managing Editor for VIDA blog.

Follow Ana on Twitter @DrAnaStevenson.


AlanaPiperAlana Piper is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Griffith University in the fields of gender and criminal justice history. Her research is particularly interested in economically-motivated crimes such as theft, fraud, prostitution and fortune-telling. In the past she has contributed to The Conversation and History Workshop Online, as well as being a regular contributor to and convenor of the Prosecution Project blog. Alana is a Managing Editor for VIDA.

Follow Alana on Twitter @alana_piper.

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