Agora (2022/Issue 2) – Modern History

Agora is a journal of curated professional reading for History teachers. This digital download of the latest issue explores several aspects covered in the new VCE Modern History Study Design. Thema articles examine conflicts such as Ukrainian sovereignty during the Russian revolution, the rise and spread of fascism as far as Australia, myths about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, British intelligence documents during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the secrecy involved in nuclear weapons testing in Australia. Social movements covered include a history of ‘queer’ activism, how Australian women engaged in Cold War politics, and the changing nature of work. Praktikos articles provide teachers with a guide to teaching the Holocaust, how to counter negative stereotypes about migrant communities, how to use protest music in your classroom, and a guide to resources you can use when choosing a Modern History proxy war or conflict.

Print copies of Agora are available by annual subscription.


About this item






Reflection | Ashley Keith Pratt
Editorial | Guy Nolch


THEMA | Reflections on the theme

Divergent Revolutions in Russia and Ukraine | Andrew A. Pyrcz, Lyndale Secondary College
In 1917 there were many revolutions in the Russian Empire, but it was the Ukrainian Revolution that Petrograd feared above all.

What Does ‘Fascism’ Mean? | Joseph Parro, Australian Catholic University
‘Fascism’ is a powerful term yet many people cannot define what it is despite its pernicious spread as far as Australia.

How Communist Fears Changed Australia | Zachary Gorman, Robert Menzies Institute, University of Melbourne
While concerns about communism led to events that determined Australia’s election results for more than two decades, they also led to policy changes that eroded White Australia prejudices as the nation played a stronger role in the Asia–Pacific.

The Secrecy of British Nuclear Testing in Australia | David Harris, La Trobe University
The history of the British nuclear tests in Australia involves a tragic intersection of race, politics, science, health and the environment.

British Signals Intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis | David Abrutat, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), United Kingdom
With nuclear war at a flashpoint, British intelligence detected that Soviet missile supply ships had turned back.

The Australian Women’s Weekly as a Historical Source on Women during the Cold War | Hannah Viney, Monash University
The Australian Women’s Weekly is digitised and searchable on Trove, opening the opportunity to discuss how Australian women understood and experienced Cold War politics.

Myths about the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan | Aaron Carassiti, Mentone Grammar
There is more to the  Soviet-Afghan War than the simple narrative of a Soviet invasion resisted by pious freedom-fighters.

A History of ‘Queer’ Activism | Meg Slater, National Gallery of Victoria
While LGBTIQA+ history has not been recorded in conventional sources, visual artists have created opportunities to interpret transformative periods of ‘queer’ activism.

The Changing World of Work | Margaret Anderson, Old Treasury Building
Technology has influenced the way we work, not only taking the place of many labouring, farming and even office jobs but also transforming gender roles.


PRAKTIKOS | Teaching Ideas

Teaching the Holocaust in the History Classroom | Simon Holloway and Lisa Phillips, Melbourne Holocaust Museum
It is now mandatory to teach about the Holocaust in Victorian government schools. Here  is some guidance for how to teach such confronting and potentially traumatic content in an age-appropriate, safe and meaningful manner.

The Role of Cultural Museums in Building Historical Empathy in the Classroom | Kym Wilton, Islamic Museum of Australia
The Islamic Museum of Australia helps students develop historical empathy by presenting intercultural perspectives of migrant communities that counter negative stereotypes.

Art Reveals How Weimar and Nazi Cultures Diverged | Ross Smith, Parade College
While art during the Weimar Republic rejected the values that led to the horrors of World War I, Nazi art tried to turn back the clock to idealise German traditions.

POW Experiences in Changi and Regional Victoria: A Resource for History Teachers | Jo Clyne and Kaye De Petro, History Teachers’ Association of Victoria
A new resource for Year 9 and 10 students presents two parallel Prisoner of War experiences revealing Australians as captives and captors.

Using Protest Music in Your Classroom | Paul Rossiter, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar
Music provides an engaging medium to explore First Nations perspectives.

Proxy Wars and Conflicts: Resources to Help You Pick Your Contexts | Stephanie Murphy, Padua College
Modern History Unit 2 Outcome 1 requires the selection of one or more proxy wars or conflicts. Here are some resources to give you background knowledge on each of the contexts.

Using the National Library of Australia’s Map Search to Teach Modern History | Susie Russell and Michelle Bond, National Library of Australia
Map Search enables students to place thousands of digitised historical maps over modern maps, and to annotate them with historical documents to compare how Australian places have changed over time.

Immersive Cold War Experiences Using Augmented Reality | Vince Wall, All Hallows’ School, Brisbane
Modern History teachers can project Cold War-related artefacts and objects into the classroom through augmented reality technologies available on student smartphones.