HERMES is an interdisciplinary research group based at the University of Newcastle, Australia.
- To promote, undertake, and disseminate innovative research, scholarly inquiry, and professional practice focused on the study of historical experience, historical representation, collective memory, history education, and their uses in and for society;
- To facilitate local, national, and international research partnerships between history scholars and educators in schools and universities, libraries, museums, and heritage organisations;
- To develop a vibrant and supportive community of history educators, researchers, and higher degree research and coursework students.
Lines of Research
Two intersecting lines of research are thematized by members of the HERMES Research Group:
- Historical Consciousness, Representation, and Identity – The first line of research is focused upon: Historical Experience; Historical Representation; Historical Imagination and Affect; History and National Identity; Cultural Heritages; and Collective Memory. These areas of interest are taken up in concerns with: How we experience and come to understand ourselves through encounters with history; How we encounter and experience the past through historical representations in textbooks, films, novels, television programs, museum exhibits, commemoration ceremonies, historical monuments, cultural and national mythologies, and a variety of other representational forms; and How those media forms function informally as public pedagogies, or are used in formal (Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary) educational settings to mould citizens, and to produce public understandings of the past.
- Curriculum Histories, Historical Literacies, and History Didaktiks – The Second line of research is concerned with: History Teaching; Historical Literacy; Curriculum History and Politics; History Teacher Professional Learning; and History Education more broadly. In other words: How History is taught and learned; The multiple historical, historiographic, hermeneutic, and meta-historical literacies needed to ‘read’ historical representations; The implications of the above for History curriculum, pedagogy, and didaktiks (the professional knowledge of History teachers); and Historical perspectives on curriculum, pedagogy, and education more broadly (or how History curricula and pedagogical practices are themselves historically located).
Throughout their inquiries, this group of scholars are also united in a recognition of what Rüsen (2005) has called “the aesthetic quality of historical experience” that has become of growing interest in cultural history and in education studies, where curriculum and culture industries are understood as crucibles of historical consciousness, and thus implicated in the formation of national and cultural identities.
The HERMES Research Group is a recognised affiliate of the ERIN: Educational Research Institute Newcastle, at the University of Newcastle.