Ishtar (on right) comes to Sargon, who would later become one of the great kings of Mesopotamia.
Edwin J. Prittie, The story of the greatest nations, 1913
Love, it is said, is a battlefield, and it was no more so than for the first goddess of love and war, Ishtar. Her legend has influenced cultural archetypes from Aphrodite to Wonder Woman.
A parade in St Petersburg last year celebrating Bloomsday, the day on which Ulysses is set.
Around the world today, fans of James Joyce's Ulysses will celebrate Bloomsday. This experimental novel can be bewildering to read, but for those who persist, it is a 'feast' of a book.
90s sister Sophie Lee in Patricia Piccinini’s
Psychogeography 1996, printed 1998.
from the Psycho series 1996.
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of Optus Communications Pty Limited, Member, 1998 (1998.252) © Patricia Piccinini
The 1990s was once the forgotten decade of the 20th century but no longer.
For thousands of years, women’s tattoos have been permanent records of female power over adversity.
For thousands of years, tattoos have been indicative of the passage from girlhood to womanhood, of female power and female beauty.
Sarah and Olive Kanake read one of the new breed of girl-power picture books.
Miriam Ackroyd from Life is Beautiful Photography
The lack of strong female characters in children's picture books is oft-lamented. But a new crop of books invites girls to write themselves into history.
The Qantas uniform from 1964-1969, designed by Leon Paule.
Being an air hostess in the 1960s was a sought after job. But bodies were carefully policed: at Qantas, if a hostess put on too much weight she could be rostered off until she'd lost it.
Julia (with the orange hair) and her friends from Sesame Street.
The introduction of a new Muppet on Sesame Street represents an encouraging cultural shift in the portrayal of characters with autism. But there is still a way to go.
Queen Elizabeth II meets with Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans at the Australian War Memorial in 2011.
As Australians once found spiritual communion through allegiance to the British monarch, they find similar virtues in Anzac today. Can the republican movement connect with a large enough number of people in a similar way?
Passion, Lament, Glory at Melbourne’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2017.
Each year at Easter, Christians recreate the spectacularly violent end of Jesus's life, raising some tough questions about the depiction of suffering on stage.
Yidaki, maker unknown. Collected from Milingimbi by Charles Mountford.
courtesy of South Australian Museum.
The yidaki, a musical instrument owned by the Yolngu people of North East Arnhem Land, is created by both termites and instrument makers, who tap trees to find hollow logs. A new exhibition tells its fascinating story.
Augustin Burdet (engraver) French active (19th century) Victor Marie Picot (after) Cupid and Psyche (c. 1817) engraving.
39.9 x 49.2 cm (image), 49.4 x 57.5 cm (sheet) National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1927 (3506-3)
In early modern times, wooing happened at balls and markets and in churches; while sex was obtained in bathhouses, inns, brothels and alleyways. Art tells the story.
Penny Gulliver wrote to Germaine Greer several times over two decades.
University of Melbourne Archives, Germaine Greer Archive, 2014.0042.00350, Correspondence with Penny Gulliver
Fifty years of correspondence is stored at the Germaine Greer archive. It ranges across topics as diverse as US politics, grassroots feminism, gardening and Queen Victoria's underpants.
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (2012): the archtypal fictional spinster.
Grotesques, prattlers, hysterical women ... historically, spinsters have had a raw deal in fiction. But astonishingly, the situation for older single ladies in contemporary novels has scarcely improved.
Jazmina Cininas, Christina sleeps on both sides of Grandma’s bed, 2010. Reduction linocut 52.8 x 71.8cm.
From witch-hunts to the suffragettes, belief in womanly werewolfs has flourished at times when the female gender was under threat. But in contemporary fiction, film and art, werewolf lore is evolving in surprising ways.
Marcoo was a 1.4 kilotonne ground-level nuclear test carried out at Maralinga in 1956. The contaminated debris was buried at this site in the 1967 clean-up known as Operation Brumby.
History is writ large in the remote areas around Woomera and the Nullarbor: from the fossils of microscopic, cell-like creatures to ancient stone tools to the deitrus of rocket tests and the painful legacy of the Maralinga atomic blasts.
Poets are drawn to the time between seasons and to the time when both death and life, endings and beginnings, merge into each other and confuse us.
The beauty and delicacy of the Christmas story become in our consumerist hands a recipe for crassness and sentimentality. No surprise then, that poets are drawn to try to rescue it.
We need women to participate equally in science fiction’s conversations about humanity’s future.
Science fiction is a popular and lucrative genre – but most authors are men and relatable female characters are sadly lacking. Given this entrenched sexism, it's time for publishers to take affirmative action.
A doll lies in the ghost town of Pripyat, abandoned since the nearby Chernobyl power plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown in 1986.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse has documented heart-rending testimonies and elicited shattering revelations. But how does a society witness itself failing at its most fundamental duty?
Gurindji ranger Ursula Chubb pays her respects to ancestors killed in the early 1900s at Blackfella Creek, where children were tied with wire and dragged by horses, and adults were shot as they fled. They were buried under rocks where they fell.
Brenda L Croft, from Yijarni
The Gurindji people of the Northern Territory made history 50 years ago by standing up for their rights to land and better pay. But a new book reveals the deeper story behind the Wave Hill Walk-Off.
Aboriginal elder Max Eulo holds a baby in front of a sea of 70,000 multi-coloured paper hands at the Sydney Opera House in December 2000.
Racism is again on the rise in many parts of the world. So is the dehumanisation of our enemies. What hope is there, then, for notions of a common humanity?