Why did this woman, so devoted to her political cause and to her vision of a united France, chose to be burnt at the stake at the age of 19 instead of acquiescing to her judges’ directives?
Essays On Air: Joan of Arc, our one true superhero.
The Conversation 22.1 MB (download)
Joan of Arc has been depicted as a national heroine, nationalist symbol, a rebellious heretic and a goodly saint. Forget Wonder Woman and Batman – Jeanne d’Arc may be our one and only true superhero.
Morning Mist Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, Southwest Tasmania.
Peter Dombrovskis/ (courtesy Liz Dombrovskis) AAP
March 1, 2018
The Franklin River campaign is commonly seen as a green victory; a fight for the right of 'wilderness' to exist. But archaeological research revealing the region's deep Aboriginal history was crucial to it.
Sister Mary Rose, Elizabeth Durack, 1968.
March 6, 2018
Art and colonialism
Australian artist Elizabeth Durack became infamous for her use of an Aboriginal nom de plume in 1990s. But in the 1960s, when the country was striving for independence from Australia, she portrayed Papuan women with sensitivity.
Frances McDormand after winning the award for Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
While the 2018 Oscars ceremony showed its support for women against sexual harassment, women remain underrepresented in some of the awards catagories.
Detail from Saint Michael and the Demon, a neogothical stained glass window from Saint-Martin de Florac Church.
The Vatican is training priests to recognise and deal with the demonically possessed. This re-emergence of the Devil in popular Western culture is part of a new engagement with an enchanted world.
Mexican directors have won in their category four years out of the past five.
Francis Williams of the Naygayiw Gigi Dance Troupe in a scene from Carriberrie.
Joshua Flavell © Carriberrie Pty Ltd
February 28, 2018
A new virtual reality film showing at the Australian Museum immerses viewers in remote Indigenous communities. Such films can be a path to reconciliation and understanding.
Timothée Chalamet (left) and Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name (2017): a beautiful film, equal parts sweet and sad, it deserves to win.
Sony Pictures Classics
Juxtaposed against this year’s other nominees, Call Me By Your Name reveals just how heavy-handed, self important and downright silly much popular cinema has become.
Eva Blue/Flickr, Southern Cross Austereo
The personal is now commercial – beauty, fashion and feminism.
The Conversation 22.2 MB (download)
Sometimes I want to cheer online publications that combine politics, fashion and beauty for the way they are mainstreaming feminism. On closer inspection, though, it has produced some odd results.
Heavy metal concert fans: there are striking differences in the emotional responses of fans and non-fans of death metal.
February 21, 2018
Music and psychology
For non-fans, listening to death metal is a negative experience. But research has found the music has the opposite effect on fans, giving rise to positive experiences such as power, joy and peace.
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.
February 22, 2018
From phallus-shaped wind chimes to explicit erotica on lamps and cups, sex is everywhere in ancient Greek and Roman art. But our interpretations of these images say much about our own culture.
Marchers at the 1978 Mardi Gras parade.
Sally Colechin/The Pride History Group
February 22, 2018
On the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978.
The Conversation, CC BY 31.7 MB (download)
On a cold Saturday night in Sydney on June 24, 1978, a number of gay men, lesbians and transgender people marched into the pages of Australian social history. I was one of them.
A forensic photograph featured in the film Unnatural Deaths.
courtesy NSW Police
February 18, 2018
Bereaved families strive to comprehend that there is nothing they could have done to prevent the death of their loved one. Viewing the crime-and-accident scene images can offer a path to healing.
A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century B.C.
©Trustees of the British Museum. (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
February 20, 2018
The idea that the athletic contests – held in honour of the Greek god Zeus for over a thousand years – were shut down by a puritanical Christian emperor makes for a good story. But is it true?
Detail of ‘Smell’ c1500, from The lady and the unicorn series.
wool and silk, 368 x 322 cm
Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris
Photo © RMN-GP / M Urtado
The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven around 1500, have been called the 'Mona Lisa of the Middle Ages'. While they make for breathtaking viewing, their threads are encoded with much meaning.
An echidna in the Western Granites at Jam Tree Gully.
February 15, 2018
On his bush block in the WA wheatbelt, poet John Kinsella attempts habitat restoration and reflects on the responsibilities of the writer as a witness to species loss.