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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Ryan Johnston‘s experience in the museum and university sectors spans more than 17 years, and in 2018 was appointed the director of Buxton Contemporary. From 2012-2018 he was Head of Art at the Australian War Memorial, where he oversaw one of the most significant collections of Australian art ranging from the 19th century to the present day. Prior to joining the Memorial, Ryan was Acting Director of the Shepparton Art Museum in Victoria, and he also worked for several years as a lecturer in the former School of Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne. His research focuses on post-war and contemporary art, and he is the author of recent texts on artists Fiona Hall, Douglas Watkin and Tom Nicholson among others. Ryan is also a member of the editorial committee of the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Art, and a Chief Investigator on the ‘Art in Conflict’ ARC linkage project led by Curtin University.
Dr Micaela Sahhar is an Australian-Palestinian poet and researcher. Trained in law, history and literature, she often works at the intersection of disciplines in her research practice. Micaela completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne on Israeli national narrative and Western media coverage in the 21stcentury. This work was particularly concerned with the elision of Palestinian narrative, and the possibilities of its recuperation. In addition to academic publications, Micaela is an occasional commentator on the politics of the Israel-Palestinian question. Current research interests include comparative settler colonialism, identity and indigeneity, and questions of resistance in settler-colonial societies.
Dr Jordana Silverstein is an ARC Postdoctoral Research Associate based in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne, researching the history of Australian child refugee policy from 1970 to the present. Her research more generally has focused on questions of belonging, nationalism, identity, historiography, sexuality and memory, which she has primarily investigated through the lens of Australian Jewish history. She is the author of Anxious Histories: Narrating the Holocaust in Jewish Communities at the Beginning of the Twenty First Century (Berghahn Books, 2015), and co-editor of In the Shadows of Memory: The Holocaust and the Third Generation (Vallentine Mitchell, 2016), and has published widely in academic and non-academic publications in Australia and internationally.