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What have the French ever done for us? French-Australian relations

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The University of Adelaide (Napier Lecture Theatre 102)

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5005

Australia

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“France and the French in Australia’s growth to nationhood: 1914-1945”.

Talk by Colin Nettelbeck, Emeritus Professor of French, University of Melbourne.

In the more than 200 years of relations between France and Australia, the ambiguities and complexities of the period that spans the two world wars of the 20th century is of special interest. This lecture will argue that the specific role of France and the French in Australia’s growth to nationhood deserves much closer attention that it has received to date. It will show how, from the military alliance of World War I to the appointment of Australia’s first ambassador to France in 1945, the tension between attempts to forge closer bonds, on the one hand, and frequently resurgent distrust and conflict, on the other hand, were crucial to Australia’s self-image and self-positioning as an emerging nation in a dramatically unstable geo-political world.

Colin Nettelbeck (BA Hons Adel, DU Paris) is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, Officier des Palmes Académiques and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur. Founder and past president of the Insitute of the Study of French Australian Relations, he is currently the chair of the ISFAR Research Committee. He has written numerous studies of modern and contemporary French cultural history and of the links between Australia and France. He is currently working on a history of French Australian Relations from 1788 to the present.

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The University of Adelaide (Napier Lecture Theatre 102)

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5005

Australia

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