History Australia, the journal of the Australian Historical Association, has accepted my article 'Dreaming war: airmindedness and the Australian mystery aeroplane scare of 1918' for publication in the August 2013 issue. This is the second time my blogging to conference paper to peer-reviewed article workflow has borne fruit. I stumbled across the scare nearly two years ago, became curious, and started digging in the National Archives of Australia about six months later. Once I was convinced there was something to the topic, I proposed a talk for the AHA's 2012 conference, and when that was accepted started blogging around the material intensively (here, here, here, here, here, here, and here). With some help from the AHA/CAL writing workshops, the AHA National Writing Cluster pilot, and of course the article's referees, I can now (well, soon, anyway) say that I'm an Australian historian in both senses of the term!

My plan is to use this article as the foundation for a larger project on mystery aircraft scares. Ultimately this could embrace scares in Australia, Britain (the next and current phase), New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the United States, and maybe even beyond. To do this right will involve archival research and so at least some funding from somewhere. Because there's little existing historiography on mystery aircraft to draw upon, my idea is to use this article to show that the topic is a solid one which is worth further research, and to suggest where I'm going with it. Ideally this project would lead to a book, but even if it doesn't work out that way I'll at least get a few articles out of it. For now, getting an article on the Australian mystery aeroplane scare of 1918 out there is a good start.

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4 thoughts on “Next

  1. Congratulations! Sounds like an interesting longer-term project,with links to eg work on conspiracies and the like; given that the leverhume trust just funded a million-pound research project on the latter,* there might even be scope for research council funding!

    *Admittedly it probably helps if your PI's Sir Richard...

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    I actually thought about applying for one of the CRASSH conspiracy post-docs, but as I recall it was slanted too much towards the 19th century for my liking. But as you say, it shows that funding agencies can be persuaded to take an interest in potentially outré topics. There might be some useful methodological stuff for me, too, so worth keeping an eye on them.

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