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ACAT Seminar Series

View through two wire farm gates across a dry farm landscape with a couple of green trees in the background

The Australian League of Rights: Foundations and transformations of the illiberal imagination

Presented by Brett Nicholls

Thursday 28 March 2024, 12noon to 1.15pm

Building 210.104 Elizabeth Jolley case study room

Please RSVP your in-person attendance to or simply join us online on the day on WebEx

The Australian League of Rights has been a strident and polarising organisation since its inception in the 1940s. This seminar will explore the League’s foundation and evolution by examining three key signifiers: heritage, the communist menace, and the Christian nation. Drawing on the League’s prodigious production of newsletters, pamphlets, recordings, catalogues, and books over some seventy years, the seminar shows how these signifiers form a reactionary and racist vision for Australian society rooted in a traditional illiberal imagination that, through refinement, becomes normalised over time. The seminar concludes by considering how the League’s far-right material helps us draw contrasts with and understand better the new right today.

Brett Nicholls is a member of the Department of Media, Film, and Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand. His research focuses on media politics, critical theory and discourse analysis. He recently published a co-edited volume with Springer titled Post-Truth and the Mediation of Reality (2019). He is also an editor of Borderlands: Culture, Politics, Law and Earth and the new journal Baudrillard Now.