An historian who specialises in 18th to 20th century Europe and the political role of art in times of rapid social change.
Dr Michael Adcock is a social and cultural historian with over ten years’ experience in leading residential study tours in Paris and France. He has a strong interest in the interpretation of the arts in the context of the political and social moment in which they were created.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts (Combined First-Class Honours in French and History), a Master of Arts (French History) and a Doctor of Philosophy (French History), all from the University of Melbourne. He has held a post as lecturer-in-charge at the University of Melbourne, where he presented courses on the French Revolution and on French society and culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is currently Head of History and Head of Humanities at Melbourne Grammar School. In 2013, he was awarded the prestigious History Teachers’ Association of Victoria award for Excellence in the Teaching of History.
Michael led his first Academy Travel tour to Paris in 2006, although this had been preceded by some ten visits, many of them residential trips for the purposes of academic research. During this time, Michael came to know the city in depth, and has since found great intellectual satisfaction in introducing people to its treasures and, perhaps more importantly, in teaching them how to navigate the city so that they may return to travel independently on a future occasion.
We asked Michael what he enjoys most about leading tours?
“I love the feeling of a tour that unfolds with the regularity of clockwork. I like to see people swept along effortlessly on a seamless unfolding of vivid travel experiences. For me, tour leading is not hard work, but a real professional joy. I sometimes feel rather like the operators who provide the New Year’s Eve fireworks display on Sydney Harbour, in the sense that I carefully plan the sequence of spectacles, and then orchestrate them one by one until the whole makes up a dazzling display of French history.”