Talking About History: A Case for Oral Historiography

Anna Clark

Abstract


The history wars are far from over—the question is, do they resonate beyond the limited public sphere in which they play out? What do Australians think of their history in light of these politicised historical debates? By way of answer, this paper examines the enduring public contest over the past and then investigates more elusive, but no less significant, everyday conversations about Australian history around the country. By proposing a method of ‘oral historiography’ to gauge contemporary historical understandings in Australia, it brings a critical new perspective to these ongoing debates. It offers ordinary people a chance to contribute to national discussions about Australian history and it challenges some of the more simplistic and troubling assumptions of the history wars.

Keywords


Oral Historiography; History Wars

Full Text:

PDF

References


The Community Manifesto – Valuing Australia's Community Groups, Melbourne, Our Community.

Critics hit "distorted" history. Hobart Mercury, 2 March.

New curriculum "blots out British heritage". Available: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/01/2833405.htm [Accessed 19 July 2010].

Students to learn "balanced view of history. Available: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/01/2833094.htm [Accessed 19 July 2010].

ALBRECHTSEN, J. 26 January 2009. Dodson Proves an Ungracious Winner. The Australian [Online]. Available from: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/janetalbrechtsen/index.php/theaustralian/comments/dodson_proves_an_ungracious_winner/ [Accessed 27 January 2009].

Ashton, P. & Hamilton, P. 2003. At Home with the Past: Background and Initial Findings from the National Survey. Australian Cultural History, 5-30.

Ashton, P. & Hamilton, P. 2010. History at the Crossroads: Australians and the Past, Sydney, Halstead Press.

Berger, S. 2007. Introduction. In: Berger, S. (ed.) Writing the Nation: A Global Perspective. Hampshire, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230223059_1

BIBBY, P. 2008. Radio Callers Outraged: I'm disgusted, says one. The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February.

Billig, M. 1995. Banal Nationalism, London, Sage.

Brett, J. & Moran, A. 2006. Ordinary People's Politics, Melbourne, Pluto Press.

Cameron, K. & Lawless, J. 1997. Securing Their Future: Response from the History Teachers' Association of NSW. Teaching History, 31, 4-5.

CLARK, A. 2008. History's Children: History Wars in the Classroom, Sydney, New South.

Crotty, M. & Bonnell, A. 2008. Australia's History under Howard, 1996-2007. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 150.

Curran, J. 2004. The Power of Speech: Australian Prime Ministers Defining the National Image, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.

DONNELLY, K. 2010. One-sided view of the past. Sunday Herald Sun, 30 May.

Dyrenfurth, N. 2007. John Howard's Hegemony of Values: The Politics of "Mateship" in the Howard Decade. Australian Journal of Political Science, 42, 219. https://doi.org/10.1080/10361140701319994

EDITORIAL. 2009. Look to the Future for an Australia Day Date. The Age, 27 January.

FERRARI, J. 2010. Historian slams school course. The Australian, 25 May.

Gaita, R. 1997. Not Right. Quadrant, 46.

GARY B., N., CRABTREE, C. & DUNN, R. E. 1997. History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past, New York, Alfred A. Knopf.

GRIFFITHS, M. 2010. Rewriting history: curriculum overhaul "left-wing. Available: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/14/2900219.htm [Accessed 25 September 2010].

HARRISON, D. 2010. Fears new history course too ambitious. Sydney Morning Herald, 1 March.

Henige, D. 1982. Oral Historiography, London, Longman.

HUGHES-WARRINGTON, M. & AL, E. 2009. Historical Thinking in Higher Education: An ALTC Discipline-Based Initiative, Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

JAMAL, N. 1998. Changes to history course fail to reassure teachers. Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September.

Levstik, L. S. & Barton, K. 2008. Researching History Education: Theory, Method and Context, New York, Routledge.

LEWIS, J. 1994. Carr calls for a return to educational basics. Sydney Morning Herald, 6 June.

Macintyre, S. & Clark, A. 2003. The History Wars, Melbourne, Melbourne University Press.

Madianou, M. 2007. Shifting Discourses: Banal Nationalism and Cultural Intimacy in Greek Television News and Everyday Life. In: Mole, R. (ed.) Discursive Constructions of Identity in European Politics. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230591301_5

Manne, R. 2003. Whitewash: On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History, Melbourne, Black Inc.

MANNE, R. December 2007-January 2008. New Teeth for Aunty: Reinvigorating the National Broadcaster. The Monthly [Online]. Available: http://www.themonthly.com.au//monthly-essays-robertmanne-new-teeth-aunty-reinvigorating-national-broadcaster-749 [Accessed 21 July 2010].

Nobles, M. 2008. The Politics of Official Apologies, New York, Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511756252

NOWELL, L. 2010. The new history wars. Sunday Herald Sun, 30 May.

NOWELL, L. 2010. The new history wars. Sunday Herald Sun, 30 May.

PATTY, A. 2010. Battle looms over cuts to history education. Sydney Morning Herald, 20 March.

PEARSON, N. 1996. Open our hearts, and minds. The Australian, November 22.

Phillips, R. 1998. History Teaching, Nationhood and the State: A Study in Educational Politics, London, Cassell.

Rosenzweig, R. & Thelen, D. 1998. The Presence of the Past: Popular Uses of History in American Life, New York, Columbia University Press.

Rudd, K. 2009. Launch of first volume of Tom Keneally's Australians: Origins to Eureka [Online]. Canberra: National Library. Available: http://pmrudd.archive.dpmc.gov.au/node/6152 [Accessed 21 July 2010].

Schubert, M. 2008. Liberal Division Grows on Apology. The Age, 30 January.

Sears, A. M. & Hyslop-Margison, E. J. 2007. Crisis as a Vehicle for Educational Reform: The Case of Citizenship Education. Journal of Educational Thought, 41, 47-62.

Seixas, P. 2002. CHR Forum: Heavy Baggage En Route to Winnipeg. Canadian Historical Review, 82, 390-414. https://doi.org/10.3138/CHR.83.3.390

Seixas, P. 2006. Introduction. In: Seixas, P. (ed.) Theorizing historical consciousness. Toronto: Toronto University Press.

Seixas, P. (ed.) 2006. Theorizing Historical Consciousness, Toronto: Toronto University Press.

Seixas, P. 2006. What Is Historical Consciousness. In: Sandwell, R. (ed.) To the Past: History Education, Public Memory, and Citizenship in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Seixas, P. 2006. What is historical consciousness? In: Sandwell, R. (ed.) To the Past: History Education, Public Memory, and Citizenship in Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

SHERMAN, M. 2008. Letter. The Advertiser, 4 February.

Stearns, P., Seixas, P. & Wineburg, S. 2000. Knowing, Teaching and Learning History: National and International Perspectives, New York & London, New York University Press.

Stearns, P., Seixas, P. & Wineburg, S. (eds.) 2000. Knowing, teaching and learning history: National and international perspectives, New York and London: New York University Press.

Symcox, L. 2002. Whose History? The Struggle for National Standards in American Classrooms, New York, Teachers College Press.

Warhurst, J. 2007. The Howard Decade in Australian Government and Politics. Australian Journal of Political Science, 42, 189-194. https://doi.org/10.1080/10361140701319978

Wear, R. 2008. Permanent Populism: The Howard Government 1996-2007. Australian Journal of Political Science, 43, 617-634. https://doi.org/10.1080/10361140802429247

Wineburg, S. 2001. Historical thinking and other unnatural acts: Charting the future of teaching the past, Philadelphia, Temple University Press.

YOUNG, T. & YOUNG, C. 2003. Making history: A guide for the teaching and learning of history in Australian schools. Available: http://www.hyperhistory.org/images/assets/pdf/complete.pdf [Accessed 19 January 2007].




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5130/phrj.v17i0.1792