Public Histories of Australian and British Women's Suffrage: Some Comparative Issues

Hilda Kean

Abstract

In this article I consider the ways in which activists in the British suffrage movement became the public historians of their own pasts. I analyse the different forms in which the history of suffrage feminism was created and the ways in which it both drew upon former traditions of the labour movement and conventions of public memorialisation. I consider the ways in which the Australian suffrage campaign has been memorialised and differences between this and the British position. I raise a number of questions about ways in which public historians might explore the creation of collective histories and the role of individuals within that process arising from this initial comparative analysis.

Keywords

Public history; British suffrage; Australian suffrage; historical practice; visual material ; material culture

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