Passionate Histories

Passionate Histories

Myth, memory and Indigenous Australia

Edited by: Frances Peters-Little, Ann Curthoys, John Docker

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This book examines the emotional engagements of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people with Indigenous history. The contributors are a mix of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous scholars, who in different ways examine how the past lives on in the present, as myth, memory, and history. Each chapter throws fresh light on an aspect of history-making by or about Indigenous people, such as the extent of massacres on the frontier, the myth of Aboriginal male idleness, the controversy over Flynn of the Inland, the meaning of the Referendum of 1967, and the policy and practice of Indigenous child removal.

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ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Sep 2010
Aboriginal History Monograph 21
ANU Press
Aboriginal History Monographs
Aboriginal History
Arts & Humanities: History; Social Sciences: Indigenous Studies

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Part One:  Massacres

  1. The country has another past: Queensland and the History Wars (PDF, 403KB)Raymond Evans doi
  2. ‘Hard evidence’: the debate about massacre in the Black War in Tasmania (PDF, 170KB)Lyndall Ryan doi
  3. Epistemological vertigo and allegory: thoughts on massacres, actual, surrogate, and averted – Beersheba, Wake in Fright, Australia (PDF, 318KB)John Docker doi

Part Two:  Myths

  1. Remembering the referendum with compassion (PDF, 1.7MB)Frances Peters-Little doi
  2. Idle men: the eighteenth-century roots of the Indigenous indolence myth (PDF, 314KB)Shino Konishi doi
  3. ‘These unoffending people’: myth, history and the idea of Aboriginal resistance in David Collins’ Account of the English Colony in New South Wales (PDF, 269KB)Rachel Standfield doi
  4. Demythologising Flynn, with Love: contesting missionaries in Central Australia in the twentieth century (PDF, 269KB)David Trudinger doi

Part Three:  Memory and Oral History

  1. Paul Robeson’s visit to Australia and Aboriginal activism, 1960 (PDF, 312KB)Ann Curthoys doi
  2. Using poetry to capture the Aboriginal voice in oral history transcripts (PDF, 256KB)Lorina Barker doi

Part Four:  Identity, Myth and Memory

  1. Making a debut: myths, memories and mimesis (PDF, 191KB)Anna Cole doi
  2. Identity and identification: Aboriginality from the Spanish Civil War to the French Ghettos (PDF, 1.8MB)Vanessa Castejon doi
  3. Urban Aboriginal ceremony: when seeing is not believing (PDF, 225KB)Kristina Everett doi
  4. Island Home Country: working with Aboriginal protocols in a documentary film about colonisation and growing up white in Tasmania (PDF, 6.8MB)Jeni Thornley doi

Part Five:  The Stolen Generations

  1. Reconciliation without history: state crime and state punishment in Chile and Australia (PDF, 264KB)Peter Read doi
  2. Overheard – conversations of a museum curator (PDF, 1.5MB)Jay Arthur, with Barbara Paulson and Troy Pickwick doi
  3. On the significance of saying ‘sorry’: Apology and reconciliation in Australia (PDF, 215KB)Isabelle Auguste doi

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