History at the Crossroads: Australians and the Past

Halstead Press
Publication Type:
2010, 1
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This book is the outcome of several year's engagement with aspects of public history in Australia. It weaves together the results of a number of Australian Research Council research project which we have undertaken including a national project on historical understanding called âAustralians and the Pastâ and a study of memorials and memorialisation in Australia, âPlaces of the Heartâ. It also draws on reflections about our work with a range of community groups, museums and heritage agencies. Over the ten years or so that the book has been in process, there have been many significant shifts in both the history discipline and the field known as public history, both in this country and many others around the world. What began as a defiant intellectual project on âan impossible to categoriseâ area (sociology, history, anthropology) that we knew was essential to understanding the great interest and passion for history in many different forms within the broader population, has now become one of many which examines what is variously referred to as âconsuming historyâ, âusing historyâ, âthe heritage industryâ, âcultural tourismâ and, more theoretically, âhistorical consciousnessâ.
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