The sounds of silence in Australian collective memory and popular counter-narratives (Los sonidos del silencio en la memoria colectiva australiana y en los relatos alternativos populares)

Publisher:
ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
JOURNAL FOR THE STUDY OF EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT, 2020, 43, (3), pp. 544-573
Issue Date:
2020-07-23
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In 1968, the Australian anthropologist W. E. H. Stanner famously articulated that the nation’s history had been wracked by a ‘great Australian silence’ with regard to the recognition of Indigenous experience. Australia’s sense of its past, he argued, its very collective memory, had been built on a state of forgetting. Beyond that disciplinary silence, however, important historical ‘noise’ was being made about Indigenous history. Popular historical fiction and poetry, Indigenous family histories and forms of popular protest all offered important counter-narratives to that formal silence from the History discipline. Scholarship in the fields of anthropology and archaeology further pressed against the silences and silencing of Australian History. This paper uses the idea of silence to complicate historiographical space in Australia. By contemplating formal History texts, vernacular historical accounts and history-making beyond the discipline, it seeks to extend our understandings of national historiographies and historical knowledge.
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