Professor Russell gives Australian History Lecture

CABAH Partner Investigator Professor Lynette Russell from Monash University gave the 2nd Bicentennial Australian History Lecture today at the University of Sydney’s Department of History.

Professor Russell spoke about how we understand, imagine, visualise and create narratives for 50,000 years of Australian history.

“As commonly presented, Australia’s past seems to consist of 230 years of European colonisation and over 50,000 years of Aboriginal culture, the former the purview of historians and the latter of archaeologists,” Professor Russell said.

“Yet it presents striking opportunities for a truly integrated and seamless deep continental history, combining disciplines and methodologies.

“Such a history would consider the full range of human experience from arrival, through changes in climate, technologies and belief systems to interactions with Maccassan, Portuguese, Dutch, French and finally the British. It would stretch across 2500 unbroken generations of people birthed, nurtured and sustained: people who modified landscapes, hunted, sang songs, practised religion and buried their dead.”

Professor Russell’s lecture argued for mixing epistemologies to create historical narratives of the deep past that may be taught in schools and universities, presented in museums and popular culture, and proudly shared by all Australians.

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