A war is raging in historical circles. Divisions about how to interpret Australian history and the politicisation of the topic - see in the vilification of Manning Clark as a 'Soviet spy', the Windschuttle/Reynolds dispute on Aboriginal history and controversy over the National Museum - have split the profession. But the struggle see in the 'History Wars' involves not only ideology and politics, but also how historians practise their profession. The use of evidence discovered and uncovered in the archives is at the heart of some of the key controversies in the History Wars. Research and interpretation are both essential to the historian's work and defending them to the public at large has become part of the historian's role in today's Australia.
In this lecture, Professor Macintyre will draw on his experience of the History Wars and reflect on the implications for the present and future of historical scholarship in Australia.
About the speaker
Professor Stuart Macintyre has been Ernest Scott Professor of History at the University of Melbourne since 1990 and Dean of the Faculty of Arts since 1999 and has published widely on British and Australian history. Professor Macintyre's book The History Wars, co-written with Anna Clark and published in 2003, analyses the contemporary Australian debate about history. Professor Macintyre is a long-time user and supporter of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre and is currently the patron of the Friends of the Noel Butlin Archives Centre.
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