From the Ruins of Colonialism: History as Social Memory

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CUP Archive, Mar 27, 1997 - History - 249 pages
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From the Ruins of Colonialism throws new light on history, social memory and colonialism. The book charts how films, books and storytelling, public commemoration and instruction have, in a strange ensemble, created something we call Australian history. It considers key moments of historical imagination, including Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal histories of Captain Cook, school-histories and museum exhibitions, and the gendering of events such as the Eureka Stockade and the shipwreck of Eliza Fraser. Chris Healy argues that the way in which the past is constructed in the public imagination raises pressing questions. He describes the predicament of European Australians who imagined a continent 'without history' while themselves being obsessed with history. He asks: what can history mean in a postcolonial society? This book seeks a new sense of remembering. Rather than being content with a culture of amnesia or facile nostalgia, it makes the case for learning to belong in the ruins of colonial histories. Chris Healy's investigation of historical cultures and narratives is innovative and stimulating; it is a powerful statement for historical imagination in our times.
 

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Contents

Illustrations
2
White Histories of Cook
16
The Apotheosis of Captain Cook
18
The front cover of the current guide book to Cooks Cottage
31
Black Histories of Cook
42
Hobbles Danaiyairi
59
INSTALLING MEMORY
73
Cover image from Strahan et al Rare and Curious Specimens
80
IN THE EVENT
130
The Eureka Flag
134
Still from The Eureka Stockade
156
Eliza Fraser and the Impossibility of Postcolonial History
160
Untitled image of Eliza Fraser
174
Death of Captain Fraser
187
Notes
190
Select Bibliography
224

Collection of Aboriginal material on display
94
The Memorywork of Schooling
106
School interior Beechworth
108

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