The aim of this conference is to examine in depth several sites of public debates on the past that have seen the active involvement of professional historians. International and local speakers will share with us their experience of particular debates with a view to discerning emergent general patterns that may be suggestive of the future of the discipline. Among the themes and problems the conference will address will be those evident in Aboriginal history in Australia, legal cases involving gay history in the United States, debates on history text-books, the work of truth commissions such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the conflict over ‘Hindu’ history in India in the last two decades, the controversy over the Enola Gay exhibition in the United States, the work of the Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal in New Zealand, and Israeli archaeology. This conference hopes to contribute to contemporary discussions of disciplines and their futures in a world marked by growing demands for recognition of groups hitherto marginalised by mainstream national and institutional practices. By focusing on the discipline of history in particular, this conference will provide a forum for discussion by historians as to whether or not their involvement in public disputation has led them to rethink the protocols of the discipline, or its many possible futures, in any fundamental way.
The speakers will include Bain Attwood (Monash University and The Australian National University), Neeladri Bhattacharya (Jawaharlal Nehru University), Laurence Brown (The Australian National University), Dipesh Chakrabarty, George Chauncey and Arnold Davidson (University of Chicago), Paula Hamilton (University of Technology, Sydney), Claudio Lomnitz (New School, New York), Klaus Neumann (Swinburne), Deborah Posel (University of Witwaterstrand), Bill Schwarz (Queen Mary's College, University of London), Keith Sorrenson (University of Auckland) and)David Thelen (Indiana University, Bloomington).
Dr. Maria Suzette Fernandes-Dias
Centre for Cross Cultural Research
Australian National University
Liversidge Street, Acton
Phone: (02) 6125 9879
Fax: (02) 6248 0054
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