Writing Histories

Writing Histories : Imagination and Narration

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In a new and updated edition, Writing Histories: Imagination and Narration is a book for anyone wanting to write histories that capture the imagination and challenge the intellect. It aims to show that historical narrative and imagination can work together to produce works of history that are a pleasure to read. Nine historians reflect on their work as writers, exploring some of the most difficult and interesting questions any history-writer faces: how to get started, how to find a 'voice', how to enliven a description or a narration, and how to find a worthwhile structure. Contributors also suggest how historians can convey multiple perspectives, 'show' rather than tell, foreground the research process, find inspiration from music, painting and landscape, and use literary techniques such as metaphor. The book will be a useful text for teachers and students in history-writing classes and informal groups. There are suggestions for group exercises, and advice on how to conduct writing workshops. However, many historians, both students and established writers, will continue to write in relative isolation. This book is also intended for them.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 124 pages
  • 155 x 230 x 3mm | 172g
  • Clayton, VIC, Australia
  • English
  • Updated
  • 098046482X
  • 9780980464825
  • 81,299

About Ann Curthoys

Ann Curthoys is Manning Clark Professor of History at the Australian National University and an ARC Professorial Fellow. She was educated at the University of Sydney (BA Hons, 1967), Sydney Teachers' College (Dip. Ed., 1967), and Macquarie University, Sydney (PhD, 1973). Earlier in her career she taught Women's Studies at ANU and History at the University of Technology, Sydney. She has written about many aspects of Australian history, including Aboriginal-European relations, racially restrictive immigration policies, Chinese in colonial Australia, journalism, television, and 'second wave' feminism. She also writes about historical theory and historical writing. Her books include Freedom Ride: A freedomrider remembers (2002), winner of the Stanner Prize, and, with John Docker, Is History Fiction? (2005). She is currently completing a collaborative project with Ann Genovese, Alex Reilly, and Larissa Behrendt on 'Historical Experts and Indigenous Litigants'; they have a contract with UNSW Press for a book with the provisional title, Law, History, and Indigenous Peoples. Her ARC Professorial Fellowship, which began in March 2007, is for a project entitled 'Indigenous Peoples, the British Empire, and self-government for the Australian colonies'. Ann McGrath: My main interests are gender, colonialism, film and the history of Indigenous relations in Australia and North America. I am interested in presenting scholarly history in a range of genres. Exhibitions curated include one on Women and Childbirth during the Federation era and one on International Outlaws as national heroes. I produced the film 'A Frontier Conversation' (Wonderland Productions, Ronin distributors, 2006) and have worked as an advisor on various television and film projects. My consultancy and outreach work has included co-ordinating the history project of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, working as an expert witness in the Gunner and Cubillo case and in various Northern Territory land claims. I was accepted as a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to history, especially Indigenous history. My work has also been recognized by the award of the Inaugural W.K. Hancock prize, the Human Rights Award for non-fiction, the John Barrett Prize, the Archibald Hannah Junior Fellowship at the Beinecke Library, Yale.
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