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Foundational Fictions in South Australian History
Foundational Fictions in South Australian History

Foundational Fictions in South Australian History

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In this lively, provocative collection, some of Australia's leading historians - and a Miles Franklin shortlisted historical novelist - challenge established myths, narratives and 'beautiful lies' about South Australia's past. Some are unmasked as false stories that mask brutal realities, like colonial violence - while others are revealed as simplistic versions of more complex truths.

'Each generation writes history that speaks to its own interests and concerns,' write historians Paul Ashton and Anna Clark. In Foundational Fictions in South Australian History, which grew out of a series of public lectures at the University of Adelaide, an impressive range of contributors suggest different ways in which familiar narratives of South Australia can be interpreted. These essays tap into wider debates, too, about the nature and purpose of history - and the 'history wars' first flamed by John Howard.

Stuart Macintyre highlights South Australia's central role in several national events. Humphrey McQueen questions the origins and influence of the money behind South Australia's so-called progressive founding. Lucy Treloar suggests historians can learn from novelists when it comes to understanding the past. Steven Anderson argues that Don Dunstan's achievement in abolishing capital punishment owed much to a historical movement. And Carolyn Collins highlights the role of anti-conscription group Save Our Sons (SOS) in not just ending the Vietnam War, but broadening the appeal of the anti-war movement.

Carolyn Collins is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide. Her doctoral thesis, titled 'Those Women with Banners: A History of the Save Our Sons Movement, 1965-1973', was awarded the University Doctoral Research Medal in 2016.

Paul Sendziuk is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Adelaide, with expertise in Australian history, immigration history, and the history of disease and public health.

Praise for Foundational Fictions in South Australian History
'Foundational Fictions brings together some key (mis)conceptions about South Australia and allows the reader to reinvestigate the past record and query just who makes history, and how history is passed down to successive generations. This book would be a really useful resource for developing students' understanding of the historical concepts proposed by the Australian history curriculum: "evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, perspectives, empathy and contestability".' - Helen Eddy, ReadPlus