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In 2015 Graeme Davison observed that family history had emerged from the world of the ‘private hobby’ and, taking on new understandings of genealogy, memory and history, become a new ‘shared civic endeavour.’ Everywhere we see evidence of a remarkable upsurge of interest in family history as popular culture, as we become more willing to locate our families ‘in the throes of history’, and ‘against the background of their times.’ As faith in the grand narratives of class, civic responsibility and national identity has declined, family history has come to promise a deeper sense of who we are.

Related Histories: Studying the Family is a two-day conference convened by the National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, and the Centre for Applied History, Macquarie University, in partnership with the National Library of Australia. It will consider some of the big questions in family history in keynote addresses, and hear from a wide variety of family history practitioners through research papers and ten minute presentations. The conference will allow space for discussion and debate of the key questions: How can the different sectors – academics, students, genealogists, and amateur historians – work together to support the development of family history?

Speakers include: Alan Atkinson, Lorina Barker, Tim Bonyhady, Nick Brodie, Graeme Davison, Anna Green, Jenny Hocking, Janet McCalman, Susannah Radstone, Penny Russell and Angela Wanhalla.

Special Event: Graeme Davison, author of the acclaimed Lost Relations: Fortunes of My Family in Australia’s Golden Age (2015), will deliver the conference’s key note lecture in which he will reflect on his research process and the impact of this for his historical thinking.
Location: Theatre, NLA, 28 November 6.30-7.30 pm. The lecture is a free public event.

When: Tuesday 28 November to Wednesday 29 November 2017, 9:00am-5:00pm.
National Library of Australia, Parkes Place, Barton, ACT
Both days $165 ($140 concession; $110 students), Daily rate $85 ($70 concession; $55 students)
Contact: Malcolm Allbrook

Read more and check out the draft conference program online here, or at the link below.

Image: Mother reading to girls – Scone area, NSW, 1913, courtesy State Library of NSW.