Since the turn of the twenty-first century, family history is the place where two great oceans of research are meeting: family historians outside the academy, with traditionally trained, often university-employed historians. This collection is both a testament to dialogue and an analysis of the dynamics of recent family history that derives from the confluence of professional historians with family historians, their common causes and conversations. It brings together leading and emerging Australian and New Zealand scholars to consider the relationship between family history and the discipline of history, and the potential of family history to extend the scope of historical inquiry, even to revitalise the discipline. In Anglo-Western culture, the roots of the discipline's professionalisation lay in efforts to reconstruct history as objective knowledge, to extend its subject matter and to enlarge the scale of historical enquiry. Family history, almost by definition, is often inescapably personal and localised. How, then, have historians responded to this resurgence of interest in the personal and the local, and how has it influenced the thought and practice of historical enquiry?
Malcolm Allbrook is Research Fellow at the National Centre of Biography, and Managing Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography, in the School of History, Australian National University.
Sophie Scott-Brown is a Lecturer in Political Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, UK.
Part I: Family, History, Historians
1. Family, History, Historians
Malcolm Allbrook and Sophie Scott-Brown
2. Family Life and the Creation of Conscience: The Macarthurs, 1780-1860
3. The Extended Ken of Kin: A National Family History
Nicholas Dean Brodie
4. The Australian Dictionary of Biography and Family History
5. Writing Family, Writing Nation in 1988: Inside the National Library of Australia's Self-Published Family History Collection
Part II: Critical Historiography
6. Private Lives, Public History: Contemplating Intimate and Collective Historical Consciousness in Australia
7. Out of the Shadows: Family Silence and the National Imaginary
8. Family History and Biological Anthropology
9. DNA and Family History in Australia
Matthew Stallard and Jerome de Groot
Part III: Teaching and Learning Family History
10. Family History Research as a Transformative Pedagogy
11. Diploma of Family History: A Personal and Institutional History
12. Family History: Community and Collaboration