In Conversation: Two Cross-Cultural Historians and their Recent Work

Seminar/Forum

In Conversation: Two Cross-Cultural Historians and their Recent Work

Dr Kat Ellinghaus will discuss her most recent book, Blood Will Tell: Native Americans and Assimilation Policy. The book examines the processes, policies and conversations by which, after centuries of cross cultural relationships, blood quantum came to dominate conceptions of Native American identity in the first half of the twentieth century. Ellinghaus will talk about the many ways in which Native American people resisted, challenged and shaped the U.S. government's efforts to categorise them, as well as the methodological and ethical challenges of writing about this fraught political topic.

Dr Rebe Taylor will discuss her book, Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search for Human Antiquity which follows the journey of English gentleman, Ernest Westlake, who in 1908 packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks Westlake collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. He believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But in the remotest corners of the island Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities and unwittingly documented what he could not perceive: an Aboriginal people with a complex culture and a deep past.

The two historians discuss their recent work in conversation with Professor Kate Darian-Smith.

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