Mark McKenna – QE 69: On the Use and Abuse of Australian History – Wednesday 28th March
In conversation with Paul Daley
Australia is on the brink of momentous change, but only if its citizens and politicians can come to new terms with the past. Indigenous recognition and a new push for a republic await action.
Judging by the Captain Cook statue controversy, though, our debates about the past have never been more fruitless. Is there a way beyond the history wars that began under John Howard? And in an age of free-floating fears about the global, digital future, is history any longer relevant, let alone equal to the task of grounding the nation?
In this inspiring essay, Mark McKenna considers the frontier, the Anzac legacy and deep time. He drags some fascinating new scholarship into the light, and pushes the debate about history beyond the familiar polarities.