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Denying the Stolen Generations: What happens to Indigenous history in a post-truth world?
chapterposted on 2021-09-27, 04:59 authored by Benjamin JonesBenjamin Jones
This chapter considers two questions faced by historians. First, what is the impact of post-truth on Indigenous history? The question is potentially jarring in that the profession has broadly retreated from 104 Benjamin T. Jones the Rankean dictate to reveal history ‘as it really was’ (wie es eigentlich gewesen) and is largely content to (re)construct the most likely version of events based on the available evidence.5 The once-ubiquitous custom of writing the history of something has long since been replaced by writing a history, an acknowledgement that the past can never be fully and objectively recovered. But even if truth itself is a concept that historians usually prefer to leave to the philosophers and theologians, a narrative that relies on and values emotion over evidence can reasonably be called post-truth.6 As the definition offered in the introduction to this book stresses, ‘post-truth history’ is not a synonym for lies but is chiefly characterised by indifference to truth in pursuit of ideological ends. Second, when does revisionism or downplaying morph into denialism? These are important and complex questions that hold a particular urgency when the content matter they deal with is sensitive, controversial, or easily politicised.
EditorGudonis M; Jones BT
Number of Pages18
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
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Cultural WarningThis research output may contain the names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. We apologize for any distress that may occur.