Its a Riot 2019 - Keynote Seminar - Babette Smith

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Parramatta Female Factory

5 Fleet Street

North Parramatta, NSW 2151

Australia

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'Its a Riot ' Keynote Seminar: Flesh on the Bones

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FLESH ON THE BONESBabette Smith: 'My current project about the female convicts has caused me to think deeply about the historiography on the topic of convicts since the nineteen seventies. To realize how family history put flesh and blood on the skeleton of writing 'history from below'. How focus on the personal and the ordinary also produced changes in interpretation and perspective. Family history has led to the discovery of new sources. It has also influenced the digitization of existing sources. In a society established by the working class for the working class rather than created from above, it is fitting that such riches of information as we now possess has been motivated and much of it contributed by family historians. Family history has given us the 'colour' that as late as the nineteen sixties, we thought Australian history lacked.'BIOGRAPHYBabette Smith is an independent historian. She is well known for her ground-breaking book 'A Cargo of Women' which one historian described as 'turning our understanding of the women convicts on its head'. It was first published in 1988 and is now in its second edition. Babette followed that in 2008 with 'Australia's Birth Stain' which explained how shame about our penal history had distorted Australians understanding of their past and how it was family historians who uncovered much of convict history.Her latest book about the male convicts called 'The Luck of the Irish' won the NSW Premier’s History Prize (Community & Regional) in 2015. It was described by the judges as ‘Beautifully written and convincingly argued… refreshingly original.’In 2015 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her services to history.She is currently writing a book about the female convicts for the National Library which will be published in 2020.

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Parramatta Female Factory

5 Fleet Street

North Parramatta, NSW 2151

Australia

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