Tanya EvansAug 20, 2023
Family History, Historical Consciousness and Citizenship
A New Social History
Bloomsbury Publishing 2021
Family history is one of the most widely practiced forms of public history around the globe, especially in settler migrant nations like Australia and Canada. It empowers millions of researchers, linking the past to the present in powerful ways, transforming individuals' understandings of themselves and the world. Family History, Historical Consciousness and Citizenship: A New Social History (Bloomsbury, 2021) by Dr. Tanya Evans examines the practice, meanings and impact of undertaking family history research for individuals and society more broadly.
Dr. Evans shows how family history fosters inter-generational and cross-cultural, religious and ethnic knowledge, how it shapes historical empathy and consciousness and combats social exclusion, producing active citizens. Evans draws on her extensive research on family history, including survey data, oral history interviews and focus groups undertaken with family historians in Australia, England and Canada collected since 2016.
The book reveals that family historians collect and analyse varied historical sources, including oral testimony, archival documents, pictures and objects of material culture. This book reveals how people are thinking historically outside academia, what historical skills they are using to produce historical knowledge, what knowledge is being produced and what impact that can have on them, their communities and scholars.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.