Decolonizing Oral Histories: Reframing and restorying the past in Aboriginal Australia

On Tuesday 16 April, Wesleyan University’s Indigenous Studies Research Network hosted its annual symposium, with the theme ‘Decolonizing Oral Histories: A Symposium on Reframing and Restorying the Past in Aboriginal Australia’. This year, the two speakers were RDHP advisory committee member Lorina Barker, of the University of New England, and RDHP Postdoctoral Fellow Ben Silverstein.

At this well attended event, Ben delivered a paper titled ‘Eventful Histories: Narrating the Deep Past in Broome, Western Australia’, which approached the deep past by turning to think with and through Yawuru historical narration. The paper considered some of the ways this past might be populated and eventful in ways that condense meaning, reflecting on the implications of working with a past that is in intimate relation with people today.