Monumental discovery narratives and deep history

The Research Centre Director, Ann McGrath, has written a new article on deep history. Published in the latest edition of the Humanities Australia Journal, it contrasts the destruction of the Indigenous heritage site of Juukan Gorge with the police protection awarded the statue of James Cook in Hyde Park. She argues that the nationalist narratives of discovery obstruct a clear view of the deep past. In order to advance the study of deep time, she argues that the history discipline requires reconceptualization and the development of new tools. She concludes that “to prevent discovery’s monumental features continuing to block the view of deep time, historians need to appreciate indigenous interpretations of the deep past, and work with Indigenous leaders to ensure future histories of nation align with Indigenous sovereignty and inform reparative justice. To do so, the discipline’s parameters must be open to radical change”.