FASS Public Lecture Series
Dr Grace Karskens teaches Australian history in the School of History and Philosophy at the University of New South Wales. She writes about convicts, early colonial history and archaeology, urban history and environmental history, and her books include Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood and the awardwinning The Rocks: Life in Early Sydney. Her new book, The Colony: A History of early Sydney was launched by Allen & Unwin earlier this year. Grace is a Trustee of the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales.
Abstract: Aboriginal people made, claimed and reclaimed places for themselves in Sydney from the earliest years of white settlement. Using places, maps, paintings and artefacts, this paper reorients the townscape of early Sydney to recover Aboriginal histories and places, which were originally familiar, widely known and accepted, but which were eclipsed and forgotten in the succeeding waves of city-making. These lost histories throw new light on the cultural significance of some of Sydney's most treasured and revered heritage sites. They also reveal that the emergence of dynamic Aboriginal urban cultures is not a recent phenomenon, but one with a history as old as Sydney itself.
- Lecture on UNSWTV