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Anna Clark Anna Clark i(A147764 works by)
Gender: Female
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Works By

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1 [Review] Truth-Telling: History, Sovereignty and the Uluru Statement Anna Clark , 2022 single work review
— Appears in: Aboriginal History Journal , April no. 45 2022;

— Review of Truth-Telling : History, Sovereignty and the Uluru Statement Henry Reynolds , 2021 multi chapter work criticism
'Henry Reynolds has been truth-telling for the better part of 50 years. Books such as The Other Side of the Frontier (1981), Frontier: Aborigines, Settlers and Land (1987), This Whispering in Our Hearts (1998), An Indelible Stain? The Question of Genocide in Australia’s History (2001), and Forgotten War (2014), each reveal uncomfortable truths about Australia’s past, as well as the unevenness of its remembrance.'  (Introduction)
1 The Book That Changed Me : I’m a Historian but Tony Birch’s Poetry Opened My Eyes to Confronting Truths about the Past Anna Clark , 2022 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 28 March 2022;
1 3 y separately published work icon Making Australian History Anna Clark , Sydney : Random House Australia , 2022 23811097 2022 multi chapter work criticism

'A bold and expansive history that traces the changing and contested project of Australia's national story. You will think about this country differently after reading this book.

'Australian history has been revised and reinterpreted by successive generations of historians, writers, governments and public commentators, yet there has been no account of the ways it has changed, who makes history, and how. Making Australian History responds to this critical gap in Australian historical research.

'A few years ago Anna Clark saw a series of paintings on a sandstone cliff face in the Northern Territory. There were characteristic crosshatched images of fat barramundi and turtles, as well as sprayed handprints and several human figures with spears. Next to them was a long gun, painted with white ochre, an unmistakable image of the colonisers. Was this an Indigenous rendering of contact? A work of history?

'Each piece of history has a message and context that depends on who wrote it and when. Australian history has swirled and contorted over the years- the history wars have embroiled historians, politicians and public commentators alike, while debates over historical fiction have been as divisive. History isn't just about understanding what happened and why. It also reflects the persuasions, politics and prejudices of its authors. Each iteration of Australia's national story reveals not only the past in question, but also the guiding concerns and perceptions of each generation of history makers.

'Making Australian History is bold and inclusive- it catalogues and contextualises changing readings of the past, it examines the increasingly problematic role of historians as national storytellers, and it incorporates the stories of people.' (Publication summary)

1 Jo Jones on Fiction and the ‘History Wars’ Anna Clark , 2020 single work review
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 17 no. 2 2020; (p. 414-415)

— Review of Falling Backwards : Australian Historical Fiction and The History Wars Jo Jones , 2018 multi chapter work criticism

'‘Some stories are hard to tell’, says the blurb of Jo Jones’ recent book on fiction and the history wars. For a debate that swirls around the limits of history and fiction to get at ‘the truth’, this statement is perhaps truest of all. While the history wars have been characterised by politicised contests over the past, arguing over terminology such as ‘invasion’ and ‘settlement’, ‘commemoration’ and ‘celebration’, it was the contest over ‘history’ and ‘fiction’ that caught historians and fiction writers off-guard. When the novelist Kate Grenville suggested that her book, The Secret River, was able to straddle the polarisation of the history wars because fiction can come to history from the perspective of empathy and imagination, several historians bristled. Rather than being bound by contests over evidence and interpretation, a ‘novelist can stand up on a stepladder and look down at this, outside the fray, and say there is another way to understand this’, Grenville insisted. In response, historians such as Mark McKenna and Inga Clendinnen refused to accept that disciplinary history might be less equipped to understand or interpret the past.' (Introduction)

1 'Ever at My Elbow' : Exploring Indigenous Ways of Knowing Anna Clark , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , August no. 413 2019; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Australia's First Naturalists : Indigenous Peoples’ Contribution to Early Zoology Penny Olsen , Lynette Russell , 2019 multi chapter work criticism biography

'What does it mean to really know an ecosystem? To name all the plants and animals in a place and understand their interactions? To feel an embodied connection to Country? To see and hear in ways that confirm and extend that knowledge?' (Introduction)

1 Rebuilding Reefs, Restoring Memory : At Work in the Waters of History Anna Clark , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Griffith Review , January no. 63 2019; (p. 107-113)

'As a historian I'm not used to this sort of archive. 

'It's a freezing spring morning in Clifton Springs, near Geelong, and I'm elbow deep in shellfish in a suburban backyard. We're measuring mussels: sixty-five millimetres long, twenty-nine millimetres wide, fifteen millimetres deep; fifty-six millimetres long, twenty millimetres wide, nine millimetres deep. On and on it goes, hundreds of times. Then we move to oysters: fifteen millimetres; fourteen millimetres, three millimetres...' (Publication abstract)

1 The ‘Great Australian Silence’ 50 Years On Anna Clark , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 3 August 2018;

'It’s 50 years since the anthropologist WEH Stanner gave the 1968 Boyer Lectures — a watershed moment for Australian history. Stanner argued that Australia’s sense of its past, its very collective memory, had been built on a state of forgetting, which couldn’t “be explained by absent mindedness”:

 It is a structural matter, a view from a window which has been carefully placed to exclude a whole quadrant of the landscape. What may well have begun as a simple forgetting of other possible views turned under habit and over time into something like a cult of forgetfulness practised on a national scale.' (Introduction)

1 y separately published work icon Once Upon a Time: Australian Writers on Using the Past Paul Ashton (editor), Anna Clark (editor), Robert Crawford (editor), North Melbourne : Australian Scholarly Publishing , 2016 21964351 2016 anthology criticism 'Writers cannot escape the past. Whether they are novelists, speechwriters, scriptwriters, biographers or historians, writers, like everyone else, draw constantly on the past in both the practice of everyday life and in doing their creative work. They operate in sensory landscapes which stimulate embodied and situated knowledge. Memories can be evoked by sound, smell, touch, sight and taste through objects, places and rituals. We are all permanently living the past in the present. But the past is not history. History is an ensemble of practices that use the past to make meaning today.

'This book brings together sixteen well-known writers from diverse backgrounds: Debra Adelaide, Paul Ashton, Anna Clark, Robert Crawford, John Dale, Ross Gibson, Bridget Griffen-Foley, Lucinda Holdforth, Julia Horne, Paul Kiem, John Maynard, Betty O’Neill, Penny Russell, Janis Wilton, Garry Wotherspoon and Clare Wright. It looks at how history – a discipline which generally strives for critical distance – and the past – a concept which is open-ended and useful in the present – are used in a range of genres from historical and ‘true crime’ novels to family history and memoir.' (Publisher's blurb)

1 Friday Essay : On Listening to New National Storytellers Anna Clark , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 2 September 2016;
'A few years ago, I saw a series of Aboriginal paintings on a sandstone cliff face in the Northern Territory. There were characteristic crosshatched images of fat barramundi and turtles, as well as sprayed handprints and several human figures with spears. Next to them was a long gun, painted with white ochre, an unmistakable image of the colonisers. Was this an Indigenous rendering of contact? A work of history, no less? ...'
1 An Epic Forgetting Anna Clark , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , August 2014;

— Review of Forgotten War Henry Reynolds , 2013 single work non-fiction ; The Black War : Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania Nicholas Clements , 2014 single work non-fiction
1 Connecting to the Past : Memory and History in Australian Communities Anna Clark , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Locating Suburbia 2013; (p. 76-86)
1 Intimate Histories Anna Clark , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 8 no. 3 2011; (p. 212-213)

— Review of Moving Stories : An Intimate History of Four Women across Two Countries Alistair Thomson , 2011 single work biography