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Diploma of Family History: A Personal and Institutional History


Harman, K, Diploma of Family History: A Personal and Institutional History, Family History and Historians in Australia and New Zealand: Related Histories, Routledge, M Allbrook and S Scott-Brown (ed), UK, pp. 183-196. ISBN 9780367403980 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]

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At the University of Tasmania in 2017, more graduands received a Diploma in Family History than the College’s flagship award, the Bachelor of Arts degree. How this transpired and how the author developed the course are avenues of enquiry that highlight a dramatic shift in the academic treatment of family history. To an extent, the development of the programme could be construed as an institution capitalising on demand. But it is demand with a particular disciplinary twist. Family history is one of the world’s most popular pastimes, with evidence-based practices that transcend the tendency of academic history to treat it as a merely ‘amateur’ pursuit. In Australia recent decades have seen an upsurge in the practice of family history, part of which is measurable because of a concomitant growth in participation in organised family history and genealogical societies. What was previously viewed widely as a hobby also has a professionalising tendency. This chapter is partly personal, partly professional, partly institutional, and partly contextual. The intersection of the diploma’s history and the author’s own approach is an argument for the importance of research-led teaching, a tale of technical challenges and disciplinary inertia, and perhaps challenge to history as traditionally taught.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:History, digital history, family history, teaching history
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:Digital history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Harman, K (Associate Professor Kristyn Harman)
ID Code:144462
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:History and Classics
Deposited On:2021-05-25
Last Modified:2022-07-28

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