The UnAustralian

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
More on Windschuttle

Christopher Shiel has recently posted a review of a recent Keith Windschuttle / Henry Reynolds debate on The Road to Surfdom. It (and the comments attached) are well worth the read.

On another note, Lyndell Ryan is giving a talk on thursday at the ANU. The abstract reads:

In his book, 'The Fabrication of Aboriginal History: Van Diemen's Land 1803-1847' (2002), Keith Windschuttle claims that the Tasmanian Aborigines were too few in number and too primitive in social and political organisation to engage in a guerilla war against the British colonists in the 1820s. Indeed, their society was so dysfunctional that they were responsible for their own demise. To support this claim he alleges that in my book, 'The Aboriginal Tasmanians', first published in 1981, I have 'fabricated' footnotes to massacres of Aborigines he claims never took place and invented statistics about the Aboriginal/European death rate on the Tasmanian colonial frontier.

In this paper I will address these claims by placing Windschuttle's book in the context of public debate in the current political climate and exploring his methodology to show how he questions the findings in my book. I will conclude by suggesting that Windschuttle overlooks key primary sources and selectively reads others, to promote his political agenda. In the end one must ask: "Who, pray, is the fabricator?'

The talk is on at 3.30pm in Hohnen Room Chancelry on the 5th June. I probably won't be able to make it, as I've got some pretty important commitments during that time.
| 11:37 PM