Publication Details

I. C. Willis, "Academic snobbery: local historians need more support", [4 April] 2012. The Conversation.

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The Conversation provides independent analysis and commentary from academics and researchers.


Local history is one of the most popular forms of history in Australia. Yet there is a yawning gap between the enthusiastic amateur and the academic historian.

While some academic historians engage with local history, sadly there is an entrenched snobbery from the academy. From the other side, the enthusiastic amateur is too wound up with a parochial approach to local history and often doesn’t see the bigger picture.

If both sides can engage with each other, the result would be a better type of history practise and a greater contribution to the story of Australia.

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The Conversation