Let's change History! Community histories and the co-production of historical knowledge

Paul Ward, Elizabeth Pente

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Understanding people’s lives, emotions and intellectual reasoning is crucial to exploring the history of communities and identities. ‘The co-production of historical knowledge’ provides an approach or methodology that allows for a deeper comprehension of people’s self and community identities by encouraging a diverse range of people to participate in the research process to uncover the complexities and nuances of historical experience. Yet as Steven High has argued, ‘there has been remarkably little discussion of the public’s place in the research process: how, when, and if authority should be shared between university based researchers and community members.’ This chapter argues that ‘sharing authority’ needs to be expanded beyond oral history, in which participants contribute to the creation of primary sources, to a sustained and collaborative effort to develop new ways of knowing about the past by drawing on perspectives outside of universities to produce new knowledge. A blurring of the boundaries between academic historians and communities in exploring history enables multiple voices to be heard in the historiographical record.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory Making a Difference: New Approaches from Aotearoa
EditorsLyndon Fraser, Marguerite Hill, Sarah Murray, Greg Ryan
Place of PublicationNewcastle
PublisherHistory Making a Difference: New Approaches from Aotearoa
Number of pages290
ISBN (Print)9781443851992
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Co-production
  • historical methodologies


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