We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


IAS Fellow's Seminar - The structures of story: history, storytelling, utility and form

9th October 2017, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Dr Tom Murray (Macquarie University, Australia)


One of the most famous Australian Indigenous biographies is that of Bennelong (c1764 – 1813). A man of the Wangal clan of the Eora Nations of Sydney who visited England with Governor Philip from 1792-5 and was said to have met King George III. After Bennelong’s return from England his story is marked by personal dissolution and alcoholism; a narrative used to illustrate the tragic incompatibility of colonial and Indigenous society. It is a story that has been played out numerous times with respect to other famous Indigenous men.

The major problem being: it is not true. It wasn’t for Bennelong, and it wasn’t for countless other Indigenous men that it has been applied to. This seminar reflects on the structures of story, in this case tragedy, and ponders how genre conventions and the political utility of certain forms of story continue to shape popular histories.

Places are limited at these lunchtime seminars and so any academic colleagues interested in attending, should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

Contact for more information about this event.

Download this event in iCalendar format