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29th January, 2014

Who Do You Think You Are? Some reflections on historical television consultancy in Britain & Australia

Event Details

29th January, 2014
K0.31 (Small Committee Room) Strand Campus

This paper has three parts. It starts by describing some of my experiences as an historical consultant for a variety of television production companies making history documentaries in the UK and Australia. It then moves on to discuss my work with the Australian series of Who Do You Think You Are? before ending with a discussion of the responses of one group of family historians to this popular television history series. We know remarkably little about how academics have engaged with the production of historical television programs and how people respond to these programs as representations of history. This paper is an attempt to fill this gap.

Tanya Evans teaches Australian history and public history at Macquarie University. She is a social and cultural historian of motherhood, marriage, the family, sexuality, gender and poverty in Britain and Australia from 1750 to the present. She has a long-standing interest in the histories of philanthropy and voluntary organisations. She is finishing a book on Family Life in Nineteenth-Century Australia which will be published by Allen and Unwin. Previous publications include: with Pat Thane, Sinners, Scroungers, Saints: Unmarried Motherhood in Modern England (Oxford University Press, 2012), ‘Unfortunate Objects’: Lone Mothers in Eighteenth-Century London (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), with Pat Thane (eds.), Special Issue on lone mothers of Women’s History Review (2011) and with Robert Reynolds a special issue of Australian Historical Studies on biography and life-writing.

For more information please visit Who Do You Think You Are? or email

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