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History Lab Season 3: The Law’s Way of Knowing, Podcast episodes 'Making a fortune' and 'Reading the Signs'

2020 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

These two episodes from Season 3 of the podcast series History Lab: The Law’s Way of Knowing, look at histories that intersect with the law. Episode 2, ‘Making a fortune’, explores the legal status of fortune telling in federation Australia and the role of gender and class in policing the law. Episode 3, ‘Reading the signs’, takes the story of a landmark legal action in relation to the Stolen Generations to explore the way in which the legal definitions of ‘signature’ have been used as a tool of oppression, but which may also be a tool of resistance.

Both episodes skilfully draw the listene into the investigative process while at the same time demonstrating key aspects of the historian’s craft, interpreting events in context and critically assessing the authority of sources. The podcasts are supported on the webpage by well-chosen archival documents.