Greg Dening: An imaginative and original historian, dies at 76

Historians in the News

GREG Dening, one of Australia's leading ethnographic historians and author of several well-received books, has died from a stroke at Royal Hobart Hospital while on holiday in Tasmania. He was 76.

Acknowledged by his peers as one of the most imaginative, original and reflective minds working in the fields of history and historiography, Dening was appointed to the Max Crawford professorship of history at Melbourne University in 1971, and retired from there in 1990.

He was an adjunct professor at the Research School of Humanities at the Australian National University in Canberra for the past 12 years.

Dening, who had joined the Jesuits as a teenager and left the order in the early 1970s, started out as an innovative historian of the Pacific and went on to contribute to historical thinking in general.

He was the author of a number of books, including Islands and Beaches: Discourse on a Silent Land, Marquesas 1774-1880 (1980); The Death of William Gooch, History's Anthropology (1988; reprint, 1995); Mr Bligh's Bad Language: Power, Passion and Theatre on the Bounty (1992); Performances (1996); Beach Crossing. Voyaging across Times, Cultures and Self (2004); and Church Alive! Pilgrims in Faith, 1956-2006 (2006).
Read entire article at The Age (Australia)

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