Archival (In)Significance: the partial inclusion of women’s sport in Australian archives

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Historians have long sought to include the powerless in their representation of the past, and to write critical histories that “illuminate blind spots that keep social systems intact.” (FML, 2019, 9). Fiona McLachlan demonstrates one blind spot in her comparison of media progress narratives about women’s sport in the early twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, nothing similar celebratory statements and explanations for purported advancements in women’s sport in both time periods. Picking up where McLachlan finishes, this paper proposes an explanation for the ongoing cycles of visibility and invisibility in public discourse about women and sport.
Through a survey of archival holdings and historical research about Australian women in sport, this paper considers the persistence of gendered hierarchies of sporting significance and implications for how women involved in sport, their experiences, perspectives, and modes of storytelling are valued by archivists, historians, educators, policy makers and journalists.
Period2 Dec 2021
Event titleAustralian Historical Association Conference: Unfinished Business
Event typeConference
LocationAustraliaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational