Virtual book launch and conversation – Rooted: An Australian History of Bad Language

Join ANU Professor Frank Bongiorno in conversation with Australian National Dictionary Centre director Associate Professor Amanda Laugesen about her new book Rooted: An Australian History of Bad Language (NewSouth Publishing).

Bugger, rooted, bloody oath… What is it about Australians and swearing? We've got an international reputation for using bad language and letting rip with a choice swear word or two. Rooted: An Australian History of Bad Language tells the story of bad language in Australia from invasion through to today. It explores the words themselves from the ‘bloody’, ‘bugger’ and ‘damn’ used by the convicts to emoji swearing used on social media. But it also explores the ways in which bad language has shaped our social relations, our laws, and our cultural mythologies. Our bad language and attitudes towards bad language can tell us much about our preoccupations, our identity, and our anxieties.

More information about Rooted is available here: 

Professor Frank Bongiorno, AM, is the Head of the School of History at ANU, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. He is an Australian political, labour, and cultural historian and public intellectual, whose books include The People's Party: Victorian Labor and the Radical Tradition 1875-1914 (1996), The Sex Lives of Australians: A History (2012), and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (2015).

Associate Professor Amanda Laugesen is a historian and lexicographer. She is director of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, ANU, and chief editor of the Australian National Dictionary. She is the author of a number of books in Australian and US history, as well as editor of a range of Oxford Australian dictionaries. Her research interests include the history of publishing and print culture, the social and cultural history of war, and the history of Australian English.

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Updated:  19 November 2020/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications