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The Lives of Stories »

Three Aboriginal–Settler Friendships

Authored by: Emma Dortins
Publication date: December 2018
The Lives of Stories traces three stories of Aboriginal–settler friendships that intersect with the ways in which Australians remember founding national stories, build narratives for cultural revival, and work on reconciliation and self-determination. These three stories, which are still being told with creativity and commitment by storytellers today, are the story of James Morrill’s adoption by Birri-Gubba people and re-adoption 17 years later into the new colony of Queensland, the story of Bennelong and his relationship with Governor Phillip and the Sydney colonists, and the story of friendship between Wiradjuri leader Windradyne and the Suttor family. Each is an intimate story about people involved in relationships of goodwill, care, adoptive kinship and mutual learning across cultures, and the strains of maintaining or relinquishing these bonds as they took part in the larger events that signified the colonisation of Aboriginal lands by the British. Each is a story in which cross-cultural understanding and misunderstanding are deeply embedded, and in which the act of storytelling itself has always been an engagement in cross-cultural relations. The Lives of Stories reflects on the nature of story as part of our cultural inheritance, and seeks to engage the reader in becoming more conscious of our own effect as history-makers as we retell old stories with new meanings in the present, and pass them on to new generations.

Indigenous Efflorescence »

Beyond Revitalisation in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir

Publication date: 2018
Indigenous efflorescence refers to the surprising economic prosperity, demographic increase and cultural renaissance currently found amongst many Indigenous communities around the world. This book moves beyond a more familiar focus on ‘revitalisation’ to situate these developments within their broader political and economic contexts. The materials in this volume also examine the everyday practices and subjectivities of Indigenous efflorescence and how these exist in tension with ongoing colonisation of Indigenous lands, and the destabilising impacts of global neoliberal capitalism. Contributions to this volume include both research articles and shorter case studies, and are drawn from amongst the Ainu and Sami (Saami/Sámi) peoples (in Ainu Mosir in northern Japan, and Sapmi in northern Europe, respectively). This volume will be of use to scholars working on contemporary Indigenous issues, as well as to Indigenous peoples engaged in linguistic and cultural revitalisation, and other aspects of Indigenous efflorescence.

The Promise of Prosperity  »

Visions of the Future in Timor-Leste

Publication date: 2018
For the people of Timor-Leste, independence promised a fundamental transformation from foreign occupation to self-rule, from brutality to respect for basic rights, and from poverty to prosperity. In the eyes of the country’s political leaders, revenue from the country’s oil and gas reserves is the means by which that transformation could be effected. Over the past decade, they have formulated ambitious plans for state-led development projects and rapid economic growth. Paradoxically, these modernist visions are simultaneously informed by and contradict ideas stemming from custom, religion, accountability and responsibility to future generations. This book explores how the promise of prosperity informs policy and how policy debates shape expectations about the future in one of the world’s newest and poorest nation-states.

Pacific Exposures »

Photography and the Australia–Japan Relationship

Publication date: 2018
Photography has been a key means by which Australians have sought to define their relationships with Japan. From the fascination with all things Japanese in the late nineteenth century, through the era of ‘White Australia’, the bitter enmity of the Pacific War, the path to reconciliation in the post-war period and the culturally complicated bilateralism of today, Australians have used their cameras to express a divided sense of conflict and kinship with a country that has by turns fascinated and infuriated. The remarkable photographs collected and discussed here for the first time shed new light on the history of Australia’s engagement with its most important regional partner. Pacific Exposures argues that photographs tell an important story of cultural production, response and reaction—not only about how Australians have pictured Japan over the decades, but how they see their own place in the Asia-Pacific. ‘Pacific Exposures presents the first study of the photographic exchanges between Australia and Japan—its photographers, personalities, motivations, anxieties and tensions—based on a diverse range of archival materials, interviews, and well-chosen photographs.’ — Dr Luke Gartlan, University of St Andrews ‘[Pacific Exposures] will become a key text on Australia’s interactions with Japan, and the way that photographs can inform cross-cultural relations through their production, consumption and circulation.’ — Prof. Kate Darian-Smith, University of Tasmania

The Bounty from the Beach »

Cross-Cultural and Cross-Disciplinary Essays

Publication date: October 2018
The Bounty from the Beach is a collection of cross-disciplinary essays, capitalising on a widely shared fascination for the Bounty story in order to draw scholarly attention to Oceania. It aims to reorient the Bounty focus away from the West, where most Bounty narratives and studies have emerged, to the Pacific, where most of the original events unfolded. It investigates the Bounty heritage from the standpoint of the beach, Greg Dening’s metaphor for culture contact and conflict in the Pacific Islands: this liminal place that transforms Islanders and voyagers, islands and ships, each time it is crossed. It analyses the way newcomers create new islands, and how these changes may occasionally impact the world. This volume examines the ‘little people’, to use another of Dening’s expressions, who stand ‘on both sides of the beach’: they are Polynesian or European or, as beaches are crossed and remade, no longer one without the other, but bound together in processes of change. Among these people are Bounty sailors, beachcombers, Pitcairners and indigenous Pacific Islanders of the past and the present. This collection also explores the works of some renowned Western writers and actors who, turning mutineers after their own fashion and in their own times, themselves crossed the beach and attempted to illuminate the ‘little people’ involved in the Bounty narratives. These prominent writers and actors put the spotlight on characters who were silenced on account of race, class or geographical distance from the dominant centres of power. Inspired by Dening’s empowering voice, our purpose is to fill that silence. Just as it criss-crosses the ocean, progressing with the ship through time and space, The Bounty from the Beach ranges far and wide across disciplines, methodologies and scholarly styles. Its multidisciplinary course contributes to illuminate the multiple ways in which the Bounty heritage embraces diverse horizons. It throws light on the colonial discourse that undertook to stifle Pacific Islander agency, and the neocolonial policies that have been applied to Oceania, and still are: hegemonic moves that have led to global environmental, nuclear and ecological hazards. As a whole, the collection contends that what unfolds in this vast ocean matters: the stakes are high for the whole human community.

Making Copyright Work for the Asian Pacific »

Juxtaposing Harmonisation with Flexibility

Publication date: October 2018
This book provides a contemporary overview of developing areas of copyright law in the Asian Pacific region. While noting the tendency towards harmonisation through free trade agreements, the book takes the perspective that there is a significant amount of potential for the nations of the Asian Pacific region to work together, find common ground and shift international bargaining power. Moreover, in so doing, the region can tailor any regional agreements to suit local needs. The book addresses the development of norms in the region and the ways in which this can occur in light of the specific nature of the creator–owner–user paradigm in the region and the common interests of Indigenous peoples.

Global Debates, Local Dilemmas »

Sex-selective Abortion in Contemporary Viet Nam

Authored by: Tran Minh Hang
Publication date: 2018
The practice of sex-selective abortion is on the rise globally, stirring debates about gender inequality, medical ethics and reproductive autonomy. This book is the first ethnography to document practices of sex selection in Viet Nam. It shows how and why abortions are used to select the sex of children and how Vietnamese individuals and health professionals are implicated in this illicit and controversial practice. Telling the stories of women who have undergone sex-selective abortions, it traces their passage through sex determination and abortion decision-making phases, and investigates their experiences during and after their sex-selective abortions. It describes the turmoil experienced by individuals who undergo such abortions and explores their interactions with the spectrum of social actors and health institutions that facilitate practices of sex selection. As the first ethnographic study on sex-selective abortions in Viet Nam, this book delves into socially sensitive terrain and sheds light on personally fraught individual experiences of reproductive agency. It documents societal responses to sex-selective abortions in Viet Nam and identifies gaps in the state’s capacity to regulate reproductive desire in a marketised economy. A resource for researchers, it contributes to ongoing debates on sex selection and provides a framework for developing relevant social policies, interventions and support services. ‘This pioneering study offers a nuanced and sensitive account of sex-selective abortion as human experience. Through thought provoking case studies, the book provides rare ethnographic documentation of the complex quandaries that arise as selective reproductive technologies are routinised across the globe.’ — Tine M. Gammeltoft, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Divided Loyalties »

Displacement, belonging and citizenship among East Timorese in West Timor

Authored by: Andrey Damaledo
Publication date: September 2018
Drawing on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, this study explores the ideas of belonging and citizenship among former pro-autonomy East Timorese who have elected to settle indefinitely in West Timor. The study follows different East Timorese groups and examines various ways they construct and negotiate their socio-political identities following the violent and destructive separation from their homeland. The East Timorese might have had Indonesia as their destination when they left the eastern half of the island in the aftermath of the referendum, but they have not relinquished their cultural identities as East Timorese. The study highlights the significance of the notions of origin, ancestry and alliance in our understanding of East Timorese place-making and belonging to a particular locality. Another feature of belonging that informs East Timorese identity is their narrative of sacrifice to maintain connections with their homeland and move on with their lives in Indonesia. These sacrificial narratives elaborate an East Timorese spirit of struggle and resilience, a feature further exemplified in the transformation of their political activities within the Indonesian political system.

Landlock »

Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India

Authored by: Patrik Oskarsson
Publication date: September 2018
Landlock: Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India explores the ways in which political controversy over a bauxite mining and refining project on constitutionally protected tribal lands in Andhra Pradesh descended into a state of paralysis where no productive outcome was possible. Long-running support for Adivasi (or tribal) land rights motivated a wide range of actors to block the project’s implementation by recourse to India’s dispersed institutional landscape, while project proponents proved adept in proposing workarounds to prevent its outright cancellation. In the ensuing deadlock, the project was unable to move towards completion, while marginalised Adivasi groups were equally unable to repossess their land. Such a ‘landlock’ is argued to be characteristic of India’s wider inability to deal with conflicts over land matters, despite the crucial importance of land for smallholder livelihoods and various economic processes in an intensely growth-focused country. The result has been frequent yet grindingly slow processes of contestation in which powerful business and state interests are, at times, halted in their tracks, but mostly seem able to slowly exhaust local resistance in their pursuit of large-scale projects that produce no benefits for the rural poor.

Read till it shatters »

Nationalism and identity in modern Thai literature

Authored by: Thak Chaloemtiarana
Publication date: August 2018
This book introduces readers to modern Thai literature through the themes of modernity, nationalism, identity and gender. In the cultural, political and social transformations that occurred in Thailand during the first half of the twentieth century, Thai literature was one of the vehicles that moved the changes. Taking seriously ‘read till it shatters’, a Thai phrase that instructs readers to take apart the text, to break it down, to deconstruct it, Thak Chaloemtiarana challenges the Thai literary canon from the margins and suggests ways of expanding and enriching it. Thai literature is scarce in translation and requires the skills of a scholar fluent in Thai to comprehend it. Thak is a political scientist turned literary scholar who is bilingual in Thai and English and an avid reader of Thai fiction by authors up and down the social scale. Here he offers lively insights into his favourite literary genres with fresh readings of early Thai novels, Sino-Thai biographies and memoirs of the rich and famous. ‘Thak Chaloemtiarana is an inquisitive man. Late in his career he switched from politics to literature. In these chapters, he draws on a lifetime of reading about writers and writing in Thailand over the past century. He nods towards the usual big names—King Vajiravudh, Luang Wichit, Kulap Saipradit, Kukrit Pramoj—but spends more time on those found in the lesser visited stacks of the libraries, the secondhand bookstalls, and the shelf by the supermarket checkout. His themes are familiar—Thailand and the West, Thai nationalism, the Thai-Chinese, and women under patriarchy—but the angles of vision are original. With a cast ranging from motor-racing princes through sexy Egyptian mummies and a feminist serial murderer to starlets touting breast-enhancement techniques, this book educates, enlightens, and entertains.’ — Dr Chris Baker, Bangkok-based author with Pasuk Phongpaichit, A History of Ayutthaya (Cambridge 2017)