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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.

Aboriginal History Journal: Volume 42 »

Edited by: Ingereth Macfarlane
Publication date: 2018
In this volume, Peter Sutton provides a survey of the articles published by linguist Dr Luise Hercus (1926–2018) in Aboriginal History, honouring the contribution she has made to the journal since its inception. The seven articles this year highlight the wealth of sources that feed into historical research of Indigenous Australia. The role of performance in the events organised by the National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) in 1957–67 in Sydney shows up the contest between state assimilationist goals and Indigenous participants’ insistence on distinction, continuity and survival (Jonathon Bollan and Anne Brewster). The then radical agenda – in a protectionist policy regime – of the advocacy group, the Aborigines’ Protection League in South Australia in the 1920s–30s, is examined in a detailed study of the group’s campaigns and campaigners (Rob Foster). A picture of colonial reception of Aboriginal performance and the public assertion of local Aboriginal cultural priorities in 1893 Darwin is developed in the historical contextualisation of a collection of Aboriginal artefacts found in the Marischal Museum, Aberdeen (Gaye Sculthorpe). A nuanced analysis of the relationship between the Catholic Benedictine Mission at New Norcia and the Western Australian Native Welfare Department draws on the correspondence between the Abbot of New Norcia and A.O. Neville (Elicia Taylor). A large body of reader responses to a recent online article on the deep history of Aboriginal Australia provides a way to map the strengths and weaknesses in the general Australian public’s apprehension of that long history (Lynette Russell and Billy Griffiths). A spatial history argues against the concept of ‘fringe camps’ and for a pattern of demonstrable continuities between precolonial, colonial and recent Aboriginal people’s favoured camp places and the locations of urban contemporary park spaces in Brisbane and townships in south-eastern Queensland (Ray Kerkhove). In the format of an interview, the themes concerning the writing of Aboriginal history and contemporary political debates that are developed in Tim Rowse’s recent book Indigenous and Other Australians since 1901 (2017) are explored (Miranda Johnson and Tim Rowse). Aboriginal History Inc. is a publishing organisation based in the Australian Centre for Indigenous History, Research School of Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra. For more information on Aboriginal History Inc. please visit aboriginalhistory.org.au.

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.

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.

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)

Carl Strehlow’s 1909 Comparative Heritage Dictionary »

An Aranda, German, Loritja and Dieri to English Dictionary with Introductory Essays

Edited by: Anna Kenny
Publication date: August 2018
Carl Strehlow’s comparative dictionary manuscript is a unique item of Australian cultural heritage; it is a large collection of circa 7,600 Aranda, 6,800 Loritja (Luritja) and 1,200 Dieri to German entries compiled at the beginning of the twentieth century at the Hermannsburg Mission in central Australia. It is an integral part of Strehlow’s ethnographic work on Aboriginal cultures that his German editor Baron Moritz von Leonhardi published as Die Aranda- und Loritja-Stämme in Zentral-Australien (Strehlow 1907–1920) in Frankfurt. Strehlow and his editor had planned to publish a language study that included this comparative dictionary, but it remained unpublished until now due to a number of complicated historical and personal circumstances of the main characters involved with the dictionary. Strehlow’s linguistic work is historically and anthropologically significant because it probably represents the largest and most comprehensive wordlist of Indigenous languages compiled in Australia during the early stages of contact. It is an important primary source for Luritja and Aranda speakers. Both languages are spoken in homes and taught in schools in central Australia. The reasons for presenting this work as a heritage dictionary—that is, as an exact transcription of the original form of the handwritten manuscript—are to follow the Western Aranda people’s wishes and to maintain its historical authenticity, which will prove to be of great use to both Indigenous people and scholars interested in language.

The Neoliberal State, Recognition and Indigenous Rights  »

New paternalism to new imaginings

Edited by: Deirdre Howard-Wagner, Maria Bargh, Isabel Altamirano-Jiménez
Publication date: July 2018
The impact of neoliberal governance on indigenous peoples in liberal settler states may be both enabling and constraining. This book is distinctive in drawing comparisons between three such states—Australia, Canada and New Zealand. In a series of empirically grounded, interpretive micro-studies, it draws out a shared policy coherence, but also exposes idiosyncrasies in the operational dynamics of neoliberal governance both within each state and between them. Read together as a collection, these studies broaden the debate about and the analysis of contemporary government policy. The individual studies reveal the forms of actually existing neoliberalism that are variegated by historical, geographical and legal contexts and complex state arrangements. At the same time, they present examples of a more nuanced agential, bottom-up indigenous governmentality. Focusing on intense and complex matters of social policy rather than on resource development and land rights, they demonstrate how indigenous actors engage in trying to govern various fields of activity by acting on the conduct and contexts of everyday neoliberal life, and also on the conduct of state and corporate actors.

Indigenous Mobilities »

Across and Beyond the Antipodes

Edited by: Rachel Standfield
Publication date: June 2018
This edited collection focuses on Aboriginal and Māori travel in colonial contexts. Authors in this collection examine the ways that Indigenous people moved and their motivations for doing so. Chapters consider the cultural aspects of travel for Indigenous communities on both sides of the Tasman. Contributors examine Indigenous purposes for mobility, including for community and individual economic wellbeing, to meet other Indigenous or non-Indigenous peoples and experience different cultures, and to gather knowledge or experience, or to escape from colonial intrusion. ‘This volume is the first to take up three challenges in histories of Indigenous mobilities. First, it analyses both mobility and emplacement. Challenging stereotypes of Indigenous people as either fixed or mobile, chapters deconstruct issues with ramifications for contemporary politics and analyses of Indigenous society and of rural and national histories. As such, it is a welcome intervention in a wide range of urgent issues. Second, by examining Indigenous peoples in both Australia and New Zealand, this volume is an innovative step in removing the artificial divisions that have arisen from “national” histories. Third, the collection connects the experiences of colonised Indigenous peoples with those of their colonisers, shifting the long-held stereotypes of Indigenous powerlessness. Chapters then convincingly demonstrate the agency of colonised peoples in shaping the actions and the mobility itself of the colonisers. While the volume overall is aimed at opening up new research questions, and so invites later and even more innovative work, this volume will stand as an important guide to the directions such future work might take.’ — Heather Goodall, Professor Emerita, UTS