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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Writing, Space and Authority : Producing and Critiquing Settler Jurisdiction in Western Australia
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'On the edge of Stirling Gardens in central Perth, Western Australia, five large, old-fashioned pen nibs stand in a curved line, their tips in the ground. Anne Neil’s sculpture, Memory Markers, commemorates the history of this site, which includes the Supreme Court. Taking this sculpture as an emblem of writing, which in the context of its setting highlights the relationship between literature and law, this article explores the image of the pen in the ground. As a symbol of literacy, it evokes the powerful network of discourses—particularly law, science and religion—that underwrote the imperial project. It signals, in Michele Grossman’s terms, “the event of literacy [that] radically interrupts and disrupts—but never eliminates—pre-existing Aboriginal epistemologies”. The article goes on to explore the sculpture as a symbol of the assertion of jurisdiction, the speaking of law in and over colonised space. It analyses a group of written texts associated with this site, from colonial legal assertions of jurisdiction over Aboriginal people in Edward Landor’s The Bushman (1847), through a proclamation under the Aborigines Act 1905 (WA), to Stephen Kinnane’s Indigenous family memoir of life under that act, Shadow Lines (2004).' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Journal of Australian Studies vol. 41 no. 2 May 2017 11334241 2017 periodical issue criticism

    'Many of the articles in this issue of Journal of Australian Studies draw upon oral history and other qualitative methodologies. This process of listening carefully to the stories people tell about their lives is one of the most important ways an interdisciplinary journal such as this contributes to sharing ideas and histories that help us make sense of our worlds. Often these approaches accompany a reimagining of traditional historical practice.' (Introduction)

    pg. 141-155
Last amended 25 Jan 2018 15:40:26
141-155 Writing, Space and Authority : Producing and Critiquing Settler Jurisdiction in Western Australiasmall AustLit logo Journal of Australian Studies