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Alternative title: Country
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... vol. 14 no. 3 2014 of JASAL est. 2002 JASAL
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The BlackWords Symposium, held in October 2012, celebrated the fifth anniversary of the establishment of BlackWords, the AustLit-supported project recording information about, and research into, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. The symposium showcased the exciting state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative writing and storytelling across all forms, contemporary scholarship on Indigenous writing, alongside programs such as the State Library of Queensland’s black&write! project, which supports writers’ fellowships, editing mentorships, and a trainee editor program for professional development for Indigenous editors. But really, the event was a celebration of the sort of thinking, the sort of resistance, and the re-writing of history that is evident in the epigraph to this introduction. ' (Source: Kilner, Kerry and Minter, Peter, JASAL Vol 14. No. 3, 2014: 1)

Exhibitions

8714578

Contents

* Contents derived from the 2014 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The BlackWords Symposium : The Past, Present, and Future of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature, Kerry Kilner , Peter Minter , single work criticism
'The BlackWords Symposium, held in October 2012, celebrated the fifth anniversary of the establishment of BlackWords, the AustLit-supported project recording information about, and research into, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and storytellers. The symposium showcased the exciting state of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander creative writing and storytelling across all forms, contemporary scholarship on Indigenous writing, alongside programs such as the State Library of Queensland’s black&write! project, which supports writers’ fellowships, editing mentorships, and a trainee editor program for professional development for Indigenous editors. But really, the event was a celebration of the sort of thinking, the sort of resistance, and the re-writing of history that is evident in the epigraph to this introduction. ' (Authors introduction)
Preface : Peek-a Boo Australia, Bruce Pascoe , single work criticism

Bruce Pascoe’s latest book, Dark Emu. Black Seeds: Agriculture or Accident? (Magabala, 2014) was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards in 2014. In an authoritative discussion of the history of Aboriginal land use, Pascoe uses archaeological and authoritative discussion of the history of Aboriginal land use, Pascoe uses archaeological and doing so, he sheds light on colonial mythology, the history of dispossession, and the devastating impact of unsuitable farming practices on country.

‘Peek-a Boo Australia’ prefaces our collection in a spirited invitation to re-imagine our collective social, intellectual and creative responsibilities. ' (Publication abstract)

Respecting Protocols for Representing Aboriginal Cultures, Jared Thomas , single work criticism
'This essay undertakes a detailed discussion of how respecting protocols for representing Indigenous cultures supports the interests of Indigenous communities and producers of stories with Indigenous content. To highlight the importance of Indigenous protocols I review the prominence and reception of Aboriginal stories in Australian film and literature and discuss how protocol guidelines can prevent problematic representations. I demonstrate how protocols influenced writing Calypso Summer (2014), a novel exploring issues relating to my cultural group, the Nukunu, to illustrate the challenges encountered and benefits gained from employing Indigenous representation protocols. ' (Author's introduction)
BlackWords : Writers on Identity, Anita Heiss , single work criticism
'In the 1960s Oodgeroo Noonuccal (then Kath Walker) hit the literary limelight as Australia’s first published ‘Aboriginal poet’ and since then Aboriginal writers have used their work as a form of self-definition and to defend our rights to our identity. Many authors are inspired by the need to redress historical government definitions of Aboriginality, to reclaim pride in First Nation status, to explain the diversity of Aboriginal experience, and to demonstrate the realities and complexities of ‘being Aboriginal’ in the 21st century.' (Author's introduction)
The Poetics of (Re)Mapping Archives : Memory in the Blood, Natalie Harkin , single work criticism

'This paper explores stories of re-mapping the archives through art and poetic-prose, using ideas of haunting through ‘memory in the blood.’ Our family archives are like maps that haunt and guide us toward paths past-travelled and directions unknown. We travel through these archives that offer up new stories and collections of data, and a brutal surveillance is exposed at the hands of the State. We gain insight into intimate conversations, letters, behaviours and movements, juxtaposed with categorisations of people, places, landscapes and objects. These records are our memories and lives; material, visceral, flesh and blood. The State wounds and our records bleed. I travel through my own Nanna’s records and recognise that we have never lived outside the State, and this very act of recognition continues the wounding. State acts of surveillance, recording and archiving had the power to place our

family stories in the public domain, or obliterate stories within a broader history of erasure; filed away, silent and hidden until bidden. But our bodies too are archives where memories, stories, and lived experiences are stored, etched and anchored in our bloodlines deep. They ground our creativity in what become personal and political acts of remembering, identity making and speaking back to the State. Detective-like methods allow us to creatively re-map events and landscapes, piece together lives fragmented and heal our wounds.' ((Re) Mapping the Archive, 4)

Writing Forward, Writing Back, Writing Black—Working Process and Work-in-Progress, Gus Worby , Simone Tur , Faye Rosas Blanch , single work criticism
'This is a paper about creative acts of collaboration—about building and crossing bridges and 'circles of connection and belonging. It considers writing forward, back and Black first as process and then as work-in-progress in the everyday practice of Indigenous education. ' (Authors introduction)
Journey of a Lifetime : From the Sticks to the State Library—An Aboriginal Editor’s Story, Linda McBride-Yuke , single work autobiography
'This paper is a multi-layered sharing of personal, cultural and professional journeys that has led me to becoming an Aboriginal Editor with the black&write! program with the State Library of Queensland. There are a lot of firsts and many significant events that have happened to me, most of which I would never have dreamt about, let alone actually experienced. ' (Author's introduction)
The Uniqueness of the BlackWords Resource : Memoir of an Indexer, Irene Howe , single work criticism

'Since its launch in 2007 BlackWords has enjoyed strong Indigenous leadership and a dedicated Indigenous team, allowing Indigenous storytellers, academics and researchers to determine its look, content, and scope. The BlackWords team of researchers and indexers is a community consisting of individuals from across institutions such as the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, Flinders University, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong and AIATSIS, each of whom has brought their own expertise and specialist interest to the database (BlackWords; Holt; Kilner 62). ' (Author's introduction)

Tracking Our Country in Settler Literature, Jeanine Leane , single work criticism

'This is a narrative paper that tracks a story of Aboriginal representation and the concept of nation across the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries through some important Australian texts. I read this assemblage of settler literature through the cultural metaphor of tracking, because tracking is as much about anticipation as it is following. Tracking is about reading: reading land and people before and after whitefellas. It is about entering into the consciousness of the person or people of interest. Tracking is not just about reading the physical signs; it is about reading the mind. It is not just about seeing and hearing what is there; it is as much about what is not there. Tony Morrisson [sic] wrote of mapping ‘the critical geography’ (3) of the white literary imagination in her work on Africanist presence in American Literature, Playing in the Dark. This paper tracks the settler imagination on Aboriginal presence in Australian literature in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. ' (Author's introduction)

Sovereign Bodies of Feeling—‘Making Sense’ of Country, Alison Ravenscroft , single work criticism

' What is the meaning of the claim made by many Aboriginal people that their relationship to country is a vital one: vital in the sense of a living relation, one that might be said to carry life itself? (Rose) It can be taken to be a claim of sovereignty, not only in relation to the land but, inextricably bound with this, a claim of a sovereign subject, or what Alexis Wright has called a sovereignty of the mind. To speak of sovereignty is always to speak of difference: different claims to land, but claims, too, about differences between the people making those claims. Into considerations of what these differences might be, I would like to install questions of embodiment and different capacities to feel, to sense, the country. This is not to speak of an essential difference, if by ‘essential’ we mean something immutable or fixed, but a difference made in cultural practices. For instance, being an embodied subject made in the context of practices associated with contemporary Anmatyerre culture might make for a differently sensate body than a settler subject made in cultural practices that are significantly different to Anmatyerre ones. In this regard, we could say that the Anmatyerre subject and the settler subject do not live in the same country as each other, even if they are living in the same coordinates of longitude and latitude.' (Author's introduction)

Finding a Place in Story : Kim Scott’s Writing and the Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project, Natalie Quinlivann , single work criticism

'In True Country, the narrator draws the reader close and says, “You listen to me. We’re gunna make a story, true story. You might find it’s here you belong. A place like this.” (15) Although the narrator speaks of ‘(a) place like this’ as “a beautiful place (…). Call it our country, our country all ‘round here” (15), belonging, for the reader, for the characters in each of Scott’s novels, and for Scott himself, is more than settling into a physical environment, belonging is finding a place in the story.

'Mamang, Noongar Mambara Bakitj, Dwoort Baal Kaat, and Yira Boornak Nyininy are major achievements in Scott and The Wirlomin Noongar Language and Stories Project’s process of returning, restoring and rejuvenating language and story within the Noongar community and for an ever-widening public. In their form, content and intent, the stories renegotiate ideas of place and placement, confronting personal, cultural and linguistic dislocations in Noongar lives as well as an ambivalent narrative landscape in which language and story are central to both a lingering colonialism and the process of decolonisation.' (Publication abstract)

‘Look What They Done to This Ground, Girl!’ : Country and Identity in Jeanine Leane’s Purple Threads, Helena Kadmos , single work criticism

'Purple Threads, by Jeanine Leane, embodies country. Images of the land are physically and emotionally evoked in the individual stories that make up this short story cycle, running through the stories as delicately as strands of purple wisteria and as powerfully as the Murrumbidgee River flows and then surges through the countryside where they are set. In this article I aim to demonstrate how two features of the short story cycle - the independence and interrelatedness of the stories in the cycle, and the longer story within the cycle - help to convey the multifarious connections people can have to their country, family and the places they call home.

Leane draws on her own experiences to articulate formative incidents in a young girl’s life that explore what it meant to be an Aboriginal girl growing up in central NSW in the 1960s and ’70s. The development of Sunny’s cultural and ethnic identity is inseparable from her relationship with country, nurtured by her Nan and Aunties’ love and respect for the land, and challenged by a Dorothy-esque journey that carries her far away to a foreign country in search of family, and back again to the place she feels most loved and secure.

'This article thus explores the importance of country in Sunny’s growing awareness of her identity, and forms part of a broader project on the representations of women’s lives in the short story cycle.' (Publication abstract)

"Why Raise Them to Die so Young?" : The Aesthetics of Fatalism in The Tall Man, Jane Stenning , single work criticism
'Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man (2008) covers the circumstances surrounding the death in custody of Palm Island man Moordinyi. It has been praised for avoiding the codes of reporting that frame Indigenous Australians negatively, such as violent threats to the social order. In the mode of book-length literary journalism, Hooper places the events surrounding Moordinyi’s death within a broader context of dispossession and colonial violence. A stated aim of literary journalism is to engage ‘Other subjectivities’ in order to achieve a deeper understanding of perspective that cannot be accommodated in the typical news cycle. If this is so, it is important to identify how the indigenous subject position has been constituted in this text. Using tools of framing analysis, this paper will illustrate how another typical and negative frame organises the text. The Tall Man deploys a ‘fatalist’ frame which tends to position indigenous people as ill-destined victims. Given the text’s ‘literary’ credentials, which carry with them a degree of cultural authority, it is important to consciously draw out these elements which reinforce a sense of hopelessness, and which tend to mirror the kinds of unequal social relations which the text itself sets out to challenge.' (Publication abstract)
Representations of ‘The Bush’ in the Poetry of Charles Harpur, Elizabeth Webby , single work criticism

'The first month of 2013 was marked by two very different events. On 12 January, the Governor General, stars of stage and screen, politicians and other notables attended the Sydney Theatre for the opening night of The Secret River, Andrew Bovell’s adaptation of Kate Grenville’s best-selling if controversial novel. On 23 January a much smaller group of academics and other lovers of Australian literature gathered in Canberra to celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Harpur, Australia’s first notable poet. While the people involved in these two events were very different, with one attracting much publicity and other none, there was a link. The Secret River, as a program note testifies, ‘takes place in the Hawkesbury River region of New South Wales between 1814-15’. Charles Harpur had been born in Windsor, the major town on the Hawkesbury, a year earlier. Like William Thornhill in the play, his father Joseph was a former convict who received a free pardon from Governor Macquarie in 1815. By then he was the schoolmaster at Windsor, where he had a grant of land, so that, unlike Thornhill’s children, Harpur grew up with books as his companions.

'In the stage adaptation of The Secret River, Stephen Curtis’s set gives a powerful representation of the beauty and the might of the bush before white settlement, a beauty sullied at the end of the play as Thornhill draws the lines of a fence on the backcloth. For the characters in the play, the bush represents different things: it is home for the Indigenous family, the hope of a prosperous future for Thornhill, a place of fun and games for Dick Thornhill, Garraway and Narabi, but totally alien to Sal Thornhill who never stops longing for London. How did Harpur, growing up on the Hawkesbury during this period, represent the bush and its Indigenous inhabitants? This essay will focus in particular on ‘Lost in the Bush’ and ‘The Kangaroo Hunt’.' (Publication abstract)

Charles Edward Augustus de Boos, 1819-1900 : His Life, Work, and Writing, Peter Crabb , single work biography

'Charles de Boos was one of a number of mid-nineteenth century writers who helped to lay the foundations of Australian literature. His early life experiences of Huguenot ancestry and participation in the Carlist wars in Spain, followed by his initial years in Australia, made essential contributions to the person he was. So did his extremely varied working life, particularly as a reporter for the 'Argus and the 'Sydney Morning Herald', and later as a mining warden and police magistrate in New South Wales. His reporting on the goldfields in Victoria and especially New South Wales, added to his experiences of significant social and legal issues, and his concerns for the 'under-dogs', women, children, the diggers, the Chinese, and the Aborigines. It was his knowledge of the goldfields and gold mining that led to his appointment as a mining warden and other official roles in a number of locations over a period of fifteen years, work to which his social view contributed much and for whch he was highly respected, in marked contrast to what some have written.

'His life experiencess, work and travels provided the basis for his many and varied writings, to which the second half of the essay is devoted. From his parliamentary reporting came his satirical writing. From this and his travels came his social commentary. His first two novels were set in early nineteenth century rural New South Wales, 'Fifty Years Ago' being his most well-known work, "one of the best books written in the infancy of Australian literature". His subsequent fiction, notably 'Mark Brown's Wife', was set in the goldfields of New South Wales and Victoria.

'He made an as yet unacknowledged contribution to the foundations of Australian literature. He was a man who was ahead of his times in so many ways, one who gave voice to a different way in colonial New South Wales.' (Publication abstract)

Copyright Law, Readers and Authors in Colonial Australia, Sara Ailwood , Maree Sainsbury , single work
'This article explores the impact of imperial and domestic copyright law on Australian readers, authors and literary culture throughout the nineteenth century. It investigates the effects of the Copyright Act 1842 on colonial readers, in terms of the cost and availability of books and the circulation of ideas, and uncovers Australian responses to the Foreign Reprints Act 1847. It further explores the creation of domestic colonial copyright legislation and its links to an increase in the number of novels published as books in the 1870s and 1880s. Drawing on recent empirical research exploring relationships between book publishing and the growth of a national literature, it argues that copyright law and policy are important considerations in fostering such histories of Australian literary culture.' (Publication abstract)
Relationships to the Bush in Nan Chauncy’s Early Novels for Children, Susan Sheridan , Emma Maguire , single work criticism
'In the 1950s, bush settings were strong favourites for children’s novels, which often took the form of a generic mix of adventure story and bildungsroman, novel of individual development. In using bush settings to take up the environmental concerns of the period, the early novels of Wrightson and Chauncy added a new dimension to traditional settler images of rural life as central to Australian national identity. The bush is loved for its beauty and revered as a source of knowledge and character building, rather than being represented as an antagonist which must be overcome or domesticated. In this respect, Chauncy in particular anticipates later ecological concerns in writing for children.' (Publication abstract)
Heriot's Ithaka : Soul, Country and the Possibility of Home in To The Islands, Bernadette Brennan , single work criticism
'The final line of Randolph Stow's To the Islands - " 'My soul', he whispered, over the sea-surge, 'my should is a strange country'" - has perplexed and fascinated readers and critics for five decades. In 1975 Leonie Kramer found Stow's final sentence to be misplaced: ‘It belongs – if indeed it belongs at all – not at the end of a novel of this kind, but near the beginning'. At a time when interest in Stow and his work is again on the ascendency, this paper investigates what Heriot might have appreciated his soul to be, before arguing that he could not have spoken those resonant words until the very moment when he is blinded by illumination atop the coastal cliff. Heriot walks into homelessness in a quest for home. Like Cavafy's ideal voyager his journey is long and hard, and only once he discovers his soul can he appreciate he has no home. Only then can he understand the true meaning of the islands.' (Publication abstract)
Place and Property in Post-Mabo Fiction by Dorothy Hewett, Alex Miller and Andrew McGahan, Kieran Dolin , single work criticism
'Drawing on concepts developed in legal geography and critical histories of property law, this paper considers the connection between legal and affective relations to place in white Australian fiction in the wake of the Mabo decision. In what ways does land ownership, and the rights accorded by property, influence attitudes to and understandings of place? To what extent might the Anglo-Australian law of property be inflected by Indigenous understandings of land and law? Three novels published in the years following the Wik Peoples case are examined, Dorothy Hewett's Neap Tide, Alex Miller's Journey to the Stone Country and Andrew McGahan's The White Earth, due to their overt engagement with post-Mabo law and politics. Through a study of fictional techniques, especially representations of race, space and law, the paper explores whether these novels contribute to the formation of a new understanding of land and justice in contemporary Australia.' (Publication abstract)
Cannibalism and Colonialism : Lilian's Story and (White) Women's Belonging, Laura Deane , single work criticism

'In 1985, when Kate Grenville’s novel about a fat, unlovely bag lady appeared on the Australian literary landscape, Lilian’s Story was celebrated as a feminist and postcolonial text. By locating Lilian as ex-centric to the nation, to inhabit the abjected zones of the colony—the bush, the asylum, the streets of post-Federation Sydney—Grenville is commonly read as a feminist writer intervening into the gender politics that shaped Australia. Feminists celebrate the ways in which she carves out discursive spaces for women who have existed largely in the interstices between public memory and official history. Postcolonial critical interpretations of Lilian being ‘colonised’ by her father, provoked by the rape narrative, have tended to reproduce the postcolonial trope of Australia’s shift from a colonial relationship to a national structure. Such readings largely neglect the colonial violence of Australian patriarchy, and the skewed gender norms that result when a host culture is transplanted to an imperial outpost. Taking up the colonial metaphor structuring the relationship between Lilian and her father, I read Lilian’s ‘madness’ as a response to discourses of ‘race’ and gender that circulate in the colonial Imaginary to position women as the site for racial anxiety about colonial ‘dirt’, contamination and disorder. While Lilian approaches the rebellious female grotesque celebrated in postcolonial feminist theorising, her obese body also signifies the devouring nature of colonialism. This paper engages with the white politics of women’s ‘belonging’ inscribed in Lilian’s Story to disinter the schizoid nature of white women’s relationship to colonial patriarchy.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Introduction : 'Country: "It’s Earth"' Special Issue Brigitta Olubas , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;

'In the Museo Carlo Bilotti, at the Villa Borghese in Rome, through the second half of this year (4 July–2 November 2014), there is an exhibition entitled ‘Dreamings: Aboriginal Australian Art meets de Chirico,’ curated by Ian McLean and Erica Izett from the Sordello Missana collection of recent paintings from the Western and Central Desert regions of Australia, housed alongside the Museo’s permanent collection of work by the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico. The exhibition brings together works representing the mysteries and intensities of space, place and location from (at least) two profoundly different aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and curatorial traditions. All the paintings in the exhibition are compelling in themselves, but as a collection or exhibition they bear a further point of interest in the ways they suggest a connection between the physical worlds in which they were produced and those where they rest and from whence they have been drawn for this exhibition. I want to draw on a number of claims made about this exhibition by curator Ian McLean.' (Introduction)

Introduction : 'Country: "It’s Earth"' Special Issue Brigitta Olubas , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;

'In the Museo Carlo Bilotti, at the Villa Borghese in Rome, through the second half of this year (4 July–2 November 2014), there is an exhibition entitled ‘Dreamings: Aboriginal Australian Art meets de Chirico,’ curated by Ian McLean and Erica Izett from the Sordello Missana collection of recent paintings from the Western and Central Desert regions of Australia, housed alongside the Museo’s permanent collection of work by the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico. The exhibition brings together works representing the mysteries and intensities of space, place and location from (at least) two profoundly different aesthetic, spiritual, cultural and curatorial traditions. All the paintings in the exhibition are compelling in themselves, but as a collection or exhibition they bear a further point of interest in the ways they suggest a connection between the physical worlds in which they were produced and those where they rest and from whence they have been drawn for this exhibition. I want to draw on a number of claims made about this exhibition by curator Ian McLean.' (Introduction)

Last amended 19 Jan 2017 10:08:14
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