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Tiffin states that her paper attempts to 'open dialogue on the place of animals and speciesism in post-colonial discourses'. Firstly, she wants to 'establish the importance of animals and the question of the species boundary in "othering" and racism'; secondly, she discusses some of the political difficulties involved in pursuing this topic in post-colonial contexts; and thirdly, she focuses on the question of representation, and the way in which Canadian writer Timothy Findley and Australian writer Peter Goldsworthy have tackled the issues of the species boundary and speciesism.
Drawing on her own experience, van Toorn in this paper considers the ways in which colonial power relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people are reproduced inadvertently through the institutionalised routines of academic life, and in archival institutions and the publishing industry.