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'I intend to revisit Winton's popular family saga in the light of Emmanuel Levinas's ethics of alterity and Kenneth Reinhard's political theology, both built upon the Christian principle of loving thy neighbour. The story of two families, the Pickles and the Lambs, sharing house in post-World War II Perth, proves fertile ground for the analysis of the encounter with the Face of the Other, the founding principle of Levinasian philosophy. In his political theology of the neighbour, which aims at breaking the traditional dichotomy friend/enemy, Reinhard draws on Badiou's conception of love as a truth procedure, capable of creating universality in a particular place. Thus, the vicissitudes of the two families in coming to terms with each other in their "great continent of a house" invite a metaphorical reading and echo Winton's interest in promoting a sense of community in Australia.' (Author's abstract)
'This paper begins by mentioning the deep connections between art and science and how these connections, which in certain periods of time had been practically ignored, have recently received much consideration. The present attention comes from specialists in different fields of science and humanities and the conclusions/solutions that they bring can be regarded as means of integrating. The paper briefly refers to examples in the visual arts which illustrate Einstein's discovery of the double nature of light. Then it focuses on the possible relationships between literature and quantum mechanics. The novels Potiki and Benang, both from the Pacific region, are good examples to help us realize that notions concerning space-time that had been part of indigenous knowledge for centuries are now validated by recent scientific discoveries: the uncertainty principle and the principle of no-locality among others. Thus, native literatures that had been analysed in the frame of the traditions of their respective cultures, or even within the parameters of magic realism, can now acquire a new and stimulating dimension.' (Author's abstract)
'Merlinda Bobis's second novel is an interesting combination of opposites: of the powerless and the powerful, the holy and the profane, the magical and the seedy, Third-World Asian poverty and white Western affluence. The Solemn Lantern Maker is a traumatized mute 10-year-old boy who lives with his crippled mother in the slums of Manila. One day, when trying to sell his colourful wares, he becomes involved in the life of a grieved American tourist who is caught up in a murder of a controversial journalist. In this post-9/11 climate, this event will soon be wrongly interpreted as a terrorist conspiracy. My paper will rely on some of the most relevant assumptions put forward by ethical criticism and trauma studies to show that Bobis's novel succeeds in illustrating how the powerful world of international politics can inadvertently impinge on the small world of an insignificant Third-World child, and how the love and care that this child offers to an unknown distressed westerner eventually manages to play the miracle of transforming the latter's life, thus making it clear that Bobis's allegory of traumatic cross-cultural encounters testifies to the power of the (un)common to render the invisible visible, and of the unselfish circulation of affect to effect unexpected changes in an apparently indifferent globalized world.' (Author's abstract)
'It is nowadays evident that the West's civilising, eugenic zeal have had a devastating impact on all aspects of the Indigenous-Australian community tissue, not least the lasting trauma of the Stolen Generations. The latter was the result of the institutionalisation, adoption, fostering, virtual slavery and sexual abuse of thousands of mixed-descent children, who were separated at great physical and emotional distances from their Indigenous kin, often never to see them again. The object of State and Federal policies of removal and mainstream absorption and assimilation between 1930 and 1970, these lost children only saw their plight officially recognised in 1997, when the Bringing Them Home report was published by the Federal government. The victims of forced separation and migration, they have suffered serious trans-generational problems of adaptation and alienation in Australian society, which have been not only documented from the outside in the aforementioned report but also given shape from the inside of and to Indigenous-Australian literature over the last three decades. The following addresses four Indigenous Western-Australian writers within the context of the Stolen Generations, and deals particularly with the semi-biographical fiction by the Nyoongar author Kim Scott, which shows how a very liminal hybrid identity can be firmly written in place yet. Un-writing past policies of physical and 'epistemic' violence on the Indigenous Australian population, his fiction addresses a way of approaching Australianness from an Indigenous perspective as inclusive, embracing transculturality within the nation-space.' (Author's abstract)