'This article analyses three texts that feature Aboriginal soldiers or veterans of the Vietnam War as protagonists: the novel Not Quite Men, No Longer Boys (1999), the play Seems Like Yesterday (2001) and the Redfern Now television episode “The Dogs of War” (2013). In all three texts, military service in Vietnam inculcates among the protagonists sentiments constitutive of what Brendan Hokowhitu refers to as elite Indigenous masculinity—the mimicry and appropriation of white hegemonic masculinity. Constructing themselves as elite Indigenous males allows the Aboriginal soldiers/veterans to position themselves as superior to “other” Aboriginal males. Through the course of the texts, though, the protagonists come to realise that elite Indigenous masculinity is a myth because civilian (white) Australia will continue to judge them the same as other Aboriginal men. Through encounters with other Aboriginal men, the Aboriginal soldiers/veterans are able to reconceptualise their own masculinities and to accept the legitimacy of multiple Aboriginal masculinities.'
'This essay analyses Lilian Turner's Three New Chum Girls (1910) to show how settler authors played with colonial clichés as part of a critical reaction to shifting imperialist and nationalist ideologies at the turn of the century. In particular, Turner redefines the derogatory colonial term “new chum”—commonly used to describe a recent emigrant in the settler colonies—to suggest what the welcome of new arrivals ought to be like. Yet if her deliberate reworking of stereotypes consequently contains an element of wish-fulfilment, the narrative also offers a startlingly stark portrayal of settler life. Emigration, Turner contends in the novel, is neither easy nor a solution to problems at home. Nor does settler Australia provide a convenient space for fortune-seeking sojourns. Turner thus dismantles two clusters of common clichés: emigration as a pat ending in fiction and settlers' return to the homeland as an equally expedient plot twist. The self-irony that runs through much of her intertextual rewriting of both metropolitan fiction and male-coded settler writing reveals how emigration and return were being imagined and written about differently in the settler colonies and how Turner was utilising the exposure of false expectations to promote her vision of a welcoming settler community.'
'Combining historical study with cultural criminology, this paper analyses the criminal-celebrity of Sydney underworld figure Kate Leigh. It seeks to demonstrate how the three main factors of public resonance—crime type, context and image—created the celebrated criminality of Leigh. Without public resonance, Leigh would have simply remained another criminal within society. An important element of Leigh's celebrated criminality was her ability to manage a public image that was accepted within the impoverished, working-class communities of eastern Sydney. Leigh became a criminal icon through an entrepreneurial style based on the anti-authoritarian and egalitarian values of working-class life in eastern Sydney. Criminal-celebrity theory provides a framework for understanding the factors enabling the celebration of criminals in society. It also informs historians about the ways in which criminals can manipulate their public image in an effort to legitimise their activities and gain acceptance in the community.'
'While recently teaching in Japan, I used the Australian film Bran Nue Dae (2009), directed by Rachel Perkins, in one of my courses. The mixed, but non-Australian students, were interested to discuss why a film that was partly about family and historical trauma was a comedy. Extending from the interest, this article considers whether there has been a similar response in Australia to Indigenous-themed films. Are Indigenous issues in Australia, today, also understood to be best represented as serious; that is, to be presented in terms of trauma and with a focus on the difficult moments? Why might many people—the Tokyo students, but also non-Indigenous people in Australia—find it hard to laugh with (or even at) Aboriginal peoples doing funny things? Using Bran Nue Dae, and my students' reactions, this article examines the usefulness and limits of the sometimes careful attendance to issues of race and pain, which are often the way non-Indigenous people engage with Indigenous peoples and issues. Drawing on the success of Perkins' film, the article also explores the usefulness of comedy.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.