Issue Details: First known date: 2010 2010
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'At the heart of the Gothic novel proper lies the discursive binary of self and other, which in colonial literature was quickly filled with representations of the colonial master and his indigenous subject. Contemporary black Australian artists have usurped this colonial Gothic discourse, torn it to pieces, and finally transformed it into an Aboriginal Gothic. This study first develops the theoretical concept of an Aboriginal Gothic and then uses this term as a tool to analyse novels by Vivienne Cleven, Mudrooroo, Kim Scott, Sam Watson, and Alexis Wright as well as films directed by Beck Cole and Tracey Moffatt. It centres on the question of how a genuinely European mode, the Gothic, can be permeated and thus digested by elements of indigenous Australian culture in order to portray the current situation of Aboriginal Australians and to celebrate a recovered cultural identity.' (Publisher's blurb)
Contents include:
  • Aboriginal Gothic
  • Aboriginal Appropriations
  • Re-Biting the Canon: Mudrooroo's Vampire Trilogy
  • De-Composing the Epic: Sam Watson's The Kadaithcha Sung
  • Un-Singing Historiography: Kim Scott's Benang
  • Con-Juring the Phantom: Spectral Memories
  • Trans-Muting Cinema: Tracey Moffatt's Films
  • Conclusion: Creation in Resistance


* Contents derived from the Goettingen,
Western Europe, Europe,
Bonn University Press , 2010 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction : Resistance to the Un-Australian, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism
'The Australian mind seems to be obsessed with the invocation of its 'un-national' apart from newspaper headlines, advertisements on television, or in signs tacked to lamp-posts in suburban Sydney, even the Macquarie Dictionary shows a preoccupation with the 'un-Australian'. Having introduced the lemma only as recently as 2001 in their Federation edition, the lexicographers already updated it in the subsequent 2005 edition by adding a fourth entry to account for the increased use of the word in the popular domain:' violating a pattern of conduct, behaviour, etc., which, it is implied by the user of the term, is one embraced by Australians'. Despite this zeal for determining the' un-national', little attention has been paid to its positive counterpart, thus making it easier to exclude people on grounds of their 'un-Australianness' than to welcome a national diversity.' (Author's introduction)
(p. 1-10)
Aboriginal Gothic, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism
In this essay, Althans ‘treats the Gothic as being a mode which continues to endow genres with a certain set of menacing stock elements and unstable characteristics of which the interrogation of boundaries, binaries, and identity are particularly useful in an Aboriginal Australian context’. (p.11-12)
(p. 11-29)
Re-Biting the Canon : Mudrooroo's Vampire Trilogy, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism (p. 32-88)
De-Composing the Epic : Sam Watson's The Kadaitcha Sung, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism
Althan's analysis of Sam Watson's The Kadaitcha Sung shows that the 'hybridity identified in the amalgamation of the profane and the sacred takes a turn for the darker and joins different aspects of white and black Australia in a Gothic critique of colonialism and its consequences'. (p89-90)
(p. 89-102)
Un-Singing Historiography : Kim Scott's Benang, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism (p. 103-115)
Con-Juring the Phantom : Spectral Memories, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism (p. 116-146)
Trans-Muting Cinema : Tracey Moffatt's Films, Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism
In this essay, Althans analyses two of Tracey Moffatt's films: Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1989) and BeDevil (1993).
(p. 147-182)

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Last amended 27 Nov 2012