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Alternative title: New Cultural Landscapes : Australian Narratives in Literature and Film
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... vol. 69 no. 2 2016 of Ilha Do Desterro : A Journal of English Language, Literatures in English and Cultural Studies est. 1979 Ilha Do Desterro : A Journal of English Language
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* Contents derived from the 2016 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
New Cultural Landscapes : Australian Narratives in Literature and Film, Eduardo Marks de Marques , Anelise R. Corseuil , single work criticism
'Australia. Terra Australis Incognita. Even before its official finding by Captain James Cook in 1770, the “land down under” already circulated in the European imagination. The giant mass of land necessary to balance a flat Earth (as antipodal to Europe) could only be home to a great many monstrous fauna and flora, as it was also the cultural counterpart to Europe. However, giant one-eyed monsters and sea serpents were not found by Captain Cook upon his arrival on Botany Bay, now part of Sydney. By declaring the land terra nullius, Cook ignored the many Aboriginal communities that had lived in Australia for over 75,000 years and such act has given way to one of the core elements in the development of Australian culture and history: the relationship between whites and Aborigines in the development of the nation.' (Introduction)
Resistance and Sovereignty in Some Recent Australian Indigenous Women’s Novels, Carole Ferrier , single work criticism
'In Australia, powerful stories expressing resistance to a white, postcolonising hegemony continue to be told in Indigenous women’s fictional texts, including those from the 1990s onwards that are discussed in this article. heir particular historically-distinctive mode of satire or irony challenges postcolonising regimes and institutions, the legacy of colonialism, and the persisting dominance of the white capitalist nation-state. These more recent texts include Doris Pilkington Garimari’s Caprice (1991) and Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence (1996); Vivienne Cleven’s Her Sister’s Eye (2002); Larissa Behrendt’s Home (2006) and Legacy (2009); Marie Munkara’s Every Secret thing (2009); Jeanine Leane’s Purple Threads (2011); Melissa Lucashenko’s Steam Pigs (1997) and Mullumbimby (2013); and Alexis Wright’s Plains of Promise (1997), Carpentaria (2006) and the Swan Book (2013). All continue a central preoccupation of the earlier fiction by Indigenous women with struggling for the achievement of agency in contexts of unequal social and economic power; marginalised characters continue to engage with current questions and conditions. he article considers how these fictions have developed an Indigenous aesthetic to represent aspects of Aboriginal dislocation from land and place; separation from families; outsider and outcast identities; Indigenous people’s epistemological relationships with their land and bodies of water, and the issue of sovereignty in relation to Country and environment.' (Publication summary)
“A Whole Alternative Universe” : Language and Space in David Malouf’s “The Only Speaker of His Tongue”, Deborah Scheidt , single work criticism
'By displacing Aboriginal communities, interfering with their migratorial routes and sacred sites and forcing them into sedentary practices, European colonialism disrupted the closely-knit links between people, space and language that had characterised life in Australia for 40,000 years prior to the arrival of the British. In linguistic terms that meant the disappearance of hundreds of languages, the devitalising of traditions that had been based mainly on orality and, ultimately, the silencing of thousands of voices. In the short story “The Only Speaker of His Tongue”, David Malouf imagines the encounter between a Nordic lexicographer and the last speaker of a certain Australian language. As the lexicographer reflects about the threat that the loss of a language poses to cultural diversity, he also exposes his particular views on the possibilities of language. The aim of this article is to demonstrate that although the encounter between the scholar and the Aborigine is fictitious and the story is extremely concise, it reaches much beyond its fictional status by, both directly and indirectly, raising issues related to the past and present treatment that Australia has dedicated to its Aboriginal peoples, to the complexities of the field of salvage linguistics and to the functions of language itself.' (Publication abstract)
Exercising Dominion : Landscape, Civilisation and Racial Politics in Capricornia, Michael Thomas Ellis , single work criticism
'The Land in Xavier Herbert’s 1937 novel Capricornia acts as a “medium” (38) according to Lydia Wevers, mediating all experiences and developments. In particular, the land is a site of contention between Indigenous and settler groups each vying for an existence very different from the other’s. The phrase “exercising dominion” (Fitzmaurice, 56) was developed by European thinkers in the Middle Ages, who were tasked with finding justification for the colonisation of the Holy Lands of the Middle East and the mineral-rich lands of the Americas. This article will analyse the settlement and colonisation of the Northern Territory as depicted in Capricornia with consideration of the above statement, particularly as it explores the opposing groups’ attitudes towards and interactions with the Land and to each other. ' (Publication abstract)
A Story Told in a Whisper, or the Impossibility of Atonement, Sandra Regina Goulart Almeida , single work criticism
'This article analyzes the novel Sorry by the Australian writer Gail Jones in light of contemporary theories on decolonialism and the coloniality of power. It discusses how the novel addresses major issues that are central to an understanding of the Australian past and its history of colonization, exploitation of indigenous peoples and gendered subjects.' (Publication abstract)
Postcolonial Issues and Colonial Closures: Portrayals of Ambivalence in Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, Renata Lucena Dalmaso , Thayse Madella , single work criticism
'This article aims to investigate the visual representation of the connection between immigration and the construction of an Australian identity as a nation in Shaun Tan’s graphic novel The Arrival (2006). Based on the debate about imagined communities and the ambivalence on the narration of a nation, proposed by Benedict Anderson and Homi Bhabha, we will discuss how The Arrival creates moments for the appearance of the ambivalence of cultural difference at the same time that it also constructs a horizontal imagined community. On these terms, The Arrival depicts some of the liminal positionality that immigrants have to deal when they arrive in a new place, but also constructs a cohesive and homogeneous narrative that entails the assimilation of the immigrants. In other words, this work offers a closure that can be read as an assimilation of the colonial discourse for a series post-colonial issues.' (Publication summary)
'Reffos, Wogs and Dagoes' : The Immigration Experience in Post-World War II Australia, Susan Jacobowitz , single work criticism

'This article seeks to analyze the ways in which immigrants experienced Australia in the years following World War II, when the makeup of Australian society changed. In The Voyage of Their Life: The Story of the SS Derna and Its Passengers, Diane Armstrong – a child immigrant to Australia – writes, “Homogenous, conservative and almost entirely Anglo-Saxon in its origin, Australians were about to awake from there illusion of perfection” (274). Focusing on memoir, poetry and short stories, this article analyzes Andra Kins’ memoir Coming and Going: A Family Quest; Serge Liberman’s short stories “Home,” “Greetings, Australia! To You I Have Come,” “The Fortress” and “Two Years in Exile;” Peter Skrzynecki’s The Sparrow Garden; Lily Brett’s poetry; and Susan Varga’s memoir Heddy and Me. Jewish and non-Jewish immigrants from Russia, Poland, Latvia, Hungary and Ukriane struggled with trying to build new lives in a new land in the face of prejudice and “anti-refo” feeling. Measures were introduced to limit severely the number of Jewish refugees allowed to travel to Australia. Despite these obstacles, Australia was transformed. According to Mark Wyman, “Eventually, 182,159 DPs emigrated to Australia, led by 60,000 Poles and 36,000 Balts. Enough of an Eastern European mixture was admitted through Australian gates to constitute a small revolution in the nation’s much-publicized homogeneity. The long tradition of allowing only British stock down under was broken. By 1966 almost one in five Australians was a postwar immigrant or the child of one, and 60 percent of this group had non-British ethnic backgrounds” (191).' (Publication abstract)

“Manufactured By The Sun” : Eve Langley’s The Pea-Pickers on The Move, Nicholas Birns , single work criticism
'Eve Langley’s The Pea-Pickers is often seem as a quaint artifact of a now-vanished Australia. This paper seeks to rescue the contemporary relevance of this novel of two young women who go into the rural areas of Gippsland to pick peas, showing its pioneering attention to transgender concerns, the polyphonic panoply of its style and soundscape,. and its portrayal of a settler culture not anchored in a perilous identity but dynamically on the move. As so often in settler colony literature, though, rigidities on the issue of race—particularly the portrayal of the Muslim migrant Akbarah Khan—mar the canvas, and make Langley’s novel as emblematic of the constitutive problems of Australian literary history as of its artistic achievements. Just as Langley’s gender variance and personal nonconformity made her an outlier in the Austrlaia and New Zealand she lived in, so is her contribution to Australian literature an unfinished project. ' (Publication abstract)
Traveling, Writing and Engagement in Robyn Davidson’s Tracks, Magali Sperling Beck , single work criticism
In 1980, Australian writer Robyn Davidson publishes her travel narrative Tracks, in which she describes her crossing of the central Australian deserts in the late 1970’s, on foot and by herself, being accompanied only by her dog and by four camels. The narrative became an immediate success after its publication, receiving the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, and been widely read both in Australia and worldwide. It has also become an emblematic example of contemporary travel narratives, mainly due to the fact that it is not only a book about survival or about a woman crossing a desert alone, rather elaborating on the implications between genre and gender; it is also a narrative that recuperates the political and ideological background of an important moment in Australian history. Thus, taking into consideration Davidson’s ambivalence in relation to writing about her travel experiences, in this paper, I argue that Tracks, more than celebrating the process of self-transformation in travel, lingers on the tension between its narrator’s search for freedom and her awareness regarding the responsibilities involved in engaging with cultural difference and in representing geographical crossings. ' (Publication summary)
Your Country Is of Great Subtlety : Aspects of the Brazilian Translation of Patrick White’s Voss, Ian Alexander , Monica Stefani , single work criticism
'A number of the dialogues in Patrick White’s Voss (1957), especially those involving Laura Trevelyan, involve an implicit debate about what is meant by country and what it means to live in a country. Is the colony of New South Wales simply a province of the British Empire, a little piece of Britain transplanted on the other side of the world, or is it a place where British settlers will have to adapt their ways and gradually be transformed into something new? In these dialogues, each speaker makes use of words such as country, colony, property and land in order to express their vision of the place where they find themselves, frequently forcing a shift of meaning from one sentence to the next. This study examines how this debate is carried out in the novel and how it functions in Paulo Henriques Britto’s 1985 Brazilian translation.' (Publication summary)
Emerging from the Rubble of Postcolonial Studies : Book History and Australian Literary Studies, Per Henningsgaard , single work criticism
'Scholars of Australian literature have engaged more frequently and enthusiastically with book history approaches than nearly any other postcolonial nation’s literary scholars. Several Australian scholars have suggested that book history has taken over where postcolonial studies left off. In their choice of subject matter, however, Australian book historians reinforce the very constructions of literary value they purport to dismantle, similar to how scholars of postcolonial studies have been critiqued for reinforcing the construction of colonial identities. Thus, this article looks to the intellectual history of postcolonial studies for examples of how it responded to similar critiques. What is revealed is a surprising, and heretofore untold, relationship between book history and postcolonial studies, which focuses on their transnational potential versus their ability to remain firmly grounded in the national.' (Publication abstract)
Altjeringa and Didgeridoo : Australian Identity Devices on Polyphonic Spatiality of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Stephan Elliott, Jorge Alves Santana , single work criticism
'The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) is an Australian film directed by Stephan Elliott. It expresses socio- and aesthetically a perspective of devices that produce contemporary subjectivities in Australia. In this article, some aspects of the production of such subjectivities shall be discussed in terms of possible cross mobilities, present in relations strained by spatiality - in their lieux and non-lieux, lieux lisse and lieux strié (AUGÉ, 1992; 1997; 2006; Deleuze, 1997) - traveled by the trio of protagonists who, in the trip from Sydney to Alice Springs, meet an Aboriginal community in the heart of the Outback. Among Altjeringa and the didgeridoo, we will follow this meeting between homoaffective and ancestral identities, which, on a certain semantic level of this film, indicates contexts of political and cultural negotiations in the historical and imaginative nation building process (Anderson, 2006), carried out by the stratified Australian society.' (Publication abstract)
Screening Indigenous Australia : Space, Place and Media in Frances Calvert’s Talking Broken, Peter Kilroy , single work criticism
'Drawing on the fields of postcolonial studies and media theory, this article analyzes Frances Calvert’s 1990 documentary, Talking Broken, which, inter alia, looks at the role of space, place and media amongst Australia’s ‘other’ Indigenous minority, Torres Strait Islanders. The article explores the historical and geographical complexity of the space-place-media relation (particularly in terms of the centre-periphery relations between the Torres Strait and the Australian mainland), and considers the extent to which Calvert – after the Australian bicentenary of 1988 – is able to absorb and playfully challenge such formulations. More broadly, it considers the extent to which contemporary Indigenous media might go further and enact a shift from absorbing and challenging such formulations to taking control of media institutions themselves.' (Publication summary)
Resisting Invasions : Indigenous Peoples and Land Rights Battles in Mabo and Terra Vermelha, Aline Frey , single work criticism
'This article examines two feature films, focusing on the link between Indigenous cinema, environmental preservation and land rights. The first film is Mabo (2012) directed by Aboriginal filmmaker Rachel Perkins. It centres on a man’ legal battle for recognition of Indigenous land’ ownership in Australia. The second film is Terra Vermelha (Birdwatchers, Marco Bechis, 2008), which centres on the violence endured by a contemporary Brazilian Indigenous group attempting to reclaim their traditional lands occupied by agribusiness barons. Based on comparative analysis of Mabo and Terra Vermelha, this article discusses the similar challenges faced by Indigenous nations in these two countries, especially the colonial dispossession of their ancestral territories and the postcolonial obstacles to reclaim and exercise self-determination over them.' (Publication abstract)
The Proposition : Imagining Race, Family and Violence on the Nineteenth-Century Australian Frontier, Catriona Elder , single work criticism
'This article analyses John Hillcoat’s 2005 film The Proposition in relation to a spate of Australian films about violence and the (post)colonial encounter released in the early twenty-first century. Extending on Felicity Collins and Therese Davis argument that these films can be read in terms of the ways they capture or refract aspects of contemporary race relations in Australia in a post-Mabo, this article analyses how The Proposition reconstructs the trauma of the Australian frontier; how from the perspective of the twenty-first century it worries over the meaning of violence on the Australian frontier. It also explores what has become speakable (and remains unspeakable) in the public sphere about the history of the frontier encounter, especially in terms of family and race. The article argues that The Proposition and other early twenty-first century race relations films can be understood as post-reconciliation films, emerging in a period when Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians were rethinking ideas of belonging through a prism of post-enmity and forgiveness. Drawing on the theme of violence and intimate relations in the film, this article argues that the challenges to the everyday formulation of Australian history proffered in The Proposition reveal painful and powerful differences amongst Australian citizens’ understanding of who belongs and how they came to belong to the nation. I suggest that by focusing on violence in terms of intimacy, relationships, family and kin, it is possible to see this film presented an opportunity to begin to refigure ideas of belonging. ' (Publication abstract)
Postcolonial Longing on the Australian Cinematic Frontier, Pauline Marsh , single work criticism
'The Tracker and Red Hill are cinematic re-interpretations of Australia’s colonial past, which they characterise by a sense of postcolonial longing and an expectation of intimacy. Both films are portals through which arguments about historical truth, subjective memory and contemporary realities are explored and tested. In this paper I argue that both these two films create the idea that the historical colonial space was a constant interplay of violence and beauty, and of hatred and friendship. As black and white characters negotiate their way in and around these seemingly polemical positions, viewers are also challenged to do the same.' (Publication abstract)
Australian Children’s Literature and Postcolonialism : A Review Essay, Xu Daozhi , single work criticism
'The theme of land and country is resonant in Australian children’s literature with Aboriginal subject matter. The textual and visual narratives present counter-discourse strategies to challenge the colonial ideology and dominant valuation of Australian landscape. This paper begins by examining the colonial history of seeing Australia as an “empty space”, naming, and appropriating the land by erasing Aboriginal presence from the land. Then it explores the conceptual re-investment of Aboriginal connections to country in the representation of Australian landscape, as reflected and re-imagined in fiction and non-fiction for child readers. Thereby, as the paper suggests, a shared and reconciliatory space can at least discursively be negotiated and envisioned. ' (Publication abstract)

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Last amended 5 Dec 2016 15:29:16