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Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Modernism, Antipodernism, and Australian Aboriginality
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'THIS ESSAY DESCRIBES THE ENTANGLEMENT in Australia of three concepts: modernism; 'settler modernity'; and Aboriginality. Its three principal arguments are: (i) that European perceptions of Australian Aboriginal cultures were deeply influential in the development of modernism; (ii) that anxieties about the proximity of Aboriginal and settler peoples in Australia — but also resistance to European theories of Aboriginal culture not validated through personal experience of interacting with Aboriginal Australians — influenced strong anti-modernist sentiment among some Australian artists and writers; and (iii) that perhaps this 'anti-modernism' might instead be characterized as an 'alternative' modernism in Australia — an entanglement of visions of progress and degeneration — to which I will give the purposefully ugly label of 'antipedernism'. In developing these arguments I will make reference to Sigmund Freud's Totem and Taboo (1913) as inflected by the work in Australia of Francis Gillen and Baldwin Spencer, and discuss writings by Miles Franklin in particular, as well as Katharine Susannah Prichard, D.H. Lawrence, A.D. Hope, and Christina Stead.'

Source: From paragraph one (p.89).


  • Author's note: The breadth of the argument ventured here represents a new departure in my re-search, but part of the essay draws together and develops ideas initially published in two different contexts: Ian Henderson, "Uncommon Reading: Sight, Science and the 'Savage' Reader, 1850-1915," Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, 2010,; and Ian Henderson, "The Body of an Australian Girl: Miles Franklin's kt, Brilliant Career (1901)," in Feminism and the Body: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, ed. Catherine Kevin (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars, 2009): 116-33.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Decolonizing the Landscape : Indigenous Cultures in Australia Beate Neumaier (editor), Kay Schaffer (editor), Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2014 8115701 2014 anthology criticism

    'How does one read across cultural boundaries? The multitude of creative texts, performance practices, and artworks produced by Indigenous writers and artists in contemporary Australia calls upon Anglo-European academic readers, viewers, and critics to respond to this critical question.

    'Contributors address a plethora of creative works by Indigenous writers, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and painters, including Richard Frankland, Lionel Fogarty, Lin Onus, Kim Scott, Sam Watson, and Alexis Wright, as well as Durrudiya song cycles and works by Western Desert artists. The complexity of these creative works transcends categorical boundaries of Western art, aesthetics, and literature, demanding new processes of reading and response. Other contributors address works by non-Indigenous writers and filmmakers such as Stephen Muecke, Katrina Schlunke, Margaret Somerville, and Jeni Thornley, all of whom actively engage in questioning their complicity with the past in order to challenge Western modes of knowledge and understanding and to enter into a more self-critical and authentically ethical dialogue with the Other.

    'In probing the limitations of Anglo-European knowledge-systems, essays in this volume lay the groundwork for entering into a more authentic dialogue with Indigenous writers and critics.' (Publication summary)

    Amsterdam : Rodopi , 2014
    pg. 89-106
Last amended 18 Sep 2017 16:46:35
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