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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Revisiting the Haunted Past : Christine Piper’s After Darkness
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A frequently-used metaphor in Australian national discourse is that of one or other ‘shameful’ or ‘dark’ chapter in our past. Alongside the notion of shame and guilt comes the idea of repressed and silenced memory, either through deliberate institutionalised forgetting or through the impossibility of fully articulating traumatic pasts. At the same time, as Kate Darian-Smith and Paula Hamilton suggest, ‘forms of remembering and commemoration have become the central contemporary mode through which various constituencies understand history, including the national past’ (371). This seemingly contradictory clash of a willed forgetfulness alongside a fascination with remembrance may account for the popularity in Australian literature of historical novels, a sub-set of which may be termed ‘sorry novels,’ and of literary works that may be regarded as participating in a process of what Tessa Morris-Suzuki and others in East Asia Beyond the History Wars: Confronting the Ghosts of Violence (2013) term ‘reconciliation as method’. This concept is defined ‘not as an end-point in which consensus on history is achieved, but rather as sets of media, skills and processes that encourage the creative sharing of ideas and understandings about the past’ (13). The focus on ‘creative sharing’ suggests that such texts may participate in uncovering ‘unfinished business’ and in this way contribute to debates about understandings of the past. At the very least, the concept of ‘reconciliation as method’ prompts us to consider how literary narratives (among other forms of cultural texts) provoke questions of historical responsibility.' (introduction)

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    y separately published work icon Australian Humanities Review Unfinished Business : Apology Cultures in the Asia Pacific no. 61 May Monique Rooney (editor), 2017 11455878 2017 periodical issue

    'This special section of Australian Humanities Review, entitled ‘Unfinished Business: Apology Cultures in the Asia Pacific’, arose out of a Monash University Arts Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Project of the same name. This project brought together an interdisciplinary team across the fields of Literary Studies, History, Film, and Cultural Studies, encompassing aspects of law, human rights and ethics. The project sought to understand how various forms of cultural practice and narrative mediate our comprehension of the past and of ongoing human interactions within and between nation-states, in particular, of past, present and future social and cultural interactions that coalesce around the material and symbolic consequences of apology in the Asia Pacific region.' (Editorial Introduction)

Last amended 11 Jul 2017 13:04:19 Revisiting the Haunted Past : Christine Piper’s After Darknesssmall AustLit logo Australian Humanities Review