AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 The Darkest Aspect : Mabo and Liam Davison’s The White Woman
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In 1962, Douglas Pike, the Professor of History at the Australian National University, published a book called Australia: The Quiet Continent. As the title indicates, Pike describes a land only awakened from its historical slumber by the arrival of Europeans at the end of the eighteenth century. Aboriginal participation in the nation’s story is quieted in Pike’s work. Aboriginal people are barely mentioned in 233 pages of text, other than being referred to as “native people [held] in stone-age bondage” (1) or as “primitive food-gatherers [who] were no match for the white invader” (36). Passages stating that “the Australian communities took shape as peaceful outposts of British civilization” (3), ignore or suppress any suggestion that the land was taken from Aboriginal people by force. This was entirely in keeping with the fashion of Australian historical narrative for the time.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Zeitschrift Für Australienstudien no. 30 2016 11866539 2016 periodical issue

    'In reference to the recent awareness of “the growing use of the idea of ‘entanglement’ as a key theoretical term in the humanities and social sciences” this issue reflects the increasing challenge “to move away from narrowly defined ‘national’ histories towards an understanding of [Australian] History [and presence] as an interlinked whole where identities and places are the products of mobilities and connections”. 1 We take up this flexible approach to gain a deeper understanding of a spectacular experiment which ended in a clash of cultures but also led to transcultural collaboration. It was the result of European ‘entanglement’ overseas, that is, Europe’s presence among Indigenous populations and its invasive influence on these societies. Like elsewhere, the colonial past is still present today in Australia and former colonial power relations continue to have an impact in the present. This causes never-ending intricate debates on the historical, political, social, cultural and legal circumstances of European settlement in Australia. Today’s coexistence of Indigenous people and new Australians of diverse backgrounds is determined by hidden implications, outspoken arguments, and concessions not yet achieved within the fragmentary context of these debates. As a result, the colonial legacy remains in the widest sense a controversial issue for politicians and academics, and this in all her facets. Academic research, therefore, will always reflect contested views on the colonial era of intercultural encounter. This also applies to the perception of the Indigenous peoples’ joint efforts to save their culture in a postcolonial context. Most notably, as this issue of the Australian Studies Journal – Zeitschrift für Australienstudien mainly will show, academic research on a global scale, i.e. across national, ethnic, social, religious, gender-related and disciplinary boundaries, but also across divided attitudes, might raise public awareness for shared values in an interlinked world.' (Editorial introduction)

    pg. 44-60
Last amended 12 Sep 2017 13:33:52
44-60 The Darkest Aspect : Mabo and Liam Davison’s The White Womansmall AustLit logo Zeitschrift Für Australienstudien