'This paper traverses an array of theories and disciplines bearing on the representation and interpretation of Aboriginal people within the narratives of colonial Modernity and the institutions of Western scholarship descended from these narratives. While these discourses occupy contiguous spaces, their fault-lines articulate ongoing contradictions within Australian cultural discourse, and between that discourse and its material conditions. The rise of Aboriginal Literature, as such, and of global Indigenous Studies, has further illuminated the inability of classical textual analysis to describe certain forms of difference. This deficiency was demonstrated by the post-structural turn, but not, it seems, substantively understood or implemented, and present conditions demand a more urgent reconfiguration of the assumed relationships between writing, interpretation and culture.' (Introduction)
Author's note: I acknowledge the elders of the Ngunnawall past and present, on whose land this work was first read, the elders of Wangal past and present, upon whose land I live and work, and the elders of the Wonnarua and of Yadhaykenu past and present, from whose history this narrative emerges, none of whom ceded sovereignty.