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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... 2017 Australia Is a Crime Scene : Natalie Harkin’s Intervention on National Numbness and the National Ideal
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Sara Ahmed analyses the construction of the national ideal, conceiving of nationhood as a formation dependent on the stickiness of an ideal-image informed by complex individual and collective physic processes. In this article, I focus on the Narungga poet, artist, and scholar Natalie Harkin’s debut collection of poems, Dirty Words, through the lens of Ahmed’s work on the socialisation of affect to argue that Harkin’s poetics stage an intervention on national numbness (a consequence, in part, of Australia’s traumatic establishment as a penal colony) and Australia’s Anglo-centric national ideal. I examine Harkin’s challenge to those who continue to fly the traumatising, colonising flag and her witnessing to transgenerational trauma in the post-invasion context, showing how her testimony confronts the denial and division entrenched in the national ideal, past and present. Harkin’s mediation contributes to a burgeoning First Nations poetics in Australia that demands recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ experience and knowledge, and calls for justice, accountability, reflection, and response from non-Indigenous Australians.'  (Publication abstract)

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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon TEXT Special Issue Website Series Writing and Trauma no. 42 Bridget Haylock (editor), Suzanne Hermanoczki (editor), 2017 12939034 2017 periodical issue

    'Writing is a crucial process to the understanding of trauma. Whether trauma is represented through literature, fiction, non-fiction, auto/biography, memoir, post-generational and Indigenous narratives, poetry, graphic novels, art, photography, dance, plays, film, or closely observed by practitioners teaching creative writing within a classroom or an academic context, this issue includes the many and varied ways writers are bearing witness to trauma in the written form. Writing trauma offers a way of confronting, unpacking, questioning, de/constructing and navigating, the silence and the space, the gaps and the holes, the aporia, the unrepresentable and unknowable, of the sayable and unsayable, in order to reach a better understanding of how trauma is being re-presented within these diverse narratives. ' (Issue introduction)

Last amended 22 Feb 2018 06:50:28
Australia Is a Crime Scene : Natalie Harkin’s Intervention on National Numbness and the National Idealsmall AustLit logo TEXT Special Issue Website Series