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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 [Review] Dancing in Shadows: Histories of Nyungar Performance
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'Anna Haebich’s book is a richly researched and beautifully written study of Nyungar cultural history with a focus on performance. From the first the book challenges colonial narratives about what is and is not Nyungar performance. Habitually following colonial narratives about so-called primitive cultures, only performances that can be categorised as ‘pre-contact’ are seen as owned in any way by Aboriginal people. Other performances have been described as a sign of cultural contamination or degradation illustrating a loss of culture. At best the performances are described as hybrid or fusion rather than as part of Aboriginal modernity. As the eminent Aboriginal playwright and musician Richard Walley says in the Foreword, the response even in the twentieth century was ‘Hang on this is not Aboriginal’ … ‘Stay in the glass jar over there that’s iconic Aboriginal’ (xii). Even more pertinently, Walley continues with the endless message he and others like him received from white audiences, producers and critics, ‘We don’t want you to do anything else’ (xii). Haebich’s book is enriched by extensive archival research, interviews, detailed examinations of paintings and photographs and her own observations which offer a different perspective. Haebich has also included a valuable collection of images in the book.'  (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Australian Historical Studies vol. 50 no. 2 2019 16839290 2019 periodical issue

    'We are thrilled to present our second issue of Australian Historical Studies for 2019. Here we bring together a series of methodologically innovative and interdisciplinary pieces that explore seeing and hearing in history. The first article, by Andrew Hurley, explores the nexus between hearing and emotion in the history of Australian exploration. Where scholars have hitherto posited silence and emptiness as key parts of explorer narratives (parts that did clear colonial work), Hurley tells a more complicated story about one very keen listener’s multivalent engagement with the Australian outback. Ludwig Leichhardt’s detailed diaries suggest an only partly recorded, but very rich engagement with soundscapes in Australia.' (Lisa Ford and David A. Roberts, History in Sight and Sound, editorial introduction)

    pg. 272-273
Last amended 20 Jun 2019 10:40:17
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