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Issue Details: First known date: 2023... 2023 Seeking Home, Discovering the Bush : The Australian Bush Envisaged in Ukrainian Children’s Books
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This chapter examines Ukrainian Australian literature for children and youth written by 14 authors between 1950 and 1990. All but one of these authors moved from Ukraine to Australia in the aftermath of World War II. The analyses combine Donna Haraway’s (The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, People, and Significant Otherness. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2003) concept natureculture with the notion of gaze. The compound “natureculture” challenges the intellectual tradition of separating nature and culture to highlight interactions between the two. Human influence on plants has been normalized to the extent plant influence on humans is rendered invisible. We use the notion of “gaze” to make visible aspects of human-plant interaction that might otherwise go unnoticed, highlighting instances where the authors either obscure or celebrate plant autonomy. This chapter focuses on the representation of the Australian bush in literature for Ukrainian children and youth. We examine representations of bush as a place, then as a plant or group of plants. The former exposes Ukrainian settlers’ imposition of “Ukrainian gaze” onto the landscape: i.e., seeing the Australian bush through the lens of Ukrainian landscapes. However, we also identify works where Ukrainian Australian authors recognize plant autonomy. We suggest this becomes more evident when the bush is conceived as a plant and/or in relation to the Indigenous populations of Australia.' (Publication abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Storying Plants in Australian Children's and Young Adult Literature : Roots and Winged Seeds Melanie Duckworth (editor), Annika Herb (editor), Cham : Palgrave Macmillan , 2023 27274711 2023 anthology criticism

    'Storying Plants in Australian Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Roots and Winged Seeds explores cultural and historical aspects of the representation of plants in Australian children’s and young adult literature, encompassing colonial, postcolonial, and Indigenous perspectives. While plants tend to be backgrounded as of less narrative interest than animals and humans, this book, in conversation with the field of critical plant studies, approaches them as living beings worthy of attention. Australia is home to over 20,000 species of native plants – from pungent Eucalypts to twisting mangroves, from tiny orchids to spiky, silvery spinifex. Indigenous Australians have lived with, relied upon, and cultivated these plants for many thousands of years. When European explorers and colonists first invaded Australia, unfamiliar species of plants captured their imagination. Vulnerable to bushfires, climate change, and introduced species, plants continue to occupy fraught but vital places in Australian ecologies, texts, and cultures. Discussing writers from Ambelin Kwaymullina and Aunty Joy Murphy to May Gibbs and Ethel Turner, and embracing transnational perspectives from Ukraine, Poland, and Aotearoa New Zealand, Storying Plants addresses the stories told about plants but also the stories that plants themselves tell, engaging with the wide-ranging significance of plants in Australian children’s and Young Adult literature.'  (Publication summary)

    Cham : Palgrave Macmillan , 2023
    pg. 169-188
Last amended 13 Dec 2023 14:21:40
169-188 Seeking Home, Discovering the Bush : The Australian Bush Envisaged in Ukrainian Children’s Bookssmall AustLit logo