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y separately published work icon JASAL periodical issue   peer reviewed assertion
Alternative title: The Colonies : Australia and New Zealand
Issue Details: First known date: 2013... vol. 13 no. 2 2013 of JASAL est. 2002 JASAL
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* Contents derived from the 2013 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Dorothy Green Memorial Lecture : Archipelagic Space and the Uncertain Future of National Literatures, Elizabeth McMahon , single work criticism

'This essay joins in the discussion about the future of national literatures in the shifting formations of globalisation. Specifically, I want to interrogate what we mean by the future when we speak of literature and, specifically, of Australian or New Zealand literature.

The essay proposes a literary cartography that overlays the alienation of this ‘no world’ with the ‘no-place’ of island utopias as they are mobilised in archipelagic chains or threads. This alternative model of spatial relationality and dynamism differs from conventional global traffic. It is a cartography derived from islands: from their history, fictions, and their theorists. This project is at least partly utopian in a strictly generic sense; that is, in its implication in the reading practices and politics of utopian texts.' (Author's abstract)

The Village, Martin Edmond , single work criticism
'This essay explores some of the lesser-known points of connection between the art worlds of Australia and New Zealand from the early to the mid-twentieth century.' (Author's abstract)
The Settler Evolution : Space, Place and Memory in Early Colonial Australia, Grace Karskens , single work criticism

'Ideas and expectations about colonial space and the making and remaking of real places lie at the heart of the early Australian colonies. Over the past forty years, and especially in the last decade, scholars have recovered much of that lost world, a world of polyglot diversity, constant movement, economic social and cultural expansion, cross-cultural encounters, relationships and appropriations, extraordinary adaptations, myriad connections and overlaid human geographies.

'Yet in the later nineteenth century, the colonies were also profoundly shaped by discontinuities in memory, place and experience, as wave upon wave of new arrivals started new lives literally unaware of what had happened earlier, or how these places had come to be. The success of later settlers was built upon those earlier foundations, and yet false assumptions about ‘gaol colonies’ and ‘savages’, twinned with assertions of legitimate occupancy and entitlement, easily captured the narrative as well as the literal ground, and are still widespread in Australian historiography, popular history and heritage today.' (Author's abstract)

Modernist/Provincial/Pacific : Katherine Mansfield, Christina Stead and Expatriate Home Ground, Fiona Morrison , single work criticism

'Rebecca Walkowitz, citing Said and others, suggests that the critical cosmopolitanism inherent in the work of several British modernists was underpinned by an awareness (among other things) of “the entanglement of domestic and international perspectives” and an “attempt to operate in the world... while preserving a posture of resistance”. Cosmopolitan modernism in these kinds of ‘critical’ robes offers a useful space in which to examine the work of settler colonial expatriate woman modernists. In particular, this paper will investigate the powerful, disruptive and often uneven return to home ground in the shape of Stead and Mansfield’s modernist narratives about their provincial cities of origin on the Pacific Rim. This paper takes as its starting point Christina Stead’s early work, Seven Poor Men of Sydney (1934). While acknowledging the pressing complications of her identification with international socialism, what kind of interpretive traction do we gain by positing Stead’s participation in both Pacific and transnational modernism in her rendition of Sydney? Katherine Mansfield’s earlier New Zealand stories will provide further and quite different material for Tasman/Pacific oriented speculation about the nature of the expatriate modernist woman’s worldly recuperation of her colonial hometown.

' (Author's abstract)

Outsider Architecture : The Literary Constructions of Eve Langley, single work criticism

'Outsider architecture references a continuum of unofficial constructions, from the tenuous envelope of found materials that a homeless person folds about themselves nightly, to the compellingly precarious sculptural artefact, painstakingly but illegally built, in a front garden or on public land. One way that the homeless deal with their vulnerability to harsh weather, psychological disturbance and lack of privacy is the construction of ad hoc shelters from found objects and recycled rubbish. These shelters represent one form of outsider architecture. Roger Cardinal notes that another form is the idiosyncratic construction of sculptural assemblages, also, typically from recycled materials, to form architectural structures, modified dwellings, landscaped areas, collections, monuments and shrines that seem to pop up in most cities, or anywhere there are people (169). All over the world, homeless people seek to provide at least temporary shelter for themselves, and at the same time, a certain number of people, sometimes the same people, engage in personal projects of construction in which the expression of individuality is as, if not more, important than physical containment or shelter.

'This article will consider the work of one author, Eve Langley, as a form of outsider architecture and will suggest that the physical entity formed by Langley’s novels, as a manifestation of outsider architecture, provided their author with the hope of psychic shelter when she wrote them. Langley wrote at a time in which it was difficult for a woman to succeed as an artist, or to support herself financially. As well, she experienced a dysfunctional marriage and suffered from uncertain health. Despite these difficult conditions, she wrote compulsively, sending manuscripts, one after another to her publishers, long after they had stopped publishing her work.

'Yet, the large body of unpublished manuscripts in the Mitchell speaks of more than the mental ill health that is frequently associated with Langley. Consideration of the debates active within the literary community of New Zealand at the time Langley was writing, and the nature and content of, in particular, her novelistic oeuvre, suggests that Langley may have been writing at least partly in response to local literary voices. Despite her peripatetic lifestyle and solipsistic tendencies, Langley was part of the community of writers living in New Zealand in the mid-twentieth century. Her writing was supported and criticised by it, and undoubtedly shaped by it. This article will consider the part this community played in Langley’s writing, the dual aspects of vulnerability and strength, feelings of alienation and centrality, exhibited in Langley’s authorial choices. By examining Langley’s body of work through the lens of outsider architecture, Langley’s prolific literary output in the face of a largely negative reception may be seen, not so much as the sign of a loss of control, but as a strategic, if eccentric, construction of an authorial presence.' (Author's abstract)

Patrick White and Film, Elizabeth Webby , Margaret Harris , single work criticism
'2011 saw the release of The Eye of the Storm, the first adaptation to the screen of one of Patrick White’s novels. There had been earlier attempts, in particular the long-running saga of Voss, seemingly as doomed to failure as the explorer’s own quest. White’s interest in the theatre was paralleled by his interest in film; he knew that adaptations could boost an author’s reputation and sales. Manuscripts in the National Library of Australia’s White papers reveal that he wrote adaptations of several of his short stories as early as 1963. He did not manage to sell any of these but collaboration with director Jim Sharman in the 1970s led to the production of White’s screenplay of his story ‘The Night, the Prowler’. Inspired by this, White wrote several original screenplays that were never filmed. ‘Monkey Puzzle’, intended as a full-length film, sends up the Australian literary scene as well as Australian films of the period. The shorter 'Kidults' also includes a parody of the film version of My Brilliant Career. (Author's abstract)
The Geopoetics of Affect : Bill Neidjie’s Story About Feeling, Michael Farrell , single work criticism
'My article is a reading of Bill Neidjie's book-length work, Story About Feeling, with particular emphasis on a reading of the work in terms of place and affect. I argue for a new approach to writing about writing about the earth: that is, a new affective paradigm.' (Author's abstract)
Capitalism Versus the Agency of Place : An Ecocritical Reading of That Deadman Dance and Carpentaria, Jane Gleeson-White , single work criticism

'Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance (2010) and Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria (2006) have put the Indigenous novel at the centre of Australian literature for the first time and established these authors as two of Australia’s most prominent and successful contemporary fiction writers. The novels have been widely acclaimed by scholars and critics; both won the Miles Franklin Award and were short-listed for major literary prizes. And yet both these novels trouble Australia’s national identity, drawing attention to and challenging the economic project—capitalism—upon which the nation is predicated. Against the singularity of the nation and the abstracting forces of capitalism these novels posit the particularity and agency of locale, of place. This paper will argue, therefore, that only an ecocritical reading of these novels can adequately account for the challenges—formal, political, epistemological, ontological—that they pose. Through an ecocritical examination of the conflict between capitalism and regional Indigenous management embodied in these novels, I will argue that they rewrite Australia in the voice of the regional, and offer ways of reconsidering the relation of human and non-human which contest our prevailing economic models and their role in the ecological crisis.'  (Introduction)

The Politics of the Voice : Ethnographic Fetishism and Australian Literary Studies, Richard J. Martin , single work criticism
'The politics of representing Aboriginality often focuses on questions of authorship and appropriation. Much of this criticism rests on the simplistic assumption that texts created by collaboration and even uneven collaboration are not in some respects voiced by their subject or subjects. This paper discusses two popular texts about Aboriginal ceremonial songs or ‘songlines’ in order to challenge this assumption, reading Bill Harney with A. P. Elkin’s Songs of the Songmen: Aboriginal Myths Retold (1949), and John Bradley with Yanyuwa Families’ Singing Saltwater Country: Journey to the Songlines of Carpentaria (2010) as Aboriginal texts. These texts are particularly interesting insofar as they focus attention on the relationship between voice and text, as well as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, being the products of collaboration by the anthropologists Elkin and Bradley with, on the one hand, a non-Aboriginal ‘Protector’ and popular writer (Harney), and, on the other, the subjects of the ethnography themselves (that is Yanyuwa Families). As I argue, the shifting ways in which the songlines of northern Australia are voiced in Songs of the Songmen and Singing Saltwater Country provides insights into the politics of representing Aboriginality in Australia, and the forces that have historically affected it. The close analysis of these texts focuses attention on the role of ethnographic fetishism for the exotic and authentic within the changing context of cultural production in Australia.' (Author's abstract)
'Since My Dear Boy’s Death' : Grief, Botany and Gender in 19th Century Western Australia, Jessica White , single work criticism
Depicting the Colonial Home : Representations the Domestic in Kate Grenville's The Secret River and Sarah Thornhill, single work criticism

'Kate Grenville’s The Secret River and Sarah Thornhill are usually seen as works which contribute to the process of reconciliation in Australia. At the same time they have been criticised for reproducing rather than challenging a conservative white settler view of the past. In the commentary to date little attention has been paid to the novel’s representation of the domestic worlds of settlers and Aborigines. In this article I explore the way in which Grenville structures and depicts the various domestic spaces in the novels. In doing so I argue that while Grenville’s texts ostensibly contribute to the process of reconciliation in Australia by interrogating white actions in the colonial past, her representation of the domestic undermines that purpose. I suggest that while Grenville takes a more nuanced and complex view of the domestic than some previous writers, who have concentrated on its carceral aspects, her presentation of the homes of her characters, and particularly her normalisation of the Australian bark hut and its successor, the isolated farmhouse, ultimately serves to reinscribe rather than rewrite the narratives of white legitimacy and settler victimhood.' (Author's abstract)

In/On/Of – The Mixed Poetics of Australian Spaces; or How I Found the Cubby. A Fictocritical Essay on White Australian (Un)Belonging, Catherine Noske , single work criticism
'The white Australian relationship with landscape is complicated by notions of belonging and ‘unbelonging’; while literary representations are often marked by complex, conflicting emotions. Defining and shaping these relationships are the prepositions with which we characterize separate spaces, each one signalling a different power balance and attitude, linked directly through language to the colonial past. Responding to the poetics of Australian spaces put forward in Jennifer Rutherford’s and Barbara Holloway’s Halfway House, this paper offers the heterotopia as one possible re-conceptualization of Australian space. Heterotopias focus on that which functions above and beyond the everyday, combining internal (emotional) and external (physical) constructions of space to create sites of importance to society. They juxtapose the fixed with the mutable and create a discourse of relation between the various spaces of our world. The cubby is such a space of juxtaposition, closed and intimate in its nature as a highly personal space, and yet simultaneously based within wider social relations and part of a highly normative childhood experience. In examining the cubby as a heterotopic space through a fictocritical remembrance of my own childhood, this paper attempts to represent both the complexity of belonging as a sensation for white Australians and the ‘heterochronic’ reality of the postcolonial nation.' (Author's abstract)
Listening to Alex Miller's Soundscapes, Joseph Cummins , single work criticism
'Australian novelist Alex Miller’s two novels, Journey to the Stone Country (2002) and Landscape of Farewell (2007), present journeys into a web of interconnected northern Queensland landscapes. Sound is a vital aspect of these landscapes. Listening to the sounds and silences of these novels opens up imaginative, post-colonial geographies, Australian landscapes that exceed the horizons of colonial vision. This paper deploys a critical listening practice that seeks to listen to how Miller’s soundscapes construct the relations that resonate between his characters, and between the characters and the sonic landscape. Listening to the central relationships of the two novels, I argue that these relationships unfold within the resonance of the sounds and silences of Miller’s landscapes. His characters are located in a soundscape that extends the dimensions of the visual landscape: through sound and listening the human/human and human/landscape relations in the novels exceed the spatiality and temporality that has traditionally, silently, produced the self/other structure of colonial mastery.' (Author's abstract)
Colonising Time : Steven Carroll’s Reinvention of Suburbia, Brigid Rooney , single work criticism
'Suburbia is a familiar topos in Australian fiction. Its address to colonisation is mostly oblique, yielded through its focus on the inauthenticity and restlessness of a settler modernity typically sourced in the white Anglo culture of pre 1970s decades. Yet the actual suburbs of postwar Australia are multiplicitous and shifting, always in tension with the imagined terrain of fictional suburbia. My paper explores literary suburbs as constituted by a complex set of orientations towards the real and the imagined. It reads the ways that Steven Carroll’s fictional suburbia indexes real world localities, while simultaneously serving as locus for reinvention of the novel in Australia, through forms of interior consciousness and temporality affiliated with European models of literary modernism. In Spirit of Progress (2011), Carroll's narrative engages with classic Anglo-Australian suburbia as a representational field, working with and against the real of history, even as it mines the seam of suburbia as a site of both colonization and forgetting, and of longing and return.' (Author's abstract)
Trauma and Getting on in Kate Mulvany's The Seed and Helen Pearse-Otene's Ka Mate, Ka Ora, Jaimee Edwards , single work criticism
'Through reading Kate Mulvany's The Seed and Helen Pearse-Otene's Ka Mate, Ka Ora, two plays by and about children of Vietnam War veterans, this essay gives an alternative account of trauma from dominant trauma theories.Turning over models in which the traumatised subject is characterised as being disconnected from themselves and others, this essay traces the way second and third generation subjects who were born into a scene of trauma understand their condition as being one of radical connectivity. This awareness influences the way the characters in these plays cope with the material and emotional burdens of war and how this informs their strategy for survival in ordinary life.' (Publisher's blurb)

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Last amended 19 Jun 2017 17:27:16