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'Helen Tiffin has worked consistently around the possibilities of dismantling the structures and habits of thought of colonialism. In doing so, she has investigated possibilities of counter-formations: to literary canons, to the assumptions underlying canons (1993), to history and its narrative modes (1983), and to colonialist discourse (1987). As her work has progressed, the demolition job on prejudicial boundaries between self and other has shifted direction from place to race to gender and thence to examining the boundaries between humans and nature, people and animals (2001). Throughout, her literary focus has been consistently on the Caribbean, but she has also analysed aspects of the Australian writer, Randolph Stow, notably Tourmaline (1978) and Visitants (1981). Her interest at the time was in texts that worked to undo Eurocentric colonialism, but if she revisited his work now, she might well look at how Stow’s work shows connections between post/colonial cultures and problematic relations between humans and nature. What follows is a sketch of a reading.' (Publication summary)
'Since the early nineteenth century, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has served as a narrative model for those writing of science and ambition. For example, a contemporary journalist trying to explain the modus operandi of biologist and science entrepreneur J. Craig Venter, who was involved in the first sequencing of the human genome and was leader of the first team to create a cell with a synthetic genome, turned to the protagonist of Shelley’s 1818 novel as a point of reference for a description of his subject:...' (Publication abstract)
'Although the stories in Marion Halligan’s Shooting the Fox can be read independently, they also form an intricate whole where individual stories complement and reflect one another. A Garden of Eden, fruitful and safely enclosed until corruption and loss intervene, forms the book’s central motif. Language and communication are also important themes, as is the writer’s role in creating fictional worlds, where, serpent-like she introduces discord and betrayal to advance her narrative. Halligan’s opening story, gives the collection its name, establishing most of the book’s major ideas so that other stories appear to develop out of or relate back to it.' (Publication summary)
'Multi-media careers in the wider global entertainment market of the United States, Europe and Britain were commonly sustained by Australian-born performers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Such performers indicate something of the international reach of mobile actorly careers in the modern period (Kelly; Dixon & Kelly). Validation through overseas success is also a persistent model of the Australian performer. What then is an ‘Australian’ performer, in an enterprise in which ethnicities and regional identifications are mobile and frequently claimed for interested professional or social purposes? Opportunities and talent, birth, beauty, gender, regional or class identifications, whether assumed, avowed or disavowed — these are the categories which actors must manage as part of their careers and manipulate as elements of their stage personae.' (Publication abstract)
'I like to think of Helen as ‘the argumentative Indian’ that English propriety and Canadian restraint conspire against my realising in my own person. I use this phrase in its colloquial sense, with the raucous humour and deep affection that has characterised our friendship, to evoke the ready interlocutor, passionate opponent, and kindred spirit that she has been over the years.' (Publication abstract)