'These are stories, histories. They emerged in part from encounters between scholars from Australia and Europe that offered a transnational way to think about culture, class, ethnicity, identity, inbetweenness and whiteness in Australian Indigenous studies. Our intention was to weave together professional and personal accounts of studies that have Australia and Indigeneity at their heart. The origins of this book lie in a discussion between Anna Cole and Vanessa Castejon that took place after a European Australian Studies conference at the Universitat de Barcelona’s Centre d’Estudis Australians in 2008. Over breakfast they wondered why many of the Australian scholars speaking on Indigenous topics at the conference did not reflect on their role in representing Indigenous Australia in and to Europe, despite the achievements of self-determination and self-reflexivity. That this conversation took place one morning in Barcelona—the place that Vanessa’s parents had been exiled from during the Spanish civil war—was significant. The power of place to unlock stories and to allow them to be felt and have an impact was something we had learned to articulate from working alongside Indigenous Australian historians and cultural custodians. So Vanessa and Anna started with themselves, trying to understand more about how their histories fed their motivations to work in Australian Indigenous history. Subsequently Anna and Vanessa were invited by John Docker, Ann Curthoys and Frances Peters-Little to publish these ego-histoires in Passionate Histories (Peters-Little, Curthoys & Docker, 2010) and so began the process of taking ego-histoire out of its strictly European origins and into ‘a broader history of colonialism and postcolonialism’ (Curthoys, 2012).' (Introduction)
‘To tell the history of another is to be pressed against the limits of your own’. Sara Suleri, ‘The Rhetoric of English India’ (Ashcroft, Griffiths & Tiffin, 2002).
‘When I ask anybody where they are from I expect nowadays to be told an extremely long story’. Stuart Hall (The Stuart Hall Project, 2013).