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Stephen Muecke Stephen Muecke i(A10587 works by)
Born: Established: 1951 Adelaide, South Australia, ;
Gender: Male
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Works By

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1 Whitefella Magic : A Posthumanist Take on the Dark Emu Debate Stephen Muecke , 2021 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland [Online] , August 2021;

'The Sutton and Walshe book, Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers?, did not start the debate over Pascoe’s Dark Emu, but it has certainly escalated it to a broader public. Now there are numerous reviews, essays and opinions, from Geoffrey Blainey in The Australian (an ideological rant that even manages to drag in the Federal Labor leader for criticism) to Guy Rundle in Crikey (tying himself in rhetorical knots trying to defend Pascoe). It’s another battle in the culture wars, reminiscent of the one led by Keith Windschuttle on Aboriginal history twenty-odd years ago. Is that really what Sutton and Walshe wanted? Or do they just want to defend the pursuit of truth by the best possible means?' (Introduction)

1 Resistance Stephen Muecke , 2020 single work essay
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 241 2020; (p. 19-23)
'With such a voltage difference, the electrical energy passing through the resistor is transformed into heat. If there is too much potential difference, the resistor can burn out. It's an inefficiency in a circuit. You know how your laptop gets hot? That kind of inefficiency. The more efficient a system becomes, the less resistance there is, the less wasted heat energy. At least in theory. And in yet another cosmos, the State would like its politics to run with this kind of efficiency, without resistance. Power surging through the system untrammelled. But this kind of absolute system is impossible, for all systems have in-built inefficiencies for power to work against: It would not be possible,' Michel Foucault said, 'for power relations to exist without points of insubordination which, by definition, are means of escape'. ' (Introduction)
1 Rev. of Matteo Dutto, Legacies of Indigenous Resistance: Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan in Australian Indigenous Film, Theatre and Literature Stephen Muecke , 2019 single work review
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia , vol. 10 no. 2 2019;

— Review of Legacies of Indigenous Resistance : Pemulwuy, Jandamarra and Yagan in Australian Indigenous Film, Theatre and Literature Matteo Dutto , 2019 multi chapter work criticism
1 Knowledge Valves. Or, Keeping Cultural Studies Going. Stephen Muecke , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Cultural Studies Review , December vol. 25 no. 2 2019; (p. 244-246)
'One tends to ignore the periodicity of periodicals, that their composition depends on the building up of various intensities to the point of release that is their publication every three or six months. How can rhythmanalysis help us conceive of the persistence of a collective project, like running a journal? When it comes to each writer attending to their individual contribution, surely they are thinking that their content is what matters, not the form or the rhythm? As the deadline approaches, content may well be what they worry about, but are they not attuned from the start to the proposed theme (like ‘Extinction,’ Cultural Studies Review 25:1 (2019)), a theme that has energised them enough to accept the invitation to begin to research and write? ‘Everywhere where there is interaction between a place, a time and an expenditure of energy, there is rhythm,’ writes Lefebvre, but hasn’t place disappeared in the era of the on-line publication? Place has become referential rather than literally regional, territorial (or even national).' (Introduction)
1 A Fragile Civilisation : Collective Living on Australian Soil Stephen Muecke , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Griffith Review , January no. 63 2019; (p. 53-60)

'At the same time as a headline in 'The Guardian' announced: 'Indigenous Australians most ancient civilisation on Earth, DNA study confirms', we could also read that $3 billion had been left by healthcare tycoon Paul Ramsay to set up, under the direction of right-wing former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott, a plan to install courses on 'Western civilisation' in major Australian universities. This contrast is confusing, but telling. Civilisation has nothing to do with science as such (DNA is indifferent to it), nor is it something a passing political initiative can uphold. But with a long view of Australian history, the concept of civilisation is caught precisely in this politically charged dichotomy: between an Indigenous civilisation and a recently arrived 'Western' one. It seems that the upholders of the latter would like the former to remain dubious and 'ancient', of little relevance to the future of the country. This essay is a personal reflection on the possibilities for a more reasonable hybrid definition of 'civilisation' based on Australian soil.' (Publication abstract)


1 Externalising the Symptom : Radicalised Youth and The Membrane Stephen Muecke , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , 1 February no. 89 2019;

'I was radicalised in my youth. I came back from a year in Paris in ’68-69 with my parents, and went to Monash University, a ‘radical’ campus when it was new. I was not a leader; I was still too young for that, but being radical was a trend. In Paris I had been knocked to the ground by the CRS, the riot police. Back home I went to all the demos. I refused to go to Vietnam, and Gough’s election in 1972 saved me from a court case that would have punished me for non-compliance with the draft.'  (Introduction)

1 Politics Now, Now Stephen Muecke , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cultural Studies Review , March vol. 24 no. 1 2018; (p. 34-38)

'The essay I want to discuss here was published in the ‘pre-global’ era. I find it telling that Meaghan’s ‘Politics Now: Anxieties of a Petit-Bourgeois Intellectual’, dated 14 July 1985 in its appearance in The Pirate’s Fiancée in 1988, was first published in Intervention in Sydney and shortly afterwards as lead essay in Framework in London: that way people in London would actually be able to read it as well. In his introduction, the Framework editor Paul Willemen linked the essay to one of Judith Williamson’s in New Socialist in September 1986, where she had occasion to protest ‘against the prevailing tendency on the British cultural “left” to proclaim the virtues of ideological regimes exemplified by Dallas and Dynasty’. These were connections that had to be forged by hand, as it were, rather than simply by clicking a ‘follow’ button on'  (Introduction)

1 Meaghan Chris Healy , Katrina Schlunke , Prudence Black , Stephen Muecke , Catherine Driscoll , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Cultural Studies Review , March vol. 24 no. 1 2018; (p. 1-4)

'It had to be ‘Meaghan’. The title of this edition of Cultural Studies Review is our salute to the work of Meaghan Morris and her lasting influence. That legacy is directly addressed in the collection of written works that emerged from the Meaghan Morris Festival held in 2016 but it is also echoed in the essays and reviews that are gathered within, that in their very mix speak to the particular tradition of cultural studies, Australian and otherwise, that Meaghan Morris helped so much to create.'  (Introduction)

1 Remembering the Future : Warlpiri Life through the Prism of Drawing, By Melinda Hinkson Stephen Muecke , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: Oceania , March vol. 86 no. 1 2016; (p. 110–111)

'Luke Taylor endorses the book on the back cover by saying that it ‘… marks a generational change and a new approach to scholarship.’ But I don't think it does this by displacing any older generation; its new approach to scholarship lies in its intergenerational practices: the contemporary Warlpiri who are shown drawings made by their people for Mervyn Meggitt at Hooker Creek in the 1950s, then respond by making new drawings and interpretations for Melinda Hinkson; Melinda Hinkson who sees how Meggitt has interpreted the 1950s drawings and then interprets his interpretation. The drawings and the words loop around each other, reaching back to the past and forward to the future: Remembering the Future is the enigmatic title of the book.'  (Introduction)

1 1 y separately published work icon The Mother’s Day Protest and Other Fictocritical Essays Stephen Muecke , London : Rowman & Littlefield , 2016 11459383 2016 selected work criticism

'As a genre that confounds the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, fictocriticism continues to gain currency. It solves a problem for researchers and writers who do not wish to be held to that somewhat artificial division, and who consider their research methods necessarily to include the stylistic experiments that show their research and thought processes. Research, knowledge of the world, that continues to be ‘written up’, ‘after the fact’ in the usual academic genres, has a tendency to re-inscribe the status quo. The world stays the way it is; change, surprise and experiment elude the writer. ' (Publication summary)

1 A Martin Harrison ABC Stephen Muecke , 2015 sequence interview
— Appears in: Plumwood Mountain : An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics , September vol. 2 no. 2 2015;
1 A Diplomat for the History Wars Stephen Muecke , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , April no. 28 2015;
'In this experimental reflection on the ‘history wars’ associated with Keith Windschuttle’s writings, the author recruits a storyteller, an ex-diplomat, whose yarning style subtly contests the ‘graphocentrism’ of Windschuttle’s faith in the truth of the written document. For the latter, facts are both enshrined in print, yet forever ‘out there’ in the world innocently waiting to be gathered. Against this, the essay argues that facts are indeed ‘fabricated’– in an appropriation of Windschuttle’s critique of black arm-band historians. Not only fabricated, but well-fabricated1 according to the best protocols and methods of historical research. If historical facts are thus constructed, they must also be institutionally supported so that they can continue to exist, and that too is an on-going negotiation in which diplomacy must also play a part. The negotiation is not between the veracity of facts and the distortions of ideology; peace will never be achieved along that pathway. The real war is between the most cherished values that support the manufacture of the facts that serve the parties involved. The skilled diplomat intervenes to listen to what it is they hold most dear, and then negotiates what they might relinquish to achieve a workable peace.' (Publication abstract)
1 Turning into a Gardiya i "Well, it was a long time ago now", Stephen Muecke , 2014 single work poetry
— Appears in: Ngapartji Ngapartji, in Turn, in Turn : Ego-histoire, Europe and Indigenous Australia 2014; (p. 259-269)

'Well, it was a long time ago now—

when I was in Halls Creek—

I’d been there a few times—

different times,

coming and going, you know—

bits of research, this and that—' (Introductory verse)

1 The Great Tradition : Translating Durrudiya's Songs Stephen Muecke , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Decolonizing the Landscape : Indigenous Cultures in Australia 2014; (p. 23-36)
Discusses the ways in which conventional divisions between graphocentrism and phonocentrism have meant that the same broadening of Australian conceptions of pre-colonial history and culture that have happened in archaeology and art have not happened in literature, meaning that 'Australian literature' is still defined as 'anglophone and written'. Focuses particularly on language groups around Broome.
1 The Great Tradition : A Lilyin Song from Cape Leveque Stephen Muecke , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Telling Stories : Australian Life and Literature 1935–2012 2013; (p. 404-410)
1 An Experiment with Truth and Beauty Stephen Muecke , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Inter-Asia Cultural Studies , vol. 14 no. 3 2013; (p. 453-457)
1 The Multiple Storm Stephen Muecke , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Axon : Creative Explorations , March vol. 1 no. 2 2012;
'The passage of Cyclone Bingiza through the Indian Ocean is a pretext for reflection on practices of judgment, including creative judgment. Judgment is a way of ‘getting a perspective’ and yet it also may come as a flash in creative work. The sudden irruption of strangeness happens as one register of the real is illuminated by a sudden visitation. If one abandons ‘perspectivism’ in a world seen as swirling with multiple realities, then one comes a step closer to being able to write with those realities on their terms, as opposed to about them across a culture/nature divide.' (Publication abstract)
1 Australian Indigenous Philosophy Stephen Muecke , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: CLCWeb : Comparative Literature and Culture , June vol. 13 no. 2 2011;
'In his article "Australian Indigenous Philosophy" Stephen Muecke discusses the fact that neither Australian philosophy nor Indigenous Australian philosophy exists as a field of study. Settler Australians have imported their philosophical traditions and have left it up to other disciplines to undertake the translation work of knowledge in the long-lived Indigenous traditions. Here, anthropology, history, and cultural studies have taken up the challenge. Muecke revisits his 2004 book Ancient and Modern: Time, Culture and Indigenous Philosophy in order to refine some of his arguments about philosophical practice and the damaging periodization into "ancient" and "modern" cultures in colonial societies like Australia.' (Editor's abstract)
1 Experiment No. 1 In Animal Tourism Stephen Muecke , 2011 single work short story
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 205 2011; (p. 33-37)
1 Writing Class : Throw in a Surprise to Boost the Reality Effect Stephen Muecke , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12-13 March 2011; (p. 41)