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Issue Details: First known date: 1998... 1998 Uncanny Australia : Sacredness and Identity in a Postcolonial Nation
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'Aboriginal claims for sacredness in modern Australia may seem like minor events, but they have radically disturbed the nation's image of itself. Minorities appear to have too much influence; majorities suddenly feel embattled. What once seemed familiar can now seem disconcertingly unfamiliar, a condition Ken Gelder and Jane M. Jacobs diagnose as 'uncanny'. In Uncanny Australia Gelder and Jacobs show how Aboriginal claims for sacredness radiate out to affect the fortunes, and misfortunes, of the modern nation. They look at Coronation Hill, Hindmarsh Island, Uluru and the repatriation of sacred objects; they examine secret business in public places, promiscuous sacred sites, ghosts and bunyips, cartographic nostalgia, reconciliation and democracy, postcolonial racism and New Age enchantments. "Uncanny Australia" offers a new way of understanding how the Aboriginal sacred inhabits the modern nation.' (Source: TROVE)


* Contents derived from the Carlton South, Parkville - Carlton area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria,:Melbourne University Press , 1998 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Authorising Sacredness : On Storytelling, Fiction and Uluru, Ken Gelder , J. M. Jacobs , 1998 single work criticism (p. 97-116)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

"The Last Place" : The Uncanny Australia of David Mitchell Kelly Frame , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 31 no. 1 2017; (p. 4-15)

'[...]most predictably, the European experience of Australia affirms the fundamental uncanny qualities of the landscape. [...]that obviously covered my mistakes. Because if I tried to write Deadman Dance, it better be damn perfect, or I would deserve everything I get. Filippo Menozzi has identified an intersection between colonialism and ecology in postcolonial fiction, which can be applied to Mitchell's narratives of Australia: "The literary figuration of biological invasiveness is a site where the legacy of colonialism is shown at work on multiple levels or planes, from politics to nature" (182). Modernity is threatening the planet through the excessive exploitation of natural resources and the creation of world-destroying technologies such as nuclear weapons.' (Introduction)

The Ruin of Time and the Temporality of Belonging : Journey to the Stone Country and Landscape of Farewell Brigid Rooney , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Novels of Alex Miller : An Introduction 2012; (p. 201-216)
'At first glance, Landscape of Farewell (2007) appears a simpler, more streamlined story than its predecessor, Journey to the Stone Country (2002). In the first person, Max Otto, a widowed German professor specialising in the history of massacres, tells of his journey to Mount Nebo in Central Queensland, a journey precipitated by his encounter with visiting Aboriginal Australian academic Vita McLelland. His journey is conducted in the context of his not yet assuaged grief for his wife, and of his haunted suspicions about his father's complicity in the horrors of wartime Germany. Peter Pierce (2004) has identified some of Miller's enduring preoccupations: 'solitariness', 'artful evocations of the visceral', tensions between ancestry, freedom and exile, and the indeterminacy of memory. While many of these recur in Landscape, I focus in this paper on how the theme of time is exercised in this novel, with its spare but concentrated prose and apparently straightforward narration. How does Landscape of Farewell draw us inwards as well as onwards, into an intricately nested set of temporalities that speak to selfhood, truth and reparation, to cross-cultural translation, to mortality and relinquishment, and to the intractable terrain of moral debate about the past? What does Miller's mode of narration bring to familiar questions, in Australian culture, of place and belonging?' (Source:
Reconfiguring Australia's Literary Canon : Antipodean Cultural Tectonics Salhia Ben-Messahel , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 34 no. 1 2011; (p. 77-91)
'This paper shows how an Australian community imagined by the European continent has evolved to become more inclusive of otherness, be it in the form of non-Anglo-Australian cultures, Australian regional cultures, or a significant Indigenous culture intimately linked to the land. In this process, which is comparable to tectonic shifts, some Australian authors have attempted, within a 21st-century global village, to map intercultural spaces that reveal a pervasive sense of emptiness and the uncanny.' (Author's abstract)
'White Aboriginals' : White Australian Literary Responses to the Challenge of Indigenous Histories Russell West-Pavlov , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imaginary Antipodes : Essays on Contemporary Australian Literature and Culture 2011; (p. 71-86)
'Chapter 4 examines the phenomenon of the 'white Aboriginal,' a putative figure of cultural synthesis as proclaimed in Germaine Greer's maverick manifesto Whitefella Jump Up (2003). However, in texts such as Patrick White's A Fringe of Leaves (1976) and David Malouf's Remembering Babylon (1993), Liam Davison's The White Woman (1994), and Stephen Gray's The Artist is a Thief (2001), the 'white Aborigine' figure progressively modulates into a sign of appropriation rather than of reconciliation.' (From author's introduction, 12)
Train Spotting : Reconciliation and Long-Distance Rail Travel in Australia Peter Bishop , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journeying and Journalling : Creative and Critical Meditations on Travel Writing 2010; (p. 162-174)
Untitled Stephen Pritchard , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Interventions : International Journal of Postcolonial Studies , vol. 2 no. 2 2000; (p. 279-280)

— Review of Uncanny Australia : Sacredness and Identity in a Postcolonial Nation Ken Gelder , J. M. Jacobs , 1998 selected work criticism
An Uneasy Conversation: The Multicultural and the Indigenous Ann Curthoys , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Race, Colour and Identity in Australia and New Zealand 2000; (p. 21-36)

'In Australia there have been for a long time two distinct yet connect-led public and intellectual debates concerning the significance of descent, belonging and culture. One revolves around the cleavage between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, and especially the status of indigenous claims deriving from a history of colonisation. It is about land, health, heritage, housing, intellectual property, identity, education, 'stolen children', and much else as well. The other debate centres on the immigrant, and his or her challenge to Australian society at large. It focuses on the non-British immigrant and the notion of multiculturalism, and is about cultural diversity, ethnic politics, and immigration policy. In this chapter I develop the argument that these two debates can neither be conceptualised together nor maintained as fully distinct. As a result of the public debates on both indigenous and immigration policies triggered by independent member of parliament Pauline Hanson in 1996, they converged and interacted in the later 1990s to a greater degree than at any time in the previous two centuries. Yet their conversation remains uneasy.' (Introduction)

'An Entangled Kind of Haunting' : Judith Wright and Uncanny Australia Toby Davidson , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Philament , December no. 13 2008; (p. 1-19)
'Ken Gelder and Jane Jacobs' Uncanny Australia (1998), along with Judith Wright's poetry, analyses and responds to the Australian ghost story. Wright does this through poeticised connections of land, history and family and Gelder-Jacobs through postcolonial criticism. This paper investigates how a combined reading of the two can offer new insights into Australian ghost stories and the poetics of haunting' (Philament editors: Bernadette Cantrall, Dreu Harrison and James McLeod).

The Unbearable (Im)Possibility of Belonging : Andrew McGahan’s The White Earth Martina Horakova , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature 2010; (p. 109-128)
This chapter explores ‘the ‘postcolonial uncertainty’ of settler belonging from the purely outsider’s perspective of someone who does not live in Australia but is nevertheless intrigued by the apparently disturbing dilemma of non-Indigenous Australians attempting to articulate a fulfilling relationship to their land.’ (p 110)
The Haunting of Settler Australia : Kate Grenville's The Secret River Sheila Collingwood-Whittick , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Ghosts 2010; (p. 125-142)
In this essay, Sheila Collingwood-Whittick states: 'Kate Grenville's The Secret River, an elegantly-written, meticulously-crafted and extremely readable novel, provides a classic example of white Australian anxiety and ambivalence over the nation's origins. More significantly perhaps, and in direct contradiction with the author's declarations about her book, The Secret River is paradigmatic both of the difficulty settler descendants have in facing some of the grim truths of colonial history, and of their consequent inability to exorcise the ghosts that haunt the national conscience.' (p. 126)
Rough Justice and Buried Country : Australian Ghosts John Potts , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Ghosts 2010; (p. 113-124)
'This paper examines the cultural significance of Australian ghost stories, with particular reference to the nineteenth century. The paper considers the specific qualities of these stories in the context of the colonial experience of Australia. The foundation of the penal colony and the dispossession of the Aborigines are proposed as significant contributing factors to any specificity relating to Australian ghost stories. The narrative theme of 'buried country' coming to the surfaces is a feature of late nineteenth century ghost stories, told from the colonisers' perspective, concerning encounters with Aboriginal burial grounds or massacre sites. the uniqueness of the Australian landscape is also considered as a contributing factor to ghost stories or alleged hauntings occurring in the Australian interior.' (p. 469-470)
Last amended 31 May 2017 17:46:07