'Reading the Country is a journey into Roebuck Plains, near Broome in Australia's far north-west; it is an exploration of the meaning of place, an attempt to chart the relationships between people and those specific places in which they must find a place to live. It is a journey through landscape into language and ideas, and personal and cultural location.' (Source: Publisher's Blurb, 1996 Revised Edition)
'Steeped in story-telling and endlessly curious, Reading the Country: An Introduction to Nomadology (1984) was the product of Paddy Roe, Stephen Muecke and Krim Benterrak, experimenting with what it might be like to think together about country. In the process a senior traditional owner, a cultural theorist and a painter produced a text unlike any other. Reading the Country: 30 Years On is a celebration of one of the great twentieth-century books of intercultural dialogue. Recalling a spirit of intellectual risk and respect, in this collection, Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, poets, writers and publishers both acknowledge the past and look, with hope, to future transformations of culture and country.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'The literariness of Aboriginal literatures has long been subject to, and the subject of, critical ambiguity. The qualifiers of ‘ language ’ and ‘ in English ’ have sublimated Aboriginal cultural and creative expression beneath the respective disciplines and problematics of anthropology and poetics. Although there have been several sincere and enriching collaborations between settler and Aboriginal peoples to bridge such divides, such as Paddy Roe, Stephen Muecke, and Krim Benterrak’s Reading the Country (1984), the condition of Australian critical discourses concerning Aboriginal literatures in, around, and in defiance of, ‘ language, ’ remains fraught territory. Recent works from female Murri, Goorie, and Koorie poets Ellen Van Neerven, Alison Whittaker, and Lorna Munro are expressions of agency and disobedience at the forefront of these exchanges.' (Introduction)
'The works of Western Desert women artists, such as Kathleen Petyarre, confront the viewer with the embodied reality of Aboriginal culture. These works are intercultural expressions of Aboriginal ways of being, imprinted within the frame of the canvas. This essay explores the implications of Kathleen Petyarre’s paintings for Settler Australians, and the potential for such works to create a greater appreciation of Country. I suggest that the acrylic paintings performed by Western Desert women artists can be understood as both expressions of the Dreaming and as evocations of sensibilities to be experienced and felt by Settler viewers. With reference to Jennifer Biddle’s Breasts, Bodies, Canvas: Central Desert Art as Experience (2007), I maintain that the work of Western Desert women artists departs from the dominant modes of representing Country, Dreaming narratives and Ancestors – instead articulating bodily experiences and expressions particular to Aboriginal women’s ways of being in and knowing the world.' (Introduction)