'During the 1980s Aboriginal Australians experienced setbacks in their quest for the restoration of their land rights. Neoliberal politics reframed such demands as special interests seeking to gain a material advantage at the expense of the general community and as a threat to the economic security of the nation. As a consequence, politicians failed to pass legislation that would formalize the national land rights system that would guarantee Aboriginal economic self-sufficiency. This paper argues that it was in this context that Aboriginal memoir emerged to prompt social action by recounting experiences of discrimination and exploitation erased by official history and by challenging the imposed racist stereotypes used to marginalize Aboriginal claims. These memoirs prompted sympathy and understanding among a broad readership, which enabled the formation of a political solidarity over the recognition of Aboriginal land rights. These memoirs also expressed a commonality of Aboriginal experience that served to unite an increasingly frayed Aboriginal activist movement eroded by neoliberal policies.' (Publication abstract)
'Non-fiction books by and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have arguably played a crucial role in the framing of public discussion of Indigenous issues in Australia since the 1950s. In this article, I track quantitative trends in the publishing of the approximately 769 such books for the Australian retail trade between 1960 and 2000, as part of what I describe as an emerging “cultural mission” among Australian book publishers through the period. The article then discusses two major trends within the data. The first is an overall increase in the number of titles published annually through the period, while the second is a declining interest by mass-market trade publishers in publishing books in the area from the 1980s onwards versus an increased publication rate by smaller independent presses and two large trade publishers with a particular interest in the area, one of which is also independently owned. The article concludes with a discussion of possible reasons for the latter trend in the context of ongoing debates about white Australian colonialism.' (Publication abstract)
'Doris Bachmann-Medick maintains that the period since the 1970s has seen a series of “cultural turns”, that is, theoretical and cultural reorientations, which have “shifted perspectives, introduced new focuses and, as a result, opened previously unexamined cross-disciplinary fields of inquiry” (1). One such turn is the constitution of the postcolonial theory of culture, which has “shed light on the power of hegemonic cultures to shape discourse while illuminating the increasingly autonomous self-representation of previously marginalized societies, ethnic groups and literatures” (Bachmann-Medick 132).' (Introduction)
'This article examines the role of book publishing outside the cultural centres, where the lack of access to the gatekeepers of cultural production, such as literary agents, editors and publishers, has inhibited both the publishers' and region's reach into the public imagination.
It takes Western Australia as a case study, analysing the impact of geographical regionalism on the processes of book production and publication. Western Australia is infrequently represented in the cultura record, much less in those aspects of the cultural record that are transmitted overseas.
This imbalance in 'cultural currency' arises because regions are at least in part defined by their ability to participate in what Pierre Bourdieu has deemed the 'field of cultural production'. In the case of print culture, this field includes writers, literary agents, editors, publishers, government arts organisations, the media, schools, and book retailers, just to name a few.
This article pays particular attention to Western Australia's three major publishing houses (Fremantle Press, University of Western Australia Press, and the publisher of Indigenous literature, Magabala Books), as well as those Western Australian writers who have achieved the greatest international success, such as Tim Winton and Elizabeth Jolley. It demonstrates that the awareness of geographically and culturally diverse regions within the framework of the nation is derived from representations of these regions and their associated regional characteristics in the movies, television and books.' (Author's abstract)