Paul Carter
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Movement forms
Migrant prehistory
in Translations, an autoethnography
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Migrant identity is defined by movement. Migration is usually portrayed as an external pressure applied to an otherwise static subject. This chapter posits a predisposition to flight, illustrated in my own early identifications with birds and balls. This thought suggests another: a migrant prehistory begins in an account of the impersonal movement forms that have shaped the lives of generations of forebears. There are two sides to this: the ‘dream’ in which my great-great-grandfather Joseph Terry made his way (industrialisation of the trades and waterways of Yorkshire’s West Riding) and which my Carter forebears endured (land enclosure and smallholding expulsion); and their continuously creative adaptation, characterised by political utopianism and religious radicalism. Illustrating the point that ‘Australia’ begins within, as a projection of historical necessities, the chapter concludes with the story of Buscot Park, near where I grew up. In this picturesque Eden (so it seemed) I used to study bird migration; later, I discovered it was largely the creation of a mid-nineteenth century Australian immigrant, a curious hybrid of home thoughts from abroad.

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Translations, an autoethnography

Migration, colonial Australia and the creative encounter


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