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The reach of empire

Drawing on the latest contemporary research from an internationally acclaimed group of scholars, this book examines the meanings of 'law' and 'imperialism'. The book explores the effects of the presence of indigenous peoples on the modification, interpretation and inheritance of British laws and the legal ideology by white law-makers. It offers a brief history of imperial law, focusing ultimately on its terminal failure in colonialism. The first part of the book presents the processes of colonialism's legality, the internal dynamics of law's theories, the external politics of law's rule. A brief history of imperial law, focusing ultimately on its terminal failure in colonialism, follows. The second part foregrounds racial differentiation at the heart of colonialism, and the work of law(s), courts and legislatures. It helps in defining a colonial population and in categorizing and excluding colonized populations from citizenship in specific localities. The central theme of the third part of the book is conflict: of collision between differing legalities and concepts of justice. The focus is on legal principles and evidence, and on narrative as imperial power. The fourth part explores and analyzes specific historical instances where law and history intersect, challenging European paradigms of sovereignty and fairness from the perspective of indigenous rights. Colonialism lives on in settler societies and other so-called 'postcolonial' states. It lives in continuing conflict over natural resources, daily reconstitution of gender and 'race', and the ongoing challenge to the veracity of indigenous evidence in courtrooms.

Australia, America and the Fulbright Program
Authors: Alice Garner and Diane Kirkby

This book recounts the history of the Fulbright Program in Australia, locating academic exchange in the context of US cultural diplomacy and revealing a complex relationship between governments, publicly funded research and the integrity of academic independence. The study is the first in-depth analysis of the Fulbright exchange program in a single country. Drawing on previously unexplored archives and a new oral history, the authors investigate the educational, political and diplomatic challenges experienced by Australian and American scholars who won awards and those who managed the complex bi-national program. The book begins with the scheme’s origins, moves through its Australian establishment during the early Cold War, Vietnam War dilemmas, civil rights and gender parity struggles and the impacts of mid-to-late twentieth century belt-tightening. How the program’s goal of ‘mutual understanding’ was understood and enacted across six decades lies at the heart of the book, which weaves institutional and individual experiences together with broader geopolitical issues. Bringing a complex and nuanced analysis to the Australia–US relationship, the authors offer fresh insights into the global influence of the Fulbright Program. It is a compelling account of academic exchange as cultural diplomacy. It offers a critical appraisal of Fulbright achievements and limitations in avoiding political influence, integrating gender and racial diversity, absorbing conflict and dissent, and responding to economic fluctuations and social change.

Hilary Golder and Diane Kirkby

Land and its acquisition was at the heart of Australia's colonial history: land was the defining feature of settler colonialism. The Australian colonies had inherited the common-law doctrine of coverture, which could only restrict the free trade in land. There was always a tension within colonial liberalism between the social conservatism of the colonial vision of settlement and the capitalist imperative to commodify land, to promote a free and often speculative market. The free selection acts were quickly followed by conveyancing reforms, pioneered by the public servant R.R. Torrens in South Australia, which made land transactions cheaper and simpler for struggling smallholders and speculative subdividers alike. Yet the market in land for settlers was hampered by the limitations the law imposed on married women's economic agency, and on a married woman's capacity to buy and sell property.

in Law, history, colonialism
Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne
in Law, history, colonialism
Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne
in Law, history, colonialism
Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne
in Law, history, colonialism
Abstract only
Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book. The book examines the meanings of 'law' and 'imperialism'. It explores the effects of the presence of indigenous peoples on the modification, interpretation and inheritance of British laws and the legal ideology by white law-makers. The book discusses the production of the serious and contested concept of 'sovereignty' and the modifications to legal practices made necessary by a reconsideration of both common law and customary law. It looks at specific instances of judicial decision-making, and more abstractly, at the relevance and appropriateness of issues of 'custom' and 'culture' in the courtroom. The book deals more directly with land and property at and around the actual and imagined frontiers of settler societies. It comments on the legacies of colonialism for both legal praxis and academic studies.

in Law, history, colonialism
Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne
in Law, history, colonialism
Diane Kirkby and Catharine Coleborne
in Law, history, colonialism
Abstract only
Alice Garner and Diane Kirkby
in Academic ambassadors, Pacific allies