Cross-cultural encounters produce boundaries and frontiers. This book explores the formation, structure, and maintenance of boundaries and frontiers in settler colonies. The southern nations of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have a common military heritage as all three united to fight for the British Empire during the Boer and First World Wars. The book focuses on the southern latitudes and especially Australia and Australian historiography. Looking at cross-cultural interactions in the settler colonies, the book illuminates the formation of new boundaries and the interaction between settler societies and indigenous groups. It contends that the frontier zone is a hybrid space, a place where both indigene and invader come together on land that each one believes to be their own. The best way to approach the northern Cape frontier zone is via an understanding of the significance of the frontier in South African history. The book explores some ways in which discourses of a natural, prehistoric Aboriginality inform colonial representations of the Australian landscape and its inhabitants, both indigenous and immigrant. The missions of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Polynesia and Australia are examined to explore the ways in which frontiers between British and antipodean cultures were negotiated in colonial textuality. The role of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand society is possibly the most important and controversial issue facing modern New Zealanders. The book also presents valuable insights into sexual politics, Aboriginal sovereignty, economics of Torres Strait maritime, and nomadism.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book deals with various types of frontiers and boundaries and considers these in spatial, historic and temporal frameworks. It illustrates the importance of the frontier for the creation of a sense of identity. The book describes the creation of a temporal frontier in which there is a time/space divide in the pre- and post-colonial moment. It considers the massacre of a group of Moravian missionaries in America and the ramifications this had for the congregation from which they had originated. The book examines the writings of explorer Edward John Eyre and also considers how these reflect the sexual politics of the period. Kay Schaffer shows how Eyre imposed European gender stereotypes and boundaries on to Aboriginal society.