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Indigenous–European Encounters in Settler Societies

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.

Migration, colonial Australia and the creative encounter

Translations is a personal history written at the intersection of colonial anthropology, creative practice and migrant ethnography. Renowned postcolonial scholar, public artist and radio maker, UK-born Paul Carter documents and discusses a prodigiously varied and original trajectory of writing, sound installation and public space dramaturgy produced in Australia to present the phenomenon of contemporary migration in an entirely new light. Rejecting linear conceptualisations of migrant space–time, Carter describes a distinctively migrant psychic topology, turbulent, vortical and opportunistic. He shows that the experience of self-becoming at that place mediated through a creative practice that places the enigma of communication at the heart of its praxis produces a coherent critique of colonial regimes still dominant in discourses of belonging. One expression of this is a radical reappraisal of the ‘mirror state’ relationship between England and Australia, whose structurally symmetrical histories of land theft and internal colonisation repress the appearance of new subjects and subject relations. Another is to embrace the precarity of the stranger–host relationship shaping migrant destiny, to break down art’s aesthetic conventions and elide creative practice with the poetics (and politics) of social production – what Carter calls ‘dirty art’. Carter tackles the argument that immigrants to Australia recapitulate the original invasion. Reflecting on collaborations with Aboriginal artists, he frames an argument for navigating incommensurable realities that profoundly reframes the discourse on sovereignty. Translations is a passionately eloquent argument for reframing borders as crossing-places: framing less murderous exchange rates, symbolic literacy, creative courage and, above all, the emergence of a resilient migrant poetics will be essential.

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Possibilities and precariousness along Australia’s southern coast
Julie Evans

different stages of the colonisation of South Australia – the frontier together with the time and space beyond the frontier – and two quite different understandings of Aboriginal sovereignty. While the frontier itself undoubtedly witnessed a complex array of relationships between and within colonisers and colonised, the following analysis proposes the distinctiveness of the time and

in Colonial frontiers
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Creative belonging
Paul Carter

Bull, Snake of the Hundred Heads, / Lion of Burning Flame, / O God, Beast, Mystery, come!’ As Harrison comments, such shape-shifting is ‘not a power of transformation due to the mature omnipotence of the god; it is with the Dithyrambos from his birth; it is part of his essence as the Twice-Born’. 73 Similar translations were at work in the Tjunta transformations. The acknowledgement of Aboriginal sovereignty, reflected in the white recognition of the spiritual landscape inhabited

in Translations, an autoethnography
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The tense of citizenship
Ben Silverstein

today's debates over the relationship between Constitutional recognition, treaty, and sovereignty, we find here that Aboriginal sovereignty was not just recognised but operationalised in government policy. Domesticated and submerged, Aboriginal sovereignty was to be contained in reserves and within a narrative of supersession, as a starting point away from which ‘natives’ would march on their way to the promised land of citizenship. But, for Aboriginal people, their sovereignties need not be consigned to the reserve or to the past. They could be coeval. As Audra

in Governing natives
Sovereignty’s power in the case of Delgamuukw v. The Queen 1997
John Borrows

The Court’s approach to reconciliation forcibly includes non-treaty aboriginal peoples within Canadian society and subjects them to an alien sovereignty, even though most never consented to such an arrangement. This inclusion subordinates aboriginal sovereignty, and limits the uses to which their land can be put. The implications of this approach deeply undermine original

in Law, history, colonialism
The Queen’s currency and imperial pedagogies on Australia’s south-eastern settler frontiers
Penelope Edmonds

Aboriginal sovereignty and rights in land. Authorities were troubled by the spread of costly settlements beyond their control, and the treaty was quickly voided on the grounds that the Crown alone had an exclusive right of pre-emption. Described as ‘pretence’, the treaty was declared null and void on 26 August 1835 in a formal proclamation issued by Bourke. The proclamation stated

in Mistress of everything
Colonial transformations and a governmental event
Ben Silverstein

polity smoothly constituted by ordered and adjacent jurisdictions, framing pluralism or multiplicity within a unitary polity. Strehlow recognised the Aboriginal sovereignty before him. And indirect rule represented an attempt to submerge it. This was a logic of recognition that worked to limit the possibilities of Indigenous sovereignties by reducing them to a supplement to a settler sovereignty that had (and has) been decentred by the acknowledgement of precolonial – and continuing – Indigenous communities. Suppression, reaffirming the force of settler law, was a

in Governing natives
Conflict and crisis, 1918–45
Ben Silverstein

Eastern Arnhem Land was taken up in the 1930s and quickly abandoned after a series of strategic attacks on cattle. 56 The 1928 Coniston massacre – where a punitive mission led by police murdered at least 31, and perhaps as many as 110, Warlpiri people – came after Aboriginal threats to white settlers in the area which were, it seems clear, designed to assert Aboriginal sovereignty in the area. Its immediate provocation was the murder of Fred Brooks, a dingo hunter, but there had been a history of Aboriginal declarations of authority to which the massacre was a more

in Governing natives
Aboriginal subjects and Queen Victoria’s gifts in Canada and Australia
Amanda Nettelbeck

between Aboriginal people and Queen Victoria than was ever apparent in Australia, where there was no history of alliance between the Crown and Aboriginal groups, and no formal acknowledgement of pre-existing Aboriginal sovereignty through treaty negotiations. Nonetheless, despite the absence of a parallel diplomatic history, Aboriginal peoples across Australia’s colonies

in Mistress of everything