Older than America (2008), by Georgina Lightning (Cree), and
Imprint (2007), directed by Michael Linn, who is non-Native,
but who worked with producer Chris Eyre (Cheyenne/Arapaho), both use and revise
Gothic elements to explore Indigenous history and contemporary issues. Both
films use various Gothic elements to draw non-Native audiences into
Native-centered movies that deal with Indigenous history and culture.
Older than America simultaneously works to promote healing as
well as addresses difficult but underrepresented history, while
Imprint only uses Native history as a plot device and does not
engage with setting, history, or trauma in effective or complex ways.
Osteological collections are key sources of information in providing crucial
insight into the lifestyles of past populations. In this article, we conduct an
osteobiographical assessment of the human remains of fourteen Selk'nam
individuals, which are now housed in the Department of Anthropology, Natural
History Museum Vienna, Austria. The aim is to bring these individuals closer to
their communities of origin by using non-invasive methods aimed at rebuilding
their biological profiles (i.e., age-at-death, biological sex and health
status), adding to these with results from provenance research. This way, the
human remains were assigned a new identity closer to their original one, through
a process that we call ‘re-individualisation’. This is especially
significant since it must be assumed that the individuals were exhumed against
their cultural belief system. We conclude that building strong and long-lasting
collaborations between Indigenous representatives and biological anthropologists
has a pivotal role in research for reappraising Indigenous history.
Understanding Production, Humour and Political Context through Nice
Coloured Girls (1987) and The Sapphires
How Indigenous Australian history has been portrayed and who has been empowered
to define it is a complex and controversial subject in contemporary Australian
society. This article critically examines these issues through two Indigenous
Australian films: Nice Coloured Girls (1987) and The
Sapphires (2012). These two films contrast in style, theme and
purpose, but each reclaims Indigenous history on its own terms. Nice
Coloured Girls offers a highly fragmented and experimental history
reclaiming Indigenous female agency through the appropriation of the colonial
archive. The Sapphires eschews such experimentation. It instead
celebrates Indigenous socio-political links with African American culture,
‘Black is beautiful’, and the American Civil Rights movements of
the 1960s. Crucially, both these films challenge notions of a singular and
tragic history for Indigenous Australia. Placing the films within their wider
cultural contexts, this article highlights the diversity of Indigenous
Australian cinematic expression and the varied ways in which history can be
reclaimed on film. However, it also shows that the content, form and
accessibility of both works are inextricably linked to the industry concerns and
material circumstances of the day. This is a crucial and overlooked aspect of
film analysis and has implications for a more nuanced appreciation of Indigenous
film as a cultural archive.
In the 1930s, a series of crises transformed relationships between settlers and Aboriginal people in Australia’s Northern Territory. This book examines archives and texts of colonial administration to study the emergence of ideas and practices of indirect rule in this unlikely colonial situation. It demonstrates that the practice of indirect rule was everywhere an effect of Indigenous or ‘native’ people’s insistence on maintaining and reinventing their political formations, their refusal to be completely dominated, and their frustration of colonial aspirations to total control. These conditions of difference and contradiction, of the struggles of people in contact, produced a colonial state that was created both by settlers and by the ‘natives’ they sought to govern. By the late 1930s, Australian settlers were coming to understand the Northern Territory as a colonial formation requiring a new form of government. Responding to crises of social reproduction, public power, and legitimacy, they rethought the scope of settler colonial government by drawing on both the art of indirect rule and on a representational economy of Indigenous elimination to develop a new political dispensation that sought to incorporate and consume Indigenous production and sovereignties. This book locates Aboriginal history within imperial history, situating the settler colonial politics of Indigeneity in a broader governmental context. Australian settler governmentality, in other words, was not entirely exceptional; in the Northern Territory, as elsewhere, indirect rule emerged as part of an integrated, empire-wide repertoire of the arts of governing and colonising peoples.
With an eye to recovering the experiences of those in frontier zones of contact, Savage worlds maps a wide range of different encounters between Germans and non-European indigenous peoples in the age of high imperialism. Examining outbreaks of radical violence as well as instances of mutual co-operation, it examines the differing goals and experiences of German explorers, settlers, travellers, merchants, and academics, and how the variety of projects they undertook shaped their relationship with the indigenous peoples they encountered. Whether in the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas or Africa, within Germany’s formal empire or in the imperial spaces of other powers, Germans brought with them assumptions about the nature of extra-European peoples. These assumptions were often subverted, disrupted or overturned by their own experience of frontier interactions, which led some Germans to question European ‘knowledge’ of these non-European peoples. Other Germans, however, signally failed to shift from their earlier assumptions about indigenous people and continued to act in the colonies according to their belief in the innate superiority of Europeans. Examining the multifaceted nature of German interactions with indigenous populations, the wide ranging research presented in this volume offers historians and anthropologists a clear demonstration of the complexity of frontier zone encounters. It illustrates the variety of forms that agency took for both indigenous peoples and Germans in imperial zones of contact and poses the question of how far Germans were able to overcome their initial belief that, in leaving Europe, they were entering ‘savage worlds’.
If the Rhine represented an internal European highway to be tamed for European civilization, and the Danube represented a liminal space between the civilized European self and the semi-familiar other to the east, then in the late nineteenth century the Congo represented an abstract and empty colonial geography waiting to be filled with European ideas, practices, and institutions. Chapter 6 examines the construction of the Congo – by European legal experts, cartographers, and explorers – as a colonial highway that would impose commercial rationality and European civilization onto a conceptually empty space. This imaginary of the river collapsed time and terrestrial space into the same civilizational and developmental continuum that elevated Western Europe as the model of progress. However, I contend that exporting civilization to the Congo basin not only erased indigenous histories and political agency but contorted Europe’s own messy experience with state-building and economic development into a generalizable model applicable across time and space. At the same time as the Congo represented endless possibilities for ambitious colonizers, it also represented a disconnected geography separate from the normal politics of civilized European society and a foreignness that threatened to reverse rationality and uncivilize those Europeans who traveled upriver – a fear made vivid in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. I highlight how European imaginaries of the Congo looked inward at European superiority and anxieties about Europe’s own geopolitical and civilizational position in the late nineteenth century.
Our collection aims to contribute to what we would think of as a rapidly solidifying field called ice humanities. Taking inspiration from the blue humanities and critical ocean studies, we make the case for the distinctiveness of ice and snow. It is timely for humanities scholars to turn their attention to ice in a way that oceans and seas have become sites for environmental and geohumanities and artistic practice and scholarship. No longer regarded as peripheral, the perceived isolation and marginality of ice-filled regions of the Earth is eroding rapidly. Can a self-conscious turn to ice humanities help us reimagine the aesthetics, culture, geography, sociology, as well as settler and indigenous histories of ice? It is an ambitious and wide-ranging agenda, and this edited collection aims to serve as a point of departure, and of inspiration, for a longer conversation that needs to be had about one of the world’s most crucial objects in what is increasingly appearing as an elemental time.
The first collection of its kind, Chartist Drama makes available four plays written or performed by members of the Chartist movement of the 1840s. Emerging from the lively counter-culture of this protest campaign for democratic rights, these plays challenged cultural as well as political hierarchies by adapting such recognisable genres as melodrama, history plays, and tragedy for performance in radically new settings. A communal, public, and embodied art form, drama was linked for the Chartists with other kinds of political performance: the oratory of the mass platform, festival-like outdoor meetings, and the elaborate street theatre of protest marches. Plays that Chartists wrote or staged advanced new interpretations of British history and criticised aspects of the contemporary world. And Chartist drama intervened in fierce strategic arguments within the movement. Most notably, poet-activist John Watkins’s John Frost, which dramatises the gripping events of the Newport rising of 1839, in which twenty-two Chartists lost their lives, defends the rebellion and the Chartist recourse to violence as a means for the movement to achieve its aims. The volume’s appendices document over one hundred Chartist dramatic performances, staged by activists in local Chartist associations or at professional benefits at some of London’s largest working-class theatres. Gregory Vargo’s introduction and notes elucidate the previously unexplored world of Chartist dramatic culture, a context that promises to reshape what we know about early Victorian popular politics and theatre.
Indigenous histories, settler colonies and Queen Victoria
particularities that lie beneath a common metaphor.
Our approach to studying Indigenoushistories and experiences
via a sustained focus on Queen Victoria (and, to a lesser extent, vice
versa) highlights a number of concepts and themes. Prominent among them
is ‘loyalty’, a theme that continues to engage scholars as
they seek to understand the politics of Indigenous people (or
individuals) in Britain’s settler
people are is closely linked to what
they think about memory, what they remember, and what they can claim to remember’. 40 As we have seen, this function is
frequently presented as therapeutic for the individual and for the indigenous and First
Nations’ community more generally. More than this, as a memory practice it constitutes
First Nations’ communities in new and powerful ways, emphasising a history of struggle
and the persistence of indigenoushistories and identities in the face of policies of
cultural genocide. For