1st Edition

Representing Aboriginal Childhood The Politics of Memory and Forgetting in Australia

By Joanne Faulkner Copyright 2023
    238 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book critically investigates the ways in which Aboriginal children and childhood figure in Australia’s cultural life to mediate Australians’ ambivalence about the colonial origins of the nation, as well as its possible post-colonial futures. Engaging with representations in literature, film, governmental discourse, and news and infotainment media, it shows how ways of representing Aboriginal children and childhood serve a national project of representing settler-Australian values, through the forgetting of colonial violence. Analysing the ways in which certain negative aspects of Australian nationhood are concealed, rendered invisible, and repressed through practices of representing Aboriginal children and childhood, it challenges accepted ‘shared understandings’ regarding Australian-ness and settler-colonial sovereignty.

    Through an innovative interdisciplinary approach that engages critical theory, post-colonial theory, literary studies, history, psychoanalysis, and philosophy, Representing Aboriginal Childhood responds to urgent questions that pivot on the role of the Indigenous child within settler nation-state formations. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology and social geography, collective memory, politics and cultural studies.

      1.Introduction  2.Gumnut Babies and ‘Babes in the Wood’: The Nativised White Child  3.Amnesiac Recollections: The Found White Child  4.The Romance of Reconciliation: The Mixed-Race Aboriginal Child  5.‘Breeding Out the Colour’ in GevaColor: Jedda  6.Finding ‘Home’ Through the Child: Bringing Them Home and Assimilationism’s Present  7.En-Gendering Failure: Sexualised Girls, Criminalised Boys, Through the Colonial Apparatus  8.Representing Invisibility: The Indigenous Child as Subaltern  9.Conclusion: Impasse or Emergence? The Unrepresentability of the Aboriginal Child


      Joanne Faulkner is Australian Research Council Future Fellow in Cultural Studies in the Department of Media, Communications, Creative Arts, Language and Literature at Macquarie University, Australia.