Representing Aboriginal Childhood : The Politics of Memory and Forgetting in Australia book cover
1st Edition

Representing Aboriginal Childhood
The Politics of Memory and Forgetting in Australia

  • Available for pre-order on February 7, 2023. Item will ship after February 28, 2023
ISBN 9780367568535
February 28, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
248 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

    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

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    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.