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Title: Writing Native: The Aboriginal in Australian Cultural Nationalism 1927-1945
Authors: Smith, Ellen
Advisors: Gikandi, Simon
Contributors: English Department
Keywords: Australian literature and history
Indigenous studies
Subjects: Literature
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Writing Native explores how Australian interwar nationalist representations of the Aboriginal engaged key political and aesthetic paradigms of the early twentieth century: communism, fascism and modernism. Critics often interpret nationalist engagements with Aboriginal culture as a recent phenomenon, tied to the dismantling of the white Australia policy and the rise of the liberal multicultural state. However, I uncover a longer and more politically varied history. Moving from the far left to the far right, I demonstrate the centrality of representations of the Aboriginal within attempts to imagine alternatives to liberal capitalist modernity in Australia from diverse political perspectives. In doing so, I offer a new way of way of thinking about the relationship between Australian cultural nationalism and modernist cultures in the first half of the twentieth century. While Australia has often been seen as provincial and disconnected from modernism, I attend to the disavowed global formations that informed Australia's construction of its own provinciality. I consider the transformations of literary form and political commitment that were wrought by the material conditions of the settler colony, demonstrating some of the ways that the key political ideas and aesthetic formations of the early twentieth century were remade in the context of the Australian settler colony. Composed of three detailed case studies, the dissertation examines communist writer Katharine Susannah Prichard's writings about Aboriginal labor on outback station properties, the publication of Xavier Herbert's classic protest novel Capricornia by the ultra-right wing Publicist group, and the disavowed modernist aesthetics of the Jindyworobak poetry movement.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:English

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