Framing and Expropriating Indigenous Identities: The Role of British Law in the Annexation of Australian Aboriginal Land

By Jo Collins.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

I argue for the role of the Humanities, specifically Postcolonial Studies, in deconstructing logocentric ideas of land and place, used to justify Australian colonization and Aboriginal annexation.

Keywords: Law, Space, Land, Place, Indigenous Australians

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.59-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.775MB).

Dr. Jo Collins

I completed my Masters degree at Kent University's Postcolonial Centre and achieved a distinction. My dissertation investigated tropes of ghostliness in postcolonial writing using Derrida’s work on spectrality and postcolonial criticism to analyse the works of Ben Okri, Toni Morrison, Wilson Harris and Isabel Allende. My doctoral thesis explores the deployment of the gothic in colonial representations of Africa, India and Australia between the 1860s and 1930s. I consider how the characterisation of these other-worlds as ghastly and ghostly reflects metropolitan unease surrounding imperialism and suggests settler anxieties about acclimatisation. I focus on the short stories of Kipling and Conan Doyle, and autobiographical and theoretical writings of Jung, to examine the troping of the colony and its indigenous inhabitants as primitive and alien. I then assess how these writings rely on, and reinforce colonialist inclinations in contemporary discourses, such as anthropology, policing, medicine and psychoanalysis. I have presented two conference papers and a research seminar elaborating my thesis material, and I will be speaking at a conference in Germany in May. My academic work has been complemented by my teaching experience in the departments of English and Cultural Studies at Kent. I have taught courses for first, second and third years, in 'Introduction to Cultural Studies', Modern American Literature and 'The Imagination'. I have also delivered two lectures.

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