Lecture #23 – Australian Indigenous Studies – 31 August 2014

Lilly Brown and Kate Rendell

Encountering the histories and impacts of colonisation in Australia ‘for the first time’, Settler students in Australian Indigenous Studies often experience moments of shock and despair: ‘Why weren’t we told?’ and ‘I knew nothing’ are familiar catch-cries. Yet ‘not-knowing’ this nation’s colonial history, within a space in which all Settler presences are beneficiaries of colonisation, can be seen as both a real and imagined phenomenon. Australia’s colonial past/ present is not so much ‘unknown’ as unconsciously and consciously denied in order to justify a narrative of legal settlement to which the legitimacy and sovereignty of the Australian nation is bound.

Acknowledging their distinct positionalities and diverse histories/ approaches, Lilly Brown and Kate Rendell will introduce and interrogate key concepts within Australian Indigenous studies, including: Place, Denial, ‘Race’, Reconciliation, Responsibility and Dialogue. This lecture will enact a collaborative methodology, which seeks to model dialogue and critical engagement as a means by which to approach and counter colonial histories and present realities.


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