Aboriginalism and The Bulletin, 1901-1991

  • Brian William Wren

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Since the creation of the Council for Reconciliation in Australia there has been a call for White Australia to examine its actions and attitudes towards Black Australia. This call has also been reiterated by Bain Attwood in his examination of Aboriginalism.

    This paper examines the attitudes expressed by Whites towards Blacks in the pages of the Bulletin since Federation in 1901 until the call for Reconciliation between Whites and Blacks in 1991. The examination takes place in the milieu of Aboriginalism, a concept expressed or implied in the works of Muecke, Attwood and Foucault. It explores communication between White and White on the topic of Black. It contains a history, or perhaps, a series of histories. It describes Discourse and dialogue rather than events or facts. The emphasis is on what was said to have occurred rather than what did occur.

    Aboriginalism is seen as both Discourse, the relationship between knowledge and power, and Discursive practices which include dividing practices, scientific classification and subjectification. Aboriginalism embraces an episteme, an era, dominated by those practices. Aboriginalism is also seen as milieu, as an all pervading force, or as an aether invading all parts of the Australian society.

    The implications of the findings of this study are particularly relevant both to anunderstanding of an Australian history and to White/Black reconciliation in Australia.
    Date of Award1997
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorMichael Christie (Supervisor)

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