School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications
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ItemIntroductionHealy, Chris (Cambridge University Press, 1997)As a collection of British colonies and then a nation, Australia came into existence as a product of both colonialism and modernity; proud of its fancied youth and eager for the fruits of civilisation, enamoured with progress yet yearning for tradition. Historical accounts of Australia have equally been products of colonialism and modernity. More often than not, the mission of history has been to remember the triumph of colonising a continent and forming a modern nation state with destiny on its side. While the historical legacies of colonialism and modernity remain palpable, many of the dreams of colonialism and modernity lie in ruins. This is a book from these 'ruins' in the sense that it discusses both the colonial past of former colonies and the colonising of indigenous people in Australia. But ruins are never simply gone or in the past; ruins are enduring traces; spaces of romantic fancies and forgetfulness where social memories imagine the persistence of time in records of destruction. Thus this book is about the past in the present, it is written from within contemporary cultures of history. It moves from Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal accounts of Captain Cook, jumps to the installation of history in museums and school curricula, glides through the historiography of archetypal historical events. This is a book with strong hopes for history and social memory. My interest is not in hammering home the constructedness of history, nor in the important task of diversifying and proliferating accounts of neglected historical actors but in thinking historically about existing social memory. It is a gesture towards learning to inhabit landscapes of memory which are, in part, landscapes littered with ruins; some archaic and others nightmarish, some quaint simulations and others desperate echoes. I imagine such a landscape of memories not as homeless place for lost souls but a ground from which new flights of historical imagination might depart and to which they might return, differently.
ItemThe romance of exchange: Sir Gawain and the Green KnightTRIGG, STEPHANIE (Brepols Publishers, 1991)