School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Research Publications

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    'To exercise a beneficial influence over a man': marriage, gender and the native institutions in early colonial Australia
    CRUICKSHANK, JOANNA (eScholarship Research Centre in collaboration with the School of Historical Studies and with the assistance of Melbourne University Bookshop, 2008)
    This chapter examines understandings of marriage among missionaries and humanitarians connected with two early colonial ‘Native Institutions’. A comparison of the Parramatta Native Institution in New South Wales and the Albany Native Institution in Western Australia demonstrates that concerns about marriage were central in discussions about the formation and maintenance of these Institutions. Both of these Institutions were established and supported by British evangelicals, who had brought with them to Australia powerful assumptions about gender roles, particularly in marriage. These assumptions influenced their decisions regarding the children who resided in the Native Institutions. Within specific colonial contexts, however, the assumptions of humanitarians and missionaries did not remain static, and debates over the futures of the Aboriginal children they sought to educate reveal complex and shifting hierarchies of race, gender and class.
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    Baby bitches from hell: monstrous little women in film
    CREED, BARBARA (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2005)
    The Surrealists were fascinated by what they perceived as the dual nature of the little girl, her propensity for innocence and evil. This theme has also proven an enduring one in the history of the cinema and provided the basis for many acclaimed films from The Innocents to Lolita. The view of the female child as particularly close to the non-material world of fantasy and the imagination was central to the beliefs of the Surrealists. They regarded childhood as "the privileged age in which imaginative faculties were still à l’état sauvage – sensitive to all kinds of impressions and associations which education would systematically 'correct'". "Dissecting mystery is like violating a child", Bunuel was fond of saying.' In the 1924 Manifesto, Breton claimed, "The spirit which takes the plunge into Surrealism exultantly relives the best of its childhood."
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    Lucio Fontana: the post-Fascist masculine figure
    White, Anthony ( 2005)
    The ‘cut’ paintings of the Italian artist Lucio Fontana (1899 – 1968) are intensely sexual objects. For many viewers, their rawly coloured surfaces ruptured by deep vertical gashes strongly evoke female genitalia. Fontana’s violent cutting of the canvas has also been compared to the muscular gestures of male ‘action’ painters such as Jackson Pollock. What such interpretations fail to grasp, however, is the critique of gender identity, and in particular masculine identity, at the heart of Fontana’s work. However, as I will show, Fontana relied on an inversion of diametrically opposed notions of maleness and femaleness rather than any deconstruction of the opposition itself. As I outline in my paper, Fontana’s critique first emerges in the artist’s depictions of the male body immediately after Italy’s military defeat in WWII. Fontana’s limp and mangled clay warriors splashed with oozing layers of reflective glaze directly challenge the hard, ballistic ideal of the masculine body theorized in the proto-fascist writings of the Italian Futurist poet Filippo Tomasso Marinetti. Drawing on the work of Hal Foster and Jeffrey Schnapp on the representation of fascist masculinity, I argue that Fontana developed an alternative model of maleness to that encountered in the official culture of Mussolini’s Italy. Accordingly, as I also demonstrate, his work gives insight into the extraordinary transformations in male body imagery that took place in avant-garde and official cultural circles in Italy during the first half of the 20th century.