School of Culture and Communication - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1685
Indigenizing the Colonial Narrative Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife
(University of Michigan Press, 2021)
The white woman is a contested figure in Australian theatre and in recent Indigenous poetry. She was the colonial mistress of indentured Indigenous servants and a conflicted embodiment of competing modern identities. This chapter discusses Leah Purcell’s The Drover’s Wife (2016), a significant new Australian play that radically historises Henry Lawson’s 1890s representation of the colonial white woman in the short story of the same name. Purcell is a Goa-Gunggari-Wakka Murri woman from Queensland and a widely known actor, writer, and director in Australian theatre, film and television. Lawson’s comic story describes an episode in the life of a long-suffering drover’s wife, who is left to fend for herself and her four children in an isolated bush hut. One night a wily snake disappears under the hut and the woman puts the children to bed and waits with the dog for it to reappear. Since then, the story has alluded to, challenged, painted and sung in over a century of rewritings and parodies. Purcell’s adaptation retains the original story’s nineteenth century bush setting but replaces the comic scenario of the original with a carefully woven drama that gradually reveals the woman’s mixed-race heritage, and that of her children. As a white woman, Purcell’s drover’s wife, performed by the playwright, is subjected to sexual violence in a lawless colony, but her discovery of her Indigenous heritage exposes her to racial violence and the loss of her children. In an effective transposition of human and animal, the snake from the original story is an Aboriginal man, Yadaka, himself a fugitive, whose dying insights help the woman acknowledge her identity. The chapter argues that Purcell’s adaptation of the iconic colonial story breaks new ground by not only deconstructing the certainties that underpin Lawson’s story, but shows how the white settler identity is inseparable from its historic encounter with Indigenous peoples. Moreso, The Drover’s Wife (2016) is a key play by an influential Indigenous woman that performatively deconstructs the singular category of the white woman and offers her the gift of a rich cultural heritage.
Media in the News: How Australia's Media Beat Covered Two Major Journalism Change Events
(ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021-04-21)
As the primary mechanism through which journalistic labour is organized within a newsroom, news beats are an important feature of journalistic research. However, within the extensive research that examines beat reporting and its specialties, there is little that examines how the media covers itself—or the media beat. This study explores the media beat in Australia, examining how media covered two major media change events: the loss of jobs at newspaper publisher Fairfax in 2012 and the potential closure of wire service Australian Associated Press (AAP) in 2020. In analysing reporting of change events in journalism through a framework of metajournalistic discourse, and through an analysis of 200 items, this study found that “media beat’ journalists included more information about the adverse effects of job loss and disruption on news supply in 2020 than in 2012. Intermedia competition often shaped coverage, with journalists reporting change in rival media companies. Yet, how “media beat” reporters covered these changes varied in both years. The study also found that stakeholders from within and outside of media contribute to the development of change narratives in journalism by offering robust discussion of the implications of industry transformation for news quality and informed publics.
Poetics, Self-Understanding, and Health
(Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 2021-05-11)
In the thick of the global plague, Richard, Justin and Valery agreed to hold a conversation on the topic of poetics, self-understanding, and health. An analysis and discussion of this trinity requires love of poetry and philosophy. Both supreme human practices take common root in mythology and religion, and also share a notorious categorical divide, that of reason against affect. Is this Platonic divide indeed categorical, given both practices rely on language and creativity to compose their meaning? Interestingly, the practice of poetics does not have the reputation for boosting one's health, in the mainstream understanding of that concept. If anything, poetic practice gained notoriety for corrupting one's mind and, possibly, life. Like philosophy? We touched on these and other classical aporia, on the political struggles in American and Australian poetry. Here is a written record of this encounter, countries and miles apart, three persons simply getting to know one another.