Post colonial literature for children edu32plc week 4 lecture 7
1 / 13

Post-colonial Literature for Children EDU32PLC Week 4 - Lecture 7 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

Post-colonial Literature for Children EDU32PLC Week 4 - Lecture 7. European voices in Aboriginal History: Telling the Big Picture. © La Trobe University, David Beagley 2006. References.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Post-colonial Literature for Children EDU32PLC Week 4 - Lecture 7' - johana

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Post colonial literature for children edu32plc week 4 lecture 7

Post-colonial Literature for ChildrenEDU32PLCWeek 4 - Lecture 7

European voices in Aboriginal History: Telling the Big Picture

© La Trobe University, David Beagley 2006


Foster, J., Finnis, E.J. and Nimon, M. (1995) Aboriginal Australia: a century of attitudinal change. in Australian Children’s Literature: an exploration of genre and theme. Wagga: CIS, Charles Sturt University

Heiss, A. (2002) Writing about Indigenous Australia - some issues to consider and protocols to follow: a discussion paper. Southerly. 62(2) Summer: 197-205

Jarman, M. (1999) Postcolonialism and language use in Australian Children’s Literature: a case study of The Children of Mirrabooka. in Something to Crow About: new perspectives in Literature for Young people. eds. Susan Clancy and David Gilbey. Wagga Wagga: CIS, CSU

Binary approaches
Binary approaches

  • Aboriginal voice/European voice

  • Positive/negative

  • Past/present

  • History/future

    How do you prefer to remove a band-aid?

  • Slowly and delicately …

  • Just rip it straight off !!!

Differing approaches
Differing approaches

Positive reminiscences have advantages

  • Forward looking, not living in the past

  • Focus on the good aspects, not the “black armband” features

  • Enables pride in self and identity

  • Emphasis on young audience promotes shared identifications

  • Don’t scare the children

But ……

The reality is …

  • Near genocide across a continent over two centuries - massacres, dispossession, racism

  • Life expectancy 20+ years less than other Australians

  • Many communities with 3rd world conditions in health, housing, finance

  • Immense social problems of adjustment to European expectations

    How is this story to be told?

European stories and story telling
European stories and story telling

Structural and contextual elements

  • Linear history - focus on sequence of events, causes and consequences

  • Individual characters - independent of each other and “negotiating” their relationships

  • Setting and place - background against which the human drama takes place

  • Are there distinct cultural voices that create different ways of telling stories?

European perspectives
European perspectives

In telling Aboriginal stories, are Europeans:

  • Telling of their own role in the shared history

  • Coming to terms with the negative aspects

  • Appropriating the stories and their cultural roles

  • Reaching towards a shared understanding

  • Mediating and interpreting the “foreign”

  • Recognizing the integrity of Aboriginal culture

  • Are European versions European stories or Aboriginal stories?

Protocols for european writers
Protocols for European writers


  • Vocabulary – Aboriginal / European

  • Idiom

  • Voice


  • Local, contextual

  • Mutual creation – mixed voice for mixed audiences


Protocols for european writers1
Protocols for European writers


  • Ownership of story, context and detail

  • Use of terminology and address

  • Representation – individuals, events, beliefs

  • Perspective and purpose

Fact or fiction
Fact or Fiction?

Stories for older readers

  • Children of Mirrabooka

  • Deadly, Unna?

  • European authors

  • Focus on the interaction between Europeans and Aboriginals

  • Do not shy away from the negative and confronting elements

  • Present the story in direct, realist style

Children of mirrabooka
Children of Mirrabooka

“Dream/flashback/time travel” style used by other authors for similar stories

  • Tangara - Nan Chanucy, You, me and Murrawee

    Allows two voices to be used: European in present, Aboriginal in past

    Allows “discovery” by modern world or character of hidden crimes

    Therefore, allows reflection by modern European on past injustices

    But also maintains explorer/discovery binary of post-colonialism

Children of mirrabooka1
Children of Mirrabooka

Probably the first non Aboriginal novel which deals explicitly and as an extended theme with Land Rights and dispossession

But does the fantasy / time travel aspect weaken the reality of the situation by making it fantasy, or by resigning it to history?

Eventually, the colonization of the station is accepted and continues – Jenny as colonial master, despite her pangs of conscience..

Children of mirrabooka2
Children of Mirrabooka

Multiple voices:

  • European/Aboriginal

  • Authorial/Narrative

  • Can such a story be told in an unbiased, balanced way?

  • Is the story about the European in the present or the Aboriginal in the past?

  • Is it appropriation of an Aboriginal story for European sensibilities?