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Lost in Dreaming? The interaction of indigenous culture and colonialism in Australian Aboriginal Literature

PS, Thu 08:15- 9:45, S.43
SS 2009
Universität Bayreuth

Course Description:

The course will concentrate on an almost ignored aspect of Australian history. During the time of colonialism the Aboriginal people suffered from racial politics that endangered their unique culture. Children were forced out of their own cultural background in order to be raised in missionary camps that followed colonial convictions. This stolen generation is the most obvious example for self-alienation and a symbol for the loss of identity that is widespread among Australian Aboriginal people. Based on the representation in Australian Aboriginal Literature, the course will focus on their perspective of the past in colonial Australia and their hopes concerning a future that accepts Aboriginal culture as part of Australian history. Hence we will look at the role of culture and its importance in terms of identity construction with reference to a people that regards itself to be a nation within a nation.

Texts to be obtained by students:

Alexis Wright. Plains of Promise
Sally Morgan. My Place
Doris Pilkington. Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
Kim Scott. Benang: From the Heart
Selected stories from Aboriginal Stories by Alexander W. Reed