Talk by Professor Mark Rifkin (UNC, Greensboro)

‘Blackness, Indigeneity, Speculation, or Diplomacy in the Undercommons.’

How do we understand relations between Black and Indigenous political formations and movements? What impasses arise in thinking about them together? This paper suggests how speculation offers conceptual and ethical resources for engaging these questions.

DATE: Tuesday 2 July, 3.00-4.30pm

VENUE: UOW, LHA Research Hub, Building 19, Level 2, Room 2072

RSVP: https://forms.gle/P9DDRFnexavi98Yk7

Book launch, 17 May

CASS member Dr Cecilia Leong-Salobir has recently published two books:

Urban Food Culture: Sydney, Shanghai and Singapore in the Twentieth Century (Palgrave Macmillan) and the Routledge Handbook of Food in Asia.

They will be launched on 17 May, from 4.30pm

VENUE: LHA Research Hub, building 19

Discussion Forum: Learning from Christchurch: Recognising complicity, Fighting white supremacy

All members of the University and wider community are invited to a discussion and strategy sharing session on this vital topic of our times. The event is an opportunity to come together, express solidarity and support, and especially to listen to the voices of those who have the greatest knowledge of how racism operates.

WHEN: Friday 5 April, 2.00-3.30pm

WHERE: Building 24, Room 203

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CASS Report – March 2019

CASS has had a very busy few months.

In December we undertook our major event for 2018 – hosting the 37thConference of the Australia and New Zealand Law and History Society on ‘Exclusion, Confinement, Dispossession: Uneven Citizenship and Spaces of Sovereignty’. Convened by Jane Carey, the stellar line up of international keynote speakers included Professor Audra Simpson (Columbia University), Associate Professor and Angela Wanhalla (University of Otago) and Professor Renisa Mawani (University of British Columbia). Plenary speakers included Aunty Dr Barbara Nicholson, Virginia Marshall, Penny Edmonds and Crystal McKinnon. Over 100 participants joined in the proceedings.

         

The conference also featured the launch of Mike Griffith’s book, The Distribution of Settlement: Appropriation and Refusal in Australian Literature and Culture (UWA, Press), by Professor Audra Simpson, who enthusiastically endorsed it as a major contribution.

         

Book announcements for Lisa Slater’s book Anxieties of Belonging in Settler Colonialism: Australia, Race and Place (Routledge, 2018) and Julia Martínez, Claire Lowrie and Frances Steel’s book with Victoria Haskins (University of Newcastle), Colonialism and Male Domestic Service Across the Asia Pacific (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018) also took place at the conference.


CASS also supported a workshop on ‘Chinese contributions to Asia Pacific colonial economies’ with keynote presentations by Emeritus Professor Gregor Benton (University of Cardiff) and Professor Danny Wong (University of Malaya). The workshop was part of Julia Martinez, Claire Lowrie and Gregor Benton’s ARC Discovery Project on Chinese Indentured Labour in the Colonial Asia-Pacific Region (DP180100695).


On 28 February 2019 we held a seminar to celebrate and discuss all five monographs published by CASS members since late 2017 – which also included two books by Sharon Crozier-De Rosa (one co-authored with Vera Mackie). There was a lively discussion both among the authors on the panel and the large audience in attendance. This focussed particularly on how CASS research might provide a counter to proposed new BA offerings at UOW.


2018 also saw the publication of a collection edited by Frances Steel – New Zealand and the Sea: Historical Perspectives (Bridget Williams Books) and CASS’s first special issue – an edition of History Australia on the theme of ‘Colonial Formations’ edited by Jane Carey and Frances Steel. Their co-authored introduction to this special issue, ‘On the Critical Importance of Colonial Formations’ outlines some of the exciting new direction in research that CASS is fostering.


Finally, CASS post-grad Lauren Samuelsson won the 2018 Ken Inglis Postgraduate Prize for the best paper at the annual Australian Historical Association conference. Lauren’s paper, titled ‘The Imitation Game: Mock Foods in the Australian Women’s Weekly, 1933–1982’, was described by the judges as ‘a valuable and original contribution to the historiography of Australian food.’ Congratulations Lauren!

Keynote Address: Professor Audra Simpson

The Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society (ANZLHS) and CASS invite you to a keynote address by Audra Simpson, Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University.

When: Monday 10 December, 2018

Time: 10.15 – 11.00am

Where: Building 67 Room 107

Cost: While attendance at the keynote is free, should you wish to attend any other portion of the ANZLHS Conference, you will need to register. Please refer to the Conference Program and Registration details.

Savage States: Settler Governance in an Age of Sorrow

In what world do we imagine the past to be settled in light of its refusal to perish and allow things to start over anew? What are the conditions that make for this imagining, this fantasy or rather, demand of a new start point? In this piece I consider the world of settler colonialism, which demands this newness, and a world in which Native people and their claims to territory are whittled to the status of claimant or subject in time with the fantasy of their disappearance and containment away from a modern and critical present. This fantasy of a world without Indigenous people, or Indigenous peoples whittled into claimants extends itself to a mode of governance that is beyond institutional and ideological but is in this study, deeply affective. In this piece I examine how the Canadian practice of settler governance has adjusted itself in line with global trends and rights paradigms away from overt violence to what are seen as softer and kinder, caring modes of governing but governing, violently still and yet, with a language of care, upon on still stolen land. This piece asks not only in what world we imagine time to stop, but takes up the ways in which those that survived the time stoppage stand in critical relationship to dispossession and settler governance apprehend, analyze and act upon this project of affective governance. Here an oral and textual history of the notion of “reconciliation” is constructed and analyzed with recourse to Indigenous criticism of this affective project of repair.

Bio

Audra Simpson is Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University. She is the author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014) Her research is energized by the problem of recognition, by its passage beyond (and below) the aegis of the state into the grounded field of political self-designation, self-description and subjectivity. This work is motivated by the struggle of Kahnawake Mohawks to find the proper way to afford political recognition to each other, their struggle to do this in different places and spaces and the challenges of formulating membership against a history of colonial impositions. Her current research project examines the borders of time, history and bodies across and within what is now understood to be the United States and Canada.

Julia Martinez wins the Patricia Grimshaw Prize!

We are excited to report that CASS member As. Professor Julia Martinez has won the Patricia Grimshaw Prize for the best article published in Australian Historical Studies for 2016-17. Her prize-winning article is:

Julia Martı́nez, ‘Asian Servants for the Imperial Telegraph: Imagining North Australia as an Indian Ocean Colony before 1914’, Australian Historical Studies 48, no. 2, 2017.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1031461X.2017.1279196

The judges, Professor Alison Bashford (University of New South Wales) and Dr Kate Fullagar (Macquarie University), selected Julia’s article from a short-list of five outstanding examples of important and original work in Australian history. Their citation reads:

‘Julia’s article explored the operations of the north Australian telegraph during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Using press and company records, it showed how telegraphic connection between north Australia and London, via southeast Asia, defied white nationalist aims and consolidated instead a neglected Indian-Ocean colonial culture in pre-war Australia. The article not only makes a compelling case for the Indian-Oceanic turn in Australian history but also contributes significantly to the global history of immigration and recent ‘web’-focused analyses in imperial history.’

Congratulations to Julia!

Her article will soon be free-to-access for a limited time from the journal’s homepage.

Connecting British Anti-Feminism & A Childhood in the Troubles to Write a Transnational History of Gender & Shame

Guest post from Dr Sharon Crozier-De Rosa. First published on her blog: The Militant Woman.

*Growing up in the Troubles, where men were often absent, led me to research women policing women.

*Being a diasporic Irish historian led me to write a book that connects Irish women’s ideas and activisms to those of women across the globe.

In March 2018 my book, Shame and the Anti-Feminist Backlash: Britain, Ireland and Australia, 1890-1920 (2018, Routledge), was launched by visiting academic to the University of Wollongong, Associate Professor Jane Haggis (Flinders University).

Book launch 2

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR JANE HAGGIS LAUNCHING SHAME AND THE ANTI-FEMINIST BACKLASH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WOLLONGONG.

Associate Professor Haggis delivered a wonderfully generous appraisal of the book, emphasising its transnational methods and scope. The book, she said, ambitiously connected the histories of women in sites that did not, at first, appear to fit together – through the application of an emotions history framework. In making those comments, she also remarked on her discomfort with the concept of women using shame in a productive capacity – to police their own emotional and political communities.

In my brief response, I reflected on what motivated me to study the connections and the disparities between patriotic women’s uses of an emotion that is often viewed – and felt – with discomfort across very different sites along the British imperial spectrum. In doing so I connected two seemingly unconnected processes – my doctoral research on British anti-feminism and my upbringing during the Troubles in Ireland.

Book launch 1

RESPONDING TO ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR HAGGIS’S COMMENTS.

First, Marie Corelli.

As I read through her works to complete my PhD on bestselling fiction and a history of women’s emotions, I could not help but be disturbed by the glaring anti-feminist sentiment infusing the novels of one extraordinarily successful woman writer that I was looking at – Marie Corelli.

Portrait_of_Marie_Corelli

MARIE CORELLI (1855-1924). APPLETON’S MAGAZINE, C. 1904. PHOTOGRAPH BY F. ADRIAN. IMAGE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

From the 1880s to the 1910s, Corelli reigned as ‘Queen of the Bestsellers’, far outselling any fellow authors of her day. How did she approach feminism? On the one hand, she poked fun at the ridiculous appearance and habits of so-called New Women who aped the habits of men – bicycle riding, swearing, smoking, atheistic, loose sexual attitudes, like the comically manly Honoria Maggs in  My Wonderful Wife (c.1886). On the other hand, Corelli’s treatment of women’s feminist aspirations revealed a much deeper, darker undercurrent of feminist hatred, or sometimes even a general hatred of women.

It cast light on a world where feminist shaming was an accepted and well-practised custom.

  • There was a war against women, she said, but women were totally to blame for that.
  • These women, she argued, were responsible for lowering the reputation of England which used to be the civiliser of the world.

The latent vitriol in Corelli’s writing surprised me. Here was a woman who was an independent and extraordinarily successful female writer who, by all accounts, was also an incredibly astute businesswoman. Her public life did not seem at odds with the demands of turn-of-the-century feminism.

More puzzling for me was the fact that a large proportion of her readers were women.

  • Why were these 5-600 page novels, which were filled with blatant feminist hatred and feminist shaming – albeit while indulging in feminist transgressions – so attractive to her vast army of women readers?
  • Why was womenshamingwomen such a regular and familiar feature of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century popular culture?

Women Shaming Women

In investigating a practice that I was uncomfortable with, I was mindful of a 1970s historian’s caution to not disrespect the views of those who lost – those fighting against the vote – of not consigning them to history’s ‘rubbish heap’.

When I looked closer at women shaming women, I saw some of the nuances of their practices – here were women policing their own political communities in what was a highly patriarchal world.

Some picked up weapons to fight for their political views.

Suddenly it was all very familiar.

The Troubles

Growing up on a housing estate during the Troubles, where men were often absent – in prison or on the run – I was continually confronted with strong women policing their own communities of womanhood in what was a highly patriarchal society.

Some of these were women who picked up guns to fight for their political views. They were a visible presence as they marched in political parades, armed, uniformed.

Here were women’s practices aligning in what were two remarkably different societies:

  • One an immensely powerful imperial centre in the early twentieth century.
  • The other a fractured, disenfranchised anti-colonial site in the late twentieth century.

Yet both housed communities of womanhood – policing themselves using emotional tools and tactics – picking up arms in defence of their politics if need be.

That led to Shame and the Anti-Feminist Backlash, Britain, Ireland and Australia –

  • An historical investigation of the reasons for women opposing feminism,

…and, more poignantly for me –

  • A transnational history of women policing women using emotions – where I was able to connect the ideas and activisms of diverse groups of patriotic women across the globe.

Today: Anti-Feminism? Woman Hatred? Shaming?

Surely the voting in of a highly misogynistic man as US President and the backlash that process unleashed tells us that anti-feminism, woman hate and feminist shaming are not obsolete issues.

Philosopher Michael Morgan says that, today, most people think it is a shame that shame exists. Yet, if we look at that election, women, feminists included, shamed Hillary Clinton –  and each other – across the globe – for everything from feminism to anti-feminism and everything else in between. In a highly patriarchal world, women policing their own political communities using emotions like shame is not dead – it is just a practice rooted in history.

Shame Book Cover

Dedication

I dedicate this book to my mum and dad for the role they played in helping me get to this point where I can use our collective experiences – of conflict and of mobility – to teach and write about the intersections between gender, nationalism, emotions and violence, nationally and transnationally.

The Aboriginal Memorial: ‘white people don’t know Australia … we know it from the beginning’

CASS Member Prof Ian McLean is organising a conference which may be of interest to CASS members. See below for details.


The Aboriginal Memorial: ‘white people don’t know Australia … we know it from the beginning’

A conference to critically examine The Aboriginal Memorial and contemporary art’s engagements with colonial trauma. 10–12 October 2018

An exhibition and conference will be held at the National Gallery of Australia to commemorate the 30th anniversary of The Aboriginal Memorial – a large collaborative artwork of 200 burial poles produced in Ramingining by 43 artists from the region for the Australian bicentenary, which is permanently installed at the main entrance of the NGA.

The conference will critically examine the significance of the Memorial at the time of its production and what it can teach us today. The impact of the Memorial when it was produced in 1988 has retreated from our collective memory, but the issues it touched upon have only intensified during the previous 30 years.

Subjects and Aliens symposium, November 2017

One of CASS’s postgraduate members, Emma Bellino, reflects on our recent symposium.

On 28 November 2017, CASS hosted the Subjects and Aliens symposium. The symposium brought together scholars from the Australian National University, the University of Otago, La Trobe University and the University of Wollongong.

Until the middle of the twentieth century, residents of Australia and New Zealand were categorised by law as either ‘British subjects’ or ‘aliens’. Using these categories as a starting point, the Subject and Aliens symposium considered histories of nationality and citizenship in Australia and New Zealand over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It explored the intersection of nationality with gender, race and ethnicity in a range of legal and social contexts.

Emma Bellino, Kate Bagnall, Sophie Couchman, Jane Carey, Kim Rubenstein, Julia Martinez and Angela Wanhalla at the Subjects and Aliens symposium, 28 November 2017

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New book by Claire Lowrie – Masters and Servants

Claire Lowrie, Masters and Servants: Cultures of Empire in the Tropics
(Manchester University Press, 2016)

Masters and servants explores the politics of colonial mastery and domestic servitude in the neighbouring British colonies of Singapore and Darwin. Through an exploration of master-servant relationships within British, white Australian and Chinese homes, this book illustrates the centrality of the domestic realm to the colonial project. It is the first comparative history of domestic service and British colonialism in the tropics, and highlights the important role which ‘houseboys’ played in colonial households in the tropics and the common preference for Chinese ‘houseboys’ throughout Southeast Asia.

For more information see:
http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9780719095337/