Shedding clothes : Performing cross-cultural exchange through costume and writing in Kim Scott's 'That Deadman Dance'

Journal article


Nolan, Maggie. (2015) Shedding clothes : Performing cross-cultural exchange through costume and writing in Kim Scott's 'That Deadman Dance'. Southerly. 75(2), pp. 124 - 144.
AuthorsNolan, Maggie
Abstract

One of the questions driving Kim Scott's award-winning historical novel That Deadman Dance (2010) is whether "appropriation is a good thing, or is it a destructive thing"? (Scott, "Interview", 2010). That Deadman Dance is a fictionalised portrayal of cross-cultural contact on the so-called "Friendly Frontier" of the Southern coast of Western Australia in the early to mid-nineteenth century.1 Bobby Wabalanginy, the central character, is a confident, highly intelligent, but perhaps also na ve young Noongar, who appropriates whatever ideas and technologies the coloniser has to offer, including European clothing and technologies of reading and writing. Relations begin positively, especially with the inclusive Dr Cross, but after Cross's death, and with the growing town under the control of the avuncular yet self-interested Geordie Chaine, mutuality deteriorates. By the novel's end, as Bobby slowly undresses in a misplaced and ignored plea for the recognition of his people for their generosity in accommodating white settlers, it is clear that the openness displayed by Bobby is not reciprocated. He is forced to recognise that his more suspicious compatriots were right and that he had been wrong.

Year2015
JournalSoutherly
Journal citation75 (2), pp. 124 - 144
ISSN0038-3732
Web address (URL)http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=903852299742835;res=IELLCC
Page range124 - 144
Research GroupSchool of Arts
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/89070/shedding-clothes-performing-cross-cultural-exchange-through-costume-and-writing-in-kim-scott-s-that-deadman-dance

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 6
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as