Conceptualising Irish-Aboriginal writing

Journal article


Nolan, Maggie. (2021). Conceptualising Irish-Aboriginal writing. Australian Literary Studies. 36(2), pp. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.776fd12cac
AuthorsNolan, Maggie
Abstract

This article considers some of the reasons why Irish-Australian literature has not been a significant trajectory within Australian literary studies and what it might offer if it were. Since the colonial era, Irish difference has been both recalcitrant and assimilable but, in the wake of Federation in 1901, Australian literature was concerned with the production of a national tradition and Irishness served to differentiate Australianness from Britishness. This article is concerned, then, with retrieving Irish difference. It extends my longstanding interest in Indigenous Australian literatures by analysing the representation of Irish Australians in Indigenous Australian writing, particularly moments of solidarity between the Irish and Indigenous Australians. After looking briefly at representations of colonial relations between the Irish and Aboriginal Australians in Jack Davis’ 1979 play Kullark and Eric Willmot’s historical novel Pemulwuy (1989), this article offers a reading of a minor scene in Alexis Wright’s Miles Franklin Literary Award-winning novel Carpentaria, published in 2006, as a way of exploring such representations in the contemporary era. This article is not trying to generate a new category for the field of Australian literary studies. Rather, it follows a seam within the Australian literary tradition that imagines generative forms of allegiance that may complicate existing conceptions of the Australian literary field.

Year2021
JournalAustralian Literary Studies
Journal citation36 (2), pp. 1-20
PublisherAustralian Literary Studies
ISSN1837-6479
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.20314/als.776fd12cac
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-20
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Sep 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jan 2022
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