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Type: Journal article
Title: Don't mention the War. Frontier violence and the language of concealment
Author: Foster, R.
Citation: History Australia, 2009; 6(2):1-15
Publisher: Monash University ePress
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1449-0854
Statement of
Robert Foster
Abstract: W.E.H. Stanner described the absence of Aboriginal people from Australia’s national story in the twentieth century as the ‘great Australian silence’. The idea has always carried with it the presumption that the ‘forgetting’ was retrospective, but a closer examination suggests that the very nature of Australia’s settlement history made forgetting not merely a retrospective imperative: it was a foundational one. By the 1830s, the orthodoxy was that Aboriginal people were British subjects against whom war could ‘not be levied’, yet the frontier reality was that a war was waged to dispossess them of their country. The focus of this article is not the nature and extent of violence on the frontier: rather, it is the language of concealment, the ways in which the violence was both reported at the time and the way it has subsequently been remembered.
Rights: Copyright status unknown
DOI: 10.2104/ha090068
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Politics publications

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