[csaa-forum] book on Australian sovereignty issues and the Howard government

Jon Stratton J.Stratton at curtin.edu.au
Mon Jul 9 09:32:02 CST 2007

    Hi Everybody,
       This would seem to be a good time to mention another book that has been recently published that also throws some light onto what is happening in the Northern Territory at the moment.  I am putting below the information from the flyer.  In short, the book is edited by Suvendrini Perera and titled _Our Patch: Enacting Australian Sovereignty Post-2001_.  It was published by API-Network Books at the beginning of this year.  In addition to the web address below, the book can be bought by ringing  08 9266 3717.

Our Patch

Enacting Australian Sovereignty Post-2001

Edited by Suvendrini Perera


Network Books' Symposia Series

ISBN 1920845380 rrp $34.95


The year 2001, the centenary of federation, was the year of the Tampa and of Australia's entry into the global war on terror. Since then, new border protection and security regimes couple with interventionism in the Pacific to redraw our national and regional maps. Internally, new arrangements for Aboriginal communities redirect 1990s debates on sovereignty and self-determination. 

     In this book commentators at the cutting edge of social and cultural theory link these developments together for the first time.


How is Australian sovereignty being acted out at home and abroad in the second century of federation?


What are the imaginative and political boundaries of 'Our Patch'?


Contributions by: 




'As the risks caused by Australian neoliberalism meet the panics constructed by its security apparatus, the question of sovereignty becomes ever more urgent. With First Peoples and refugees as its targets, this risk-panic complex needs to be chronicled and challenged. Our Patch does just that.'

                                                                 Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside


'Through detailed studies of how the violence of colonial practices comes clothed in the familiar, everyday sentiments of nationalism, Our Patch offers many lessons in how the sovereign power of the nation is established through violence enacted on racialized bodies, a violence understood as civility.'

Sherene H Razack, University of Toronto

Author, Dark Threats and White Knights: Peacekeeping and the New Imperialism


'Our Patch offers robust and critical engagement while navigating the intellectual landscapes of sovereignty and border politics ... It makes an important contribution to our thinking about justice and nationalism in the twenty-first century.'

Aileen Moreton-Robinson

Quandamooka First Nation Professor of Indigenous Studies


Order online at www.api-network.com <http://www.api-network.com> 



From: csaa-forum-bounces at lists.cdu.edu.au on behalf of kiley gaffney
Sent: Sun 8/07/2007 11:14 AM
To: csaa-forum at lists.cdu.edu.au
Subject: Re: [csaa-forum] a possible letter from CSAA about theHoward/Brough intervention


I agree. Realistically, a drafted letter from an organization that garners
very little political might seems futile and more bureaucratic than anything
particularly useful.

The shift needs to occur at the root and not at the branch. On the
anniversary of celebrating the aborigine's shift from fauna to citizen, many
of my students were a little shocked to realize they knew more about the US
civil rights movement than Australia's. Even in mapping the term
UnAustralian and including aboriginality in there, some uncomfortable
silences gave way to something a little more fruitful. I think in teaching
the basics of cultural studies 101 - the interrogation of institutional
power, hegemony, symbolic violence, the making of common sense - something
more dynamic and useful might be gained because the great thing about those
first year communications/cultural studies courses is the sheer volume of
students they attract, with most going on to other areas and majors. In
locating these ideas in their everyday, we might nurture a little critical
inquiry in them.


Kiley Gaffney
School of English, Media Studies and Art History
University of Queensland,
St Lucia.  Qld.  4072
(617) 3365 2687

On 7/7/07 5:55 PM, "Paul.Magee" <Paul.Magee at canberra.edu.au> wrote:

> Dear All,
> Sorry to take a while to respond to the suggestion of a CSAA letter to
> Howard/Rudd; I¹ve been on hols. As President this would be an appropriate
> thing for me to do. Yet much as I appreciate Stephen¹s suggestion, backed up
> by a few people now, I¹m disinclined to follow it up. This is for a number of
> reasons:
> The first, is that I¹m not convinced that such a letter, to either leader,
> would have any impact on their actions. That¹s not an overwhelming reason,
> however, as it might still be a good thing for us as an association to take
> public stands.
> The real reason is that I don¹t think unanimity is the best place for us to be
> at the moment. Partially this is because I don¹t believe we actually have
> unanimity on this issue. I mean, I could write a letter against the
> intervention, but then again, I¹m got some pretty weird ideas, as many of you
> know. I¹m not sure you¹d all want me putting the name of your association to
> them. I might sound trite here, but actually this is precisely my point. If I
> were to draft the sort of document that averaged out the opinions of all of
> us, I think we¹d lose much of the value of what we, as Cultural Studies
> scholars, have to offer on this, or any other political issue ­ the freedom
> and experience to say, from an informed perspective, exactly what one thinks.
> We, as a discipline, have allowed freedom of expression more than most others
> and it often produces exciting work. On the other hand, I don¹t think we¹ve
> ever done consensus particularly well. Not that we¹ve tried all that often.
> It¹s not what we¹re trained for.
> I think we should particularly avoid unanimity when it comes to a wedge issue
> designed, as Mark pointed out, to make firm stances appear foolish. I¹d rather
> we treat this association as a space in which we disagree on and debate over
> issues that are contentious, precisely on the grounds that we don¹t
> necessarily have all these things in common. In other words, I think the CSAA
> should be a space for risky thinking ­ seeing what happens when you throw an
> idea that you¹ve thought long and hard on out there. I¹m delighted that CSAA
> forum has taken on this character over the last week. Here's to disagreement,
> and feedack!
> I think that the real possibility for political action for CSAA members at
> this particular moment is much closer to hand than Parliament House. The
> election¹s looming and we, those of us who are teachers in particular, have a
> very real capacity to have impact upon one of the Howard government¹s most
> vulnerable support bases: the young. I won¹t rehearse the distressing
> statistics on Australian youth¹s support of the Co-alition. I¹d rather focus
> on the fact that we¹re in a very good position to make them think very hard
> about it. Maggie Nolan¹s suggestion, on this list, that we incorporate issues
> like Mal Brough into our teaching strikes me as a great one. Teaching that way
> is risky of course, OEcause you can often, in the heat of the issue, get the
> facts wrong, and you can also often fall into the trap of preaching, when the
> real challenge is to persuade people to think. That¹s also where I think the
> politics of this list come into play. The discussions and disagreements we
> have in spaces like this list inform our teaching, not to mention our general
> interaction with other minds. So too can the valuable resources people have
> been putting forward all week. This is a good thing - though the issue itself,
> like so many Howard issues, is so distressing and many of the political
> manouvres are so disgraceful. We should be confronting them. CS has been far
> too reticent in the past ­ with notable exceptions of course ­ about applying
> its various methodologies and expertises to Australian parliamentary politics.
> Maybe we took Foucault¹s comments about the ³Head of the King² in the History
> of Sexuality too seriously. Or maybe we shied away from what is an inherently
> risky endeavour. Either way, I want to call - in lieu of a letter to
> politicians who can¹t read - for us to use this forum as a space for
> discussion of each and every upcoming political ploy over the next few months.
> I¹d particularly like to see people sending in more links to good resources.
> This is where we do our real political work, right here in the so called ivory
> walls. They're not any more. The democratisation of the Australian university
> system, these last 30 years (we've gone from 2% of school leavers attending
> Uni, to something more like 30%), has also vastly increased our potential
> political power. Let's focus it.
> In sum, I suggest we fly under the radar, and rely on the fact that the true
> politicians are the teachers, 'cause they're closer to the future.
> best
> Paul
> Dr. Paul Magee
> President, Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
> Lecturer in Creative Reading
> School of Creative Communication
> University of Canberra
> ACT 2601
> 02 6201 2402
> Australian Government Higher Education (CRICOS)
> Registered Provider number: #00212K
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