Eleonore Wildburger
Politics, Power and Poetry
An Intercultural Perspective on Aboriginal Identity in Black Australian Poetry

Volume 19, 2003, IV, 299 Seiten (vergriffen)
EUR 40,-
ISBN 3-86057-319-5
Reihe: Studies in English and Comparative Literature


This book investigates a wide range of representations of Australian Indigenous identity formations and elaborates an interculturally appropriate research model, viewed from an anti-colonial perspective. Attention is focussed on (anti-)colonial power strategies within these formation processes, as well as on the socio-political relevance of reception processes in reply to these representations. The concepts of ‘difference’ as to their relevance for identity formations within intercultural encounters and transformations are investigated. In this context, the tensions between essentialist and non-essentialist perspectives on identity discourse are pointed out.

The broad spectrum of Indigenous identity formations is investigated within the discourse analysis of a selection of contemporary Black Australian poetry (L. Bellear, G. Dixon, E. Fesl, L. Fogarty, A. Heiss, E. Johnson, R. Sykes, M. Watson, E. West). The syncretic reading method interrogates the reader’s experience as effects rather than methodologically determined acts of reception. Even though the main concern lies with anti-colonial reception processes, the analysis does not dismiss the relevance of literary aesthetics for text interpretation. Yet the analysis exemplifies that the assessment criteria need to be grounded in the Aboriginality of the poems. The quintessence of this analysis lies in the author’s firm conviction that the anti-colonial perspective on Indigenous identity constructions is metonymic in its visions of universal mental constructs, while at the same time advancing the visions of contemporary Aboriginality.


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