Settler colonial studies: eliminating the native and creating the nation

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This important collection of essays gives us cause to reflect on
postcolonial and settler colonial studies, their impact and legacies.
In this reflection and response, I read this against the recent calls
to reconsider the nebulous concept of ‘Australian values’ as a
defining principle of belonging in and to the nation-state. Echoing
the 1950s ‘Australian way of life’ discourse, these values are
overwhelmingly white, European and middle class. The place of
Indigenous people in this conversation is both unclear and
unsettled. As a settler colony, Australia has struggled to
accommodate, celebrate or reconcile the relationship between the
nation’s ‘First people’. Settler colonial theory, and what Patrick
Wolfe called the ‘elimination of the native’, can be a useful lens
for considering these issues. However, it is also clear that settler
colonial theory has not attracted Indigenous scholars as it might
have been expected to do. I briefly consider the place and role of
Indigenous people in these debates and the shifts that have taken
place over the past few decades.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-159
Number of pages7
JournalPostcolonial Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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