University Of Tasmania
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Scars on the archive, visions of place: genocide and modernity in Tasmania

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posted on 2023-05-26, 02:27 authored by Shipway, J
This thesis attempts to come to grips with the narrative traditions, the tropological models and the modes of speech through which Tasmania has come to be constructed as a place of genocide and a place of modernity. The dual nature of its structure responds to two important traditions in contemporary humanities scholarship, the study of genocide and the study of modernity. Through an examination of the way in which these two developmental trajectories have played out in Tasmania, I attempt to decentre and destabilise their disciplinary frameworks. In the first instance modernity is examined from an alternative perspective that allows for a mapping that is not regulated by the presence of Europe and North America, while in the second, genocide is uncoupled from the Holocaust in the name of an examination of a colonial iteration that has only recently registered on the radar screen of scholars working in the area. In this thesis genocide and modernity function dialectically. While, on the one hand, they serve as the objects of analysis, on the other, they provide the discursive resources for the construction of a dual optic that allows for a selective re-reading of the history of Tasmania. For my purposes genocide and modernity are generators of archival energy, drivers of the spectral web that spins out through historical time and transforms a physical location into a place by making that location symbolisable and communicable. This thesis posits a communal structure of feeling that gathers itself around the signifier \Tasmania\". The linguistic traces that I have pursued are diachronic in nature but their mobilisation takes place in a continually refreshing present. Being-in-Tasmania is beingwith- the-archive and that archive is structured in important ways by genocide and modernity."


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  • Open

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