Chance to tell the world the indigenous story - take part or picket

Re-imagining Australia

Here’s a chance to tell the world at large about the Australian indigenous condition at a Fremantle conference of the International Association of Australian Studies (InASA). It’ll be from 7 to 9 December on the theme of 'Re-Imagining Australia: Encounter, Recognition, Responsibility'. They’re calling for papers by 30 June. The call includes a reference to “recurrent racism” and “refusal to adequately accept Aboriginal sovereignty or ontological belonging”, as well as “vigorous national protests against the closure of remote Aboriginal communities based on a racial and cultural politics of ‘lifestyle’ that bear the hallmarks of European Enlightenment triumph”.


That suggests to me that they want Aboriginal input. So, apply. And if they don’t put their money where their text is, picket the gathering. Either way, it’s good publicity.

The invitation says: “We welcome the submission of abstracts from the following disciplines and fields: Australian Studies, Asian Studies, Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, Cultural Studies, Ethnography, Environmental Studies, Gender and Sexuality, Heritage, History, Human rights, Indian Ocean Studies, Indigenous Studies, Literature, Media and Film Studies, Multicultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Settler Colonial Studies, Performance studies, Creative Arts, Creative Writing.”

The event is hosted by the Centre for Human Rights Education, Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute, the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Curtin University.


Explanatory text:

As a result of the intensification of overlapping, interpenetrating and mixing of cultures and peoples in everyday life in Australia – its public culture has become increasingly re-imagined through intense conversations and inter-epistemic dialogue and debate, activating the possibilities of an emerging cosmopolitan society. This, however, continues to be challenged at the same time by, amongst other things, recurrent racism, misogyny, homophobia and ecophobia produced in the public sphere. To re-imagine Australia thus demands new ways of thinking and understanding what is required to go beyond Australia’s ambivalence, among other things, towards Asia and, importantly, refusal to adequately accept Aboriginal sovereignty or ontological belonging. The purpose of this conference is to understand, document, invoke, listen to, learn about and enquire into the conversations, discussions, histories, stories and creative production that have happened and are happening that help or hinder a re-imagining of Australia, one that is conscious of the limitations of Enlightenment thinking and therefore framed through questions of cultural encounter, social and political recognition and responsibility. The conference will showcase research about how Australia is being re-imagined through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches that are critical, creative and artistic.

For the first time, the International Association of Australian Studies conference will take place in Western Australia (WA), following on the zeitgeist of Griffith Review’s ‘Looking West’ (2014), the end of the mining boom and vigorous national protests against the closure of remote Aboriginal communities based on a racial and cultural politics of ‘lifestyle’ that bear the hallmarks of European Enlightenment triumph. WA offers a rich context to explore the creative, cultural and critical dynamics of Australian society. Its proximity to the Indian Ocean, to Indonesia, Southeast Asia, India, China and Africa make WA an ideal place from which to look at Australia, as well as a place to understand how others see it.

The conference encourages postgraduates, early career and senior scholars to present new and innovative work cognate to our theme. The conference also encourages the participation of postgraduate, junior and senior scholars from Australian Studies and other relevant Centres throughout the world.

To submit a Paper proposal or to visit the Conference website please click:

PLEASE NOTE: ALL POSTGRADUATES: InASA is offering a Conference Travel Bursary to HDR candidates to assist attendance at the 2016 conference. These bursary are up to $700 per applicant and provide financial assistance to cover travel and accommodation to attend the conference. To find out more please refer to the following: Travel Bursary Terms and Conditions. For an Travel Bursary Application Form click this link.

Other links about the conference locations: and