Practices of Proximity investigates the appropriation of the English language taking place in the Australian literary contact zone between an official 'white' Australia—the apparent owners of both the land and the English language--and Australian Indigenous peoples. Rescuing the debate from seemingly peripheral locations--the 'empty' Great Sandy Desert, or the abject urban margin--it insists on the complex, ultimately open-ended and multilateral ownership of the English language by all who inhabit the intersubjective space of literature, rendering the inherited authority of who 'owns' meaning problematical and ethically suspect. Documenting the complex practices of bricolage and re-lexification of a multi-accentuated Australia, the book invites readers to consider Australian Indigenous literature as a space from which a re-routing of issues of co-habitation, sovereignty, and being and becoming Australian might begin. This interdisciplinary study of Australian Indigenous practices of appropriation ranges from texts produced during the first encounters of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to the work of established and rising authors, such as Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Jack Davis, Lionel Fogarty, Romaine Moreton and Kim Scott.
Ling & Literature