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Cross-kingdom encounters: journeys to the New England tablelands

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posted on 2022-03-28, 21:11 authored by Katherine Sarah Wright
This thesis is about human relationships with the more-than-human world, analysed through the frame of the New England tableland region of New South Wales, Australia. I spent my childhood in New England, and it is where I first developed intimate connections with nonhumans. My central aspiration for this work has been to promote environmental and social justice by mobilising locally-based perceptions of ecological connectivity. In the wake of the environmental and social devastations of colonisation, I tackle the question of how we are to live ethically in places which are both damaged and beloved. The research is divided into five parts, with each exploring cross-kingdom encounters between humans and a particular 'genre' of nonhuman life in New England. The following pages are peopled with stones, trees, animals, waters, and skies. Inspired by the work of Gregory Bateson, this study is predicated on the notion that the organismplus-environment is an inseparable unit, and that the self is permeated by the "outside world". Adopting a relational approach to place-based study, this thesis avers proximity as a kind of methodology which acknowledges our entangled position in connected, living systems. In the contact zones between flesh and fur, skin and bark, lies the potential for reworking the way we understand responsibility and commitment in a postcolonial country.


Table of Contents

Introduction. Unsettling blood's country -- Part One. Stone country -- Part Two. Trees -- Part Three. Animals -- Part Four. Water -- Part Five. Sky country


Includes bibliographical references A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of Doctor of Philosophy

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies (MMCCS)

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Catherine Simpson

Additional Supervisor 1

Deborah Bird Rose


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Katherine Sarah Wright 2013. Complete version suppressed due to copyright restrictions. However, on receipt of a Document Supply Request, placed with Macquarie University Library by another library, we will consider supplying a copy of this thesis. For more information on Macquarie University's Document Supply, please contact






1 online resources (viii, 299 pages) colour illustrations

Former Identifiers

mq:30523 2134667