Macquarie University
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Speaking/writing with Aboriginal and settler interrelations: interrogating the mechanisms that work to suppress Indigenous/indigenous voices in the 'Australian' situation

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posted on 2022-03-28, 18:42 authored by Fiona McAllan
This thesis interrogates the mechanisms that work to suppress Indigenous/indigenous voices in the Australian situation socio- politically, historically and theoretically, to reveal how this suppression is always exceeded. The thesis is cross-disciplinary, engaging critical and cultural studies, critical race and whiteness theory and indigenous relational ontology. 'First Nations Australians' are identified as indigenous in most discussions (while it is argued this collective is nevertheless a heterogeneous demography). While discussion circulates in and through 'Indigenous/indigenous' and 'settler' interrelations, the focus is on the relations between these collective identities - on the formation of subjectivities and ongoing construction of identity. It is argued that conditions that work to suppress Indigenous/indigenous voices in the general discussion are reproduced when colonising relations continue to construct the dominant perspectival paradigm. It is argued that different worldviews are in play, making sharing and negotiation of difference at the boundaries necessary. I also deconstruct the imposition of colonial sovereignty and theorise a co-sovereign existential relation, fundamental to reciprocal sociality. The thesis theorises ways of speaking 'with', in place of 'for' others, hence resisting and overwhelming the colonising frame. In exploring the relationship between deconstructionist and resistant disciplines from within the Western rationalist paradigm, and Indigenous relational ontologies, I have found that such disciplines, outside of the characteristic binarised thinking modes of the West, share their capacity for change, innovation, creativity and engagement with futurity. This opens productive ground with which to pose the following thesis research question: "Is it possible to theorise and engage an in-relation ethos and consciousness that will allow for the transformation of relations of suppression and subordination to those of reciprocity, mutual respect and engagement, thus providing a model for a transformative and reciprocal sociality?"


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Section 1: Searching, locating, situating voice -- Who's saying what? Tuning out the disconnected coloniser's noise -- Section 2: Learning to speak with -- Speaking from: tuning in the inner voice -- Section 3: Addressing denial of the inner voice -- Speaking/writing with -- Conclusion.


"Submitted in full requirement for the award of Doctor of Philosophy" Thesis by publication.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD) , Macquarie University

Department, Centre or School

Department of Sociology

Year of Award



Copyright Fiona McAllan 2010. Copyright disclaimer:






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