Macquarie University
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The racial camp and the production of the political citizen: a genealogy of contestation from Indigenous populations and diasporic women

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posted on 2022-03-29, 03:12 authored by Lara Palombo
The racial camp and the production of the political citizen: a genealogy of contestations from Indigenous populations and diasporic women In this thesis I examine the hypothesis that the racial state reproduces biopolitical mechanisms of segregation, imprisonment and death. The racialised Camp is one of the continuing mechanisms of biopolitical governance that participates in what is constituted as a national necessity to restrict and contain populations and that also opens them to death. The thesis examines the way 'the political' as defined by First Nation people and diasporic arrivals operate in relation to the nation-state and the camp. I deploy biopolitical and necropolitical lenses to detail the ways transnational and local racial regimes of governmentality have disciplined the embodiment of those perceived to be politically contesting the establishment of the white (sovereign) citizen. In order to evidence this hypothesis, I focus on concrete instantiations and mutations of the camp in Australia including the foundational colonial camp of Wybelenna in Tasmania and the internment camps of War World One and War World Two. Moving from pre-Federation to post-Federation, I show how modern population debates informing the White Australian Policy, Protectionist Acts and the Pacific Island Labourers Act and Assimilation are grounded on an onto-epistemology of raciality that governs sexuality and gender and constitutes the population as colonial and scientific problems and as a site of national danger. This sustains the violent ordering, segregation, elimination and demand for political loyalty to the state. In the context of producing an analysis of 'the political' as it is embodied in cultural texts and practices, I bring into focus the critical role of Indigenous and diaspora responses through productions such as newspapers, petitions, political organizing and differing actions. I examine, the sovereign politics of the early Indigenous newspaper edited by the prisoners of the Wybalenna Camp, 'The Flinders Chronicle' and of a range of Italian-Australian diasporic newspapers, the 'Italo-Australian'’, 'il Giornale Italiano' and 'la Riscossa' that were produced in the late 1920s and 1930s.



Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 347-382

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


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

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Joseph Pugliese


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1 online resource (382 pages)

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