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“The people will kill, destroy, and if possible, exterminate every black in the island”: a case study of massacre inTasmania’s Black War, 1826-1828

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posted on 28.03.2022, 03:06 by Ryan Spinks
Violence has long been an explanatory framework for the Tasmanian Black War. Over the last decade the focus has been violence over the long duree or violence in relation to the question of genocide. However, more recently Lyndall Ryan has begun to map the relationship between massacres and the population decline of Tasmanian Aborigines. Using French historical sociologist, Jacques Semelin’s typology of massacre, Ryan’s seminal case study of the Meander River region in 2008 found that the second phase of the war experienced the highest number of massacres and Aboriginal deaths. She drew the important conclusion that Governor Arthur established an infrastructure whereby settler massacres could be carried out and called for more work to be done on this phase of the war. While Ryan emphasises official discourses as an important component of this infrastructure there is room for further investigation. Utilising Semelin’s theorisation of massacre for the period 1826-1828, this thesis traces the development of official and unofficial discourses of violence to demonstrate why there was a turn to massacre within the settler population of Van Diemen’s Land. Encompassing both the legal and social dynamics of the settler colony, the study seeks to map out the pathways that enabled military personnel, police magistrates and stock-keepers to take part in the indiscriminate killing of Aborigines. Finally, I will apply Semelin’s five-point typology to examine two instances of settler massacres on the Oyster Bay tribe. Situated within a distinct geographical and social context, I will investigate the motivations and methods of these violent episodes to further our understanding of massacre in its Vandemonian context.

History

Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter One. The governmentality of violence -- Chapter Two. Violence of the everyday : settler discourses -- Chapter Three. Violence is everywhere : massacre in the Settled Districts -- Conclusion -- Appendix -- Bibliography.

Notes

Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 80-89

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes

Degree

MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Department, Centre or School

Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations

Year of Award

2018

Principal Supervisor

Alison Holland

Rights

Copyright Ryan Spinks 2018. Copyright disclaimer: http://mq.edu.au/library/copyright

Language

English

Extent

1 online resource (ii, 89 pages) maps

Former Identifiers

mq:70937 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1269195