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Learning the past to participate in the future: Regional discourses of Australian colonial history

Koerner, Catherine (2013). Learning the past to participate in the future: Regional discourses of Australian colonial history. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies,6(2):29-40.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 84279116xPUB79
Title Learning the past to participate in the future: Regional discourses of Australian colonial history
Author Koerner, Catherine
Journal Name International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies
Publication Date 2013
Volume Number 6
Issue Number 2
ISSN 1837-0144   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 29
End Page 40
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Queensland University of Technology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Indigenous curricula content, including particular narratives of Australian colonial
history are highly contested in contemporary Australia. How do white Australians
understand Australia’s colonial past and its relevance today? An empirical study
was conducted with 29 rural Australians who self-identified as white. Critical race
and whiteness studies provided the framework for analysis of the interviews. I
argue that they revealed a delimited understanding of colonial history and a general
inability to link this to the present, which limited their capacity to think crossculturally
in their everyday living - activities considered crucial in the contemporary
move to Reconciliation in Australia. The normative discourse of white settler
Australians to be ‘Australian’ is invested in the denial of Indigenous sovereignty to
protect white settler Australian claims to national sovereignty. The findings support
arguments for a national curriculum that incorporates Indigenous history as well as
an Indigenous presence throughout all subject areas.
 
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Created: Thu, 07 Aug 2014, 17:14:16 CST