This article describes the recent Sydney riots and the commentary surrounding them. The author demonstrates how, through processes of ‘analytical et nic cleansing’, ‘ethnic homogenization and specification’, and ‘blame displacement’, the Lebanese Muslim community, a target of the initial rioters, came to be victimized in commentary on the riots. While the riots may not have been particularly significant in themselves, the commentary surrounding them provides an important window onto the state of cultural politics in Australia at a specific juncture in time when multi-culturalism is simultaneously hegemonic but subject to attack from Australia’s ruling federal political regime. The author claims, moreover, that the victimization of Lebanese Muslims is indicative of a particular current process in which a discourse of multi-culturalism, engendered largely by its liberal advocates and drawing on the scholarly works of anthropologists and other social scientists, is utilized to undermine multi-culturalism as a form of social policy and organization.
For a long period Australia was a British colonial offshoot and its Jewish community followed the dictates of the Chief Rabbi of Britain, Nathan Marcus Adler, who, with his son and successor Hermann Adler, brought the German rabbinic outlook to his religious leadership. Over the decades many Australian ministers (not all were fully qualified rabbis) were German or trained in the German rabbinic style, though there was often an anti-German reaction on the part of Eastern European rabbis and laymen. Though many of the ministers were quintessentially British, they were mostly trained under German Jewish scholars at Jews' College in London and displayed the German synthesis of Jewish and Western culture. Since the Second World War Australian Jewry has changed radically both as a result of post-Holocaust immigration and because of the growing diversity of the community. There is a strong Eastern European flavour and the British chief rabbinate is no longer the community's automatic authority.
Institutional Narratives and the Mobile in the Australian and New Zealand Colonial World, 1870s–1900s
This article examines the interpretive framework of “mobility” and how it might usefully be extended to the study of the Australasian colonial world of the nineteenth century, suggesting that social institutions reveal glimpses of (im)mobility. As the colonies became destinations for the many thousands of immigrants on the move, different forms of mobility were desired, including migration itself, or loathed, such as the itinerant lifestyles of vagrants. Specifically, the article examines mobility through brief accounts of the curtailed lives of the poor white immigrants of the period. The meanings of mobility were produced by immigrants' insanity, vagrancy, wandering, and their casual movement between, and reliance on, welfare and medical institutions. The regulation of these forms of mobility tells us more about the contemporary paradox of the co-constitution of mobility and stasis, as well as providing a more fluid understanding of mobility as a set of transfers between places and people.
Donna Houston, Diana McCallum, Wendy Steele and Jason Byrne
Cosmopolitical action in a climate-changed city represents different knowledges and practices that may seem disconnected but constellate to frame stories and spaces of a climate-just city. The question this article asks is: how might we as planners identify and develop counter-hegemonic praxes that enable us to re-imagine our experience of, and responses to, climate change? To explore this question, we draw on Isabelle Stengers’s (2010) idea of cosmopolitics—where diverse stories, perspectives, experiences, and practices can connect to create the foundation for new strategic possibilities. Our article is empirically informed by conversations with actors from three Australian cities (Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth) who are mobilizing different approaches to this ideal in various grassroots actions on climate change.
Photography and Ethnographic Complexity in Central Cape York Peninsula
Benjamin R. Smith
This essay addresses anthropological engagement with photography in indigenous Australian contexts. Following the work of Gell and Edwards, and drawing on the history of photography and ethnography in central Cape York Peninsula, I explore some ways that photographs may exceed relations of objectification and exoticism. Many ethnographic photographs have continued to circulate within and beyond Cape York Peninsula, while others have been returned to the descendants of those portrayed. This process of circulation may be accompanied by shifts in the meanings drawn from images, and increasing numbers of photographs are being taken by Aboriginal people themselves. Both these photographs and the engagement of earlier photographs by Aboriginal people demonstrate differences with the ways that photographs are dealt with in ‘Western’ contexts. Whether as ‘social things’, as objects, or as distributed aspects of the agency of those taking or featuring in them, photographs remain active in their interaction with viewers and demand a more nuanced analysis of colonial relationships.
Exhibiting South Australia's Maritime History
South Australian Maritime Museum 126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide, SA 5015, Australia http://samaritimemuseum.com.au/ Admission: AUD 10/8/5 The South Australian Maritime Museum cares for one of South Australia’s oldest cultural heritage collections.2 The core collection, inherited from the Port Adelaide Institute (one of the legion of nineteenth-century mechanics’ institutes providing learning resources to working men), began in 1872. Visiting seafarers spent time in the ins titute’s library, leaving behind crafts or souvenirs picked up in exotic ports of call as a token of thanks. In the 1930s, honorary curator Vernon Smith refi ned the collection to focus solely on nautical material and searched for artifacts to enhance it. Th e collection now comprises over twenty thousand objects.
Enduring Civilisation—A Personal Reflection
Over the past few years I have been fortunate to be part of a team of people working on an exhibition at the British Museum. The curator of the exhibition is Gaye Sculthorpe, Curator of Oceania at the Museum. Lissant Bolton, Keeper of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, came up with the exhibition title, Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation. The word civilization had been part of our discussions all along and her wording resolved any doubt we might have had. Civilization came to mind because it was the British Museum, because of Ancient Greece and Rome, because of Oriental Civilization, because of Kenneth Clarke, and in my case because of the title of the book A Black Civilization by the anthropologist W. Lloyd Warner.
Neoliberalism, Illiberal Governments and Australian Universities
This article explores neoliberalism in Australian universities, in the context of the politics of a higher education 'reform package' introduced by the Liberal-National Party Coalition presently in power in federal government. I focus attention on the relationship between the broader national environment and the local university configuration at the Australian National University and the dialectic between university academics and students as objects of bureaucratic practices and self-auditing subjects in these new modalities of power. I situate the Australian experience in broader global debates about neoliberalism and universities and earlier ethnographies of audit cultures.
Australian railway historiography, like its railway history and indeed like Australia itself, poses a curious paradox. Why is such a fortunate and civil polity so parochial and so divided geographically? It is now more than 230 years since British colonisation began. Ever since, Australia has been prosperous; relatively egalitarian, at least for its white population; generally free from civil strife; and efficiently and effectively governed. The temperature of its debates and conflicts rarely has risen above levels characterised by civil disobedience and strikes, which have been controlled by police and courts within usual legal frameworks.
Projecting False Memories
This article offers a critical exploration of social studies textbooks and allied curriculum materials used in New South Wales primary schools between 1930 and 1960, and of the way in which these texts positioned, discussed, and assessed Aboriginal Australians. With reference to European commitments to Enlightenment philosophies and social Darwinian views of race and culture, the author argues that Aboriginal peoples were essentialized via a discourse of paternalism and cultural and biological inferiority. Thus othered in narratives of Australian identity and national progress, Aboriginal Australians were ascribed a role as marginalized spectators or as a primitive and disappearing anachronism.