On Growing a Journal

A View from the South

in Transfers
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  • 1 Academic historian, Wollongong, NSW, Australia georgine@uow.edu.au


In this era of the neo-liberal academy, establishing an academic journal is a labor of love and hope. In this article, I celebrate the dedication and commitment of its many contributors and reflect on the value of the arts and humanities to the mobilities paradigm. I do that from the perspective of a feminist historian from a settler colonial polity in the southern hemisphere, where uneven mobilities and the violence of dispossession continue to shape national life. I consider how a mobilities framework that derived from the northern hemisphere has spoken to the intellectual and political projects that played out in a colonial settler nation in the southern hemisphere.

Ten years of Transfers provides us with a moment to celebrate and a time to reflect on the confluence of choices and accidents that brought this journal to where it is today. Certainly, foremost among the deliberate moves to establish Transfers and guide it through its first years is the passion and vision of our founding editor, Gijs Mom. Sometimes things happen because particular people see a need, recognize an opportunity, and decide to act. But just as important is their capacity to bring other people along with them. I begin my reflection by acknowledging the driving energy of Gijs Mom who, even before we had met, convinced me (among many others) to hop on the Transfers bus with him. In this section, Gijs has sketched out some of the early discussions and international networking that resulted in Transfers’ inception, so suffice it for me to say that we are all greatly in debt to him for the fact that we now have this occasion to take stock, briefly pat ourselves on the back, and rededicate ourselves to the collective conversation aimed at securing the continuing health and value (both scholarly and as a catalyst for social justice) of this journal for its next decade. I have taken the opportunity in this section to offer a personal view on how the intellectual and political projects that play out in a colonial settler nation in the southern hemisphere have intersected with a mobilities framework that derived from the north.

The labor of founding an academic journal is in part a response to the disciplining power of the academy. Those of us who are employed in educational institutions or engaged in other forms of professional life are increasingly hostage to publication metrics. If we are lucky enough to have secure work, we must demonstrate that we are “research active” to be eligible for promotion, for study leave, or to have a chance of attracting increasingly competitive research funding. We are directed to publish in the most prestigious international journals, calculate our citation rates, and demonstrate our impact factors. For the growing cohort of insecure or casual academic workers, and those who are still aspiring to get their foot on the first rung of the employment ladder, the imperative to publish can be even more pressing. Their hopes for a secure future hang on the hours of unpaid work that an early-career researcher publication profile represents. Viewed in the instrumental terms of the neo-liberal academy, the tremendous commitment to the (largely hidden) voluntary service work involved in founding and maintaining a journal, rather than single-mindedly attending to individual publication careers, is probably misplaced. But my involvement with Transfers has left me with tremendous respect for the generosity, passion, and idealism of the dozens of people who have been its editors and members of the editorial board, those who have managed specialist sections and themed editions, and the hundreds of reviewers who have guaranteed the integrity of our peer reviewing process. These people have done so, not because they derive personal career benefit from their work—there are much more direct ways to do that, after all—but because of their belief in the benefits of collective scholarly research and its capacity to contribute to progressive change. I am grateful to have been part of this terrific team.

As both Mimi and Gijs have demonstrated in their articles in this issue, Transfers emerged out of a desire and urgent need to think through and beyond mobilities scholarship as it emerged in the social sciences in the late 1990s early 2000s. The tremendous sense of energy associated with what became known as the “new mobilities paradigm” or the “Mobilities turn” was never, however, narrowly confined to the social science disciplines, particularly sociology, transport studies, human geography, and anthropology. As Peter Merriman and Lynne Pearce demonstrated in their introduction to the special edition of Mobilities that showcased emerging mobilities scholarship in the arts and humanities, “early conceptual engagements with mobility were often closely aligned with humanities traditions of thinking.”1 Many critical humanities and arts scholars, and those whose work resisted a simplistic disciplinary division between the social sciences versus the arts and humanities were engaged at the outset in devising the conceptual tools that would allow us to think outside of dominant, sedentarist assumptions. Humanistic disciplines were integral to the growing diversity of mobilities scholarship, dedicated to expanding theoretical insights and to better understand the dynamism of cultural, social, and material life. Mobility studies was already an “amorphous, diverse, multi-disciplinary field,” as Merriman and Pearce put it.2

Transfers adopted as its special remit the project of extending a mobilities paradigm into the arts and humanities, particularly in the fields of history, literature, cultural studies, media studies, and the fine arts. Our aim was to foster new research that transcended disciplinary boundaries, to catalyze connections and conversations about things that matter, to open up new ways of thinking, to draw together networks of researchers who were often working in isolation, and to provide publishing opportunities beyond the established arts and humanities journals, particularly for young scholars and those outside of the Global North. Mimi Sheller's contribution re-examines some of those imperatives as we experience them in this present COVID-19 moment. Founding a journal is inevitably also a process of archive formation and, considered together, the volumes of Transfers published to date constitute a documentation of contemporary academic publishing imperatives and our editorial ambition to become a key player in the constitution of a coherent field. They provide a record of our (shifting) intentions and a measure of our successes and failures. Gijs's contribution in this issue is in part devoted to teasing out that archive in these terms.

Given that in 2010 the bulk of mobilities scholarship focused on transportation and movement in the Western world, one of the foundational mantras of the editorial team was that mobilities scholarship must decenter the Global North. We were determined to encourage scholarship that provincialized Europe and North America, to borrow Dipesh Chakrabarty and the Subaltern Studies Collective's mantra, and eschewed the West's claims to be the original site of a modernity that all other societies should aspire to, though some would arrive later than others.3 Our team set out to actively solicit research that refused the designation of marginal status to Asia, northern Africa, and the southern hemisphere, and messed with the hierarchies of first, second, third, and fourth worlds. Again, Gijs's analysis in this issue documents our performance in this regard. But that ambition to turn on its head the presumption that the center of the world lay in the north, spoke in a particular way to me—a junior academic historian based in a regional university in Australia and had limited prospects of actively participating in European or North American networks. So Gijs did not have to work too hard to draw me into his plans for Transfers, as I was already tuned into the possibilities that a mobilities paradigm shift promised to researchers in Australia, where understandings of the nation, its history, and its future, were very much on the move.

My doctoral and postdoctoral research into women's early engagements with automobile technologies was firmly located within feminist technology studies.4 I wanted to better think about the ways cars and women were constituted as things-in-relation. The theoretical inspirations that underpinned my research were the intersections between the social construction of technologies, feminist theorizing of bodily experiences, and the shaping of national cultures through gendered automobility, particularly in Australia, the UK, and the United States. In common with much feminist work in the 1990s, I asked, “what did it mean for women to be mobile and technologically competent, and how did they, in a largely hostile environment, strategically deploy automobility for their own purposes in particular national contexts?” My critical focus was largely on the much-vaunted independence, freedom, and mobility automobile technology conferred and how that was shaped by gender, class, place, and historical context. By the end of the 1990s, however, that kind of cultural history, built on the groundbreaking work of scholars like Virginia Scharff and Judy Wajcman, was beginning to show signs of strain and was coming to the limits of its analytical value.

In the decades surrounding the new millennium, there were a plethora of dizzying turns that invited me (sometimes forced me) to rethink the presumptions that had previously provided a secure foundation for my feminist scholarship. Transfers readers will be familiar with the many turns (cultural, linguistic, postmodern, transnational, queer, oceanic, performative, mobility, and so on), which reverberated around the globe in those years. But for each of us, according to our personal situations and geographical locations, some of those turns acquired distinctive contours and specific urgencies. For me, as it was for many of my white Australian colleagues, a key moment of rupture was the publication of an incendiary critique of Australian feminism (and Australian feminists) written by Aileen Moreton-Robinson, the Goenpul scholar from Minjerribah and Quandamooka people (what is now most often called Stradbroke Island and the Moreton Bay region of southeastern Queensland). Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism has never been out of print since its publication in 2000. In this twentieth anniversary year, it has been republished by Queensland University Press with a new preface and review essay by the author. Its republication has prompted renewed reflection about non-Indigenous feminist politics in a settler colonial society.5 Moreton-Robinson also made an early contribution to the new mobilities paradigm with a chapter in the collected volume Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration.6 There she spoke for specificity, articulating a strong warning about the incommensurable difference between Indigenous belonging, home, and place, and the sense of ownership that was claimed by colonizers and migrants in the postcolonial settler state, which derived from the logic of capitalism.

Moreton-Robinson's critical interventions were founded primarily on the authority of her female elders and sisters, and only after that on the work of academic critical scholars like Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, and Ruth Frankenberg. She analyzed the representational politics and practices of Western feminism and insisted that white women must actively interrogate ourselves and our complicity with racism, notwithstanding our proud identification as “good” white women who were progressive allies to Indigenous struggles. White feminists around the world, of course, have been challenged to rethink our understandings of the unitary category of “women” under the broad umbrella of “whiteness studies.” That particular “turn,” a turn away from racializing the “other” while leaving whiteness unraced, traced its genealogy through the early twentieth-century work of the African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, so giving the project a distinctively North American cast that foregrounded slavery and migration. But Moreton-Robinson's challenge to Australian feminists, while cognizant of analytical work elsewhere, is firmly anchored in her sovereign status as an Indigenous woman from a particular place. Her injunction to white feminists in Australia is that we must, individually and collectively, theorize how racialized power works to uphold white patriarchal sovereignty and (even more importantly) that as a consequence we must relinquish the unearned prerogatives of possessive power derived from our embeddedness in the capitalist settler colonial state. Moreton-Robinson showed that not only were we thoroughly implicated in the material privileges of settler colonialism, but also that our complicity had created our subjectivities, had made us who we are. Her work, together with a wealth of contemporary Indigenous scholarship and activism from a variety of perspectives, insisted on the responsibility of progressive non-Indigenous Australians to confront the unfinished business of Indigenous sovereignty. Cultural theorist Fiona Nicoll summarized our task very simply and directly: white people need to “respond appropriately to the true stories of Indigenous people.”7

Belatedly, those true stories Indigenous people tell have become prominent in contemporary Australian national life. In recent decades, the cultural production of academics, activists, filmmakers, writers, songwriters, painters, as well as in radio programs, memoirs, submissions to commissions of inquiry, social media, and in the growing practices of everyday solidarity like “welcome to country” ceremonies, Indigenous voices, demands, experiences, and perspectives have captured space in the public domain. It is now inexcusable not to know what should have been obvious: Indigenous people refused British invasion in every area of Australia by all means available to them.8 Indigenous people insist (contrary to Western science) that they have always been on this continent and their resistance to British invasion began as soon as it became clear settlers had no respect for Indigenous sovereignty and intended to stay; that there were no treaties and Indigenous land was never ceded to the newcomers; that resistance to colonization continues into the present day.

Settler denialism has a history, of course. Soon after the British invasion at Sydney Cove in 1788 and right into the first decades of the twentieth century, the truth of violent dispossession was broadly acknowledged and rationalized (in the passive voice) through a plethora of metaphors—as “progress,” “providence,” the “will of God,” the “winds of change,” or the “tide of history.” But during the long transition from British colonies to a formally constituted nation, the qualified recognition of the violence of colonial domination was replaced by nationalist pride at the emergence of a new and exemplary sovereign state, avowedly better than that of the “old world” from which it came. Throughout the twentieth century, the education system and other institutions disseminated sanitized Australian histories and confected a comforting fantasy that Australia was peacefully settled and should be celebrated as “young and free,” as the national anthem has it. It was that legacy of collective denial, that “cult of forgetfulness on a national scale” famously dubbed “The Great Australian Silence” that encouraged, even authorized, my generation of settler-citizens to not see the omnipresence of colonial relations in our everyday lives or the privileges (protected under law) that we possessed as racially unmarked, white subjects.9

At the same time as my boomer generation entered the rapidly expanding university system in the late 1960s/early 1970s, a new generation of militant Indigenous activists were moving out of reserves and missions, where meager government funding had been withdrawn. They moved from shantytowns on riverbanks and the fringes of country towns into inner-city Black communities.10 Together they forged a radical, autonomous and national Aboriginal movement that amplified the campaigns of their elders. Their activism very effectively forced non-Indigenous Australia to pay greater attention to their experiences, demands, and aspirations. That cohort of younger activists drew their inspiration from postwar decolonization movements in the “Third World,” from the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, Maori activism in New Zealand, the Native American resistance such as the takeover of Alcatraz, and the Black Power movement in the United States that was brought to Australia by African American servicemen on R & R from the Vietnam war. The soldiers brought with them political literature, such as Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Bobby Searle, and Angela Davis. The anthem of Indigenous persistence from the band No Fixed Address “We Have Survived!” erupted in all spheres of national life, from the arts to politics, in those years.11 This Black militancy made abundantly clear that settler colonial domination of Indigenous people had not gone away and that major changes were well overdue. Their renewed activism precipitated important decolonizing moments in the last decades of the twentieth century. Some of those key moments include: the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on the grounds of Parliament House in the national capital; the establishment of grassroots community organizations such as legal and medical centers; breakfast programs for children; nationwide protests at the bicentennial celebrations; legal battles for the recognition of native title resulting in the Mabo and Wik decisions; commissions of inquiry into Black deaths in custody and the stolen generations; massed demonstrations before Sydney's 2000 Olympic Games; and most recently, the 2017 Uluru Statement from the Heart and the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

As Indigenous cultural and political struggles gained traction in the representational politics of national life, progressive non-Indigenous Australians like me were forced to rethink the simplified stories of national origin current on this “quiet continent”—fictions that most of us had so readily bought into. There has been and remains a great deal of populist recalcitrance, much of it in the form of a conservative backlash against more truthful academic histories, which constituted Australia's version of the “History Wars.”12 But the power of Indigenous voices in national and international forums has irrevocably disturbed what we had previously taken to be settled. The nation and individuals within it have been increasingly forced to own up to the linguistic acrobatics that licensed a people who had traveled halfway around the world to call themselves “settled” and empowered them to designate those who had lived here for thousands of generations “nomads” who circulated at random across territory unmarked by human meaning. It was clear that if we wanted to expose such self-serving sleights of hand and live in a nation committed to social justice and truth-telling, then we were impelled to ask some hard questions: How was it possible that so many of us had bought into the selective amnesia that underpinned our settler certainties? Given more honest national historiographies, how could we continue to ignore the suffering, resistance, and ongoing survival of Indigenous peoples? How could we collectively create conditions of possibility for decolonization in a nation that had long stepped away from its colonial relations with Britain, yet had remained colonial at heart? How does a polity that perfected nation-building on other people's lands come to renounce the fantasy that it is an exemplary society? How should a nation redress its foundational domination over, and the continuing inequality of, peoples who had prior sovereign possession? How might both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people benefit from living in a post-colonizing society? How might a transition to a postcolonial future be imagined and realized?

The postcolonial political critique, so influential in academia in the 1990s, provided a resource for us to turn to. Like Indigenous activists before us, we sought out foundational authors, like Franz Fanon, Albert Memmi, and Kwame Nkrumah, and later works by Edward Said, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, and Achille Mbembe, hoping that we might find some answers in them. As much as that literature was provocative and energizing, however, we could find only tangential reference to the specific conditions in settler colonies. The focus of postcolonial studies was on colonized peoples in the “Third World,” particularly Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Asia, who already had considerable success in establishing independent postcolonial states in opposition to their previous colonial “masters.” But postcolonial theory cast only indirect light on the situations of “Fourth World” peoples, whose experiences of colonization was not the same as Indigenous people in the “classic” extractive or franchise colonies.

Within “new world” settler polities like Australia, it was clearly a significant difference that Indigenous people were obliged to negotiate, not with an external colonizing nation who could conceivably be forced to “go away” or persuaded to “let go” of their power, but with the same sovereign state that they were themselves deemed a part of, though they had acquired that status only recently and marginally. In the words of Lorenzo Veracini, one of the key academic theorists of settler colonialism as a distinct political formation, Indigenous groups are obliged to fight for their sovereignty against regional or central governments within the polity, rather than negotiate with a separate political entity outside of and beyond their colonized nation.13 Non-Indigenous Australians’ convictions that they are not (or no longer) intruders but rightfully at home, ensured that even though negotiations within the Australian polity resulted in some recognition of Indigenous sovereignty, real progress has been glacial, contingent, and subject to reversal by changing governments. In Australia, the legal reforms and gestures of recognition that have been won through Indigenous activism have been partial and arguably remain symbolic, as they have in other settler colonial states. They could scarcely be welcomed as significant steps toward decolonization or even a genuine, whole-hearted recognition of Indigenous claims.

Indigenous people's challenges to my generation of settler-citizens, like the one Moreton-Robinson directed to white feminists at the turn of the century, made us acutely aware that we lacked a language or road map for how the decolonization of settler colonial nations might proceed. We needed to do the work that could give us ways to understand how we could productively engage in Indigenous struggles to address historical wrongs and undo their continuing power. Historically, Australia had been the site of extensive, ruthless and uncurbed settler land grabs. Here was established a form of accumulation by dispossession which quickly (and very surprisingly, given that it is the driest continent with very poor soils) made white Australians among the richest people in the world by the end of the nineteenth century. Those land grabs have continued into the present time in different forms, such as in massive state support for the mining industry and in sanctioning the calculated destruction of Indigenous places, such as Rio Tinto's recent destruction of the Juukan Gorge Caves in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Australia is also the one settler polity where no treaties (however much they were dishonored elsewhere) were signed with Indigenous peoples. It may not be surprising, then, that it was in Australia, where colonization remained historically and emotionally near, that non-Indigenous allies who wanted to respond ethically to Indigenous truths were among the first who felt impelled to theorize settler colonialism and understand it through its own dedicated terms of analysis.

The collective analysis of indigenous-settler relations emerged in the mid-1990s as a new scholarly turn, settler colonial studies. It developed in critical conversation with postcolonial theory and, like mobility studies, can best be understood as a broad framework or loose disciplinary cluster, rather than a bounded or contained theory. Its aim was to think about those specific forms of colonialism where the colonists targeted land. We wanted to think better about societies like our own, where settlers had traveled from their places of origin—not primarily to extract resources, to exploit cheap labor, or to create new markets (though they would do those things too), but crucially because they/we carried with them/us a determination to stay and create their/our own sovereign order that would pay little regard to the claims of those people who were already there. First and foremost, then, this scholarship declared that claiming a sovereign relationship to land was what impelled these settler colonizers to move from their/our homes in the north and come to stay in the south. That foundational insight was not news to Indigenous people, of course. They had never stopped pointing that out and have hardly needed non-Indigenous people to explain it to them. Nor was it entirely new within academic scholarship either. Settler colonial studies drew on earlier analyses of settler colonialism as a specific political formation, though that earlier work was not motivated by a desire for settler decolonization, nor did it draw connections with the subjectivities of colonizers themselves.14 The new analytical work, greatly expanded and taken up as an urgent collective activity by historians, political theorists, cultural theorists, ethnographers, sociologists and geographers, began to open spaces and new possibilities for non-Indigenous people.

Non-Indigenous Australians began to learn what Indigenous people had long known: settler states are implacably resistant to calls for decolonization. But far from documenting or valorizing the triumphant march of settler colonial nations, settler colonial studies helped us to register the failure of its intended project. Settler desire did not translate into reality. We came to see that when Indigenous people refuse to be “eliminated” (to die out, to go away, to accede to settler sovereignty, or to cease being Indigenous); when they maintain connections with land, as they have all around the world; and when they retain their distinct cultural identities; then settler states continue to be structured by Indigenous presence and the settler project necessarily remains incomplete and open to decolonization.15 Indeed, we were learning to understand what Moreton-Robinson and other scholars and activists pointed out: blockages to decolonization lay within the colonizers and not the colonized.

By 2011, at precisely the same time Transfers was established, the journal Settler Colonial Studies was founded in Melbourne and is now hosted by Taylor and Francis.16 The journal has been an important element in generating the broader, transdisciplinary, and transnational conversations and exchanges that soon came to characterize the field. A settler colonial framework was mobilized beyond Australia to analyze settler colonial formations in many other settler colonial contexts, particularly in North America where much of the current scholarly research and theoretical debate is located. But even as a new scholarly field was cohering, even in the first flush of excitement at producing new insights into intractable problems, and even as a great deal of scholarly research was being produced under its umbrella, it also showed signs of fragmenting and “melting into air.” Some of that critique came from non-Indigenous colleagues who feared that settler colonial studies created a monolithic edifice that had difficulty accommodating Indigenous agency. Tim Rowse, for example, argued that the “elimination paradigm” central to settler colonial studies homogenized the on-the-ground complexity of historical processes and emplots an inexorable teleological force on Indigenous lives. Rowse argues that a more classic colonial paradigm obtained in some parts of Australia, for example, where Indigenous labor was crucial to the Australian settler project, and that there were places where settlers did not come to stay.17

More troubling, however, have been responses by Indigenous scholars to the settler colonial studies framework. Lynette Russell, for example, recently struck a note of caution, observing the limited presence of Australian Indigenous authors who locate their work within it, perhaps because their priorities lie in political activism rather than in academic debate.18 Others, like Shino Konishi have revealed how they came to be ambivalent about the framework after initially embracing its insights.19 Her reservations echo those of other Indigenous scholars in and beyond Australia, who even as they have engaged with colonial settler studies have drawn attention to simplicities in its formulation.20 Notably, there has been considerable critical discussion of the settler/indigenous binary, which elides shared histories of intimate relations, for example, and also allows little room for considering the status of non-Indigenous people of color and others who are neither settler nor Indigenous. How, they ask, does a settler colonial framework account for complex intersectional identities? For slaves and forced migrants? That problematic binary also extends to a sharp line sometimes drawn between settler colonial versus colonial formations, which in the real world are tangled and mutually implicated. Most telling, perhaps, is the concern that a settler colonial studies perspective can carry with it a pessimistic air, which can suggest that settler colonialism is an eternal, invulnerable structure. Indigenous scholars are dedicated to producing histories that provide future generations with hope and can counter the despair that so often characterizes Aboriginal communities. For that reason, many Indigenous scholars like Konishi prefer to write what she calls “extra-colonial histories” that do not revolve around experiences of oppression, dispossession, and elimination.21

In a recent survey article on these conflicting visions of settler colonial studies, historian Jane Carey warns that the field will disintegrate if we pursue theoretical rigidity and singularity. Carey points to a wealth of recent, nuanced empirical work, often by younger scholars, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, that rejects “categorical insularity” and “exemplifies the plurality, heterogeneity and incompleteness of settler governance and sovereignty.”22 She cites the key early theorist of the field, Patrick Wolfe, who warned of a “mushrooming academic industry which spawns new theories and new buzzwords at the drop of a hat.”23 As a necessary corrective, Carey advocates the materially grounded and contingent methodologies of historical research to stay in touch with the ethical obligations of academic research in this field and the limits of our theorizing.

Her words of caution echo the trajectory of my immersion in the new mobilities paradigm in the same years that I was contributing to, and observing the career of, settler colonial studies from my southern hemisphere standpoint. There are important parallels here. A mobilities framework can similarly be susceptible to being applied in self-serving and a-political ways that advance academic careers but do not help us create the richer vocabulary that will make activism more effective in these times of crisis or provide hope in the face of the ominous signs of bleak years ahead of us. From my location in the south, I have come to see how mobilities are inherently and inescapably political. We have learned how settler societies became laboratories for the development of the modern world. We know that, for example, the technologies that settler colonies developed for the control of Indigenous populations circulated globally. They continue to have contemporary echoes in the cruel responses to the recent waves of dispossession that have set refugees in motion around the world. Australia's “Pacific solution” to the claims of asylum seekers, for example, emulates the incarceration of Indigenous people on reserves and offshore islands and has been taken up with enthusiasm as “the Australian solution” in the United States, Europe, and Britain. We also see how refusal and resistance has gone global in the Black Lives Matter movement, which has been translated in Australia into longstanding campaigns against Aboriginal deaths in custody. We are coming to understand how the instrumental and extractive orientation to landscapes that underpins the immense wealth that settler societies generate for designated citizens, stands in direct relation to the present threat to the ultimate ground of our continued possibility. Climate change is belatedly being named as responsible for the immense fires that terrified eastern Australia earlier this year and are ravaging the western states of the United States as I write. With their human, animal, and habitat destruction, these wildfires are but one manifestation of the disruption of human connections to the environment that characterized settler colonialism. To bring about the end of the fossil fuel order, it is essential that everyone learn to think from the specificity of place, as Indigenous people have always done and urge us all to do. Humans must learn how to live well in particular places and to ensure the continuing health of ecosystems for millennia.

A journal cannot save the world nor can a theoretical perspective deliver justice. But as Mimi has outlined in this issue in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, politically engaged intellectual work is fundamental to progressive change, not incidental to it. At its most generous, it can force (and encourage) us to understand better, to tell the truth, to hear that truth, to imagine something other, to find new points of leverage, and be part of creating a new order that no longer rests on injustice. I trust that Transfers will continue to foster that generosity in its next decade and contribute to delivering a measure of hope to contemporary anxieties.



Peter Merriman and Lynne Pearce, “Mobility and the Humanities,” Mobilities 12, no. 4 (2017): 493–508, here 494, https://doi.org/10.1080/17450101.2017.1330853.




Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), 8.


Georgine Clarsen, Eat My Dust: Early Women Motorists (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins, 2008).


Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Talkin’ Up to the White Woman: Indigenous Women and Feminism, revised edition (St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2020).


Aileen Moreton-Robinson, “I Still Call Australia Home: Indigenous Belonging and Place in a Postcolonising Society,” in Uprootings/Regroundings: Questions of Home and Migration, ed. S. Ahmed, A. M. Fortier, M. Sheller, and C. Castaneda (Oxford: Berg Publications, 2003), 23–40.


Fiona Nicoll, “Indigenous Sovereignty and the Violence of Perspective: A White Woman's Coming Out Story,” Australian Feminist Studies 15, no. 33 (2000): 369–386, here 370, https://doi.org/10.1080/713611981.


Richard Broome, Aboriginal Australians: A History Since 1788 (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2019); see also the website associated with the project, Colonial Frontier Massacres in Australia, 1788–1930 hosted by the University of Newcastle, NSW. https://c21ch.newcastle.edu.au/colonialmassacres/introduction.php (accessed 20 October 2020)


W.E.H. Stanner and Robert Manne, The Dreaming and Other Essays (Melbourne: Black Inc. 2011).


Gary Foley, “Black Power, Land Rights and Academic History,” Griffith Law Review 11, no. 3 (2011): 608–618.


No Fixed Address, “We Have Survived,” Bart Willoughby, 1981 https://aso.gov.au/titles/music/we-have-survived/clip1/ (accessed 3 September 2020).


Stuart Macintyre and Anna Clark, The History Wars (Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1981).


Lorenzo Veracini, “Settler Colonialism and Decolonization,” Borderlands ejournal 6, no. 2 (2007): n.p., https://webarchive.nla.gov.au/awa/20080723214116/http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/30280/20080724-0000/www.borderlands.net.au/vol6no2_2007/veracini_settler.html.


Lorenzo Veracini, “‘Settler Colonialism’: Career of a Concept,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 41, no. 2 (2013): 313–333, https://doi.org/10.1080/03086534.2013.768099.


Patrick Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research 8, no. 4 (2006): 387–409, here 389, https://doi.org/10.1080/14623520601056240.


Taylor and Francis Online, “Settler Colonial Studies,” https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rset20 (accessed 25 November 2020).


Tim Rowse, “Indigenous Heterogeneity,” Australian Historical Studies 45, no. 3 (2014): 297–310, https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2014.946523. See also the response to Rowse's charges in the same edition of the journal, Lorenzo Veracini, “Defending Settler Colonial Studies,” Australian Historical Studies 45, no. 3 (2014): 311–316, https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2014.946526.


Lynette Russell, “Settler Colonial Studies: Eliminating the Native and Creating the Nation,” Postcolonial Studies 23, no. 1 (2020): 153–159, https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2020.1727956.


Shino Konishi, “First Nations Scholars, Settler Colonial Studies, and Indigenous History,” Australian Historical Studies 50, no. 3 (2019): 285–304, https://doi.org/10.1080/1031461X.2019.1620300.


Some of those key scholars are J Keˉhaulani Kauanui, “‘A Structure, Not an Event’: Settler Colonialism and Enduring Indigeneity,” Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association 5, no. 1 (2016): n.p.; Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Durham, NC: Duke University Press 2014).


Konishi, “First Nations,” 300.


Jane Carey, “On Hope and Resignation: Conflicting Visions of Settler Colonial Studies and Its Future as a Field,” Postcolonial Studies 23, no. 1 (2020): 21–42, here 35, https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790.2020.1719578.


Ibid., 26.

Contributor Notes

Georgine Clarsen is a recently retired academic historian who lives in Wollongong, NSW, Australia. She was a member of the founding editorial team of Transfers and has a continuing academic interest in gender and mobilities and the ways Indigenous peoples in Australia have shaped automobility according to their own needs and cultural imperatives. Email: georgine@uow.edu.au


Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies


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