The European maritime explorers who first visited the bays and beaches of Australia brought with them a wide range of assumptions about the inhabitants of the country, most of them based on sketchy or non-existent knowledge, contemporary theories like the idea of the noble savage, and an automatic belief of the superiority of European civilisation. Mutual misunderstanding was almost universal, whether it resulted in violence or apparently friendly transactions.
Gillian Dooley and Danielle Clode, the editors of this collection, invite contributions of original research and creative work on the dynamics of these early encounters, from all perspectives. We are particularly interested in the ways these visitations have survived in cultural memory; oral, written or remembered in dance, song or art.
We intentionally limit the scope to (1) explorers rather than settlers, (2) encounters on the coast of Australia; although other situations could be included for comparative purposes.
We welcome contributions from historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, literary and cultural scholars, linguists, art historians, creative writers and others with an informed interest in the topic.
Themes to be discussed might include (but are not limited to):
- Contemporary European ideas about Aboriginal peoples and cultures
- Particular incidents in the early exploration contact history
- Interpretations or reinterpretations of Aboriginal responses to European explorers
- Cultural or other differences between Aboriginal peoples encountered
- Cultural or other differences between the European cultures represented by the various explorers (across time, country of origin, class etc.)
- The importance and role of interpreters (such as Bungaree) who travelled with the explorers
The editors are in touch with several Australian publishers and have received initial expressions of interest in the project.
Please send expressions of interest, with a 250 word abstract, to Gillian.firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 September 2016. Final chapters of 6000-9000 words due by 30 June 2017. All contributions will be peer reviewed.