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Scars on the archive, visions of place: genocide and modernity in Tasmania

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Shipway, J (2005) Scars on the archive, visions of place: genocide and modernity in Tasmania. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis attempts to come to grips with the narrative traditions, the tropological models
and the modes of speech through which Tasmania has come to be constructed as a place
of genocide and a place of modernity. The dual nature of its structure responds to two
important traditions in contemporary humanities scholarship, the study of genocide and
the study of modernity. Through an examination of the way in which these two
developmental trajectories have played out in Tasmania, I attempt to decentre and
destabilise their disciplinary frameworks. In the first instance modernity is examined
from an alternative perspective that allows for a mapping that is not regulated by the
presence of Europe and North America, while in the second, genocide is uncoupled from
the Holocaust in the name of an examination of a colonial iteration that has only recently
registered on the radar screen of scholars working in the area.
In this thesis genocide and modernity function dialectically. While, on the one
hand, they serve as the objects of analysis, on the other, they provide the discursive
resources for the construction of a dual optic that allows for a selective re-reading of the
history of Tasmania. For my purposes genocide and modernity are generators of archival
energy, drivers of the spectral web that spins out through historical time and transforms a
physical location into a place by making that location symbolisable and communicable.
This thesis posits a communal structure of feeling that gathers itself around the signifier
"Tasmania". The linguistic traces that I have pursued are diachronic in nature but their
mobilisation takes place in a continually refreshing present. Being-in-Tasmania is beingwith-
the-archive and that archive is structured in important ways by genocide and
modernity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2013 00:03
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:18
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