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James Cowan and the white quest for the black self


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Rolls, M 2001 , 'James Cowan and the white quest for the black self' , Australian Aboriginal Studies, vol. 1 , pp. 2-20 .

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Abstract: A literary genre is emerging in which
Aborigines are cast as the spiritual saviours of the
supposedly alienated Western self One of the most prolific
authors writing in this field is the Australian, James
Cowan. Through a series of books Cowan moves further
andfurther into the Aboriginal metaphysical realm until at
last, he would have his readers believe, he actually enters
the Dreaming and becomes an intrinsic part of it. In this
article I critically examine these books, focusing on
Cowan's construction of Aborigines and the sorts of claims
he makes. I also consider somepossible consequences of his
particular portrayal of Aborigines. Despite his prominence
in this field, and publishers' claims that he is 'an internationally
respected authority on Australian Aborigines and
other indigenous peoples', his worksofar hasreceived little
critical analysis.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Rolls, M
Keywords: Aboriginality,Precolonial authenticity,Identity,Cultural interpretation
Journal or Publication Title: Australian Aboriginal Studies
ISSN: 0729-4352.
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