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Casuistry, commentary and killing cattle: Transgressing notional borders of belonging

Rolls, M ORCID: 0000-0003-4198-3771 2017 , 'Casuistry, commentary and killing cattle: Transgressing notional borders of belonging' , Journal Of Australian Studies, vol. 41, no. 4 , pp. 404-420 , doi: 10.1080/14443058.2017.1361461.

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In 2011, ABC Television’s Four Corners broadcast “A Bloody Business”. The program’s confronting subject was the live cattle trade to Indonesia, and in particular, disturbing slaughtering practices. Notable was repeated use of the phrases “Australian cattle”, “Australian livestock” and “Australian animals”. The inference was that these were “our” cattle, some of which suffered shockingly cruel deaths. The implicit nationalism informing the program’s emotional provocation begs the question in what sense were the cattle, an introduced cloven-hooved domesticated animal, Australian? This raises related questions: if cattle are “ours”, why not other exotic flora and fauna, and what of settlers and more recent immigrants too? After briefly discussing this program, the paper considers a range of different engagements with Australian landscapes. Of principal interest are affinities to landscape based on social organisation. Pivotal to this are notions of lifescapes and emotional geographies. These notions form the foundation for following discussion on several disparate entanglements with landscape. The discussion ranges across cattle, pastoralists, Aborigines, water buffalo, other exotic flora and fauna, kangaroo shooters, shearers and immigrant responses to national parks. In doing so, the paper explores the vexed issue of who and what can be included in the embrace of Australian nativeness.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Rolls, M
Keywords: belonging, nativeness, nationalism, landscape, lifescape
Journal or Publication Title: Journal Of Australian Studies
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1444-3058
DOI / ID Number: 10.1080/14443058.2017.1361461
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 International Australian Studies Association

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