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Advocating dialogue or monological advocacy? Settler colonial theory, critical whiteness studies and the authentic “Pro-Indigenous” position

Carey, M. (2019) Advocating dialogue or monological advocacy? Settler colonial theory, critical whiteness studies and the authentic “Pro-Indigenous” position. Journal of Australian Studies, 43 (3). pp. 268-282.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1080/14443058.2019.1650797
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Abstract

This article problematises settler colonial theory and critical whiteness studies and their role in supporting advocacy scholarship, or scholarship purporting to uphold Indigenous political aspirations. It examines the conceptual reliance of these paradigms on binarised, orthodox representations of Indigeneity and the role of these representations in supporting particular “pro-Indigenous” political priorities, such as decolonisation. By way of example, a retrospective engagement with Sarah Maddison’s Beyond White Guilt: The Real Challenge for Black–White Relations in Australia is offered. I argue that this text’s representation of all non-Indigenous people as “white” and “guilty” perpetrators constructs Indigenous people as “black” and (by implication) “innocent” victims. The circumscription of Indigeneity delimits the terms by which Indigenous people can articulate their interests in the dialogue proffered as evidence of decolonisation, thus rendering the dialogue a monologue. Underscoring the power of this monologue, a Métis critique of Indigenous cultural-nationalist anti-colonial movements is called upon to argue that those who employ orthodox representations of Indigeneity put their commitment to an ideological position above a negotiation of alternatives. Consequently, the task of theorising decolonisation is diminished, and those we seek to support in our scholarship remain marginalised in our representations of them.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Creative Media, Arts and Design
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright: © 2019 International Australian Studies Association
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/50555
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