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Biography, Cultural Studies, Historical Studies, Life Writing

Migrant Nation

30.11.17 | Comment?

About This Book

‘Sweeping from Aboriginal-settler clashes to current controversies over refugees, Migrant Nation […] reveals how national identity has never been about One Australia, but always about how its peoples have dealt with One Another.’ —Craig Howes, Director, Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, USA

The essays in Migrant Nation: Australian Culture, Society and Identity work within the gap between Australian image and experience, focusing on particular historical blind spots by telling stories of individuals and groups that did not fit the favoured identity mould and can therefore offer fresh insights into the other side of identity construction. In this way this collection casts light onto the hidden face Australian identity and pays respect to the experiences of a wide variety of people who have generally been excluded, neglected or simply forgotten in the long-running quest to tell a unified story of Australian culture and identity, a story that is rapidly unravelling.

Whether in terms of language, history, culture or personal circumstances, many of the subjects of these essays were foreign to the settler dream. The stories reveal their efforts to establish a sense of legitimacy and belonging outside of the dominant Australian story. Drawing upon memories, letters, interviews, documentary fragments and archives, the authors have in common a commitment to give life to neglected histories and thus to include, in an expanding and open-ended national narrative, people who were cast as strangers in the place that was their home.

Arthur, Paul Longley, ed. Migrant Nation: Australian Culture, Society and Identity. London & New York: Anthem Press, 2017. http://www.anthempress.com/migrant-nation

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