14th Biennial Conference of the Association for Australian Studies (together with the ASNEL)

Postcolonial Justice: Reassessing the Fair Go

29.05-01.06.2014, University of Potsdam
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Lars Eckstein, Prof. Dr. Anja Schwarz

This joint 25th Annual ASNEL and 14th Biennial GASt Conference investigates practices and norms of justice in a postcolonial world. While the term ‘justice’ suggests the pursuit of a globally valid set of social, political or aesthetic norms, ‘postcolonial’ is often associated with the deconstruction of precisely such norms and values as hegemonic colonial or neo-colonial constructions, variably in the interest of the coloniser, global capital, or a cosmopolitan elite. Nevertheless, unless they wish to fall into the pit of radical culturalism, postcolonial projects themselves must rely on the postulation of transculturally and transnationally valid norms. On the most general level, then, the concept of postcolonial justice forces us to rethink the problem of universality against the notion of local and cultural particularity. The conference seeks to promote exchange on this important and timely issue and will address a broad range of questions that relate to the interests of its two convening associations.


Ann Curthoys
(Keynote Speaker)
"What are the responsibilities of modern nations for imperial and settler colonial pasts? – Indigenous dispossession, Britain, and Australia"
Fiona Foley
(Keynote Speaker)
"Just Little Bits of History Re-repeating"
Suvendrini Perera
(Keynote Speaker)
"Visibility, Atrocity and the Subject of Postcolonial Justice"
Michael Ackland "Truths from the dense “undergrowth of poor lives”: Christina Stead’s verdict on Australia’s seminal role as social laboratory and working-man’s paradise"
Katrin Althans "The Kadaitcha Revisited: Justice and Cultural Identity in a Post-Mabo World - the case of Nicole Watson’s The Boundary"
Lisa Bach "Indigenous Perspectives on the Colonisation of Western Australia in Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance"
Lindsay Barrett "The Call of the Wild: Wolves, Dogs and the Colonial Apparatus"
Amelie Bernzen and
Paul Kristiansen
"A ‘fair go’ for organic agriculture in Australia?"
Prudence Black "The Speed of Decolonisation: Travel, Modernisation and the 1955 Bandung Conference"
Gill H. Boehringer "People’s Lawyers, People’s Tribunals, People’s Alternative Justice Systems"
Hannah Lili Boettcher "Contemporary artistic articulations of Aboriginal rights: the work of Daniel Boyd"
Chris Boge "Armour, Mask, Skull and Bones: Postcolonial Justice as Reappropriation and Closure'"
Alexander Bräuer "Postcolonial Justice in Spatial Practices: The Case of the Swan River Colony"
Boris Braun and
Fabian Sonnenburg
"Job Accessibility and Urban Form in Australian Cities"
Rachel Busbridge "Imagining the Postcolonial Nation: Recognition and Reconciliation in Australia"
Vanessa Castejon,
Anna Cole and
Oliver Haag
"Samson and Delilah in Post-Colonial Europe"
Donna Coates "No Fair Go"
Kate Davison "Fiction and historical truth in the transnational and transtemporal postcolony: the interventionist literature of Scott, Flanagan and Vargas Llosa"
John Docker "Genocide, Settler Colonialism, and Historical Consciousness: Thoughts on histories by Henry Reynolds, James Boyce, and Tom Lawson"
Helen Gilbert "Diplomacy at Large: Indigenous Aesthetics, Cultural Capital and the International Stage"
Mike Griffiths "Artifactualities: Biopolitics and Settler Colonial Liberalism"
Anna Haebich "Dark Matter: Seeking Justice In Settler Colonies"
Victoria Herche "‘Rights of Passage’ - Indigenous Australian Film and the Coming of Age Theme"
Dolores Herrero "Merlinda Bobis’s Fish-Hair Woman: An Attempt to Lay the Question of Justice in Its Place"
Martina Horakova "Ways of Postcolonial Belonging: Writing Spatial History as a Personal Journey"
Andrew W. Hurley "No Fixed Address, But Currently in East Berlin: The Bicentennial, Indigenous Protest and the Festival des Politischen Liedes, 1988"
Felicity Jensz "Disrupted Mission Histories: Reassessing Historical Perspectives of Postcolonial Justice"
Rosanne Kennedy "In the Wake of Moby Dick: whaling, colonialism and (trans)national remembrance in Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance"
Peter Kilroy "Postcolonial Justice? Recognition, Redistribution and the ‘Mabo’ Legacy"
Kerstin Knopf "Jindabyne: Cultures, Ethics, Justice in Australian Cinema"
Jaroslav Kušnír "Past or also Future Postcolonial (In)Justice in Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book (2013)?"
Jatinder Mann "'Saying Sorry': A Comparison of the Australian and Canadian Governments’ Apologies to Indigenous Peoples for the 'Stolen Generations'"
Andrew McCann "Biopolitics and the Limits of Critique"
Carly McLaughlin "Exceptional Children: Framing Child Refugees’ Agency in Australia’s Detention Centres"
Philip Morrissey "Neo-Liberal Capitalism and the formation of Aboriginal subjects"
Stephen Muecke "Environmental Justice in Goolarabooloo Country: The No Gas Campaign in Broome, Western Australia"
Tom Murray "Speaking with: Towards a Collaborative Re-mediation of Cultural Artifacts in Contemporary Audio-visual Narratives"
Michael Pickering "A Lingering Presence? Museums as Colonial Institutions in a Post-Colonial world"
Patricia Plummer "'R.I.P. Terra Nullius‘: Indigenous Australian Art after Mabo"
Joseph Pugliese "Indigenous Justice, Deaths in Custody and Refugees in the Colonial Present"
Geoff Rodoreda "In Search of a Good Yarn: Mabo as Postcolonial Narrative"
Chrischona Schmidt "'I paint for everyone‘: The Making of Utopia Art"
Lioba Schreyer "'Cry for Justice' - Mabo and Poetry"
Ellen Smith "Different Workers: Political Commitment, Social Justice and Subaltern Labour in Katharine Susannah Prichard’s Aboriginal Writing"
David Turnbull "Postcolonial Injustice: Rationality, Knowledge and Law in the Face of Multiple Epistemologies and Ontologies– A Spatial Performative Approach"
Carsten H. Wergin "Postcolonial Justice from Below: The Fight for James Price Point, Western Australia (2009-2013)"
Russell West-Pavlov "Entangled Negative and affirmative biopolitics in the texts of Kim Scott"