In the early 1970s, Australian governments began to treat Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders as 'peoples' with capacities for self-government. Forty years later, confidence in Indigenous self-determination has been eroded by accounts of Indigenous pathology, of misplaced policy optimism and persistent socio-economic 'gaps'. In this collection of new and revised essays, Tim Rowse accounts for this shift by arguing that Australian thinking about 'Indigenous' is a continuing, unresolvable tussle between the idea of 'peoples' and 'population'.
Rowse's essays offer snapshots of moments in the last forty years in which we can see these tensions: between honouring the heritage and quantifying the disadvantage, between acknowledging colonisation's destruction and projecting Indigenous recovery from it. Rowse asks not only 'Can a settler colonial state instruct the colonised in the arts of self-government?', but also, 'How could it justify doing anything less?'
- 230mm x 155mm x 17mm
- Released August 2012
- ISBN 9781922059161
About The Author
Timothy Rowse has been writing on the history and politics of ‘Indigenous Affairs’ since the 1980s. His books include: Remote possibilities (1992); After Mabo (1993); Traditions for Health (1996); White flour white power (1998); Obliged to be difficult (2000); Indigenous futures (2002); Divided Nation? (2007, co-authored with Murray Goot); Rethinking social justice (2012); and Indigenous and other Australians since 1901 (2017).
He retired in 2016, but continues to write on Australian Indigenous topics, from his honorary appointments at Western Sydney University and the Australian National University.
About The Cover
Front cover: Op Phase, Ruth Waller, 2009, oil and acrylic on linen, courtesy Watters Gallery.