Australia from the Heart: Envisioning Affective, Environmental, and Material Reparations
6 – 8 September 2023
Conference venue: University of the Balearic Islands (Palma, Spain)
On 27 May 2017, the Uluru Statement from the Heart issued by Australia’s First Nations Peoples invited non-Indigenous Australians to participate in a journey towards reparation and greater empowerment. The Statement called for a First Nations Voice —a representative body— to be enshrined in the constitution and for the establishment of a Makarrata Commission for the purpose of treaty-making and truth-telling. The Uluru Statement asserts First People’s pride and determination, invokes their love of their ancestors and children, and, in the spirit of Makarrata —“the coming together after a struggle”— expresses their hopeful plea for a better future.
In his speech at the Garma Festival in July 2022, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced his government’s plans to implement the Uluru Statement in full and open up discussions about a national referendum, conducive to the amendment of the constitution and the establishment of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Voice in Parliament. Albanese argued that now is the right time to ask fellow Australians “a question from the heart” and assured his audience that he would work on this project with “humility and hope”.
In light of these recent heartfelt pronouncements, with their appeal to individual and collective notions of hope, pride, sorrow, anger and love, we are interested in exploring the social and public impact of emotions (Ahmed 2004) in historical or contemporary processes of nation or identity-building and ongoing struggles for reparation in Australia. How have hate, fear, disgust or anxiety conditioned historical articulations of race, national or cultural identity and their ensuing political and social exclusionary practices? How do “emotional communities” and their “systems of feeling” (Rosenwein 2002) intervene in endorsing or undermining specific national and cultural narratives? What is the role of pride, love, empathy or hope in negotiating new emotional regimes and envisioning reparative formulae to Australia’s local and global challenges? Building on the critical work ensuing from the “affective turn” in the humanities and social sciences, we encourage participants to explore the connections between the
intimate and the public, the individual and the collective, as well as “the epistemic decolonizing potential in turning to affect as a basis of exploring injustice, conflict, trauma and reparation” (Antwi et al. 2013, 3). EASA favours an inter- and multidisciplinary approach to studies on Australia and can host presentations from a wide range of disciplines and subject areas such as Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Ethnic Studies,
Environmental Studies, Gender Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, Media and Film Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Visual and Performing Arts, etc.
Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
- Affective and effective decolonization in post-apology Australia
- Reparative memorialisation and historical revision
- Collective remembering and re-storying as affective practices
- Emotions in historical perspective and genealogies of emotions
- Narratives of regret, grief, loss, sorrow, trauma and mourning
- Narratives of empathy, solidarity and identification
- Loving Australia, Loving in Australia
- The struggle for affective rights and affective citizenship
- Affective ecologies and environmental forms of reparation
- Diasporic communities and affective dis/connections
- E/motional engagements across the Tasman and in the Asia-Pacific region
Please send a 250-words abstract and a brief bio note (indicating name, position and institutional affiliation) and using the subject heading “EASA 2023” to Dr. Astrid Schwegler (firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline has been extended to 15 April 2023.
Decisions on proposals will be communicated by 1st April 2023. All accepted participants will be expected to become members of EASA as a precondition to presenting their papers. Details of EASA membership are available on the association’s website at this address: http://www.easa- australianstudies.net/easa/office.
The event will be held in a hybrid format.
Conference organizers: Astrid Schwegler-Castañer & Paloma Fresno-Calleja
Grant PID2021-122249NB-I00 funded by