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Title: "No More Boomerang": Environment and Technology in Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Poetry
Contributor(s): Ryan, John C  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.3390/h4040938Open Access Link
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Abstract: Based in oral traditions and song cycles, contemporary Aboriginal Australian poetry is full of allusions to the environment. Not merely a physical backdrop for human activities, the ancient Aboriginal landscape is a nexus of ecological, spiritual, material, and more-than-human overlays-and one which is increasingly compromised by modern technological impositions. In literary studies, while Aboriginal poetry has become the subject of critical interest, few studies have foregrounded the interconnections between environment and technology. Instead, scholarship tends to focus on the socio-political and cultural dimensions of the writing. How have contemporary Australian Aboriginal poets responded to the impacts of environmental change and degradation? How have poets addressed the effects of modern technology in ancestral environments, or country? This article will develop an ecocritical and technology-focused perspective on contemporary Aboriginal poetry through an analysis of the writings of three significant literary-activists: Jack Davis (1917-2000), Oodgeroo Noonuccal (1920-1993), and Lionel Fogarty (born 1958). Davis, Noonuccal, and Fogarty strive poetically to draw critical attention to the particular impacts of late modernist technologies on Aboriginal people and country. In developing a critique of invasive technologies that adversely affect the environment and culture, their poetry also invokes the Aboriginal technologies that sustained (and, in places, still sustain) people in reciprocal relation to country.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Humanities, 4(4), p. 938-957
Publisher: MDPIAG
Place of Publication: Switzerland
ISSN: 2076-0787
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 200501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature
200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
200525 Literary Theory
200524 Comparative Literature Studies
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 450109 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature, journalism and professional writing
470502 Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature)
470514 Literary theory
470507 Comparative and transnational literature
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 969999 Environment not elsewhere classified
970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
950302 Conserving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage
950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
950203 Languages and Literature
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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