Indigenous Studies

Essay by ginapriv April 2005

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Attwood, B., and Arnold, J 'Introduction', In: Power, Knowledge and

Aboriginies, La Trobe University Press, Melbourne, 1992, pp. 1-16

In his essays, Bain Attwood identifies the European Australian way of

'knowing' Aborigines. Attwood articulates Aboringinalism as a method of

dialogue which produces, 'authoritative' and 'essential truths' about

Indigenous Australians. The author examines the European scholar attitude

of Indigenous inadequacy in regards to self representation; the style of

thought based upon an 'epistemological' and 'ontological' distinction

between "Them" and "Us". Based on the works of Michel Foucault, this text

is conversed via particular postulations that the nature of knowledge and

power is, 'interpretative', ' entity human beings.'

(Para 3) It also articulates knowledge as 'contingent', recognizing it

as, 'situational', therefore changeable. This analysis, Attwood concurs,

allows the critical assessment of Aboriginalism in relation to the

knowledge it produces and the relationships of power to be revealed. This

essay was vastly edifying and assisted me to identify the various recent

shifts in Aboriginal discourse as well as the further shifts that need to

occur in order to have an, 'authentic Australian culture'.

(132 words)

Dodson, M., 'The end in the beginning: re(de)fining Aboriginality', In:

Blacklines Contemporary Critical Writing by Indigenous Australians,

Melbourne University Press, 2003, pp. 25-42