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'Does my bomb look big in this?': representing Muslim girls in recent Australian cultural texts

Pearce, Sharyn M. (2006) 'Does my bomb look big in this?': representing Muslim girls in recent Australian cultural texts. Papers: Explorations into children's literature, 16(2), pp. 58-63.

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Abstract

Since 9/11 there has been a spate of cultural texts for young people which attempt to move away from the sensationalised connotation and reductive stereotyping of the Muslim as the homogenised, dehumanised, violent and/or exoticised pariah/Other, and to represent Muslim characters sympathetically instead of as potential terrorists (see, for example, Nadia Jamal and Taghred Chandrab's The Glory Garage (2005), and Morris Gleitzman's Boy Overboard (2002) and Girl Underground (2004)). One of the first of these was John Doyle's Marking Time, which was shown on ABC television in 2003, and which the promotion material describes as 'a Romeo and Juliet story set in a rural Australian town. Told with warmth, humour and acute observation, Marking Time traces Hal Flemming's journey from boy to man ... [It] is the coming of age of a boy and a nation' (http://www.abc.net.au/markingtime/). Marking Time shows a changing Australian society, with the innocent euphoria brought about by the Sydney Olympics distorted into fear and distrust following the Tampa incident. Literally Hal is 'marking time' until he goes to uni, spending an aimless gap year in the company of lowlife friends. Indeed, the text's strength lies in the comic depiction of young Australians like Hal's friends Bullet, Shane and Belinda, whose rowdy, raucous, partying behaviour is also a response to terminal boredom; in this case it seems to be the only recourse of those not bright enough to make their way out of this small town.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 18849
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Muslim, Representations, Gender, Teenagers, Race
ISSN: 1034-9243
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Culture Gender Sexuality (200205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Deakin University, School of Literary and Communication Studies
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2009 11:06
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:28

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