Sites of benevolence

Collis, Christy & Nolan, Maggie (2005) Sites of benevolence. Journal of Australian Studies, 29(85), pp. 5-10.

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On the television show Backyard Blitz, Australians judged as deserving by their families and friends receive the gift of surprise makeovers to their gardens; in Australian public hospitals, trainee surgeons hone their skills on willing patients; in literary travel narratives, non-Indigenous Australian writers attempt to forge a relationship with the land and its traditional owners; and in inner-city Brisbane, the City Council builds lockers and sleeping areas for the park's homeless occupants. In Australian courts, legislators create copyright laws attempt to protect Indigenous ownership of traditional narratives; the South Australian Museum mounts a new Aboriginal Cultures Gallery; Indigenous actors face the challenges of racism as they practice their craft; and the Queensland government of the early twentieth century enacts policies of 'Aboriginal Protection'.

At first, these instances seem to bear little meaningful relation to one another. However, as the articles in this special issue demonstrate, they all share a crucial common feature: all of these instances are moments or sites which are underpinned by benevolence. That is, each of these diverse instances is informed by one party's desire to 'do good' to another. Each involves the formation and negotiation of a specific kind of relationship between people or groups of people, a relationship driven by one party's desire to assist the other. This, then, is a special issue about good intentions, about gifts, and about the moral economies they articulate. As this issue reveals, benevolence is mobilised across a range of cultural sites and practices; the articles gathered in this issue explore the complexities of its diverse historical and contemporary manifestations.

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ID Code: 4603
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: postcolonial, benevolence, Australian studies
DOI: 10.1080/14443050509388011
ISSN: 1444-3058
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Postcolonial Studies (200211)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Cultural Studies not elsewhere classified (200299)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 API Network (Taylor and Francis)
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 05 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:38

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