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Inside Australian Culture

Inside Australian Culture

Legacies of Enlightenment Values

By Baden Offord, Erika Kerruish, Rob Garbutt, Adele Wessell, Kirsten Pavlovic, Foreword by Ashis Nandy

‘Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values’ offers a critical intervention into the effects of colonialism in Australia, which continue to inform and dominate its public culture and institutions. Through an analysis of three significant moments in Australian history, the authors investigate how the public sphere continues to derive its values from the British Enlightenment.

Paperback, 164 Pages

ISBN:9781783084319

March 2015

£25.00, $40.00

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

Given Australia’s status as an (unfinished) colonial project of the British Empire, the basic institutions that were installed in its so-called ‘empty’ landscape derive from a value-laden framework borne out of industrialization, colonialism, the consolidation of the national statist system and democracy – all entities imbued with British Enlightenment principles and thinking. Modernity in Australia has thus been constituted by the importation, assumption and triumph of the Western mind – materially, psychologically, culturally, socio-legally and cartographically. ‘Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values’ offers a critical intervention into the continuing effects of colonization in Australia and the structures it brought, which still inform and dominate its public culture. Through a careful analysis of three disparate but significant moments in Australian history, the authors investigate the way the British Enlightenment continues to dominate contemporary Australian thinking and values. Employing the lens of Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy, the authors argue for an Australian public culture that is profoundly conscious of its assumptions, history and limitations.

Reviews

‘Through powerful analysis, the five voices in this book propose a new normative rationale to counteract the modern fundamentalisation of Enlightenment underpinning Australian public culture.’ —Susan Ballyn, University of Barcelona


‘This book is a bold statement on issues of deep importance in Australian life: our cultural history, our racial politics, and the shape of our public culture. The authors have produced a highly readable and also disturbing book, most relevant to our disturbing times.’ —Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney


‘Inside Australian Culture digs into Australia’s past to provide an open scrutiny of the values that shape a culture and a nation. I commend this book for encouraging lively debates on how to foster an inclusive, equal Australia.’ —Elisabeth Porter, University of South Australia

Author Information

“Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values” offers a critical intervention in the continuing effects of colonization in Australia and the structures it brought, which still inform and dominate its public culture. Through a careful analysis of three disparate but significant moments in Australian history, the authors investigate the way the British Enlightenment continues to dominate contemporary Australian thinking and values. Employing the lens of Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy, the authors argue for an Australian public culture that is profoundly conscious of its assumptions, history and limitations.

Series

Anthem Australian Humanities Research Series

Anthem Studies in Australian Politics

Economics and Society

Table of Contents

Foreword by Ashis Nandy; Preface; Part One: Getting Inside Australian Public Culture; Chapter One: The Enlightenment and Tradition in Early Colonial Society; Chapter Two: Australian Values and Their Public Culture(s); Part Two: Three Moments of the Enlightenment; Chapter Three: Moment One – An Act to Regulate Chinese Immigration, 1858; Chapter Four: Moment Two – Cubillo v. the Commonwealth, 2000; Chapter Five: Moment Three – Australian Localism and the Cronulla Riot, 2005; Part Three: Working with the Necessary Other; Chapter Six: The Closing of Public Culture to Communal Difference; Afterword by Vinay Lal

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