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Native to the Nation

Disciplining Landscapes and Bodies in Australia

2004
Author:

Allaine Cerwonka

Native to the Nation

How people manipulate local landscape to define their place in the world

Focusing on Australia, Allaine Cerwonka examines the physical and narrative spatial practices by which people reclaim territory in the wake of postcolonial claims to land by indigenous people and new immigration of “foreigners.”

Native to the Nation provides a multi-sited ethnography of two communities in Melbourne, allowing us to see how bodies are managed and nations physically constructed in everyday confrontations.

Lively and readable. This study will be of interest to scholars working in settler societies the world over.

Journal of Historical Geography

In a world increasingly marked by migration and dislocation, the question of displacement, and of establishing a sense of belonging, has become ever more common and ever more urgent. But what of those who stay in place? How do people who remain in their place of origin or ancestral homeland rearticulate a sense of connection, of belonging, when ownership of the territory they occupy is contested?

Focusing on Australia, Allaine Cerwonka examines the physical and narrative spatial practices by which people reclaim territory in the wake of postcolonial claims to land by indigenous people and new immigration of “foreigners.” As a multicultural, postcolonial nation whose claims to land until recently were premised on the notion of the continent as “empty” (terra nullius), Australia offers an especially rich lens for understanding the reterritorialization of the nation-state in an era of globalization. To this end, Native to the Nation provides a multisited ethnography of two communities in Melbourne, the Fitzroy Police Station and the East Melbourne Garden Club, allowing us to see how bodies are managed and nations physically constructed in everyday confrontations and cultivations.

Native to the Nation

Allaine Cerwonka is assistant professor of women’s studies and political science at Georgia State University.

Native to the Nation

Lively and readable. This study will be of interest to scholars working in settler societies the world over.

Journal of Historical Geography

Very thorough and accurately represents the views of those with whom it came into contact. It is a refreshing and thought-provoking work that brightens up the rather tired debate on Australian national identity.

Perspectives on Politics

Native to the Nation

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Roots, Dislocations, and Origin Stories

1. A Picturesque Nation for a “Barren” Continent
2. Going Native
3. Policing the Body Politic: Mapping Bodies and Space in Fitzroy
4. The Poor White Trash of Asia: Criminality and Australia in the International Landscape

Conclusion: On the Margins of Nation
Notes
Works Cited

Index