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From Habitat to Wilderness: Tasmania’s Role in the Politicising of Place


Haynes, R, From Habitat to Wilderness: Tasmania's Role in the Politicising of Place, Disputed Territories: Land, Culture and Identity in Settler Societies, University of Hong Kong Press, D Trigger and G Griffiths (ed), Hong Kong, pp. 84-110. ISBN 978-962-209-648-6 (2017) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2003 Hong Kong University Press

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In wildness is the preservation of the world'. Thoreau's much quoted words, delivered at the Concord Lyceum in 1851, raise complex questions of particular relevance to Tasmania, the southernmost state of Australia. The terms 'wildness' and the now more fashionable 'wilderness' do not define a fixed entity 'out there', but represent a dynamic construct fashioned by socio-political and ideological factors and by the discourse of power, which gives them currency. Once established in a particular context, each 'wilderness' paradigm resists new interpretations for a time and can be used as a political tool to silence dissenting views and alternative discourses before it, in turn, is overthrown. Over the last 200 years, Tasmania has had attributed to it a series of diverse, even contradictory, cultural constructions of wilderness. In most cases, these have been naturalised and legitimised by art, literature and photography, as well as by political rhetoric, and their successive overthrow has usually been painful and divisive for supporters and opponents alike.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:aboriginals, Australia, disputed territories, Tasmania
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Haynes, R (Dr Roslynn Haynes)
ID Code:121756
Year Published:2017 (online first 2003)
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-10-13
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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