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Emancipation acts on the oceanic frontier: Intimacy, diplomacy, colonial invasion and the legal traces of protection in the Bass Strait world

Citation

Edmonds, P, Emancipation acts on the oceanic frontier: Intimacy, diplomacy, colonial invasion and the legal traces of protection in the Bass Strait world, Law & History, 4, (2) pp. 20-44. ISSN 1177-3170 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 University of Southern Queensland, School of Arts and Communication

Official URL: http://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journal...

Abstract

Inspired by postcolonial and feminist scholarship and new work on the law and British humanitarian governance, along with recent considerations of the maritime and 'oceans connect' approaches, this article examines the apparent 'emancipation' acts of colonial officials and Quakers who turned to the law to retrieve high-status Aboriginal women from sealers on both sides of the Bass Strait oceanic frontier. Foregrounding issues of Indigenous law and political diplomacy alongside those of Europeans, and attending to questions of intimacy, gendered governance, protection and the law, the article considers how these variously intersected in an 'anomalous legal zone' - the watery Bass Strait world stretching between Van Diemen's Land and the Australian mainland. In paying attention to Bass Strait as one oceanic and colonial legalfield, and the appeals to law to address the problem of abduction, the article argues that higher orders of diplomacy were at play in a precarious period when the rapid colonisation of Aboriginal lands, negotiation and the stabilisation of incendiary frontier violence were necessary. Here, the attempted legal regulation of intimacies on colonial peripheries was directly connected to issues of land, invasion, diplomacy and treaty making.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:colonial Australia, emancipation, colonial invasion
Research Division:History and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical Studies
Research Field:Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Understanding Past Societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's Past
UTAS Author:Edmonds, P (Associate Professor Penny Edmonds)
ID Code:124569
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-02-27
Last Modified:2018-05-14
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