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'New Age Trippers': Aboriginality and Australian New Age Travel Books


Clarke, R, 'New Age Trippers': Aboriginality and Australian New Age Travel Books, Studies in Travel Writing, 13, (1) pp. 27-43. ISSN 1364-5145 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13645140802611283


In the last two decades of the twentieth century Australia became an attractive travel destination for alienated middle-class Westerners in search of a spiritual utopia. In such texts Aboriginality is represented as a source of spiritual transcendence and as a remedy of the evils of modern consumerism and industrialisation. This article examines a number of books by white New Age spiritual travellers - James Cowan's Two Men Dreaming (1995), Marlo Morgan's Mutant Message Down Under (1994), and Harvey Arden's Dreamkeepers (1995) - that claim to (re)discover a lost, universal, sacred heritage within Aboriginal cosmologies. The discourses employed by recent Australian New Age travel texts are prima facie examples of postcolonial forms of cultural appropriation. Yet, the involvement of indigenous agents in the production, promotion, and critique of such texts complicates the argument that these texts are simply new forms of cultural colonisation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:travel writing, Australia, Aborigines, New Age, politics of appropriation
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Other language, communication and culture
Research Field:Other language, communication and culture not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in language, communication and culture
UTAS Author:Clarke, R (Dr Robert Clarke)
ID Code:53625
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2008-12-17
Last Modified:2015-02-17
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