The Postcolonial Eye: White Australian Desire and the Visual Field of Race

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9781409430780: The Postcolonial Eye: White Australian Desire and the Visual Field of Race

Informed by theories of the visual, knowledge and desire, The Postcolonial Eye is about the 'eye' and the 'I' in contemporary Australian scenes of race. Specifically, it is about seeing, where vision is taken to be subjective and shaped by desire, and about knowing one another across the cultural divide between white and Indigenous Australia. Writing against current moves to erase this divide and to obscure difference, Alison Ravenscroft stresses that modern Indigenous cultures can be profoundly, even bewilderingly, strange and at times unknowable within the terms of 'white' cultural forms. She argues for a different ethics of looking, in particular, for aesthetic practices that allow Indigenous cultural products, especially in the literary arts, to retain their strangeness in the eyes of a white subject. The specificity of her subject matter allows Ravenscroft to deal with the broad issues of postcolonial theory and race and ethnicity without generalising. This specificity is made visible in, for example, Ravenscroft's treatment of the figuring of white desire in Aboriginal fiction, film and life-stories, and in her treatment of contemporary Indigenous cultural practices. While it is located in Australian Studies, Ravenscroft's book, in its rigorous interrogation of the dynamics of race and whiteness and engagement with European and American literature and criticism, has far-reaching implications for understanding the important question of race and vision.

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About the Author:

Alison Ravenscroft is in the English Department in the School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry at La Trobe University, Australia.

Review:

'This exquisitely written and important book combines the most sophisticated aspects of critical theory with the important question of race and vision. In focusing on the contemporary Australian scene, Ravenscroft demonstrates an acute, tortured and urgent problem of race. And it is precisely because of this specificity that Ravenscroft is able to avoid the generalizing claims that dominate many modes of critical theory. The Postcolonial Eye will be hailed as a major contribution to race theory, postcolonial theory, political theory and ethics.'
Claire Colebrook, Penn State University, USA

'Ravenscroft writes with passion, flair and clarity despite the layered complexity of her argument. Although, as I have indicated above, the book is engaged with critical literary studies, it has a much broader relevance to feminist theory, postcolonial studies and critical race and whiteness studies and deserves a wide readership. It is especially relevant and inspiring to those of us struggling with 'difference' and the 'post' in the postcolonial.'
Australian Feminist Studies

'For those interested in exploring questions of how white settler subjects can engage with writing about and by Indigenous people, this book is certainly worth reading. Theoretical questions that Ravenscroft raises will enable this book to have a wide appeal to many scholars, especially those with an interest in postcolonial studies, critical race and whiteness studies, and of course, literary studies. The case studies in the book and Ravenscroft's focus on close readings rather than theory, makes this book an easy read and accessible to many readers.'
Australian Journal of Indigenous Education

'... an important contribution to the field of postcolonial studies. Whilst most of the book focuses on Australia, Alison Ravenscroft also extends her discussion to Black-authored and white-authored portrayals of race in the US and Africa, suggesting scope for further analysis. The book will be of interest to those researching history, literature, film and Indigenous texts of all kinds.'
Reviews in Australian Studies

'... raises important questions about the limits of 'white' vision, understanding and knowledge in relation to an Indigenous Australian culture and perspective... The Postcolonial Eye productively draws on psychoanalytic and other critical frameworks.'
American Literary Scholarship

'Reading this book was an intense and intimate experience for me. This is an effect of Alison Ravenscroft's beautiful writing as well as the deeply personal, while at the same time urgently public, matters that she discusses.'
Critical Race and Whiteness Studies

'... this is a rich and complicated book that presents many important questions... her book does a great deal to illuminate and investigate the ways that Indigenous representation has been unknowable to white readership and the stiches that have been joined in an attempt to understand.' --Contemporaneity

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Informed by theories of the visual, knowledge and desire, The Postcolonial Eye is about the eye and the I in contemporary Australian scenes of race. Specifically, it is about seeing, where vision is taken to be subjective and shaped by desire, and about knowing one another across the cultural divide between white and Indigenous Australia. Writing against current moves to erase this divide and to obscure difference, Alison Ravenscroft stresses that modern Indigenous cultures can be profoundly, even bewilderingly, strange and at times unknowable within the terms of white cultural forms. She argues for a different ethics of looking, in particular, for aesthetic practices that allow Indigenous cultural products, especially in the literary arts, to retain their strangeness in the eyes of a white subject. The specificity of her subject matter allows Ravenscroft to deal with the broad issues of postcolonial theory and race and ethnicity without generalising. This specificity is made visible in, for example, Ravenscroft s treatment of the figuring of white desire in Aboriginal fiction, film and life-stories, and in her treatment of contemporary Indigenous cultural practices. While it is located in Australian Studies, Ravenscroft s book, in its rigorous interrogation of the dynamics of race and whiteness and engagement with European and American literature and criticism, has far-reaching implications for understanding the important question of race and vision. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781409430780

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Informed by theories of the visual, knowledge and desire, The Postcolonial Eye is about the eye and the I in contemporary Australian scenes of race. Specifically, it is about seeing, where vision is taken to be subjective and shaped by desire, and about knowing one another across the cultural divide between white and Indigenous Australia. Writing against current moves to erase this divide and to obscure difference, Alison Ravenscroft stresses that modern Indigenous cultures can be profoundly, even bewilderingly, strange and at times unknowable within the terms of white cultural forms. She argues for a different ethics of looking, in particular, for aesthetic practices that allow Indigenous cultural products, especially in the literary arts, to retain their strangeness in the eyes of a white subject. The specificity of her subject matter allows Ravenscroft to deal with the broad issues of postcolonial theory and race and ethnicity without generalising. This specificity is made visible in, for example, Ravenscroft s treatment of the figuring of white desire in Aboriginal fiction, film and life-stories, and in her treatment of contemporary Indigenous cultural practices. While it is located in Australian Studies, Ravenscroft s book, in its rigorous interrogation of the dynamics of race and whiteness and engagement with European and American literature and criticism, has far-reaching implications for understanding the important question of race and vision. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781409430780

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Book Description Taylor Francis Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Informed by theories of the visual, knowledge and desire, The Postcolonial Eye is about the eye and the I in contemporary Australian scenes of race. Specifically, it is about seeing, where vision is taken to be subjective and shaped by desire, and about knowing one another across the cultural divide between white and Indigenous Australia. Writing against current moves to erase this divide and to obscure difference, Alison Ravenscroft stresses that modern Indigenous cultures can be profoundly, even bewilderingly, strange and at times unknowable within the terms of white cultural forms. She argues for a different ethics of looking, in particular, for aesthetic practices that allow Indigenous cultural products, especially in the literary arts, to retain their strangeness in the eyes of a white subject. The specificity of her subject matter allows Ravenscroft to deal with the broad issues of postcolonial theory and race and ethnicity without generalising. This specificity is made visible in, for example, Ravenscroft s treatment of the figuring of white desire in Aboriginal fiction, film and life-stories, and in her treatment of contemporary Indigenous cultural practices. While it is located in Australian Studies, Ravenscroft s book, in its rigorous interrogation of the dynamics of race and whiteness and engagement with European and American literature and criticism, has far-reaching implications for understanding the important question of race and vision. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781409430780

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