Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity: Issues in Australian studies

David Carter

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Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity: Issues in Australian studies

By David Carter
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David Carter
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For undergraduate courses in Australian studies, history, cultural history and cultural studies.

Dispossession, Dreams and Diversity: issues in Australian studies introduces key topics and questions about Australia as a society, a culture and a nation. It engages in major debates within both the academic and public spheres of political discourse and cultural representations, and outlines both historical and theoretical approaches to these.
The text examines the social or historical contexts that influence the meanings and structures of 'Australianness', and provides both background detail and further discussion of many issues that can often be covered only briefly in the limited time allowed for lectures and seminars.


David Carter was Director of the Australian Studies Centre at the University of Queensland from 2001 to 2006 and is currently Professor of Australian Literature and Cultural History in the School of Communication and Arts. Professor Carter's research interests are in the area of Australian cultural history, and in particular: print culture studies, publishing history, literary history, Australian magazines and periodicals, media/cultural institutions, and modernity.

Professor Carter has extensive experience in teaching and developing programs in Australian Studies in Australia and internationally. He was President of the International Australian Studies Association from 1997 to 2001. He is Manager of the Australian Studies in China program of the Australia-China Council; from 1998-2004 he was a board member of the Australia-Japan Foundation and in 2007-08 he was Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at Tokyo University.

  • Issues boxes
  • Photos, cartoons and maps enhance understanding
  • Draws on a wide range of disciplinary areas, from literary and cultural studies to political science and sociology
  • Each issue-based chapter of the book can stand alone, but contains cross-references to themes across the book. Among the themes and issues explored are:
    - the relationship between national identities and national histories
    - the role of national identities and histories as claims to legitimate possession of the land, and as stories of belonging
    - the interaction of Indigenous and non-Indigenous understandings of history, country and possession
    - the long history of race and racialisation in definitions of the nation, and their intersections with gender and class
    - the meanings of ‘Australian modernity;
    - the nation as shaped by its regional location and global relations
Table of contents
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Nations and national identity: too much or not enough?
  • 2. Environment and settlement
  • 3. Colonial identities: race, empire and nation
  • 4. Aboriginal history and Australian history
  • 5. Australia days: the meaning of national occasions
  • 6. War, nation and public commemoration: the meanings of ANZAC
  • 7. Land, place and possession
  • 8. ‘For all Australians’: the Red Centre, Aboriginal landscapes and national symbols
  • 9. Performing Australia: television, cinema and sport
  • 10. Australian modernity
  • 11. Americanisation and Australian culture in a global context
  • 12. Contemporary Aboriginal cultures
  • 13. Australian in the world: from Empire to Asia?
  • 14. ‘A nation of immigrants’: Australia’s immigration history
  • 15. Multicultural Australia or Australian multiculturalism?
  • 16. Egalitarianism: ideals and outcomes
  • 17. Social orders: gender in Australian society
  • 18. First nations: the struggle for Indigenous rights