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Ambivalent Mobilities in the Pacific: “Savagery” and "Civilization” in the Australian Interwar Imaginary

Halter, Nicholas (2017) Ambivalent Mobilities in the Pacific: “Savagery” and "Civilization” in the Australian Interwar Imaginary. Transfers, 7 (1). pp. 34-51. ISSN 2045-4813

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    Abstract

    Australian travel writing of the interwar period expanded with the growth of tourism in the Pacific Islands and the development of publishing and literacy at home. This article focuses on how the Australian middlebrow imagination was shaped by the diverse travel accounts of Australian tourists, adventurers, executives, scientists, officials, and missionaries writing at this time. Many of their texts borrowed and blended multiple discourses, simultaneously promoting the islands as educational and exotic, and appealing to an Australian middlebrow readership. In this article I argue that not only was travel writing middlebrow in its content and style, but the islands themselves were a particularly middlebrow setting. Th is is evident in representations of the islander “savage” in the region of Melanesia, a prevalent theme in Australian travelogues. I argue that this middlebrow literature was characterized by ambivalent and often contradictory ideas about the civilized “self” and the savage “other.”

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: D History General and Old World > DU Oceania (South Seas)
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Nicholas Halter
    Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 11:36
    Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 11:36
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9664
    UNSPECIFIED

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