Helen Addison Smith, An Nguyen and Denise Tallis (ed.), Issue 84: Backburning, 2005. [view]

Richard Nile and Denise Tallis (ed.), Issue 83: Construction Works, 2004. [view]

Richard Nile and Denise Tallis (ed.), Issue 82: Colour, 2004. [view]

 Issue 85, 2005  About Us  Subscribe  Contribute  Style  Contact 
Benevolence, Christy Collis and Maggie Nolan (ed.), St Lucia, API Network and UQP, 2005.

  • Liz Ferrier, 'Benevolence and Gift-Giving in Backyard Blitz'. [details]
  • SallyWilde, 'Surgical Theatre, Gifted Performances: The changing moral economy of surgical training'. [details]
  • Bruce Buchan, 'Subjects of Benevolence: concepts of society and civilisation in early colonial indigenous administration'. [details]
  • Hidden agendas: the rhetoric of benevolence in Aboriginal policy in Queensland, 1900-1950, 'Emily Wilson'. [details]
  • Robert Clarke, 'Intimate Strangers: Contemporary Australian Travel Writing and the Semiotics of Empathy'. [details]
  • Paul Newman, 'Disgrace, Benang, And The Search For Benvolence'. [details]
  • Maryrose Casey and Liza-Mare Syron, 'The Challenges of Benevolence: the role of Indigenous actors'. [details]
  • Christine Dauber, 'Revisionism or Self-Reflexivity at the South Australian Museum: the Museumising Imagination in the Postcolonial Era'. [details]
  • Emma Felton, '‘Getting the City Right’: the city as crucible for social reform'. [details]

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    On the television show Backyard Blitz, Australians judged as deserving by their families and friends receive the gift of surprise makeovers to their gardens; in Australian public hospitals, trainee surgeons hone their skills on willing patients; in literary travel narratives, non-Indigenous Australian writers attempt to forge a relationship with the land and its traditional owners; and in inner-city Brisbane, the City Council builds lockers and sleeping areas for the park’s homeless occupants. In Australian courts, legislators create copyright laws in an attempt to protect Indigenous ownership of traditional narratives; the South Australian Museum mounts a new Aboriginal Cultures Gallery; Indigenous actors face the impact of the normativity of whiteness as they practice their craft; and the Queensland government of the early twentieth century enacts policies of ‘Aboriginal Protection’.

    At first, these instances seem to bear little meaningful relation to one another. However, as the articles in this special issue demonstrate, they all share a crucial common feature: all of these instances are moments or sites which are underpinned by benevolence. That is, each of these diverse instances is informed by one party’s desire to ‘do good’ to another. Each involves the formation and negotiation of a specific kind of relationship between people or groups of people, a relationship driven by one party’s desire to assist the other. This, then, is a special issue about good intentions, about gifts, and about the moral economies they articulate. As this issue reveals, benevolence is mobilised across a range of cultural sites and practices; the articles gathered in this issue explore the complexities of its diverse historical and contemporary manifestations.

    Contributions by Bruce Buchan, Maryrose Casey, Robert Clarke, Brooke Collins-Gearing, Christy Collis, Christine Dauber, Emma Felton, Liz Ferrier, Paul Newman, Maggie Nolan, Liza-Mare Syron, Sally Wilde, Emily Wilson, Nancy E Wright.

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