Frontiers, borders, edges: Liminal challenges to the hegemony of exclusion

Richie Howitt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial metaphors that presuppose exclusion and separation rather than interaction and co-existence dominated in representations of landscape on Australian frontiers prior to the 1990s legal, parliamentary and social recognition of native title. Metaphors of co-existence have emerged from the public debate about native title. This constitutes a major challenge to previously hegemonic ideas that indigenous Australians were marginal to the Australian national identity. This paper reviews the implications of metaphors used to represent frontiers, borders, boundaries, edges and complex relations within and between indigenous and non-indigenous territories in Australia. It argues that the liminal notion of co-existence unsettles many of the hidden legacies of colonial exploitation infecting Australian geographical imaginations to the detriment of reconciliation and sustainability. This opens avenues for geographers to address the burdens the discipline carries from its roles in creating geographies of exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Geographical Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001


  • Boundaries
  • Frontiers
  • Geographical imagination
  • Indigenous rights
  • Native title
  • Postcolonial


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