Shifting Indigenous Australian realities: dispersal, damage, and resurgence: introduction

Melinda Hinkson, Eve Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The new millennium has seen the landscape of Australian Indigenous politics and policy rapidly transformed. This overview essay explores these transformations, highlighting the rise of incorporation and intervention as preferred modes of governance in this period. The essay argues for a need for anthropological attention to grapple with settler colonial legacies as well as higher level processes at work in the contemporary circumstances of Aboriginal people's lives. It offers three terms through which these circumstances might be approached: Dispersal refers to the uneven and unpredictable distribution of policy and ecological effects, the advent of more dispersed and pervasive technologies of governmental surveillance, and new patterns of and reasons for Indigenous movement. Damage glosses questions of suffering, harm, poverty, and also a broader condition: the ecological wreckage colonial capitalist developments often leave in their wake. Resurgence addresses the variety of creative responses made by Indigenous people as they endure and attempt to transcend this intensified governance of their lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-253
Number of pages14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Australianist anthropology
  • critique of anthropology
  • damage
  • dispersal
  • ethnographic method
  • governance
  • resurgence
  • suffering


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