The politics of memory: autobiographical narratives of Indigenous child separation

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This paper is interested in autobiographical narratives that document and represent experiences of Indigenous child separation from their families. Reconstructing the memories of the Stolen Generations in the form of autobiography is inevitably subject to mechanisms of selection, verification, and commodification within the dominant discourse. However, it is necessary to recognise the agency of Aboriginal people who tactically unsettle the racial ideology and bring into consciousness what has been forgotten by Australian historiography. By examining how memories of child removal have been shaped in public discourse, and exploring Aboriginal authorial agency in recollecting an archive of separation stories, the paper argues that the multi-faceted memories of the stolen children open up a critical space to expose racial injustices and to articulate Indigenous visions of history, plights and rights.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication澳大利亚文化研究 (Australian Cultural Studies)
EditorsGuanglin Wang, Hong Chen
Place of PublicationShanghai
PublisherShanghai Foreign Language Education Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9787544642842
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • the Stolen Generations
  • politics of memory
  • autobiography
  • Aboriginal child removal


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