'They don't tame, only on the surface': masculinity, race and the project of assimilation in Jedda (1955)

Chelsea Barnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article explores the representation of masculinity and race in the 1955 film Jedda. Popularly remembered as a ‘classic’ Australian film, Jedda is best known for its explicit critique of Indigenous affairs in the assimilation era. This article, however, contends that the film’s treatment of differing masculinities reveals its anti-assimilationist meanings, both through its affirmation of white, radical nationalist masculinity and its portrayal of Indigenous male sexuality as dangerous. Ultimately, Jedda concluded that assimilatory efforts were futile, and affirmed the cultural imagining of Australia as a white nation in which Indigenous people could make no claim for legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-61
Number of pages16
JournalHistory Australia
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date7 Jan 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • assimilation
  • film
  • Jedda
  • masculinity
  • post-war

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