Resistance and Sovereignty in Some Recent Australian Indigenous Women’s Novels

Carole Ferrier


In Australia, powerful stories expressing resistance to a white, postcolonising hegemony continue to be articulated in Indigenous women’s fictional texts, including those from the 1990s onwards that are discussed in this paper. Their particular historically-distinctive mode of satire or irony challenges postcolonising regimes and institutions, the legacy of colonialism, and the persisting dominance of whiteness. These more recent texts continue a central preoccupation of the earlier fiction by Indigenous women with the achievement of agency in contexts of unequal social and economic  power; marginalised characters engage with current questions and conditions. The paper considers how these fictions represent some aspects of Aboriginal separation from land and place; separation from families; outsider and outcast identities, and how far these continue to mean disempowerment; Indigenous people’s epistemological relationships with their land and bodies of water, and the question of sovereignty in relation to Country and environment.



Australian Aboriginal Fiction; Women; Sovereignty; Resistance; Indigeneity; Postcoloniality

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