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Wanderings in India: Australian Perceptions
Celebrating Links between Australia and India
Edited by: Rick Hosking and Amit Sarwal
Dedicated to the memory and works of the first Australian-born author
John George Lang (b. 1816 â€“ d. 1864)
â€œThe bread we eat comes from India.â€ â€“ Governor Lachlan Macquarie
India has a long-standing historical connection with Australia. It is said
that Indians were present on Captain Cookâ€™s ship as sailors and the first
shipment of food suppliesâ€”â€œthe breadâ€ that Governor Macquarie talks aboutâ€”
to Australia arrived, in 1791, from India in the vessel called Sydney Cove
that had sailed from the port of Kolkata. Besides, many Australians had
spent time in India as servicemen, advisers, diplomats, lawyers,
journalists, technicians, missionaries, teachers, and travelers, working
for the Empire, living in the â€œcontact zone,â€ engaging with and spreading
their perceptions and knowledge about India through travel, study, art and
literature. The extent of interest and familiarity that Australian
writers/artists have shown for India can be gauged through their writingsâ€”
novels, short stories, poetry, travel narratives, biographies, sports
writing and films. To celebrate our literary links, we invite articles
(4000â€“5500 words) on Australian perceptions and representations of India,
from the colonial to post-colonial times.
Over the last few decades while more and more scholars have focused
on â€œAsia,â€ India has not been so much of a focus in the Australian
imagination as has Japan, China, Vietnam or Indonesia. While the images of
China and Japan have been largely negative, seen in the notion of
the â€œyellow peril,â€ India was familiar in a more positive way in
Australia, not in terms of culture or literature, but as a lifeline.
Australia and India share some undeniable connections, from the pre-
colonial negotiations between the Aborigines and traders from the coastal
regions of India to the colonial interaction through the bonds of Empire,
sharing one Raj. There are traces of India everywhere in Australia: family
names in the telephone directories, descendants of cameleers, hawkers and
farm workers; household retinues and names of towns and streetsâ€”like
Coromandel, Lucknow, Seringapatnam, Lal Lal, Howrah, Barrackpore and so
on. Then thereâ€™s the post- and neo-colonial religio-cultural tourist trail
of pilgrimages to India seeking spiritual enlightenment or adventure,
relations forged by trade, Multi-national Corporations, and now
the â€œacademic trafficâ€ between the two countries through ever increasing
numbers of international students, Memoranda of Understanding, University
exchange, writersâ€™ programmes and so on.
Questions that can be reflected upon in the articles can range from
orientalist, historical, political, social or cultural consciousness,
experiences, (mis)representations, and perceptions of India as reflected
through the consistently evolving corpus of literary works produced by
Australian writers such as John Lang, Henry Lawson, Victor J. Daley, Ethel
Anderson, Molly Skinner, Eve Langley, David Martin, Geraldine Halls, Vicki
Viidikas, Christopher Koch, Colin Johnson, Syd Harrex, Barry Hill, John
Kinsella, Jeri Kroll, Kenneth Slessor, Chris Wallace-Crabbe, Fay Zwicky,
Les Murray, Janette Turner Hospital, Inez Baranay, Jane Watson, Gregory D.
Roberts and many others (who can be located in A Bibliography of
Australian Literary Response to â€œAsiaâ€ compiled by Lyn Jacobs and Rick
Essays examining other thematic issues related to the colonial spirit,
cultural shocks, appreciation, Australian familiarity with Indian
sensibility, spirituality, sports writing, place names, domestic
architecture and so on are also welcome. It may be useful here to compare
the works from colonial and post-colonial perspectives. Articles that are
interdisciplinary in nature and articles published recently in refereed
journals or critical books are also welcome.
Please attach a 100-words biographical note mentioning your designation,
university/institute, area of study, and relevant publications. Include
contact information (your postal and preferred email address, phone and
Deadline: 25th November 2007.
Word Limit: 3500 to 5000 words.
Style: MLA (using Endnotes and Works Cited).
Please feel free to send your queries and articles (MS Word File) through
Rick Hosking â€“ Richard.Hosking_at_flinders.edu.au
Amit Sarwal â€“ sarwal.amit_at_gmail.com
About the Editors:
Rick Hosking is an Associate Professor in English and Australian Studies
at the Department of English, School of Humanities, Flinders University.
His areas of expertise include Australian literature, creative writing,
contact history, and (South) Australian Studies. He is the co-editor of
Fatal Collisions: The South Australian Frontier and the Violence of Memory
(2000), which won the Historical Society of South Australia John Tregenza
Award for National Community History.
Amit Sarwal is currently an Honorary Visiting Scholar at the School of
Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University, Australia as the
recipient of the Endeavour Asia Award (2006). He has co-edited English
Studies, Indian Perspectives (2006) with Makarand Paranjape and Aneeta
Rajendran, and Australian Studies Now (2007) with Andrew Hassam.
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Received on Thu Aug 09 2007 - 21:58:38 EDT