Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Language, Literature, Culture and Education 2017

Poetics and Politics of Indigenous Australian Verse

Danica Čerče

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia


The article is written in the light of the recent emergence of the field of critical whiteness studies and the new perspectives on the issues that have occupied postcolonial literary studies over the last four decades. It deals with the verse of Australian indigenous author Romaine Moreton, notable for the overt objection to the institutional and historical processes that have enabled and maintained the dominant position of those identified as white on the one hand, and the concomitant political, economic, and cultural subordination of indigenous Australians on the other. Focused on strategies and poetic devices used by the poet to engage non-indigenous readers in the experience of her writing, the article examines how the rhetoric of her critique and personal address solicit affective and political responses. In particular, it aims to show that, by challenging the public dynamics of racial separation, her poetry performs an ongoing role in destabilizing the assumptions of white privilege and entitlement.


Australian indigenous poetry, Romaine Moreton, socio-economic and political critique, destabilizing whiteness

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