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The Postcolonial Eye


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Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: scenes of race; Part I 'There Is and Can Be No Brute Vision': The eye and the 'I'. Part II When the Other Disappears from My Line of Sight: Coming to matter: the grounds of our embodied difference; What falls from view? On re-reading Plains of Promise; Dreaming of others: Carpentaria and its critics; A postcolonial uncanny. Part III The Image of My Own Desire: White men as hidden spectators; White women looking on; 'Matron always carried a small whip'. Part IV Whiteness and Its Veils: Darkness casts its light: Australian blackface; Resisting a white spectator's enjoyment: Benang's aesthetics; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Alison Ravenscroft is in the English Department in the School of Communication, Arts and Critical Enquiry at La Trobe University, Australia.


'This exquisitely written and important book combines the most sophisticated aspects of critical theory with the important question of race and vision. In focusing on the contemporary Australian scene, Ravenscroft demonstrates an acute, tortured and urgent problem of race. And it is precisely because of this specificity that Ravenscroft is able to avoid the generalizing claims that dominate many modes of critical theory. The Postcolonial Eye will be hailed as a major contribution to race theory, postcolonial theory, political theory and ethics.' Claire Colebrook, Penn State University, USA 'Ravenscroft writes with passion, flair and clarity despite the layered complexity of her argument. Although, as I have indicated above, the book is engaged with critical literary studies, it has a much broader relevance to feminist theory, postcolonial studies and critical race and whiteness studies and deserves a wide readership. It is especially relevant and inspiring to those of us struggling with 'difference' and the 'post' in the postcolonial.' Australian Feminist Studies 'For those interested in exploring questions of how white settler subjects can engage with writing about and by Indigenous people, this book is certainly worth reading. Theoretical questions that Ravenscroft raises will enable this book to have a wide appeal to many scholars, especially those with an interest in postcolonial studies, critical race and whiteness studies, and of course, literary studies. The case studies in the book and Ravenscroft's focus on close readings rather than theory, makes this book an easy read and accessible to many readers.' Australian Journal of Indigenous Education '... an important contribution to the field of postcolonial studies. Whilst most of the book focuses on Australia, Alison Ravenscroft also extends her discussion to Black-authored and white-authored portrayals of race in the US and Africa, suggesting scope for further analysis. The book will be of interest to those researching history, literature, film and Indigenous texts of all kinds.' Reviews in Australian Studies '... raises important questions about the limits of 'white' vision, understanding and knowledge in relation to an Indigenous Australian culture and perspective... The Postcolonial Eye productively draws on psychoanalytic and other critical frameworks.' American Literary Scholarship 'Reading this book was an intense and intimate experience for me. This is an effect of Alison Ravenscroft's beautiful writing as well as the deeply personal, while at the same time urgently public, matters that she discusses.' Critical Race and Whiteness Studies '... this is a rich and complicated book that presents many important questions... her book does a great deal to illuminate and investigate the ways that Indigenous representation has been unknowable to white readership and the stiches that have been joined in an attempt to understand.' Contemporaneity

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