Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Transvaluation of Value?: Beyond Imperial History ?

Veronica Brady.

Most settler societies are the product of imperial history . By definition it tends to be suspicious of difference and to involve the imposition of metropolitan values and its sense of reality . But in Australia this was particularly problematic on account of the sheer difference of the physical environment and of the culture of its Aboriginal peoples , the oldest living culture on earth . It follows then that the task which Eliade sees as crucial for any people settling into a place hitherto unknown to them, the ‘transformation of chaos into cosmos’ is particularly important here . In my view, however, this task has been largely neglected : the emphasis has been on material rather than imaginative development . I will therefore examine the work done by writers and artists in their attempt to bring about this transfomation, to discover a mythis sense of reality .


Veronica Brady  (Australia)
Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Department of English, Communications and Cultural Studies
University of Western Australia

Veronica Brady taught for many years in the Department of English in the University of Western Australia where since her retirement she is now a Honorary Senior Research Fellow . her most recent books are a collection of essays, "Caught in the Draught", a study of the representation of Aboriginal people in Australian literature, "Can These Bones Live"? ND a biography of Judith Wright, "South of my Days".

  • Cultural Studies
  • Australian Literature
  • Social Anthropology
  • Comparative Religin

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)