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Wild ArticulationsEnvironmentalism and Indigeneity in Northern Australia$
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Timothy Neale

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824873110

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824873110.001.0001

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The Wilding of Cape York Peninsula

The Wilding of Cape York Peninsula

(p.34) Chapter 1 The Wilding of Cape York Peninsula
Wild Articulations

Timothy Neale

University of Hawai'i Press

In Chapter 1, I argue that ‘wildness’ is a product settler attempts to understand and thereby spatially remake the Northern Australia since the first colonial encounters in the 17th Century. For European explorers, a region like Cape York Peninsula was a wilderness to be surveyed, and through the misadventures and conflicts of inland expeditions it came to be understood as ‘wretched’ country populated with ‘treacherous’ peoples. Surveying subsequent uses of ‘the wild’ in this region, this chapter shows that if, on the one hand, part of the settler project has been to discursively and materially dictate the shape and texture of the region through such forms of wildness – ‘wilderness,’ ‘wild time,’ ‘wild blacks’ and ‘wild whites’ – then, on the other, the contemporary ‘wilderness’ should be understood not only as a product of the resistance and resilience of its Indigenous peoples, but also as the partial failure of this project.

Keywords:   wildness, settler colonialism, indigenous people, nostalgia, nature, colonisation

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