tony hughes-d’aeth on kim scott’s that deadman dance


Tony Hughes-d’Aeth, ‘For a long time nothing happened: Settler colonialism, deferred action and the scene of colonization in Kim Scott’s That Deadman Dance’, The Journal of Commonwealth Literature (online December 23, 2014).

That Deadman Dance (2010) is Kim Scott’s third novel and his second to win the premier literary prize in Australia, the Miles Franklin Award. Scott’s novel is set in the period of contact between European settlers and the Indigenous Noongar people on the south coast of Western Australia at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Scott’s father was Noongar and his writing is positioned in the interplay between cultures and histories. In this article, I argue that contact fiction is conditioned by the psychoanalytic principle of deferred action and use Scott’s novel to exemplify this argument.

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