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Books

Featured Book

Haunting Biology: Science and Indigeneity in Australia

In Haunting Biology Emma Kowal recounts the troubled history of Western biological studies of Indigenous Australians and asks how we now might see contemporary genomics, especially that conducted by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scientists.

Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Heritage: Experiences of Return in Central Australia

Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Heritage examines how returned materials – objects, photographs, audio and manuscripts – are being received and reintegrated into the ongoing social and cultural lives of Aboriginal Australians.

Combining a critical examination of the making of these collections with an assessment of their contemporary significance, the book exposes the opportunities and challenges involved in returning cultural heritage for the purposes of maintaining, preserving or reviving cultural practice. Drawing on ethnographic work undertaken with Aboriginal communities and the institutions that hold significant collections, the author reveals important new insights about the impact of return on communities. Technological advances, combined with the push towards decolonising methodologies in Indigenous research, have resulted in considerable interest in ensuring that collections of cultural value are returned to Indigenous communities. Gibson challenges the rhetoric of museum repatriation, arguing that, while it has been tremendously important to advancing Indigenous interest, it is too often over-simplified.

Repatriation of Indigenous Cultural Heritage offers a timely, critical perspective on current museum practice and its place within processes of cultural production and transmission. The book is sure to resonate in other international contexts where questions about Indigenous re-engagement and decolonisation strategies are being debated and will be of interest to students and scholars of Museum Studies, Indigenous Studies and Anthropology.

Gibson JM.

Australian Public Opinion Defence and Foreign Policy: Attitudes and Trends Since 1945

This book examines the impact of Australian public opinion towards defence and foreign policy from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. For most of this period, the public showed little interest in defence and security policy and possessed limited knowledge about the strategic options available. The principal post-war exception to this pattern is, of course, the Vietnam War, when political divisions over Australia’s support for the U.S.-led action eventually resulted in the withdrawal of troops in 1972. The period since 2001 has seen a fundamental change both in the public’s views of defence and foreign affairs, and in how these issues are debated by political elites. This has come about as a result of major changes in the strategic environment such as a heightened public awareness of terrorism, party political divisions over Australia’s military commitment to the 2003-11 Iraq War and the increasing overlap of economic and trade considerations with defence and foreign policies, which has increased the public’s interest in these issues. Combining the expertise of one of Australia’s foremost scholars of public opinion with that of an expert of international relations, particularly as pertains to Australia in Asia, this book will be a critical read for those wishing to understand Australia’s alliance with the U.S., interactions with Asia and China, and the distinctive challenges posed to Australia by its geographic position.

Chubb D, McAllister I.

Everyday Multiculturalism in/across Asia

What does it mean to bring Asia into conversation with current literature on everyday multiculturalism? This book focuses on the empirical, theoretical and methodological considerations of using an everyday multiculturalism approach to explore the ordinary ways people live together in difference in the Asian region while also drawing attention to increasing trans-Asian mobilities. The chapters in this collection encompass inter-disciplinary research undertaken in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea that explores some core aspects of everyday multiculturalism as it plays out in and across Asia. These include an increase in intraregional movements and especially labour mobility, which demands regard for the experiences of migrants from Burma, China, Nepal, The Philippines and India; negotiations of cultural diversity in nations where a multi-ethnic citizenry is formally recognised through predominantly pluralist models, and/or where national belonging is highly racialized; and intercultural contestation against, in some cases, the backdrop of a newly emergent multicultural policy environment. The book challenges and reinvigorates discussions around the relative transferability of an everyday multiculturalism framework to Asia, including concepts such as super-diversity, conviviality and everyday racism, and the importance of close attention to how people navigate differences and commonalities in local and trans-local contexts.

Walton J, Harris A, Iwabuchi K.

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