Other Contact Zones

Jason Ensor, Iva Polak and Peter Van Der Merwe (eds). Other Contact Zones, NT21C 7, Australia Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth: Network Books, 2007.

In the construction and acknowledgment of responsibility towards the Other, this edition of New Talents challenges the contradiction of a lucky country, Australia, sustained by processes of forgetting and, more critically, the processes of silencing. Beginning with Levinasian ethics applied to a scenario where the immediate physical presence of another human asks us to account for our enjoyment of life, Other Contact Zones explores mechanisms of responsibility and avoidance, including: the politics of gender representation, signs of sexual deviances written on the convict body, the invention of the white woman as an object of fantasy in captivity narratives of early colonial Australia, the creation of multicultural senses of belonging, and the complexities of identity construction in the face of mechanisms of silence and misrecognition.