Theoretical passages and boundaries : the indigenous subject, colonialism, and governmentality
Spivakovsky, Claire 2006, Theoretical passages and boundaries : the indigenous subject, colonialism, and governmentality, in Passages : law, aesthetics, politics : Proceedings of the 2006 Law and Literature Association of Australia conference, University of Melbourne Law School, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 1-11.
Theoretical paternalism and the convenience of working within ‘accepted’ frameworks have appropriated the Indigenous subject within the boundaries of colonial relations. The establishment of post-colonial theory as one of the only ‘acceptable’ frameworks for exploring the Indigenous subject has limited the subject’s theoretical development within the binary of coloniser/colonised. Breaking from this tradition, the Foucauldian concepts of governmentality, ethics and care-ofthe-self will be used as a template for expansion. This paper will explore the passages of the Indigenous subject in theoretical development. It will examine the significance of post-colonial and settler colonial theories in the conceptualisation of the subject, and consider the transformations that occur when the borders established by these theories are crossed. The paper will therefore be comprised of four sections. The first will address the value and limitations of post-colonial and settler colonial theory. The second will posit reasons and implications for why theoretical neglect has occurred. The third will present and critique the Foucauldian concepts of governmentality, ethics and care-of-the-self. Applying Foucault’s concepts to examples of Indigenous offenders in the settler societies of Australia and New Zealand, the final section will examine the impact of the Indigenous subject in Western thought and institutional practice.
Field of Research
160202 Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation