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A Post-Colonial Ontology? Tim Winton’s The Riders and the Challenge to White-Settler Identity

Mc Credden, Lyn 2020, A Post-Colonial Ontology? Tim Winton’s The Riders and the Challenge to White-Settler Identity, Humanities, vol. 9, no. 3, Special Issue: Religion and Postcolonial Literature, Art, and Music, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.3390/h9030095.

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Title A Post-Colonial Ontology? Tim Winton’s The Riders and the Challenge to White-Settler Identity
Author(s) Mc Credden, LynORCID iD for Mc Credden, Lyn orcid.org/0000-0003-3956-0964
Journal name Humanities
Volume number 9
Issue number 3
Season Special Issue: Religion and Postcolonial Literature, Art, and Music
Article ID 95
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher MDPI AG
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2020
ISSN 2076-0787
Keyword(s) post-colonial
white-settler identity
spiritual
Tim Winton
ontology
Belonging and (Un)belonging
Summary Through a reading of Australian non-Indigenous author Tim Winton and his novel The Riders, this essay seeks to shake to the very roots white-settler understandings of identity and belonging. The essay treads respectfully into the field of Australian identity, recognizing that Indigenous people’s ancient and sacred relationship with country and the formation of treaties with the nation, are now rightfully central on national agendas. However, this essay asks the following question: what are the ontological grounds upon which respectful dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians might occur, after such violent and traumatic history? The essay explores the possible grounds for an evolving dialogue, one which will be necessarily intersectional: (post)colonial, spiritual/ontological and material. Further, the essay identifies “spirituality” and “ontology” as broad denominators for religion, speculating on a (post)colonial ontology which centers on home and (un)belonging. White-settler Australians, this essay argues, must confront deep ontological issues of brokenness if they are to take part meaningfully in future dialogues. Scully, the protagonist of The Riders, finds himself far from home and stripped of almost all the markers of his former identity: as Australian, as husband, and as a man in control of his life. The novel probes (un)belonging for this individual descendent of colonial Australia, as trauma engulfs him. Further, it will be argued that The Riders prefigures the wider, potentially positive aspects of a post-colonial ontology of (un)belonging, as white-settler Australians come to enunciate a broken history, and ontological instability. Such recognition, this essay argues, is a preliminary step towards a fuller post-colonial dialogue in Australia.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/h9030095
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30141252

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.