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Home List of Titles Settler collective, founding violence and disavowal: the settler colonial situation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/46576
- Settler collective, founding violence and disavowal: the settler colonial situation
- Veracini, Lorenzo
- This paper outlines a number of approaches to an analysis of settler colonial subjectivities, the exploration of a specific state of mind and the detection of a number of paranoiac dispositions in a particular set of political traditions. At the same time, this paper explores the possibility of a Lacanian (i.e. imaginary-symbolic-real) interpretation of what is here defined as the settler colonial situation. First there is an imaginary spectacle, an ordered community working hard and living peacefully Little House on the Prairie style. Then there is the symbolic and ideological background: a moral and regenerative world that supposedly epitomises settler democratic traditions (the 'frontier', the 'outback', the 'backblocks', etc.). Finally, there is the real: expanding capitalist orders associated with the need to resettle a growing number of people. While this paper is aware that the categories of this analysis were initially developed in order to classify individual psychic phenomena and not collective processes and while it is suggestive rather than conclusive (and while it focuses on Australia's settler colonial condition), this paper is especially aimed at outlining the possibility for further research. It ultimately suggests that 'settler society' is in itself a fantasy emanating from a painful perception of growing contradictions and social strife, where the prospect of settler migration literally operates as a displacement of tension, and where the longing for a classless, stationary and settled body politic can find expression. This paper also suggests that an appraisal of the settler colonial situation can contribute to the interpretation of current contestations surrounding Indigenous difference in settler societies.
- Publication type
- Journal article
- Journal of Intercultural Studies, Vol. 29, no. 4 (Nov 2008), pp. 363-379
- Publication year
- Aboriginal history; Australia; Colonialism; Fantasy; History; Pioneer settlement; Psychiatry; Psychoanalysis; Stress; Trauma; Violence
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2008 Taylor & Francis.
- Peer reviewed