This edition of JEASA aims to focus on the development of the Indigenous/mixed race family in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific from the early colonial period up until the present, set against the persistence of Indigenous cultural, social and political innovations through the generations and against genocidal forces. It will be edited by Dr Victoria Grieves of the University of Sydney and Dr Martina Horakova of the University of Masaryk.
From the beginnings of contact with newcomers from different cultural contexts children of mixed race have been conceived and various family formations have developed to care for them, with or without usually destructive state interventions. In the cases where the state has intervened and the course of peoples' lives moves out of their control, the overwhelming reaction has been to reconnect. For example, the bringing home of stolen Aboriginal children, the enormous endurance of children who followed the Rabbit Proof Fence, and the reunion of the children of American GIs in the Pacific with their American families.
Moreover, in the midst of poverty and despair, individuals such as Samson and Delilah have formed enduring and mutually supportive liaisons while the protagonist in Mad Bastards is attempting to reconnect with family, life and hope. Thus the assertion of life and hope that continues in the many varied cultural and cross-cultural connections that are revealed in history, film, literature and theatre are inextricably bound with the celebration of survival amongst Indigenous peoples of Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.
The solidity and persistence of Indigenous family and kinship ties is sometimes foregrounded but is also often a subtext in the portrayals of Indigenous lifeways in history, biography and autobiography, theatre, film, literature and dance. Moreover, contemporary political commentary such as that occurring around the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), the Intervention into Aboriginal communities is couched in terms for the protection of children. Since the advent of colonialism the impact of settler colonial pubic policy on the Indigenous family has been overwhelmingly destructive, but this recent development paradoxically sees the state claiming to hold the key to the protection of children in family environments constructed as toxic and dangerous.
Thus it is that Indigenous family histories can be a vehicle for revealing an "other" history of settler colonialism, unjust and inhumane, that sought to destroy the Indigenous family and the life and hope inherent in the projection of family into the future. This history illuminates developments about race thinking, social ostracisms and "passing"; including policy innovations as attempts to control racial intermixing, such as "protectionism", segregation, control of marriages, removal of children into institutions, dormitories and boarding schools and adoption into white families.
These histories also highlight the development of cultural hybridity evident in Indigenous knowledges and Indigenous cultural innovations in literature, film and the arts. Also evident in resistance to governments' control, including political activism, cultural innovation and the maintenance of cultural lifeways and relationships with kin, within the surviving Indigenous family.
We welcome interdisciplinarity! Scholarly articles from history and literature to film studies, sociology and cultural studies that relate to any of the issues raised above, that engage with an aspect of Indigenous marriage, family and kinship in Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific are welcome.
Submissions should be sent to Dr Vicki Grieves at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2012.
Formatting instructions can be found on the journal's website, but for now any scholarly model will be appropriate until an article has been accepted.
JEASA is a peer-reviewed, MLA-indexed, open-access online journal, whose first issue appeared in 2009. The journal's website may be found at http://www.ub.edu/dpfilsa/jeasamainpage.html