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Download PDF by Melinda Hinkson, Jeremy Beckett: An appreciation of difference : W. E. H. Stanner and

By Melinda Hinkson, Jeremy Beckett

ISBN-10: 0855756853

ISBN-13: 9780855756857

ISBN-10: 0855757183

ISBN-13: 9780855757182

ISBN-10: 0855757248

ISBN-13: 9780855757243

"WEH Stanner was once a public highbrow whose paintings reached past the partitions of the academy, and he is still a hugely major determine in Aboriginal affairs and Australian anthropology. trained via Radcliffe-Brown in Sydney and Malinowski in London, he undertook anthropological paintings in Australia, Africa and the Pacific. Stanner contributed a lot to public understandings of the Dreaming and the importance of  Read more...

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Beyond all of this lay an unusual gift for writing. Stanner is rightly regarded as one of the most evocative interpreters of Aboriginal life and cosmology because of his command, at moments poetic, of the English language. When writing for a general readership his prose was elegant, imaginative, compelling. His notion of ‘the great Australian silence’ and illumination of the Aboriginal Dreaming fired the imaginations of many. Students recall his propensity to proffer useful neologisms and secretaries lament that his revisions of their typed letters always contained more strange words than the first draft.

He believed he could ‘count on Radcliffe-Brown and EvansPritchard; and I think also…Firth’ for support. He condemned ‘the amount of outright nepotism, and the extraordinary coincidence that each burst of what purports to be zeal for liberalism and native rights always ends up the same way — higher salaries, expense accounts, positions of power, wider influence for one or other [of the group] — all these [things] sickened me’ (EP 197/4/2/573, 25 October 1948). 37 Geoffrey Gray Notwithstanding his observation, and the obvious tension between Stanner and the ‘triumvirate’, Stanner’s reports on British colonial policy and its possible application to a post-war Papua and New Guinea were considered, as was his report on the Social Sciences Research Committee in the Colonial Office (Gray 2000, pp.

Stanner was in dialogue with Christian missionaries and theologians while he was writing, and part of his project in this paper, as in other writings, seems to have been to persuade them and other Australians that Aboriginal religion must be recognised as a High Culture. In this one respect, the essay might be said to date; today after a generation of religious relativism Australians 17 Jeremy Beckett and Melinda Hinkson seem all too ready to recognise Indigenous ‘spirituality’ but, in the process, it has too often been appropriated by New Age belief or reduced to a shallow trope of ‘indigenism’, both devoid of the kinds of qualities that Stanner identified and celebrated.

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An appreciation of difference : W. E. H. Stanner and Aboriginal Australia by Melinda Hinkson, Jeremy Beckett


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