Associate Professor Lorenzo Veracini
Tuesday October 17, 2017, 12:30 – 2 pm
Hi Viz lab, Borchardt Library, Research Commons, La Trobe University Bundoora Campus

There is a developed literature addressing the ways in which islands have been understood as special sites for political experimentation (this paper’s title shamelessly repurposes John Gillis argument about islands).  Inlands too were routinely understood as opportunities for establishing regenerative polities. The former are bodies of land surrounded by water, the latter are bodies of land surrounded by land; separation remains a defining characteristic of both (and a crucial feature of the political imagination outlined by this paper). It is separation that makes the political project that is to be established in the inlands sacred (sacer and separation are etymologically related); after all, all ‘cities on a hill’ must be visible from a distance. This paper begins with observing that all the cultural traditions of the ‘new’ societies envisage sites of specific settler authenticity: the ‘frontier’, the backblocks, the brousse, the ‘outback’, the ‘highlands’, the prairies, the veldt, the pampas, the West Bank, etc. These ideal and real places are all inland of somewhere else …

Lorenzo Veracini is Associate Professor in History and Politics at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. His research focuses on the comparative history of colonial systems and settler colonialism. He has authored Israel and Settler Society (2006), Settler Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview (2010), and The Settler Colonial Present (2015). Lorenzo is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism (2016) and Editor in Chief of Settler Colonial Studies.

Image: Journal of a voyage to Peru – a passage across the Cordillera of the Andes in the winter of 1827, performed on foot in the snow, and a journey across the Pampas (1828)