Research Stream

People

Angelique Stastny
The University of Melbourne
Email

Grace Moore
The University of Melbourne
Email

Settler Regimes of Ignorance: Teaching Indigenous-Settler Relationships in Schools in Australia and Kanaky/ New Caledonia

This PhD research project focuses on the ways that the historical and political relationships between Indigenous people and settlers are taught in public schools in two settler colonial societies: Australia and Kanaky/ New Caledonia.

The Transformative Power of Emotions: Teaching Colonisation in Colonial Settler Societies

Based on an analysis of history curricula, textbooks and interviews with history teachers carried out in these two societies, it addresses the following questions: What political understandings of Indigenous - settler relationships are disseminated in schools? To what extent can or does the teacher – as the ultimate institutional actor, the inheritor of a historiography, and a political and emotional agent – shape the relationships between Indigenous people and settlers in schools? Can the school system decolonise itself? Pushing the existing boundaries of research on settler colonialism and decolonisation, and bringing together British/Australian and French forms of settler colonialism into the analysis, Stastny examines processes of both knowledge and ignorance production. She demonstrates that the production of knowledge may not necessarily be a solution to settler colonial ignorance but, rather, that ignorance is both where the problem is and where the solution lies.

Supervisor

Grace Moore

Relevant Publication

Stastny, A. ‘Settler-Indigenous Relationships and the Emotional Regime of Empathy in Australian History School Textbooks in Times of Reconciliation’. In Emotion, Affective Practices and the Past in the Present, edited by L. Smith, M. Wetherell  and G. Campbell.  London and New York: Routledge, 2018.

Image: Mr Murray Walker (Designer) & William Barak (Artist) & Tommy McRae (Artist) & Victorian Tapestry Workshop (Maker) 1832, Tapestry - & Now Exploration & Settlement Are Underway, Victorian Tapestry Workshop, 2001, Museum Victoria.