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Essays on the Production and Reception of Anita Heiss's Writing

Mathew, Imogen

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Dr Anita Heiss is a Wiradjuri author from Central NSW. Heiss was one of the nine applicants in Eatock v Bolt, the 2011 court case where Justice Mordecai Bromberg found Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt to have contravened Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth). Heiss later published a memoir entitled Am I Black Enough for You? in which she spoke to notions of Aboriginal identity and authenticity raised by the case. As she decisively put it in the opening pages of Am I Black...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMathew, Imogen
dc.date.accessioned2019-08-23T01:45:51Z
dc.date.available2019-08-23T01:45:51Z
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/165160
dc.description.abstractDr Anita Heiss is a Wiradjuri author from Central NSW. Heiss was one of the nine applicants in Eatock v Bolt, the 2011 court case where Justice Mordecai Bromberg found Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt to have contravened Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth). Heiss later published a memoir entitled Am I Black Enough for You? in which she spoke to notions of Aboriginal identity and authenticity raised by the case. As she decisively put it in the opening pages of Am I Black Enough?: "I am an urban, beachside Blackfella, a concrete Koori with Westfield Dreaming, and I apologise to no-one". Alongside her involvement in the court case, Heiss is well known as the author of 'choc'-lit, a distinctive brand of popular women's fiction that retains the chick lit genre's focus on career, friendship, sex and shopping, but with a twist: Heiss's writing features urban Aboriginal Australian women as the main characters. Heiss's 'choc'-lit further differentiates itself from normatively white articulations of the genre in its intent to educate a non-Aboriginal audience. The memoir genre, litigation in the Federal Court and 'choc'-lit would appear to have little in common. Yet, Heiss pursues the same argument through each: that the rich diversity of contemporary Aboriginal identity far exceeds the limited stereotypes that dominate the Australian imagination. Until now, there has been very little scholarly interest in Heiss's writing. My thesis recognises Heiss as a unique and important author whose writing broadens the available spaces for Aboriginal writers in Australian public life. I present my doctoral research as a thesis by compilation. The main body consists of five journal articles: three have already been published and two are under review. My papers move between two modes: literary analyses of plot, theme and character; and online reception studies. By paying attention to the way Heiss puts an ostensibly escapist genre to serious political ends, my research presents the first sustained academic account of Heiss's published writing. Equally, I focus on online reception and amateur reviewing practices to highlight new ways of thinking about engagement and impact through popular literary forms.
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.titleEssays on the Production and Reception of Anita Heiss's Writing
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorMitchell, Katherine
local.contributor.supervisorcontactu4169672@anu.edu.au
dc.date.issued2020
local.contributor.affiliationCollege of Arts & Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.description.embargo2021-01-28
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5e43cd4fe7167
local.identifier.proquestNo
local.identifier.researcherID0000-0003-1239-1398
local.thesisANUonly.authora339ed64-3daa-4b5c-bcd4-3c7633a1ddfe
local.thesisANUonly.title000000013791_TS_2
local.thesisANUonly.keyd82ec843-95b1-e096-8dbe-d5b92319b164
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsRestricted Theses

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