That Dead Man Dance

Hi All,

I trust you are making good headway with That Dead Man Dance! This is a wonderfully relevant novel to Australia today with its still unresolved relationship to its indigenous inhabitants.  I was struck especially by an article that was written yesterday about the statue of Captain Cook by Stan Grant:

I passed by Hyde Park this week in the heart of Sydney and looked again on the statue of Captain James Cook. It has pride of place, a monument to the man who in 1770 claimed this continent for the British crown.

On the base of the statue is an inscription in bold letters:


It has stood since 1879. When it was unveiled more than 60,000 people turned out. The procession at the time was the largest ever seen in Sydney.

No-one present then questioned that this was the man who founded the nation.

But think about that today. Think of those words: “Discovered this territory.”

My ancestors where here when Cook dropped anchor. We know now that the first peoples of this continent had been here for at least 65,000 years, for us the beginning of human time.

Yet this statue speaks to emptiness, it speaks to our invisibility; it says that nothing truly mattered, nothing truly counted until a white sailor first walked on these shores.

The statue speaks still to terra nullius and the violent rupture of Aboriginal society and a legacy of pain and suffering that endures today.

Read the whole article at:

Blog Topics for next week:

1/ CRITICAL Do you agree with the sentiments of Stan Grant in the article above? If so why? If not why not?

2/ CREATIVE Imagine that your are Bobby in That Dead Man Dance. Describe in around 250 words what your feelings are about white settlers coming into the tribal hunting grounds of your family.

3/ CREATIVE We have explored the different ways in which Europeans and indigenous inhabitants experience and describe their landscapes. In around 150 words can you describe a landscape that you love and know well with the immediacy and richly descriptive manner of an indigenous person.

4/ CRITICAL Assemble a digital kit of interviews and videos on That Dead Man Dance.

5/ Create a topic of your own that brings together aspects of your own experience and your reading of That Dead Man Dance

Remember to complete and post your first peer review; remember to copy and paste your review into your own blog (complete with the URL of your peer).

Remember that if you want to see who has commented on your blogs you need to go into “Comments”. There you can accept or reject any comments made.

Enjoy the process!

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