Mabos Cultural Legacy

Mabos Cultural Legacy

History, Literature, Film and Cultural Practice in Contemporary Australia


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More than any other event in Australia’s legal, political and cultural history, the High Court of Australia’s 1992 Mabo decision challenged previous ways of thinking about land, identity, belonging, the nation and history. Now, more than a quarter of a century after Mabo, this book examines the broader impacts of this landmark legal decision on various forms of Australian culture and cultural practice. How is Australia’s post-Mabo imaginary being reflected, refracted and articulated in contemporary film, fiction, poetry, biography and other forms of cultural expression? To what extent has the discussion and practice of history, linguistics, anthropology and other branches of the humanities been challenged or transformed by Mabo? While the judges in Mabo recognised native title, they also denied Indigenous people sovereignty over the continent: how is First Nations sovereignty being articulated and creatively imagined in more recent post-Mabo discourse? This interdisciplinary book, offering a transnational perspective via scholars based in Australia, continental Europe and the UK, provides an overview of the diverse impact and discursive influence of Mabo on fields of artistic endeavour and cultural practice in Australia today.