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Out of the Mid-Century:
History, Memory and Cinema

Sylvia Lawson



Cinema, Jean-Luc Godard said in an interview a few years ago, is made of the same raw material as History (his capital H). ‘Even when it’s recounting a slight Italian or French comedy, cinema is much more the image of the century in all its aspects than some little novel; it’s the century’s metaphor. ... It’s an image on the scale of the man in the street, not the infinitely small atomic scale or the infinitely huge galactic one. What it has filmed most is men and women of average age ... [it] addresses them simply, it reports them, it’s the registrar of history’. (1)

This links easily to Godard’s more famous statement, that ‘cinema is truth twenty-four times a second’. From that point of view, the differences between the fiction film and documentary are of no importance. Watching cinema, we’re always watching history. It could be the history of the present, or else history as it was unfolding in the time of the film’s production. If it’s a period-piece, the history isn’t so much in what’s illustrated as in the way of looking at the story. Those genteel costume dramas produced by the renascent Australian industry in the ‘70s had nothing to do with (for example) girls’ boarding schools in 1900. The history they tell us is the history of ideas about what a national cinema should be doing. There was an aspiration in there, a straining toward European art-cinema, and a lot of cultural anxiety.

  1. Jean-Luc Godard and Youssef Ishaghpour, Cinema:The Archeology of Film and the Memory of a Century (Oxford: Berg, 2005), pp. 87-88.

So, when  in April 2009, I use the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, as Research Scholar, to tunnel into a past period in Australian film, I’m doing history in a way not possible with textbooks. Invited by a publisher to plan a book which would combine cultural history and memoir, I found quickly that such a project must be structured around two pursuits: cinema, and critical journalism. And it seemed important to go back to some kind of beginning, to the Australian films that were in circulation when I was growing up in the postwar years and the ‘50s. Four of them invited special attention; I chose The Overlanders (1946), The Back of Beyond (1954), Jedda (1955) and Bitter Springs (1950), all made between the War’s end and the mid-‘50s. I would be looking at them so that each would be a way back in to the forgotten world of the mid-century; but I would also be looking with particular attention to the way in which each film registered Aboriginality and race relations in the Australia of its time.


That emphasis marks a 21st Century point of view. Only three decades ago, the first Australians were marginal in general thinking about the character of national life. Now they have moved toward the middle of the picture; Australian intellectual life in the present is informed by the knowledge that we inherit a history of radical dispossession. That has a lot to do with the work of such revisionist historians as Henry Reynolds and Lyndall Ryan; with the impact of major public inquiries and the Bringing Them Home report of 1997; with the way John Howard’s repressive moves in the ensuing debates produced precisely the responses he opposed; with the contributions to public life of such indigenous leaders as Patrick and Michael Dodson, Lowitja O’Donohue, Marcia Langton and Noel Pearson. Above all that, the change in general consciousness is the outcome of Aboriginal cultural life, in art, writing and performance, Aboriginal film making included. My experiences of Ivan Sen’s Beneath Clouds (2002) and Dust (2000), of Warwick Thornton’s Samson and Delilah (2009) and Green Bush (2005), have everything to do with the way I look now at Jedda, The Overlanders, The Back of Beyond and Bitter Springs.



I remembered a school trip to The Overlanders; and I’d seen it at least once later on – it came up in a course I was teaching at Griffith University in the early ‘80s. Looking at it again in April 2009, I remembered how the first year kids at Griffith had loved it, and I mapped this year’s new viewing over that memory. Surely what they enjoyed was the mix of great landscapes with surging action, risk and freedom, the dream of a different, untamed Australia out there beyond the limits of the suburbs. And there was an important claim to truth; that cattle drove was real history.


The Overlanders was, immediately, a popular movie for which local audiences were ready. They were used to looking at Westerns, and this was a Western with familiar elements – the frontier town (Darwin) in a state of wartime crisis, then the epic feats of persistence and endurance in wideopen country. But then, a Western with important differences as well; no heavy drama, and only token romance; instead, a documentary on sheer hard work and ingenuity. For John Wayne’s weighty dominance, replace Chips Rafferty’s laconic, easy-going mode of leadership. For battle with frontier renegades or hostile Indians, replace an open world where Aborigines are facts of life and fellow-workers (to be noted on the credit-list as Abos.) For high-tension drama, replace an episodic narrative, a relaxed pace, general good humour, broken by the night stampede and Daphne Campbell’s thundering ride after the departing plane.


Harry Watt wrote a reminiscent essay (‘You Start from Scratch in Australia’), telling how, scouting Australian stories for Ealing Studios in 1944, he heard of what had been done to get the huge outback herds out of the reach of Japanese bombers; and ‘the film was born ... So, leaving a researcher to hunt out everything she could about every cattle trek that had ever happened, I tore off to the Northern Territory with a photographer ...’. (2) That researcher, given due credit after Watt’s own name on film, was the writer Dora Birtles.


Briskly, Watt describes assembling his inexperienced unit of thirty-five: they were ‘artists, scientists, young documentary workers, an ex-impresario, circus hands, writers, cattlemen and a waiter’. They had to get camera and sound equipment designed and built, find their film horses, ‘which must look like racers and behave like mice’, get their wartime permits, coupons and passes. Then, out on the farflung locations, every set was built by the unit:




2. Harry Watt, ‘You Start from Scratch in Australia’, first published in the Penguin Film Review No. 9 (May 1949), pp. 10-16; reprinted in Albert Moran and Tom O’Regan (eds.) An Australian Film Reader (Sydney: Currency Press, 1985), pp. 88-91.

  And the production staff planted the trees, the actors and camera crew planted the scrub and the girls planted the grass ... We had five months of it. We lived in army camps, usually about 200 miles from anywhere. We saw our rushes once a fortnight on a portable projector with a screen like a postage stamp. We had, of course, a series of crises ...    

Watt talks of being ‘dog-tired’ of the endless slog, but then his essay – published in 1949 – ends in optimism: ‘We have started to put Australian films on the screens of the world ... Local feature production is on the increase’. Along the way to that hopeful prospect, he has charted a process of relentless effort, so that the film as we have it can be seen as reflecting the tough conditions of its own production. Perhaps its vigour and confidence had something to do with that mix of people, from anywhere and everywhere, who made up the unit. They represented the audience, and the audience completes the film.


The documentary elements keep the temperature down; they also deliver the story as one about the home front in wartime, as evidence that we played our part. The optimistic signals at the end point to a postwar Australia that isn’t wholly a man’s world – the three women among the overlanders have strong roles, on horseback and off it; but in any event it’s a white folks’ world. When this film emerged, the postwar immigration wave was just beginning to rise; meantime white people, Anglo-Australians, are perceived as the resourceful managers of a healthy, open country. They push its projects through, and the future is theirs. The history we’re watching in The Overlanders is that of a mid-century moment, a climate of feeling, in which that white Australian confidence was unequivocally possible. There, the Aborigines had their prescribed roles and places – out there, in the background and on the edges. They were helpers at best.


That perception is qualified only once, in the curious exchange at night when the young Englishman asks about the Aborigines’ distant singing, and the girl replies that they’re remembering another time: ‘When they were happy’.

It’s a momentary signal toward recognition that the whole enterprise is going on in a profoundly dislocated world.



Once as a newspaper cadet – picking up a free ticket which nobody else wanted – I sat in the Shell company’s theatrette and watched, with complete astonishment, John Heyer’s remarkably enduring essay on the Birdsville track, The Back of Beyond. The story goes that the commission to Heyer, then head of the Shell Film Unit, was to make a documentary which would communicate ‘the essence of Australia’. Why that had to mean life in the desert – as it would for many filmmakers thereafter – is a question worth pursuing, as we consider all the ways in which later films have taken up themes of endurance, space and desert. The Overlanders linked wide-open country with hope and optimism; Heyer’s film asked its audiences to remember hopelessness, to think of central Australia as a place we might visit and even live in, but one where we could never properly belong.


Even so, the film’s visions of space had a kind of radiance, and so I came out from that screening feeling a new kind of connection with Australia – or a new idea of Australia, a country I didn’t know. Through many viewings since, the film keeps its emotional charge, even while it changes with history and distance, seeming to connect differently each time with the moment in which I’m watching. The film historian Tom O’Regan repeatedly calls The Back of Beyond ‘mytho-poetic’; Ross Gibson’s term is ‘mythopoeic’. Perhaps such terms suggest the film’s strangeness: its extraordinary orchestration of document with re-enactment and the storytelling offered by its characters. In any kind of genre theory The Back of Beyond shouldn’t work, but it does. Style holds the elements together, with Douglas Stewart’s lyrical script, Sydney John Kay’s adroit musical shifts, and cinematographer Ross Wood’s sharp, lucid imagery. The play of contradictions is dynamic: hauntings, deaths and disappearances, the practicalities of everyday life in the desert; the jazz from the wind-up gramophone.


Screening it with students, I faced a startling mix of responses. Some loved it, while others thought it was truly awful; heavy-handed, inflated like a sermon, out of date. It must be said that some of the re-enactments are over-strained: when the woman who might be Tom Kruse’s wife sees him off at the beginning, and when the outback women go through their exchanges on pedal radio, one communicating a health crisis and urgent need to contact the flying doctor. At those points the students laughed at the film’s awkwardness; and when the solitary snake winds across the moonlit sand they said hey, that one was let out of somebody’s hessian bag for sure. They laughed quite differently at the surreal comedy in the camp, when Tom dances with the dressmaker’s headless model. I had to do a good bit of talking about pre-televisual styles in documentary, about the Griersonian inheritance, the love of intensely calculated ‘composition’ in images and highflown spoken commentary – always in BBC male voices. I also had to learn something more myself about what it means to be watching film historically.


It means not only watching in the knowledge that the lives we meet along the Birdsville track are being lived in the early 1950s, but also that the filmmaker’s mode of perception, and indeed his brief from Shell (that whole curious idea of a national ‘essence’ which could be captured in an hour of film) belong in that time as well. John Heyer inherited Grierson, but he had his own stylistic ambitions; and as an Australian intellectual worker of the mid-century, he was caught in the contradictions of the time. Out of those, we can derive a certain pleasure in the film’s conceptual discords. It opens with spoken words and text over stretches of sandy emptiness, a series of quasi-surreal, Dalíesque images of skulls, shells and bones, a rearing lizard on a rock against burning sky; the narrator remembering the old quest for the inland sea, and the arrival of the white men ‘a million years too late’.


The incantation takes up the names of settlements and homesteads abandoned, buried under time and sand; it recalls men who vanished ‘over the edge of the world’ and reappeared in other places, carrying other names. In this introduction, the Aborigine is ‘one of a vanishing race’; at the same time, we are shown how much of the white man’s imperial enterprise also belongs to the past. The travellers reach the ruins of the old Lutheran mission, still a kind of shelter, but more importantly a sign of the coloniser’s defeat. We seem to be invited toward an elegy, both for lost Aboriginal life and for the white man’s ambitions as well.


But the elegiac mode gives place to the everyday, to the weathered good humour of Tom Kruse in his battered, jolting truck. As for the ‘vanishing race’, Tom’s driving mate is the practical Aboriginal man called Henry, who knows about coolibah wood, driving over sandhills, and making a raft for floodwaters on the Cooper. Lively little black kids chase the truck and hitch rides to the next gate; the stockman Malcolm Arkarinka joins them for a lift back to his home country, and none of them look like vanishing any time soon. They share the desert world with the old Afghan who unrolls a prayer mat on the sands; with Jack the Dogger and Joe the rainmaker, and the unnamed white woman who helps the black one write her letter for delivery by Tom Kruse.


The Back of Beyond constructs a community, linking the people of the Track in the mailman’s fortnightly journey. Within it, the Aborigines appear to occupy easy, accepted places, and the film doesn’t raise the question of how their way of belonging might be different. As Ross Gibson has written, all the main characters – black, white, Afghan and others – ‘adapt to the dictates of the country’ (3); they’re not out to subdue it. There’s an interesting kind of heresy in this. The Back of Beyond shows a fine indifference to Progress, the dominant secular doctrine of its day, and one of the insistent themes in the standard (and usually tedious) schoolroom documentaries made by the Government Film Unit through the ‘50s and well into the ‘60s. Those films are history now, in the most negative sense. With all its twists and anomalies, The Back of Beyond has lasted, speaking to other times, and bringing messages quite outside its first makers’ intentions. Poetry outlives journalism.

  3. Ross Gibson, South of the West (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), p. 152.


Charles Chauvel’s last feature, Jedda (1954), is played repeatedly to this day in Central Australia for mainly Aboriginal audiences. Insofar as those audiences bring their own desires to the film it survives, and perhaps its durability owes something to the local presence of Rosalie Kunoth Monks, now an active community leader in her seventies. As the teenage Ngarla Kunoth in 1954 she was the beautiful young star of Jedda, a transplanted Romeo and Juliet set in the desert. The lovers’ tragedy is presented as stemming from an intractable call of the blood; Jedda, adopted by a white couple whose baby has died, is being schooled for life in the white world, and marriage to an acculturated man of mixed descent. The appearance of the suggestively named Marbuck, played by the splendid Robert Tudawali, puts an end to all that; Jedda goes out of control. Two laws will be broken, white law in Jedda’s abduction, black law in that she and Marbuck transgress the prohibition on wrong-skin marriages, unions outside the prescriptions laid down by kinship systems.


Perhaps the film’s continuing pull on indigenous audiences has to do with the meanings they can find in Tudawali’s dominance, an idea of invincible Aboriginality transcending individual tragedies, and an affirmation of Aboriginal law. Then the attempt at weaning Jedda away from her own people was a white woman’s project; there may be real satisfaction to be drawn from its defeat. But there is no single Aboriginal viewing position; the indigenous scholar Marcia Langton sees the film as ‘a colonialist fantasy’, (4) asking for the truth of frontier brutality in melodrama. The lovers’ doom can be seen as figuring the conventional wisdom of the 1940s and ‘50s, when white schoolchildren were routinely taught that the Aborigines were ‘dying out’: a highly convenient notion in a society committed to pioneer legends, and one which had hardly begun to deal with the facts of invasion and dispossession.





4. Langton’s comments are quoted in O’Regan, Australian National Cinema (London: Routledge, 1996), pp. 191-2.

From another viewpoint, the film is hardly about Aborigines at all; it’s more of a travelogue in majestic landscapes, with Aboriginal figures arranged in them in a kind of ballet. Chauvel was working in a country without a continuing film industry; professionally, as a veteran still determined to make authentically local feature films, he was isolated. Jedda was his last major effort, and it had to be made with all stops out; thus he chose what seemed to him, and to his wife and working partner Elsa Chauvel, the most forceful story he could find. But the direction is fatally heavy-handed, the dialogue strained. Chauvel was shouting in order to be heard; there’s no confidence that the audience is out there, and for all the splendours of the locations, no sense that the story really belongs in these places, to Australia or to us. The film’s place is in the story of Chauvel’s own thirty-year struggle to put Australia on the screen; for the rest, and tragically, it’s only a bad Western.



On its first level as popular entertainment, Bitter Springs announces its nature immediately. The long road stretches in front of the horse-drawn wagon; there are spreading panoramas, and high angles on the wagon as it plods on through vast landscapes. We’re told we’re in 1900; this family is pioneering in the South Australian outback. So we’re watching a Western, school of John Ford, with the Flinders Ranges magnificently replacing Monument Valley. It’s not only a matter of stylistic debts and homage (and in 1950 Ford’s greatest works were still to come); but more by the way the conventions are observed in constructing the drama of the white family against the hardships of the frontier.


The actors in the leading roles slide comfortably into their stereotypes. As Wally King, Chips Rafferty (who’d had a bit of practice) is a believable hard-riding cattleman, and he does a mean stockwhip-crack. Jean Blue, named Ma as in The Overlanders, is the stalwart practical woman and peace-maker, in print dress and apron, and also the true mother who will put her own needs last. Nonnie Piper, healthy in blonde pigtails, is matched to an equally fresh-faced young Gordon Jackson, the novice who naively thinks the dispossessed Aborigines might possibly have a case. He’s up against the outsider son of the family, strongly played by Charles Tingwell (better known, in his long subsequent career, as Bud). For him it’s cowboys and Indians: the native people are the enemy. In his mind, the situation is very much as it was taught to young Australians in the day when this film was made; that is, that the pioneers were the nation’s primal heroes, while the Aborigines were among the major perils they faced.


Tingwell provides a strong, recalcitrant presence, and there’s dramatic force in the opposed presence of Michael Pate as the trooper who understands that the Aborigines have their claims. The most interesting of the main performances, however, is Henry Murdoch’s as Black Jack, the one Aboriginal stockman on King’s team. As with his part in The Overlanders, and with Aboriginal casting in general, Murdoch’s name comes at the end of the credits. But he is repeatedly found at the centre of the screen, caught between his job for the white people and his deeper loyalties. With his presence, it might have been supposed that Aborigines weren’t entirely alien to the group; but when Wally King sees smoke rising from the bluffs, he exclaims ‘blacks!’ exactly as a bushwalker might call ‘snake!’. The word, in that context, is part of the old pioneer-centred history: the one we were taught.


The main story line is abruptly closed off, with a perfunctory and quite unconvincing optimism. Under force majeure, Wally has to change, but the film takes him and us no further than an accommodation in which the white man’s interests are dominant. The highly problematic final shot, in which an Aboriginal leader and King are seen shearing busily side by side, precisely illustrates the idea of assimilation, the approved policy of the day. Other endings were possible; the one which Ralph Smart reportedly proposed was entirely bleak, involving the shooting-down of numerous Aborigines. Some commentators at the time would have liked Fordian celebrations of (white) community, piano-accordions and dancing, with Aborigines tidied out of the way. But in the very awkwardness of the ending we have, there’s an odd kind of truth to the period: the assimilationist framework did not permit the kind of understanding a 21st Century audience might ask for. Wally King doesn’t come to any recognition of what, decades later, we would learn to call land rights; but it’s because of the curious, fractured way in which the film harks forward to the Aboriginal politics of the 1960s and ‘70s that it grips our attention now. In commentary, much has been made of the production context – Ealing Films’ hopes of establishing a line of commercial, adventure-centred movies in Australia, in a framework of progressive social liberalism.


Those elements had to do with the general welcome to the film. According to the careful historians Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, it ‘enjoyed solid public support’. There were disagreements among the reviewers; in Britain, the Monthly Film Bulletin took it as ‘a serious study of the relations of white settlers and aborigines’, while C. A. Lejeune of the Observer praised it as ‘utterly simple and unaffected’. But the London Times, more perceptively, found it ‘a film divided against itself’ and judged Tommy Trinder’s part, as a wandering entertainer lassoed into the team, totally out of place – he belonged on stage at the London Palladium. Local reviewers thought likewise, but one of Australia’s pre-eminent critics of both film and theatre, Josephine O’Neill, then of the Daily Telegraph, had a more sophisticated position. She wrote:


  Tommy Trinder, who darts in and out of the film – he should have lingered longer – brings the human drama to warm life ... [and] fills out his sketchy character ... into telling reality. (5)   5. Josephine O’Neill, ‘Bitter Springs’, Sydney Daily Telegraph, 25 June 1950.

Apart from Trinder, and Michael Pate’s presence as the trooper, O’Neill found that the best of the film lay in the Aboriginal presences, in Black Jack’s decision to return to his own people, and in George Heath’s stunning cinematography of the landscape. Otherwise, in her view, both script and direction failed both the outback family and the possible scale of the adventure. If there was an imagined gulf between past and present responses, O’Neill’s perceptive review undercuts it. With little modification, her review could have been written today; in Bitter Springs we have a mid-century work of great interest, but one in which the story doesn’t transcend its conventions; it’s less than it should have been. Deb Verhoeven has rightly observed that while it’s a movie notionally about the past, it fails to engage with history; and the history of the production itself is the real story now. (6) It has excited some important historical scholarship.


Both Verhoeven and Maggie Brady (7) record, in detail, the glaring irony that while the film showed explicit concern for Aboriginal rights, such rights were much abused in the treatment of the indigenous cast even before the cameras began rolling. More than 150 men, women and children were transported from a mission reserve at Ooldea to the location at Quorn, many travelling in open cattle-trucks without lights, seating or toilets; although the government had provided second-class rail tickets for each of them, only one carriage was made available for the two-day journey. Overnight, they shivered in bare railway-station rooms; on the set, in cold and rainy weather, they lived in overcrowded tents. Ealing took no responsibility; the South Australian government, much in favour of the movie as local promotion, had undertaken to pay the Aborigines and attend to their wellbeing through the shoot. The money had been allocated: two pounds a week, in the currency of the day, to each Aboriginal participant, except for the Queenslander Henry Murdoch, who was paid six pounds – two in cash, the rest through the Queensland Department of Native Affairs. For many of those without speaking parts, the money didn’t come through at all, either in cash or in the agreed forms of new clothing and blankets.


In a time when general concern was growing for the plight of the Aboriginal people at large, there was a burst of public indignation over this, with stories that some of the Aboriginal actors had been seen begging by the South Australian rail-tracks. Questions were raised in both the State and Federal parliaments; the Adelaide News took up the case:



6. Deb Verhoeven, Sheep and the Australian Cinema (Melbourne University Press, 2006), Part 3.

7. Maggie Brady, ‘The Politics of Space and Mobility: Controlling the Ooldea/Yalata Aborigines, 1952-1982’, Aboriginal History, Volume 23 (1999), pp. 1-14.





  The big question, of course, is whether the arrangements at Quorn would have been considered satisfactory if the 155 men, women and children had been white people. (8)   8. Adelaide News, 23 May 1949.

Beyond the Bitter Springs chapter, Maggie Brady has shown how the fictional dispossession of the film’s ‘Karigani’ prefigured the real-life uprooting of the Pitjatjantjara-speaking Ooldea people when their home territories were appropriated for the atomic test sites at Emu and Maralinga. Brady suggests that Walter MacDougall, the patrol officer who was principally responsible for controlling the people’s movements and steering them away from the proving grounds, may have been a model for Michael Pate’s character in the film, ‘a man who attempted his own rapprochement between the realities of white incursion and the uncomfortable situation in which Aboriginal people found themselves as a result’. After 1952 they were ‘penned in ... by the need for water supplies, their dependence on European rations, and the surveillance of the missionaries’.


Decades later, in a political and social climate which allowed wider recognition of land and cultural rights, the descendants of Bitter Springs’ Aboriginal cast regained their mobility, and their places on the contaminated Maralinga lands. They continue to live and travel there, in vulnerable, under-resourced communities, Third World people in a First World country.



The ABC’s much-esteemed film critic John Hinde (1911-2006) believed that cinema should always be understood as a set of interactions between filmmakers, screen and audience. No society, he said ‘has acquired its own nationally expressive and nationally loved cinema unless the society itself has been looking, usually desperately, for new directions’. (9) Broadcasting and writing in 1979, he thought that the film society and film festival sectors had set too much value on the fine-art costume-dramas of that decade, and so undervalued a lively popular genre in the
Barry Mackenzie and Alvin Purple films. Those, Hinde argued, hit real nerves in the audience, in their take-up of masculine sexual anxieties; and he regretted that the genre wasn’t allowed to develop.


In the present cultural climate, where a rather dreary bleakness is often conflated with realism both in print and on the screen, John Hinde’s optimism has a good deal to teach us. With Barry and Alvin, he had a real argument; they were important parts of that social watershed we were crossing from the mid-1960s into the ‘70s. To see the life in the mid-century Ealing films and the others discussed here, we have to go much further back, and consider the slow emergence of another creative anxiety, even wider and deeper: that which was developing around the racial divide and the foundations of national existence. The sexual dimension was there in Jedda, in the profound fear of miscegenation. The fear that historical injustice might overtake all of us was there in The Back of Beyond, where the desert’s forbidding emptiness, and the story of the lost children, confront the suburban audience: if this is Australia, what are we doing here? The fear, the knowledge of white society as alien within its colonised home, works even in the sunny Overlanders, and more sharply in Bitter Springs.


9. John Hinde, Other People’s Pictures (Sydney: ABC Books, 1981), p. 144. Both Hinde and Josephine O’Neill (1905-1968) did much in critical and reviewing work to develop a film culture and a sustaining climate for production. They are now themselves subjects for further research.





All four films have their messages for the present. The commercial success of Samson and Delilah has been one kind of long term response. Other Aboriginal-made films have followed, and soon Ivan Sen’s extraordinary Toomelah (2011) will move from its special niches in festival programmes to confront the wider audience. Praise for Sen's stylistics will be a part of the response, but it won’t be enough. Sen confronts us with despair, while allowing a narrow, conditional window of hope. In order to think about Toomelah, as we must, it will help to do some history, to look back at Bitter Springs.


I thank the staff of the National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra, especially Ruth Hill and Belinda Hunt, for their generous help during the time of my fellowship as a Visiting Scholar with the NFSA in April-May 2009. I thank also the Archive’s programming officer Quentin Turnour for valuable and provocative discussion during that time; Jane Mills for sharing her continuing work on Jedda; and Tina Kaufman for invaluable debate perennially.


from Issue 1: Histories


© Sylvia Lawson October 2009/December 2010.
Cannot be reprinted without permission of the author and editors.