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Anna Branach-Kallas

Abstract

The article is an analysis of the representation of Australian nurses in Thomas Keneally 2012 First World War novel, The Daughters of Mars. Inspired by rigorous research, Keneally fictionalizes the lives of two nursing sisters in the Middle East, on a hospital ship in the Dardanelles, as well as in hospitals and casualty clearing stations on the Western Front. His novel thus reclaims an important facet of the medical history of the First World War. The author of the article situates her analysis in the context of historical research on the First World War and the Australian Anzac myth, illuminating the specifically Australian elements in Keneally’s portrait of the Durance sisters. She demonstrates that The Daughters of Mars celebrates the achievements of “Anzac girls”, negotiating a place for them in the culture of commemoration. Yet, at the same time, Keneally attempts to include his female protagonists in the “manly” world of Anzac values, privileging heroism over victimization. Consequently, they become “misfits of war”, eagerly accepting imperial and nationalist ideologies. Thus, in a way characteristic of Australian First World War literature, The Daughters of Mars fuses the tropes of affirmation and desolation.

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Zuzanna Buchowska, Jacek Fabiszak and Tomasz Skirecki

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Agnieszka Setecka

Abstract

Australia features in numerous Victorian novels either as a place of exile or a land of new opportunities, perhaps the most memorable image of the country having been presented in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1861). Anthony Trollope’s writing, however, offers a much more extensive and complex presentation of Australian life as seen by a Victorian English gentleman. In his Australian fictions, including Harry Heathcote of Gangoil (1874), Catherine Carmichael (1878), and John Caldigate (1879), he presents Australia both as a land of new opportunities and as a place where social hierarchy as it is known in England is upturned and social boundaries either disregarded or drawn along different lines. The present article is concerned with the ways in which Trollope’s John Caldigate represents differences in the structure of English and Australian society, stressing the latter’s lack of a clear class hierarchy characteristic of social organisation “back home”. The society of Australia is presented as extremely plastic and mobile - both in terms of space and structure. Consequently, it can hardly be contained within a stiffly defined hierarchy, and it seems to defy the rules of social organisation that are accepted as natural and obvious in England. In Trollope’s fiction success in Australia depends to a large extent on hard work, ability to withstand the hardships of life with no luxuries, and thrift, and thus on personal virtues, but the author nevertheless suggests that it is defined solely by economic capital at the cost of cultural capital, so significant in England.

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Ruben Benatti and Angela Tiziana Tarantini

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse the relationship that second- and third-generation Italian migrants in Australia have with the Italian dialect of their family. We report on the survey we recently carried out among young Italian-Australians, mainly learners of Italian as a second language. First, we analyse the motivation behind learning Italian as a heritage language. We then move on to describe their self-evaluation of their competence in the dialect of their family, and their perception thereof. Surprisingly, our survey reveals that not only are Italian dialects still understood by most second- and third-generation Italians (contrary to what people may think), but Italian dialects are also perceived by young Italian-Australians as an important part of their identity. For them, dialect is the language of the family, particularly in relation to the older members. It fulfills an instrumental function, as it enables communication with some family members who master neither English nor Italian, but above all, it is functional to the construction of their self and their social identity.

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Stefanie Affeldt

Abstract

This article investigates the history of the Queensland cane sugar industry and its cultural and political relations. It explores the way the sugar industry was transformed from an enterprise drawing on the traditional plantation crop cultivated by an unfree labour force and employing workers into an industry that was an important, symbolical element of ‘White Australia’ that was firmly grounded in the cultural, political, nationalist, and racist reasoning of the day. The demographic and social changes drew their incitement and legitimation from the ‘White Australia’ culture that was represented in all social strata. Australia was geographically remote but culturally close to the mother country and was assigned a special position as a lone outpost of Western culture. This was aggravated by scenarios of allegedly imminent invasions by the surrounding Asian powers, which further urged cane sugar’s transformation from a ‘black’ to a ‘white man’s industry’. As a result, during the sugar strikes of the early 20th century, the white Australian sugar workers were able to emphasize their ‘whiteness’ to press for improvements in wages and working conditions. Despite being a matter of constant discussion, the public acceptance of the ‘white sugar campaign’ was reflected by the high consumption of sugar. Moreover, the industry was lauded for its global uniqueness and its significance to the Australian nation. Eventually, the ‘burden’ of ‘white sugar’ was a monetary, but even more so moral support of an industry that was supposed to provide a solution to population politics, support the national defence, and symbolize the technological advancement and durability of the ‘white race’ in a time of crisis.

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Anna Czerwińska

Abstract

This paper discusses the historical background and significance of the two most important national holidays in New Zealand: Waitangi Day and Anzac Day. Waitangi Day is celebrated on the 6th February and it commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between British representatives and a number of Māori chiefs in 1840. Following the signing of the treaty New Zealand became effectively a British colony. Anzac Day is celebrated on 25th April, i.e., on the anniversary of the landing of soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in 1915, during World War One. There are three major differences between these two holidays: the process of those days becoming national holidays, the level of contestation, and the changing messages they have carried. The present study analyzes the national discourse around Anzac Day and Waitangi Day in New Zealand, and attempts to reveal how the official New Zealand government rhetoric about national unity becomes deconstructed. The following analysis is based on a selection of online articles from the New Zealand Herald and Stuff published in Auckland and Wellington, respectively. Both cities are populated by multi-ethnic groups, with Auckland featuring the largest Māori population.

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Jakub Lipski

Abstract

This article seeks to explore the interrelationship of two facets characterising eighteenth-century travel writing – art commentaries and national discourse. It is demonstrated that one of the reasons behind the travellers’ repetitious attempts to fashion themselves as connoisseurs was a need to re-affirm their national identity. To this end it offers an analysis of two travel texts coming from two different political moments – Daniel Defoe’s A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724–1726), constituting an attempt to read the British as a “great” and prosperous nation after the union of 1707, and Tobias Smollett’s idiosyncratic Travels through France and Italy (1766), shedding light on the British attitude towards the South in the aftermath of the Seven Years’ War and at the outset of the cult of feeling in Britain. It will also be argued that the numerous art commentaries throughout the narratives had a political agenda and supported the national discourse underpinning the texts.

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Sune Gregersen

Abstract

The development of dare in the history of English has played an important role in the literature on grammatical change and (de)grammaticalization. This paper aims to clarify two issues regarding the syntax and semantics of dare in earlier English: when it is first attested with to-infinitives, and to what extent it can be said to have been semantically ‘bleached’ in a number of Old English attestations. The conclusions are, firstly, that dare is not attested with to-infinitives in Old English (pace Tomaszewska 2014), and that a number of Middle English attestations that have been suggested in the literature are not convincing (pace Visser 1963–73; Beths 1999; Molencki 2005). Secondly, it is argued that the co-occurrence of dare and verbs like gedyrstlæcan ‘venture, be bold, presume’ in Old English is not an indication of semantic ‘bleaching’ of dare, and that the verb was not more ‘auxiliarized’ in Old English than it is today.

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George Walkden and Donald Alasdair Morrison

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the place of origin of the change from Jespersen’s Cycle stage II – bipartite ne + not – to stage III, not alone. We use the LAEME corpus to investigate the dialectal distribution in more detail, finding that the change must have begun in Northern and Eastern England. A strong effect of region and time period can be clearly observed, with certain linguistic factors also playing a role. We attribute the early onset of the change to contact with Scandinavian: North Germanic is known to have undergone Jespersen’s Cycle earlier in its history, and the geographical distribution of early English stage III fits neatly with the earlier boundaries of the Danelaw.

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Katarzyna Bronk

Abstract

Margaret Cavendish (1623–1673) is nowadays remembered as one of the most outspoken female writers and playwrights of the mid-seventeenth-century; one who openly promoted women’s right to education and public displays of creativity. Thus she paved the way for other female artists, such as her near contemporary, Aphra Behn. Although in her times seen as a harmless curiosity rather than a paragon to emulate, Cavendish managed to publish her plays along with more philosophical texts. Thanks to the re-discovery of female artists by feminist revisionism, her drama is now treated as a valuable source of knowledge on the values and norms of her class, gender, and, more generally, English society in the seventeenth century.

Cavendish’s two-partite play Bell in Campo (1662) is a fantasy on the world where women can fight united not only against misogyny but also against an actual enemy. While the two plays seem to be focused on the valiant Lady Victoria and her female “Noble Heroicks”, Bell in Campo likewise offers an odd subplot featuring two widows and their lives without their beloved husbands. In the secular discourse of the seventeenth century, widowhood has been seen as either liberating – as when the woman became the sole owner of her husband’s estate and goods, or regained her own, and thus more independent – or degrading – when she became the not-so-welcomed burden on her children’s shoulders and pockets. Other studies on widowhood likewise state its symbolic function, showing women as the bearers of memory, predominantly of the husband and his virtues, and often attending to the spouse’s site of memory. While discussing the cultural history of properly performed widowhood, seen as the final (st)age of a woman’s life, and taking into account Cavendish’s remarkable biography, the present paper offers a close study of her propositions for appropriate widowhood and its positioning in contrast to other states of womankind as presented in Bell in Campo.1 It will likewise take into account the more or less sublimated evidence for gerontophobia, particularly in relation to women, as shown in Cavendish’s play and seventeenth-century culture.