Institute for Social Research, Swinburne University of Technology
Part of a larger project dedicated to a theoretical appraisal of settler colonial phenomena, this paper draws attention to the need to develop interpretative categories capable of accounting for the specificity of the settler colonial ‘situation’. In the first section, the paper suggests that settler colonialism establishes inherently triangular relations. It then goes on to argue that a fundamental disavowal of indigenous presences informs settler-indigenous relations. The final section suggests that settler colonialism is characterised by a libidinal economy that is ultimately incompatible with a colonial one. These structuring differentiations, it is argued, highlight the inherent difference between encounters in a colonial setting and encounters in a settler colonial one. While this ‘situation’ should not be seen as characteristic of a particular period or location, or necessarily restricted to the past (settler national independence, of course, does not discontinue settler colonial structures), this very cursory outline is primarily intended as a call for further research.
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© borderlands ejournal 2011