Genocide and Colonialism from New and Old Perspectives
A. Dirk Moses (ed), Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest,
Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History, New York:
John Docker, The Origins of Violence: Religion, History and
Genocide, Sydney: UNSW Press, 2008.
Robert Kenny, The Lamb Enters the Dreaming. Nathaniel Pepper and
the Ruptured World, Melbourne: Scribe, 2007.
La Trobe University
Some historians consider genocide an inappropriate concept in a colonial context. Yes, whole peoples disappeared under the assault of colonialism, but was that the intention? A misguided insistence on the evidence of words rather than actions does not dominate the many important contributions to the Moses collection with its impressive variety of examples and approaches. In Docker’s book the discussion of both words and deeds is extended back in time and opened to sophisticated interpretation. There is sophisticated interpretation of a different kind in Kenny’s extended case study. From outside the
context of genocide studies it speaks to key issues of destruction, adaptation and survival.
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