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Recollecting bones

  • This article critically engages with the different politics of memory involved in debates over the restitution of Indigenous Australian ancestral remains stolen by colonial actors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and brought to Berlin in the name of science. The debates crystallise how deeply divided German scientific discourses still are over the question of whether the historical and moral obligations of colonial injustice should be accepted or whether researchers should continue to profess scientific disinterest'. The debates also reveal an almost unanimous disavowal of Indigenous Australian knowledges and mnemonic conceptions across all camps. The bitter ironies of this disavowal become evident when Indigenous Australian quests for the remains of their ancestral dead lost in the limbo of German scientific collections are juxtaposed with white Australian (fictional) quests for the remains of Ludwig Leichhardt, lost in the Australian interior.

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Author:Lars EcksteinGND
Parent Title (English):Postcolonial Studies
Subtitle (English):the remains of German-Australian colonial entanglements
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe (147)
Document Type:Postprint
Date of first Publication:2018/07/27
Year of Completion:2018
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2018/07/27
Tag:Ludwig Leichhardt
ancestral remains; indigenous knowledge; memory; museums and anthropological collections; restorative justice
Source:Postcolonial Studies 21 (2018) Nr. 1, S. 6–19 DOI: 10.1080/13688790.2018.1435146
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Taylor & Francis Open Access Agreement
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht kommerziell, Keine Bearbeitung 4.0 International