Indigenous literature has flourished in recent decades, creating an increasingly nuanced portrayal of our colonial history. But what are the personal transformations in this literature that best inform debates about reconciliation today? In conversation with Mark Baker, renowned Indigenous writers Kim Scott and Marcia Langton examine the role of fiction in the ongoing discovery of our past, its resonance with the present, and the reckoning of historic tragedies by storytellers within their work. Curated by Marcia Langton.
Marcia Langton (Australian)
Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer, and since 2000 has held the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has produced a large body of knowledge in the areas of political and legal anthropology, Indigenous agreements and engagement with the minerals industry, and Indigenous culture and art. Her role in the Empowered Communities project under contract to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and as a member of the Expert Panel on Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Australians are evidence of Professor Langton's academic reputation, policy commitment and impact, alongside her role as a prominent public intellectual. Her 2012 Boyer lecture titled 'The Quiet Revolution: Indigenous People and the Resources Boom' is one of her recent contributions to public debate, and have added to her influence and reputation in government and private sector circles. In 1993, she was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her work in anthropology and the advocacy of Aboriginal rights. Professor Marcia Langton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a Fellow of Trinity College, Melbourne and an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College at The University of Queensland. In 2016 Professor Langton is honoured as a University of Melbourne Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor. As further recognition as one of Australia's most respected Indigenous Academics, in 2017 Professor Marcia Langton is appointed as the first Associate Provost at the University of Melbourne.
Kim Scott (Australian)
Kim Scott grew up on the south coast of Western Australia. He is proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar. His second novel, Benang: From the Heart, won the 1999 Western Australian Premier's Book Award, the 2000 Miles Franklin Literary Award and the 2001 Kate Challis RAKA Award. His third novel, That Deadman Dance, also won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2011, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Western Australian Premier's Book Award. His most recent book is Taboo. Kim is currently Professor of Writing at the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts, Curtin University.
Mark Baker (Australian)
Mark Raphael Baker is the author of two memoirs, Thirty Days: A Journey To the End of Love, on grief, marriage, and the death of his wife, Kerryn, and The Fiftieth Gate: A Journey Through Memory, a best-selling and seminal book on his parents’ experience during the Holocaust which won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, Melbourne.