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Mapping Your Law/Lore December 5-6, 2013, Mandurah, WA


The original vision that led to the formation of ACRAWSA in 2002 was “to bring together scholars who shared an interest in the study of whiteness and race in order todevelop an association whereby our work could be showcased and presented as there was and remains no formal race and whiteness field of study within
Australian Universities.”
  Professor Aileen Moreton-Robinson

This conference aims to once again bring together scholars who share an interest in the study of critical whiteness and race to showcase and present their work.  Much of the early work by scholars of whiteness studies in Australia was in relation to legal issues such as Native Title and Indigenous Sovereignty, a theme that is reflected at this year’s conference.  The conference also acknowledges the place of lore in creation of our present and future, thus extending beyond a singularly legal theme. Both law and lore are used to guide direction and understanding of the world around us.  Law and lore are the cartography, the maps, on life’s journey for understanding what is expected and assumed; for aspirations, values and how life is lived.

Cartography creates what it wants to see based on the lore and law it has known.  As the work of Minnie Bruce Pratt (1991) suggests, alternative forms of cartography are often ignored by dominant Settler cultures. Therefore we find maps and lore of early colonisers claiming “discovery” of wild, untamed lands.  For First Nations peoples these same lands were places of complex, intricate relationships where clear tracks, patterns and maps could plainly be seen.  The law and lore gave direction to life, its rich interconnectedness weaving together in sophisticated ways not discernible to coloniser’s eyes. 

The theme of the 2013 conference considers the law and lore used and maps developed, exposed, highlighted or cultivated in the eleven years since the founding of ACRAWSA. Further, in considering issues of sovereignty, literature, class, sexuality, gender and justice in relation to critical race and whiteness it intends to pause, reflect and mark this spot so as to consider the future and potential forms of cartography we might utilise in creation of that future. 

ACRAWSA and the conference convenors acknowledge the sovereignty of the First Nations peoples of the Noongar nation on whose country this conference is being convened. 

Important Dates 

Abstract submission deadline: passed

Decision on abstract notification: passed

Applications due for scholarships: passed

Early bird registration deadline: passed

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Updated: 1st November 2013