Violence and Colonial Dialogue: The Australian-Pacific Indentured Labor Trade

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Hardback: $51.00 $5.00
ISBN-13: 9780824830250
Published: December 2006

Additional Information

286 pages | 11 illus., 2 maps
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  • About the Book
  • During the post-abolition period a trade in cheap and often cost-neutral labor flourished in the western Pacific. For more than forty years, it supplied tens of thousands of indentured laborers to the sugar industry of northeastern Australia. Violence and Colonial Dialogue tells the story of its impact on the people who were traded.

    From the beaches and shallows of the Pacific’s frontiers to the plantations and settlements of Queensland and beyond, a collective tale of the pioneers of today’s Australian South Sea Island community is told through an abundant and effective use of materials that characterize the colonial record, including police registers, court records, prison censuses, administrative reports, legislative debates, and oral histories. With a thematic focus on the physical violence that was central to the experience of people who were voluntarily or involuntarily recruited, the history that emerges is a powerful tale that is at once both tragic and triumphant.

    Violence and Colonial Dialogue also tells a more universal story of colonization. Set mostly in the British settler-colony of Queensland during the last forty years of the nineteenth century, it explores the brutality embedded in the structures of a colonial state, while attempting to recover the stories that such processes obscured.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Tracey Banivanua Mar, Author

  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • Banivanua-Mar's book is not only the most thorough and considered examination of the Pacific Island labour trade, it is also an engaging piece of research that, along with the careful analysis of data and records, brings a very human touch to its subject matter.
      —Michael Quinlan, University of New South Wales, Labour History (95, November 2008)