Writer and activist Anita Heiss, a well-known advocate for indigenous education in Australia and one of the leading Aboriginal Australians involved in a highly controversial legal case related to Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act, will give a public talk on Wednesday, September 10, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at George Hall Room 227 on the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus. Her presentation will be based on her recent memoir, Am I Black Enough for You?, which tells her story of growing up with an Aborigine mother and Austrian father and charts the development of her activist consciousness, including her involvement in the case. She describes and examines her experiences as a modern woman in a country where ethnic and racial identity politics plays a significant role.
The free event is presented by University of Hawai‘i Press and UH Mānoa Department of Ethnic Studies, with cosponsors Center for Pacific Island Studies, Department of Political Science, Department of Anthropology, and Center for Biographical Research. On-campus parking is available for $6 (after 4 p.m.) or free street parking may be available. Click on the image to read the flyer and see the UH calendar for more details.
Still aglow from meeting acclaimed novelist/poet Alice Walker at the Sydney Writers Festival, Aboriginal author Anita Heiss headed to London to appear at the inaugural Australian & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts and promote her latest “choc-lit” novel, Tiddas (Simon & Schuster Australia). After a talk at Oxford, she flew to Vienna, where she was hosted by the Australian Embassy as the featured speaker in their seminar on the Europe-Australian connection and also gave a presentation similar to her TEDx Brisbane talk at Café Prückel. Thanks to the Austrian-Australian Society and our European distributor, Eurospan, copies of the UH Press edition of Am I Black Enough for You? were available for signing.
Next week, on June 11, Anita will be in Utrecht, Netherlands, to give an evening lecture on indigenous literature at the AAMU, Museum of Contemporary Aboriginal Art. Whew! With a schedule like hers, she is already looking forward to a week’s holiday in Hawai‘i this September—we at UH Press are very much looking forward to her visit and meeting her in person, as well!
Am I Black Enough for You? |2014 | 352 pages
ISBN: 978-0-8248-4027-3 | Paper | $24.99
In 2008, 140 years after it had annexed Ainu lands, the Japanese government shocked observers by finally recognizing Ainu as an Indigenous people. In this moment of unparalleled political change, it was Uzawa Kanako, a young Ainu activist, who signalled the necessity of moving beyond the historical legacy of “Ainu studies.” Mired in a colonial mindset of abject academic practices, Ainu Studies was an umbrella term for an approach that claimed scientific authority vis-à-vis Ainu, who became its research objects. As a result of this legacy, a latent sense of suspicion still hangs over the purposes and intentions of non-Ainu researchers.
This major new volume seeks to re-address the role of academic scholarship in Ainu social, cultural, and political affairs. Placing Ainu firmly into current debates over Indigeneity, Beyond Ainu Studies provides a broad yet critical overview of the history and current status of Ainu research.