Eliza Batman’s House: Unhomely Frontiers and Intimate Overstraiters in Van Diemen’s Land and Port Phillip

Penelope Edmonds, Michelle Berry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the overstraiter household and large enterprise of Eliza and John Batman, and the intimate and violent entanglements with Aboriginal people across two colonial frontiers in Southeastern Australia—Van Diemen’s Land and Port Phillip. It considers the cross-cultural affective economy of the Batman household amid the daily economic workings of pastoralism and labour on the frontier. Mobilising ideas of the domestic and the ‘unhomely’ the chapter argues that intimate affective economies recast acts of aggression as acts of kindness, and dispersal of Aboriginal families as care. On these gendered and uncertain domestic borderlands extreme violence and forced intimacy forged new vectors of imperial power. Here, land, homes, and children were taken from Aboriginal people and prosaic, proximate, and often unhomely relationships were made through the affective redescriptions of family.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntimacies of violence in the settler colony: economies of dispossession around the Pacific Rim
Subtitle of host publicationEconomies of Dispossession around the Pacific Rim
EditorsPenelope Edmonds, Amanda Nettelbeck
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-76231-9
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-76230-2
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


Dive into the research topics of 'Eliza Batman’s House: Unhomely Frontiers and Intimate Overstraiters in Van Diemen’s Land and Port Phillip'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this