White Women Writing in the Contact Zone: Catherine Martin and Nancy Cato

Susan Sheridan

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Margaret Allen's PhD thesis (1991) was concerned with South Australian women writers of the colonial period. A particularly exciting discovery was the work of Catherine Martin, who has been the subject of Allen's sustained biographical research over many years. Among Martin's publications was The Incredible Journey, the first Australian novel to feature an Aboriginal woman as its central character. Largely due to Margaret Allen's subsequent work, Catherine Martin's literary reputation has grown; and so too has research and debate about race relations in colonial Australia. Allen's work on white women writing in the contact zone and other themes has made a vital contribution to the emergence of critical race and whiteness studies in Australia. In this paper I would like to offer a salute to her achievement in this area, and illustrate some implications of her approach in relation to the novels of a later South Australian writing about Aboriginal people in the contact zone, Nancy Cato.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)249-257
    Number of pages9
    JournalAustralian Feminist Studies
    Issue number73
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012


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