Oxford University Press
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Cultural Theory in Everyday Practice, 2008, 1, pp. 248 - 258
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How does one conduct and write an ethnography of a Captain Cook in Australia? That is, how do we look at Cook as a cultural figure that produces cultural effects? The difficulty with looking at the culture that produces Cook as an important but deeply ordinary figure is that that culture is `my culturewhite Australia. So how can I practise a kind of writing and research that will enable you to see Cook as both within `my culture but not only there? Is it possible to show how Cook works as both normalising touchstone for white Australia and as one potential point of opening into a proper acknowledgment of Indigenous sovereignty? This ethnography of Cook wants to show how white race claims to sovereignty in Australia work partly through a generalised, ordinary experience of white belonging and partly through the theatrical acknowledgment of the Cook story in monument and re-enactment.
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